Tag: Allegra Taylor
On this day we relived the death of Nia Wilson when we attended a rally in Oakland protesting some of the news coverage of her murder on BART. She was only 18 when she and her sister were getting off a BART train at the MacArthur station and were both stabbed by a white man. Nia’s sister Latifah survived. Her family has had to relive that evening’s horror over and over again. The first time was when her family learned her throat had been slit. The second time when it hit the news.
Hugo L.A. Pinell Legacy: It was important to my Dad to always give honor where honor was due. This tribute to an honorable ancestor is offered in that spirit. They are together again, Khatari and Hugo, now ancestors looking over us. Many nights I sit and wonder what the elders would tell us today. Dad told me stories of Khatari; he loved him like a brother. Dad shared how Khatari’s leadership in the prison resistance movement was a vital vein after the assassination of George Jackson.
Saturday morning, Aug. 19, the day dawned bright and sunny, not a hint of the rain that drenched us the evening before. At 10:30 a.m. when I arrived at Freedom Plaza, there were people with posters and event T-shirts and a brother with a bullhorn. Robert King and Albert Woodfox were there in Amend the 13th T-shirts. King was passing out information about the law – the constitutional amendment – that legalizes slavery. Later on, at the rally, he would conclude the event, which lasted about five hours.
We take this opportunity to express our support for this historic event that supports prisoners’ human rights and to amend the 13th Amendment’s slavery exemption clause, so that legal slavery is finally abolished. When you consider the historic application of slavery in America, slavery in any form should not be tolerated in our society. For years we have struggled to defend the civil and human rights of prisoners both during our incarceration and upon our reentry back into our respective communities.
In your absence -- I am forced to accept the truth: You are not here with us. It’s been a two-year roller coaster ride; I have been up, down and all around with my emotions, as well as my thoughts. Tears stream down my face, and sometimes with a smile, when I am in deep thought of how much love you gave to me – and I miss that. In your absence -- I have been angry enough to want to SHOUT to the mountains about the torture and corruption you experienced at the hands of them who held you captive for 51 years.
I hope all will know and embrace the true reality that I among millions stand strong and firm with the true and raw teachings of a real dedicated man, Yogi – yeah, Hugo Pinell. Yogi, the many moments and years I personally shared with you will never ever fade or be forgotten even as I pass away. We rocked together, sang together and even played b-ball together. Brother, you schooled me when I was mentally blinded with hate, stupidity and ignorance.
Respects to you for giving brothas a voice and love. I won’t lie in this letter nor put on extras out of respect and in honor of my brother Hugo “Yogi” Pinell. I’m an inmate in New Folsom. I was housed in B2-111, five cells away from Yogi. Every day at yard time it was my honor and duty to escort him to the rec yard. His spirit was amazing. He had jokes. When Yogi hit the yard, the unity just by his presence was beautiful. Afrikans from everywhere were one.
Letters continue to pour in to the Bay View from prisoners who remember the great Hugo “Yogi” Pinell as a hero and a martyr and want the world to know and remember him too. His work will not only be memorialized but also carried forth by all he has touched. You and your lessons will be remembered always – and, like you, will forever inspire resistance. Determination. The longing to be free. And the courage to fight for it.
We were saddened by the news that Yogi was murdered during an alleged “prison riot” at a Sacramento maximum security prison, after Yogi’s release from decades in solitary confinement in the California prison system. Our prison movement grieves at the loss of one of its most respected and beloved foot soldiers within the belly of this fascist beast in our mutual struggles against the common enemy of the human species.
Aug. 12, 2015, I sat waiting for the mail to come as I did each day. This day it was different because for the first time my dad was in his first lockdown on the mainline. He had only been there 15 days – abruptly moved on July 29 after a meeting with the DRB (Departmental Review Board) on July 28. Each day I waited to hear from him hoping and praying he was OK. Finally the mailman delivered the letter I was waiting for.