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their story


On February 1st, 1985, the Sons of Light, a KKK-splinter group of guards at the Indiana State Reformatory (now Pendleton Correctional Facility) sparked a prisoner rebellion with their brutal beating of defenseless prisoner Lincoln Love. According to a subsequent lawsuit, the white supremacist guards, armed with illegal billy clubs "maliciously held [Love] down and unmercifully stomped and kicked the inmate all over his body and hit the inmate upon and about his upper body and head with nightsticks." In a successful attempt to save his life, a politicized group of prisoners led by John "Balagoon" Cole and Christopher "Naeem" Trotter demanded entrance to the locked office where Lokmar was in chains & being beaten nearly to death. The Sons of Light turned & attacked them. As a result, the prisoners took hostages and occupied a cell block for 15 hours, demanding an end to censorship of letters, the ability to be politically active, minimum wages, and improvements to conditions so bad a court had deemed them "cruel and unusual punishment." John "Balagoon" Cole and Christopher "Naeem" Trotter were punished severely by the state for their sacrifice in saving a human life, receiving the sentences of 84 and 142 years respectively, with both held in solitary confinement for decades. Now they are both seniors facing major medical issues due to DOC neglect. Yet, the white supremacist gang of guards that instigated it all, the Sons of Light, have been ignored for the last 37 years. 

We, the Defense Committee to Free the Pendleton 2, demand:

1.The immediate release of John “Balagoon” Cole and Christopher “Naeem” Trotter from Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) custody.

2.The immediate release of all incarcerated seniors and all medically vulnerable

3.The immediate release of all political prisoners.

4.A Federal investigation into the IDOC-condoned white supremacist guard gang, the Sons of Light.

5. A Federal investigation into formal and informal affiliations and activity of white supremacist guards in the IDOC.

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