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My brotha Yogi – two comrades with long memories

April 30, 2016

They hated him because they couldn’t break him

by Juan A. Merced Jr., aka Ajamu

Two legends of the California Prison Movement, Khatari Gaulden and Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, sit in the sunshine in the San Quentin yard in 1976. – Photo courtesy Kiilu Nyasha

Two legends of the California Prison Movement, Khatari Gaulden and Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, sit in the sunshine in the San Quentin yard in 1976. – Photo courtesy Kiilu Nyasha

I’m not an eloquent writer or speaker nor can I be placed in the same category as Khatari, W.L., George or Yogi. The purpose of my existence is to strive daily to ensure that our history will never again be erased or stolen and to never allow an unjust act to go uncorrected.

I had the pleasure of meeting and learning from my brotha Yogi and the honor of having him call me his “mwenzi” (Swahili for “comrade”), so when I read the article that he was murdered by cowards because of his prison conviction, I know this to be a lie!

How? 1) Neither cowards nor guards will ever dictate the people’s thoughts or actions; 2) The two cowards who attacked our elderly brotha were only tools used by the old guards and prison officials to settle an old debt.

They hated my brotha Yogi because they were unable to break him after years of trying. What I know and hold to be true continues to afford all people a better way of improving their way of life and also our day for justice!

Send our brother some love and light: Juan A. Merced Jr., D-58678, CSP Calipatria A3-112, P.O. Box 5004, Calipatria CA 92233.

I’m one of the last of the oldtimers

by Joshua Shabazz

I was here at San Quentin when the Black Panthers first started in 1966. I came to San Quentin from Soledad July 10, 1963. Back then I came to prison Dec. 21, 1961. I have been out only three times since then.

I was at San Quentin from 1963 to 1970. When I came to San Quentin, Ruchell McKee and George Jackson was here.

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell came to San Quentin from Soledad in 1967 and later on after one or two years went to Folsom.

I was at San Quentin when Malcolm X got killed and when Martin Luther King Jr. got killed.

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, while at Folsom in 1969, was accused of having a knife and was put in segregation and went to outside court for it and later on went to segregation at San Quentin and got charged in 1971 as being one of the San Quentin 6.

I was in Folsom with Khatari in 1971, where he worked in the laundry there.

On Sept. 16, 1971, I was accused of a murder charge and was taken out to court and was found guilty of the murder charge.

I am about one of the last of the oldtimers left since the 1960s. I am 73 years old. There was no TV, radios and packages, telephones and no hot water in the cells here back then. I am not disabled and I am not in a wheelchair and do not walk with a cane.

Send our brother some love and light: Joshua Shabazz, D-18105, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94974.

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