California prisoner donates earnings from 13-cent hourly wage to Gaza | US prisons

Donors have raised more than $100,000 for an incarcerated man in the US who, earning 13 cents an hour in a California prison doing janitorial and porter work, donated his paycheck of $17.74 to Gaza relief efforts.

Last month, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Justin Mashouf who has been in correspondence with the 56-year old man – known only by the name Hamza – shared photos on social media of Hamza’s October time log and a check of $17.74 with the words, “California department of corrections and rehabilitation.”

The time log indicated 21 days worth of work, totaling to 136.50 hours.

Writing on X, Mashouf said, “An incarcerated brother I am in correspondence with donated $17.74 for relief efforts in Gaza. This donation is the sum of 136 hours of his labor in the prison working as a porter/janitor. May his sincere donation be multiplied by the Creator.”

Mashouf’s post of Hamza’s donation immediately went viral with over 24,000 likes and over 8,200 retweets.

On Instagram, the grassroots organization Palestinian Youth Movement shared Hamza’s story, writing, “Some of the deepest solidarity with Palestine in the US lies in the prison system – not only today but historically… The incarceration system in the US and in occupied Palestine are ultimately extensions of the same imperial project – one that seeks to criminalize the existence of the oppressed, to render them invisible, and to neutralize them as a threat to the dominant social order.”

According to legal records reviewed by the Washington Post, Hamza was convicted of one count of second-degree murder in 1986 and was sentenced to 15 years to life. At the time of his guilty plea, Hamza was still a teenager.

In a GoFundMe campaign page Mashouf established for Hamza, Mashouf wrote:“In the 80’s, Hamza accidentally fired a gun at a loved one, which kill[ed] the victim, leading to his imprisonment for over four decades. He has lived with the pain of losing his family member due to his own mistake every day for decades. While in prison, he has become a devout Muslim and has been pleading for parole for decades.”

In a statement on the campaign page, Mashouf wrote that Hamza is scheduled to be freed at the end of March.

Since its creation, the campaign has raised $102,187 for Hamza’s re-entry journey. The funds will be used for rent and utilities, clothing, job search and training, as well as cell phone services, according to the campaign.

In a statement posted to X by Mashouf on Wednesday, Hamza announced his decision to suspend the campaign.

“From my heart I thank you all for your generosity and kindness in donating these funds to help and assist me upon my release from prison,” Hamza wrote.

“However I must ask each of you now to please … look upon and consider the suffering children, mothers and fathers of Palestine, Yemen, and Africa living under inhuman[e] conditions, being bombed every hour of the day, without water, shelter, medication and food … who are ordinary people and citizens just like all of you living their lives having not a thing to do with the politicians, but are suffering [in]humanely,” he added.

Hamza’s donation to Gaza’s relief efforts come as Israel continues to attack the narrow strip. Since 7 October when Hamas attacked Israel and killed around 1,200 people while kidnapping approximately 250 hostages,, Israeli forces have killed more than 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s attacks have also injured more than 60,000, the majority of them women and children, spurring widespread international outrage.

Approximately 2 million people have been forcibly displaced by Israel’s attacks across the narrow strip, with 1.5 million Palestinians seeking shelter in the southern town of Rafah.

Aid agencies have repeatedly warned in recent months that Palestinians are being driven to the verge of famine due to shortages in food and water, as well as fuel and medical supplies. Meanwhile, UN experts have warned that “grave violations committed by Israel … point to a genocide in the making.”

Source link

Denial of responsibility! NewsConcerns is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment