Tag Archive: prisoner voices

Statements from People in Prisons for February 20th – National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

Read some of the statements from February 20th – National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lynne Stewart, Khalfani Malik Khaldun, Kevin Cooper, Jane Dorotik, Krista Funk, Herman Wallace, Robert King, Steve Champion, Todd Ashker, and Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement Hunger Strikers in Solidarity (PHSS).
The statements are HERE
Triangle Occupy 4 Prisoners Monday Feb. 20th
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Noise Demonstration and Community Speak Out
In front of Durham County Jail (219 South Mangum Street, Durham, NC 27701)
6:30 pm – 9 pm Food and Fellowship : Continuing the Conversation
At the Stanford L. Warren Library (1201 Fayetteville Street Durham, North Carolina 27707)
For more info on Occupy for Prisoners go HERE

Occupy Oakland prisoners attacked inside Santa Rita Jail

From yael@sfbg.com:
In the aftermath of the mass arrests of Occupy Oakland protesters– and whoever else happened to be on the wrong street at the wrong time– on Jan. 28 in Oakland, there have been loads of reports and rumors about brutality inflicted on those arrested. Most of those arrested were held in Santa Rita jail.

My observations:

I spent 20 hours in jail, and I saw some cruel treatment. I saw people suffering after being denied medication. I saw people with allergies to the food that was provided refused any substitute and unable to eat, sometimes for more than 24 hours. I saw people crammed into holding cells meant for groups a third their size, so that some people had to remain standing, sometimes for more than 24 hours. As many arrestees were wearing clothing coated in tear gas and pepper spray, those chemicals continued to waft through cells and affect all present.

Reports:

I have reports directly from sources of arrested occupiers being beat up in jail with police batons. At least 20 people were zip tied, meaning their hands were cuffed behind their backs– (more…)

A New Year’s Update from Political Prisoner Marie Mason

From Support Marie Mason

Hello and Happy New Year!

It’s been a little more than a year and a half since I was transferred to the Admin Unit at Carswell. Many folks have written wondering if I was in the hospital here, and no, I am not. The Admin Unit is just part of a larger compound that has a major medical center for the Bureau of Prisons. This unit is completely separate from both the compound and the medical center. It’s actually more difficult to see most medical staff from here because of the security detail that must accompany any of us if we leave the unit for any reason.

It is a very small world here; only some 20 women are housed here in complete segregation from general population. It is a mixed unit and serves as both death row and as a kind of control unit. We are fortunately not locked down as often as the men’s units are, as policy in the BOP is different for male and female prisoners. (more…)

Feeling death at our heels: An update from the frontlines of the struggle in California

The BayView, 1/25

from the NCTT Corcoran SHU

“Death is impossible for us to fathom; it is so immense, so frightening that we will do almost anything to keep from thinking about it. Society is organized to make death invisible, to keep it several steps removed. That distance may seem necessary for our comfort, but it comes with a terrible price: the illusion of limitless time, and a consequent lack of seriousness about daily life. As a warrior in life, you must turn this dynamic around: Make the thought of death something not to escape but to embrace. Your days are numbered. Will you pass them halfhearted or will you live with a sense of urgency? Cruel theaters staged by a czar are unnecessary; death will come to you without them. Imagine it pressing in on you, leaving you no escape, for there is no escape. Feeling death at your heels will make all your actions more certain, more forceful. This could be your last throw of the dice: Make it count.” – Robert Greene, bestselling author of “The 48 Laws of Power

Greetings, brothers and sisters: A firm, warm and solid embrace of revolutionary love and solidarity is extended to each of you from each of us.

Since the last hunger strike ended, we have weathered wave after wave of retaliation from the state’s prison administrators that continues unabated to this day. But before I catalog these manifestations of weakness on the part of state prison administrators, we feel it’s necessary to recount why this struggle began and the nature of our resolve to see the five core demands realized.

We have been consigned to ever more aggressive sensory deprivation torture units for 10, 20, 30 and in some cases 40 years, based on an administrative determination that we are members or associates of a “gang” – a term that encompasses leftist ideologies, political and politicized prisoners, jailhouse lawyers and most anyone who in the opinion of Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI) is not passively accepting his role as a commodity in the prison industrial complex.

These administrative determinations are not due to some overt act of misconduct or pattern of rules violations. No, these “validations” are based most often on the reforms, words or accounts of debriefers, rats, informants and other broken men who will say and do ‘most anything their IGI and ISU (Investigative Services Unit) handlers instruct them to, to avoid confinement in the SHU (Security Housing Unit) or carry some other favor from their masters.

After decades of fruitless legal challenges, after years of suffering the deprivations of conditions so inherently evil, inhumane and psychologically torturous that most of you simply cannot comprehend the reality behind these words, most of us came to realize an immutable truth: that the state’s mantra of “the only way out of the SHU is to parole, debrief or die” was something that they not only meant, but was in fact a key feature in developing a subservient and passive pool of prisoner commodities upon which the orderly fleecing of taxpayer dollars could be based.

Thirty years of successful propaganda, of dehumanizing underclass communities and the imprisoned, of lobbying that’s led to the dominance of the CCPOA (California Correctional Peace Officers Association) in judicial and political elections and appointments – all to mislead an ill-informed public into submitting greater control of their lives and society to an industrial interest that runs counter to the public safety concerns they were vested to protect. Many of us watched this state of affairs progress unchallenged as our protestations fell on deaf ears, year after year, decade after decade, until advanced age and the decimation of our communities forced us onto “death ground,” where you may survive if you can resist, but you will most surely perish if you do not.

Read the rest here.