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I sit in starved rebellion

October 13, 2011

Flood Gov. Jerry Brown with 160,000 calls – details below

by Paul Sangu Jones

Supporters held a rally outside the gates of Pelican Bay State Prison on Oct. 1, the first visiting day after the Sept. 26 resumption of the hunger strike. Nevertheless, families who came to visit SHU prisoners were turned away that weekend. Pelican Bay is on the coast near the northern border of California in a relatively cold climate. Yet during this hunger strike, air conditioning has been turned on, keeping the cells at 50 degrees.
Written Oct. 10, received Oct. 13, 2011 – Just sitting here attempting to endure these harsh conditions that myself and 10 other prisoners are being put through, thinking about how crazy the warden of Skeleton Bay is. He came on the tier to speak to each of us on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, and said we all could eat and go back to our SHU cells.

Well, Warden G.D. Lewis got his answer. Today is Oct. 10, and the hunger strikers are still here, living on water!

For over 20 years I’ve lived in extreme isolation – solitary confinement – through years of deprivation and sensory disorientation. For all those years, no phone calls, no photos taken, no contact visits.

This is cruel and unusual torture. The SHU is attacking and destroying the basis of our humanity through sensory deprivation.

The SHU causes physical and psychological trauma whose end result is a hammer blow to the mind and to the body. The construction of such a system cannot be considered anything other than an intentional system of cruelty and torture, a systemic attack on SHU prisoners’ human stimuli.

So I decided to join the battle as I have no choice but to struggle against torture – especially since they gaffled me up off the yard to bring me to Ad Seg (Administrative Segregation). I have not eaten solid food since being here. So far I’ve lost over 25 pounds.

The SHU causes physical and psychological trauma whose end result is a hammer blow to the mind and to the body.

This battle is essential as a means to bring attention to the seriousness of the inhumanity PBSP SHU (Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit) prisoners are suffering every single day: The debriefing, no phone calls, no photos, no contact visits, no sunshine, no raincoats, small portions of bland food, lack of proper radio stations, kiddie movies, lack of normal TV channels, the biased guards etc. are just symptoms of the problems. But the real problem is the SHU itself.

The willingness of the California Department of Corrections and Repression (CDCR [officially, the “R” stands for Rehabilitation, which is not provided]) to lie seems to know no bounds. Two ombudsmen, Gina Weiss and Sarah Malone, have come to our cells acting as though they had our best interests in mind, all the while cajoling us to eat.

They said that they’d make sure we received 114-D papers detailing why we were placed in Ad Seg; never happened. Ms. Weiss made the outrageous statement, “It’s ironic that we are trying to save lives.” WTF!

We’ve been in Administrative Segregation for 12 days now without receiving one single document, 114-D or 115 rule infraction, to state why we were placed in Ad Seg.

All prisoners have to fight back with is our bodies. For however long it takes our voices will be our bodies, and we are speaking out loudly enough to focus Gov. Jerry Brown’s attention on the SHU.

The courts have conceded to the guards, allowing institutional impunity to rule in the prisons. We need the supporters to make sure that he hears our bodies’ cries for justice, fair and humane treatment.

All prisoners have to fight back with is our bodies. For however long it takes our voices will be our bodies, and we are speaking out loudly enough to focus Gov. Jerry Brown’s attention on the SHU.

Tell the governor to end the torture in Pelican Bay SHU. Our lead negotiators, two women who have spoken in our behalf from the beginning of the July hunger strike have been accused of “aiding and abetting” the hunger strikers.

What a travesty of justice that is. Phone, fax, email or write to Gov. Jerry Brown [contact information below] and express your displeasure at how he is running his state. California is moving in the direction of a fascist state.

LET GOV. BROWN HEAR FROM YOU!

P.S. Chief Deputy Warden Cook is on the tier again. He’s more civil today. Last time he tried to cowboy us with tough talk.

From SHU to ASU

In a cell where they won’t give me a book

I sit in a darkened room

Now that I have refused their food

The guards swoop like vultures

They swarm around me like flies

Because my peaceful hunger strike

“Disturbs them”

Into the ASU dungeon I am thrown

For the alleged “criminal conspiracy”

Not to eat

With the guards’ unnatural obsession with

“Gang activities”

This gives them license to repress us with

“Institutional impunity”

To the point where it seems to affect their

Sanity

I’ve lived with their hypocrisy and the

Twisted lies

Until I finally had to say, “Enough is enough!”

End this prolonged isolation

They responded in their traditional manner

With retaliation

Now I’m confined to Administrative Segregation

I only leave my cell to shower

No yard, no fresh air

All of this because I opposed being

Tortured

I sit in starved rebellion

Send our brother some love and light: Paul Sangu Jones, B-26077, PBSP-ASU, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532.

Flood Gov. Jerry Brown with 160,000 calls

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is calling for a massive flood of phone calls to Gov. Jerry Brown. The goal is 160,000 phone calls – one for each California prisoner – by Wednesday, Oct. 19! This is still an urgent need even though some of the striking prisoners decided to suspend their strike Thursday after CDCR promised to apply new criteria to re-evaluate the status of all prisoners “validated” as prison gang members.

Phone Gov. Brown at (916) 445-2841, fax him at (916) 558-3160, email him online at http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php or write to Gov. Jerry Brown, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento CA 95814.

Sample script: “Hi, my name is _________. I’m calling about the statewide prisoner hunger strike that resumed on Sept. 26. I support the prisoners and their reasonable “five core demands.” I am alarmed by the CDCR’s refusal to implement these demands and by your refusal to intervene as the hunger strikers’ medical conditions are rapidly deteriorating. I urge you to make sure the demands are implemented for all SHU-status prisoners in California immediately and in good faith before anyone dies. I also urge you to lift the CDCR’s ban on lawyers from the prisoners’ mediation team and ensure the CDCR ceases all retaliation on the hunger strikers. Thank you.”

 

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