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Prison Stories

South Carolina freedom fighters call for National Prisoners Strike Aug. 21-Sept. 9, 2018

April 25, 2018

Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.

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Rally to end Santa Clara County Jail hunger strike

April 25, 2018

Over 200 prisoners in Santa Clara County have been on a hunger strike since April 15, 2018, to end meaningless classification reviews and the torturous practice of indefinite solitary confinement etc.. Concerned families and community countywide rallied in support of their incarcerated loved ones on Monday, April 23, at 6 p.m. in front of the Main Jail in hopes that the jail administration and/or Sheriff Laurie Smith will engage with participating hunger strikers to end the hunger strike.

Survivors of Lucasville Uprising denied phone calls and threatened with solitary to censor them

April 22, 2018

The recent prison uprising in South Carolina is often described as the deadliest in 25 years, referencing the Lucasville Uprising, which began on April 11, 1993, and lasted 11 days and took the lives of nine prisoners and one correctional officer. This week is the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Lucasville uprising, which is being “celebrated” by correctional officers by silencing the survivors of that riot, some of whom were framed for murder while the prisoners responsible for the violence were able to plead out and avoid punishment.

Emergency action alert: The men who wrote the historic Agreement to End Hostilities are back in solitary – release them!

April 20, 2018

In October 2017, the two-year period expired for the court to monitor the Ashker v. Governor settlement to limit solitary confinement in California. Since then, the four drafters of the Agreement to End Hostilities and lead hunger strike negotiators – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco and Todd Ashker – have all been removed from general population and put in solitary in administrative segregation units, based on fabricated information created by staff and/or collaborating “inmate informants.”

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Lucasville Rebellion, longest prison ‘riot’ in history, began 25 years ago, on April 11, 1993

April 11, 2018

Central Ohio IWOC, the Free Ohio Movement and Lucasville Amnesty call for actions and raising awareness around the 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising on April 11-21. Drawing attention to this pivotal event in the history of prisons in Ohio and the U.S., protesters will hold a 3 p.m. noise demo on the 21st outside the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville where prisoners held a cell block for 11 days in April of 1993. Prisoner survivors of this rebellion have spent these 25 years acting as beacons of resistance despite suffering in solitary confinement and on death row.

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The forgotten one: Sentenced to 500 years though no one was hurt

April 9, 2018

I was recently able to view a documentary titled “The Cooler Bandits.” It’s the story of four young men who were sentenced to hundreds of years in prison for robbing Akron, Ohio, area restaurants in the early ‘90s. The film tells the story of the four men, all in their teens and early 20s when the crimes were committed. What type of justice is this? Five hundred years for a crime where no one was injured is a gross miscarriage of justice, especially when the offender was only 18 years old.

Juneteenth Call to Action

April 4, 2018

Our movement is fighting hard to amend the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to strike its “slavery clause” that forces prisoners to work for free or for pennies in the prisons, in the fields like slaves of old and in sweatshops manufacturing goods. We are calling for your help in raising the public’s awareness of the existence and the urgent need to end prison slavery inside the state of Texas and across the nation. Let’s dedicate Juneteenth 2018 to abolishing slavery once and for all!

Bay View: Baddest paper on the planet

April 3, 2018

Three testimonies from behind enemy lines: When I read your newspaper, it gives me life and sends revolutionary fervor running through my veins… — Bay View gives me journalism regarding African Americans and the state of racist “lock ‘em up” laws that are laser focused on us… — I’ve been getting your newspaper for almost a year now and yours is, bar none, the baddest paper on the planet. I’m so glad it found its way to me…

Ongoing isolation in California prisons not governed by settlement, judge rules

April 2, 2018

A federal judge in a March 28 ruling declined to order the CDCR to move prisoners previously held in SHUs into legitimate general population conditions. Under a landmark class action settlement that was intended to effectively end indefinite solitary confinement in California prisons, nearly 1,500 prisoners were released into the general prison population, many to Level IV prisons, which is the highest security level in general population.

Herman Bell granted parole – but cops, politicians try to nix it

April 1, 2018

Supporters of Black liberation fighter and political prisoner Herman Bell held a packed news conference at the Center for Constitutional Rights March 23. They came out to show support for a recent New York State Parole Board decision to free Bell after more than 40 years – much of it spent in torturous solitary confinement. The board’s decision has come under attack from police groups, the corporate media and elected officials, including “liberal” Democrats Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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The Agreement to End Hostilities: Use it or lose all we’ve won

March 31, 2018

As a Black Nation and prisoner class, we have come too far since the Agreement to End Hostilities and the last hunger strike of July 8, 2013, which 30,000 prisoners partook in to break the chains of our inhumane solitary confinement to allow ourselves to lose focus on the AEH and what it has done to enlighten society that we still have our humanity. But we will never change this miserable, decaying prison system or our neighborhoods if the oppressor state sees and can utilize our violent, hostile actions toward one another to show just cause to retaliate.

