November 1, 2012
It is well established that solitary confinement is cruel and psychologically damaging. Many of the SHU’s indefinite residents haven’t even broken prison rules. They are there because the California Department of Corrections claims they are connected to prison gangs. Such arbitrariness and cruelty has no place in a constitutional democracy. California should reexamine this practice.
October 1, 2012
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano decried Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto yesterday of legislation that would have returned openness to California’s prison system. Ammiano’s bill, AB 1270, would have restored, not expanded as noted in the veto message, media access to the level that existed in 1996 when the CDC clamped down on the press’ ability to interview specific prisoners.
August 29, 2012
Black August Memorial (BAM) is not about senseless acts of violence or gang activity. Black August was inspired by the death of our fallen Black dragons and includes other New Afrikan freedom fighters who gave their lives to our struggle for freedom, who made that ultimate and unselfish sacrifice in the service of our revolutionary struggle.
July 6, 2012
The premise of the SAFE California Act is to “modify” the death penalty by replacing it with Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP.) The public will once again vote on how they wish to execute the so-called “worst of the worst”: either death by lethal injection, or death by long term incarceration. The act would also transfer $100 million to law enforcement.
June 26, 2012
In 1989 the California Department of Corrections opened Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP). Their primary stated reason for its construction was to reduce prison violence by isolating “alleged” gang leaders and members, but contrary to their stated purpose, prison violence has both rapidly and dramatically increased. California prisons are more violent now than before the opening of Pelican Bay.
December 30, 2011
This petition will serve as a constructive notice for the peaceful protest which will be carried out as an alternative means of petition in the event that our conditions and demands are not met in a timely manner. [A notation on the cover letter to the petition says the hunger strike started Dec. 28, 2011.] Petitioners have filed appeals and grievances to no avail. Our constitutional rights are being violated. We are bound by the Constitution of the United States, and therefore its protection extends to us as well.
December 24, 2011
My son was caught up in someone else’s crime. Although innocent, he was convicted 26 years ago and sentenced to 28 years. He has suffered because of medical neglect. He suffered a fractured vertebra accidentally. It was several years before CDC examined his neck. By the time of the surgery, he could not raise his head off his chest.
July 22, 2011
The historic prisoner hunger strike led by 11 now “shrunken” but alive Pelican Bay Prison inmates advocating human rights, peace and justice continues at several prisons, according to officials, prisoners’ families and prisoner attorney Marilyn McMahon. Hunger strikers’ families and supporters will rally in Sacramento again Monday, noon-4 p.m.
July 18, 2011
I am writing because it is a matter of life and death and I am afraid. I have been on a mediation team for the last couple of weeks on behalf of the prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison and the talks have broken down. Prisoners in Pelican Bay have not eaten in 18 days. I am afraid that the only one who can stop people from dying at this time is the governor.
July 15, 2011
I got a letter today from Yogi Bear, Hugo Antonio Lyons Pinell. As most of you know, Yogi has been tortured in the Pelican Bay SHU since 1990 and in other California gulags since the early 1970s. He began his incarceration in 1964 at age 19. He has joined the hunger strike and writes …
July 4, 2011
It has been 83 hours since I last chewed on anything. I stand with all my brothers still on hunger strike inside the SHUs at Pelican Bay and Corcoran and on the mainlines in Centinela and Folsom and all other prisoners throughout California and the nation in solidarity with the hunger strike.
June 13, 2011
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar. JUST ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.
October 12, 2010
Americans are facing the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. States like California have responded by pulling the plug on public education. Policy makers are faint to trim any fat from the criminal justice system.