‘The Pendleton Two: They Stood Up’ screening in Indianapolis

Friday, June 19
7:30pm @ Kan Kan Cinema
1258 Windsor St

Join Kan Kan Cinema for a screening of “The Pendleton Two: They Stood Up” this pride month! The film documents the struggle to free political prisoners John “Balagoon” Cole and Christopher “Naeem” Trotter, who have been unjustly incarcerated for 40 years for resisting white supremacist violence. Produced in partnership between IDOC Watch and the Defense Committee to Free the Pendleton 2, the documentary is a must-see for anyone unaware of the brutalities of the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Though a prison guard involved in the uprising testified that the officers involved were members of a white supremacist gang, and admitted to beating an unconscious, handcuffed inmate, he and his fellow guards were allowed to walk free. Cole and Trotter, for the crime of coming to that man’s defense, were sentenced to life in prison, where they continue to face ongoing repression from the white supremacist state.

The brutal oppression Cole and Trotter have experienced at the hands of IDOC stems from the same source as the brutal oppression of Black communities by the IMPD, and bears the same stamp of approval. Victoria Law, a freelance journalist focusing on prison organizing, detailed the lack of care from the State of Indiana in an interview with Rattling the Bars in early April:

“When an investigator dared to file a report stating that a member of the Brotherhood, a guard associated with a white supremacist organization, beat up a prisoner (…) and then falsified documents about the beating, the guard and his buddies went to the local bar and beat up the investigator.”

The presence of open white supremacist gangs among IDOC guards has been reported to the governor’s office. No action has been taken, because to take action would require the state to acknowledge that white supremacy is baked into the prison system.

Learn more about the struggle to free the Pendleton Two here, and follow @thependleton2 on Instagram to stay involved