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Mistreatment of mental health prisoners in North Carolina

March 30, 2018

I need to bring to your attention a corrupt, retaliatory, unprofessional, ruthless tyrant, who holds the slave-master title of unit manager, and his blatant, unethical conduct and his disregard for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) Division of Prisons policy and procedure, which he swore under oath to uphold. His name is Kevin Ingram! Mr. Ingram is a Black man who hates his own and rules with an iron fist.

This ‘modern-day’ slavery isn’t all that modern

March 29, 2018

Today as I write this article I am sitting in one of Alabama’s prisons looking around at the many lost, confused and content slaves who occupy the overcrowded slave quarters called Alabama Department of Corrections. The task that I, Brother Ra Sun and Kinetic Justice have before us is to convince these brothers on today’s modern day plantations; they are still slaves, made applicable by the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution, and are contributing to their enslavement. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find the best way to do that.

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Support Kwame Shakur now!

March 28, 2018

Kwame Shakur is a New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist and political prisoner currently held in the Indiana slave kamp known has Pendleton Correctional Facility. Kwame Shakur requires outside supporters to shine a spotlight on Pendleton Correctional Facility. They must let the warden know that they are aware of what is being done, that it violates any standard of human decency and international human rights law, and likely prison policy regarding the retroactive application of disciplinary reports.

Brutha Sitawa: CDCr and Soledad Prison retaliate with false reports to return me to solitary confinement

March 26, 2018

For years now, I have endured threats, both overt and covert, from the mouths and hands of CDCr’s (California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation’s) OCS (Office of Correctional Safety), ISU (Investigations Services Unit) and IGI (Institutional Gang Investigations), all of them paramilitary services that boast they are a gang and call themselves the Green Wall. (See my article “Sitawa: Exiting solitary confinement – and the games CDCr plays.”)

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Proposition 57 dashes hopes for lifers and Three Strikers, turning cirrhosis into death sentence

March 23, 2018

Gov. Brown’s Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 was a sham that gave false hopes of freedom to thousands of juvenile offenders who have grown up – and are now adults – in California prisons and Three Strikers, who believed they would finally see their 20-, 30- and 40-year-old priors, which have kept them behind bars long after their current sentence has been completed, go away. But that’s not the reality.

Missouri guards called the Cowboy Gang say, ‘We’ll make your murder look like a suicide’

March 21, 2018

I hope this letter gets to the Bay View because correctional officers are destroying my outgoing mail. I had to defend myself against a correctional officer when he swung on me and I ended up busting his jaw and knocking him out. The results: All my property was destroyed, I was jumped on in cuffs and shackles, not fed, slept on concrete naked for weeks and everything imaginable. Corrections Officers have made death threats on my life.

Bay View offers solution to North Carolina crisis: Prisons too dangerous, guards quitting, so unban the Bay View

March 21, 2018

My January 2018 issue of your newspaper has been disapproved by the facility I am at, Alexander Correction Institution in North Carolina. According to this notice I was given, your newspaper is on the “Master List of Disapproved Publications” and thus I am not allowed to appeal the disapproval. As soon as I complete this letter, I will be composing a formal grievance on this matter. The Bay View seeks professional legal help, willing to file suit if necessary, to back up Tommy Accardi’s brave grievance.

LWOP (Life in Prison Without Parole): Dreams derailed or deferred

March 7, 2018

Imagine for a moment the faces, emotions and mind-set of teenagers and/or young adults from all walks of life who suddenly find, as I had, that because you are closely associated with someone or provided something to someone who committed murder, you too, under the law, are now just as responsible for capital murder without ever having such intent or a clue that anyone would be seriously injured or killed.

Rally, press conference and court solidarity to end sleep deprivation

March 6, 2018

On Feb 8, 2018, Northern District Judge Vince Chhabria held a hearing on a motion by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to dismiss civil rights lawsuits brought by two prisoners, Christopher Lipsey and Maher Suarez, who are suing CDCR for violation of their Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Specifically, they have brought their lawsuits to put an end to the sleep deprivation of prisoners caused by “security/welfare checks.”

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