gregory_a_k

“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.”—Karl Marx
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About

Gregory Koger in Ferguson, MO - 8-13-2014. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Gregory Koger in Ferguson, MO – 8-13-2014. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

I am a writer and a revolutionary. Since my release from prison in 2006, I have dedicated my life to ending the crimes and injustices that flow from this capitalist-imperialist system and struggling for a liberated future for all humanity.

I spent many years in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons – conditions that amount to torture under international law. I was serving a 20 year sentence in an adult maximum security prison at the age of seventeen, after being convicted of a “gang-related” shooting while attempting to survive on the streets as a homeless teenager involved with a street organization. Before I was even convicted I was held in solitary confinement in adult county jail when I was 17 years old and went to trial from solitary.

Gregory Koger press clippings

It was under those conditions, in prison and in solitary confinement particularly, that I began to take up a radical and revolutionary approach to understanding and changing society and the world. My studies in prison were greatly aided by the work of the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund and Urbana Champaign Books to Prisoners program. In addition to studying broadly while in prison, I was a jailhouse lawyer and won a federal lawsuit challenging prison conditions. After my release, I worked in a Chicago law office for several years and I am a member of the National Lawyers Guild.

I took up writing while in solitary confinement in prison, and in August 2013 started working on some writing while serving a 300-day sentence in Cook County Jail after a four-year-long legal and political battle against a political prosecution for recording a statement against censorship on an iPhone at a public meeting of the “Ethical” Humanist Society of Chicago. In addition to reading, writing and having broad political discussions during my time as a political prisoner in Cook County Jail, I spent two weeks on hunger strike in solidarity with the California prison hunger strike. Also, as a result of a lawsuit I initiated while in Cook County Jail, the Jail’s 30-year long policy of banning all newspapers was declared unconstitutional.

In August 2014 I spent most of the month on the front lines of the Ferguson rebellion in response to the police execution of Michael Brown.

Gregory Koger in Ferguson, MO - 8-13-2014. Photo by Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Gregory Koger in Ferguson, MO – 8-13-2014. Photo by Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

I’ve spoken publicly at universities and high schools; at teach-ins and demos; radio programs and local tv; and in prison and jail cells, tiers and day rooms about the historical development of mass incarceration, torture in U.S. prisons, the broader system of capitalism-imperialism and the vast potential of millions of youth who have no future under this system to step forward and transform themselves and the world as part of a movement for revolution.

For the record: I’ve worked with a number of groups in the past, but I’m not a member of any organization or party – I’m just a soldier in the struggle for liberation.

I deeply believe that we can have and must bring into being a radically different way of organizing society than the capitalist system. I firmly believe that we can and must organize ourselves and others to bring that world into being collectively. And that we cannot allow this system to continue to have its police kill 3 people every day; to harass, arrest and imprison millions of principally Black and Brown folks; to support and enforce capitalist depredations around the world. We must step up and resist together, and build a radically different society ourselves.

Pontiac protest - Brian Nelson, Mark Clements, Gregory Koger

In 2016 I founded Torture Survivors Against Solitary with Brian Nelson, and in 2017 we founded the Prison Liberation Collective.

Jon Dambacher, Brian Nelson, Five Mualimm-ak, gregory_a_k

gregory_a_k, Five Mualimm-ak, Silvia Mendez, Juan Mendez - UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Brian Nelson

 

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