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Hunger strikers denied right to read: Pelican Bay officials just don’t get it

July 28, 2013

by Mutope Duguma, Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement

Mutope Duguma 061413, web
Mutope Duguma in a photo taken June 14, 2013. The right to a photo was one small victory won by the 2011 hunger strikes. Previously, many SHU prisoners had not had a photo to give to loved ones for a decade or more. Since this one was taken, Mutope wrote on July 22 that in those first two weeks of the hunger strike, he had already lost 33 pounds.
In retaliation for our peaceful protest, the security housing unit sergeant, B. Davis, drafted up a memorandum on July 8, 2013, saying that Pelican Bay State Prison will be following “regulations per DOM 54030.20.5 which allows book/ publications limit of five (5) books maximum.” This is what PBSP calls rehabilitation.

PBSP Sgt. B. Davis is demonstrating the type of mentality that we’ve been dealing with for the last 23 years in these torture chambers. We are allowed to have 10 books over the allowed five magazines, this Sgt. Davis knows, but he is attacking what we prisoners in SHU value more than anything outside our families: BOOKS.

We say: “End solitary confinement – torture – now! Stop the deliberate attacks on prisoners’ mental development by enforcing a book limit that is instituted to deprive prisoners of reading material.”

Why would an institution of prisoners attack that which aids in the rehabilitation process? Sgt. Davis does not get it, because one of our core demands deals with providing prisoners educational programs that are beneficial to our growth and development. One would think that if prisoners wanted to read, that the PBSP officials would have done all in their power to provide prisoners an avenue to endless books. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The memorandum is diametrically opposed to our fifth demand. This retaliation is against prisoners for protesting the inhumane treatment in solitary confinement units. We say: “End solitary confinement – torture – now! Stop the deliberate attacks on prisoners’ mental development by enforcing a book limit that is instituted to deprive prisoners of reading material.” If it fits in your allowed 6 cubic foot locker, then you should be able to have as many books as possible.

Why have a policy that restricts prisoners education? Especially for prisoners. The CDCr needs to be called on the many policies that go against the educational needs of the prisoners. We feel this memo was written on July 8, 2013, in order to retaliate against SHU prisoners for our peaceful protest. They, CDCr and PBSP, can take all of our material possessions and it would not interfere with our right to fight for our human and civil rights.

The memorandum is diametrically opposed to our fifth demand. This retaliation is against prisoners for protesting the inhumane treatment in solitary confinement units.

We can only hope that the CDCr and PBSP warden can see the value of reading and allowing prisoners to read leisurely at their expense without restrictions.

One Love, One Struggle!

Send our brother some love and light: Mutope Duguma (J. Crawford), D-05996, PBSP SHU D1-117U, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532.

 

4 thoughts on “Hunger strikers denied right to read: Pelican Bay officials just don’t get it

  1. Michael

    The prisoner at Pelican Bay, Have Shoot Them Selfs in The Foot, If Theire Only Demand was To Limit the Stay in Solitary Confinement They Should Not have made 5 Demands.
    O.k. Here for better food, Let Them Have the Same Meal that You Get In Arizona , Rice and Beans, as far as Recreational Programs, You are In Jail for Being Bad, Do Not Expect Club Med, The Less we Spend on Them the Better, as for Isolating People Because they hang Gang Ties, Let Them Mix and Kill Each other in there, it’s what they want and if the do so we are safe out Here, Prisoners Should be Kept In Isolation if they are a Treat to Staff or other Non- Gang Member Prisoners.

    I Would Support Their Efforts in Ending Indefinite Solitary Confinement for anyone who
    Is not a Treat, But I Will Not as Long as Their Demands # 5

    P.S. if Our Prisoners on Death Row this Lethal Inject is un-Humain, GIVE them a Choice ! 1) Lethal Inject 2) Firing Squad or 3) Hinging, Appeal Should be Limited to 2 Years Max , Remember the un-Humain Death Their Victims Endured.

    Michael James Priddy

    Reply
  2. People

    There is no “correction” let alone “rehabilitation” in PBSP or any of CDCR’s prisons. What is wrong with reading books? In many countries in the rest of the world, people can even directly send in books to their loved ones. Be glad that Mutope and others want to read!

    Prison is the punishment. The judge did not order a person sentenced to prisontime to be killed, threatened with violence, cut off from other humans, given bad food, or any other human right. Prisoners are human beings. That prison is “club med” is an old reactionary saying mentioned by ignorant people who have no idea. Maybe the ignorant ones should go read a book!

    CDCR uses the word “gang” also to profile people they want isolated, for their political beliefs.

    Reply
  3. david esco

    ASHKER HAS KILLED TWICE. "BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT". AB/BRAND MOTTO.

    I HAVE LOOKED PEOPLE LIKE HIM IN THE FACE. YOU ARE ONLY A PIECE OF MEAT IN THEIR WAY. THE AB ARE ABOUT MURDER AND ENFORCEMENT. THEY PUT OUT THE "WORD" AND THE WHOLE CA. PRISON GOES ON STRIKE. YOU SHOULD BE TERRIFIED OF KILLERS LIKE HIM. THE AB WILL KILL YOU IF DO NOT JOIN THEIR STRIKE.

    You are being hustled by the worst criminals in the state. Google the names of these and other shu detainees. They are in the Shu for a Reason. Leon killed at least two people, and shanked a guard at San Quentin and Susanville. Think about the Nuestra Familia members who killed an ex member because he wanted out. They killed him and his WHOLE FAMILY.

    Raoul Leon( eme), Barry Mills and Terry Gillam (AB)were all in the shu. These
    are VIOLENT people. The feds prosecuted the AB. Gillam and Mills are
    so Bad that they are now at the super max in Colorado/ Grow up people.
    what did the dudes cited in this piece do to get in Pelican Bay.
    KIlled at least two people more likely than not.

    I was in prison at Quentin for armed robbery.

    Wise UP.

    Reply

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