BY NORTON SANDLER
DES MOINES, Iowa - "I am writing in support of parole for Mark Curtis. Over the past year he has contributed editorial copy to The Communicator, and to my knowledge, been involved with various organizations at Fort Madison, including the NAACP. I feel that he has paid his debt to society, and should be given an opportunity to prove himself to society."
This letter was sent to the Iowa Board of Parole on October 24 from Jonathan Narcisse, publisher of The Communicator, the major Black community newspaper distributed in Des Moines and Waterloo Iowa. It was written by Narcisse in response to an effort being organized by supporters of imprisoned union and socialist activist Mark Curtis.
Curtis was granted a November 21 parole hearing that will be held in the Iowa State Penitentiary in Ft. Madison. He was framed-up on rape and burglary charges in 1988. This is the first time in three years that Curtis has been granted a parole hearing. Before his arrest, Curtis was involved in a struggle at the Monfort meat-packing plant here to defend immigrant workers who had been arrested and removed from the plant by immigration cops.
"We are concentrating our efforts over the next few weeks on collecting selected letters from individuals who will have the most influence on what the parole officials decide on November 21," commented John Studer, coordinator of the Mark Curtis Defense Committee.
"Since it often takes a meeting or two to talk over a
letter with an individual who is thinking about sending
one," Studer said, "we are urging supporters to act on this
now and not wait until the last minute before the hearing."
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