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Stand with us in the upcoming peaceful struggle

April 11, 2013

by Arturo Castellanos

Greetings to all those men and women of like minds and spirits who are going to volunteer and stand with us in solidarity in the upcoming peaceful struggle to force positive changes to CDCR that will benefit all prisoners and all our outside families and friends.

Hunger strike support march 'Solidarity with the prisoners, SHU = state sanctioned torture' Santa Cruz 072311 by Bradley
California prisoners who backed up their Five Core Demands with hunger strikes – peaceful protests – in 2011 are gearing up for another such protest to begin July 8, 2013, because their demands, though promised, still have not been met. This banner led a hunger strike support march in Santa Cruz on July 23, 2011. – Photo: Bradley, bradley@riseup.net
In this letter we wish to acknowledge and send out appreciation and great respect for those men on Death Row in San Quentin’s Adjustment Center (AC) and the women in Chowchilla prison for their inspiring and motivating words published in the April 2013 Rock, Vol. 2, No. 4, at pages 7, 8; and in the Spring 2013 Prison Focus, No. 39 (http://www.prisons.org).

These letters were reassuring and solidified our commitment to see this through to the end. We also have no doubt that those in Corcoran, Folsom, Tehachapi and all other California prisons have written similar letters – including those men here with us in SHU D and C Facilities, as well as GP (general population) – which will only further strengthen our peaceful struggle across the state to end CDCR’s decades long oppressive actions towards all prisoners and their families.

After these and other letters from across the state and nation that will be published, we find it hard to believe that any able-bodied individual prisoner will not wish to take part in this historic peaceful action in one form or another. Hell, even those among us who have a serious chronic illness are fully supporting this peaceful action in one form or another, even though they aren’t able to go on hunger strike. For example, they are not going to July’s canteen and they’re writing family, friends, church groups and encouraging them to join our outside support groups and/or writing the governor, state legislators etc. Every single small act of support adds up to overwhelming support for our unified cause!

Greetings to all those men and women of like minds and spirits who are going to volunteer and stand with us in solidarity in the upcoming peaceful struggle to force positive changes to CDCR that will benefit all prisoners and all our outside families and friends.

And as one contemplates whether to volunteer or not, just remember all the psychological torture and personal loss (i.e., relations) that each of us in these solitary confinement torture cells have already experienced for the past 20-30 years. And, more importantly, think of all those youngsters, maybe young relatives, who will take our places after we’re gone – for another 20-30 years – if this system is not changed at this time.

Therefore, we must refuse to continue to keep our heads buried in the ground while CDCR continues to deprive and oppress us and countless others to come. Instead, we must now stand up, holding our heads high and volunteer for this peaceful action to change everything that CDCR has stood for in the past 20-30 years.

We must refuse to become complacent in our surroundings and not believe the big 30 year lies that things will get better on their own as time goes by, or that peaceful protests cannot make an impact. Those are lies!

Along these same lines, don’t allow CDCR to scare any of you straight into non-action by being afraid of receiving write-ups or being placed in Ad-Seg or losing the very little that CDCR returned to us, that they themselves deprived us of 20 to 30 years ago. So don’t allow them to manipulate and brainwash you into non-action.

We must now stand up, holding our heads high and volunteer for this peaceful action to change everything that CDCR has stood for in the past 20-30 years.

Now is not the time to stand on the sidelines or whisper doubts or excuses to each other not to participate or be in opposition as an active obstructionist. That’s what CDCR and their many minions will be doing prior to and during this peaceful action.

No, now is the time to stand up and be counted with us and those men in AC, the women in Chowchilla and countless others who will voluntarily participate in solidarity across this state and across this nation.

Finally, for anyone to allow an opportunity such as this to slip by without participating in some positive action – an opportunity of this magnitude may not present itself again – would be a very grave mistake on their part because they will only be adding another big regret to the many others they already burden themselves with, of missed opportunities to make a difference in changing the prison system for the benefit of all prisoners and their families.

Now is the time to stand up and be counted with us and those men in AC, the women in Chowchilla and countless others who will voluntarily participate in solidarity across this state and across this nation.

Always in solidarity and with great respect to all those men and women joining this peaceful struggle in one form or another, which includes all our outside supporters, who have been invaluable in this movement.

Arturo Castellanos writes this statement on behalf of all the other representatives and PBSP SHU Short Corridor Collective. His address is C-17275, PBSP SHU, D1-121, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532.

For families and friends to join our movement:

 

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