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The incidents described in this piece give context to the historical and contemporary art of abuse, inflicted on prisoners from the torturous isolation chambers of the Eastern State Penitentiary during the 1820s to the 1971 Attica rebellion and beyond. The documentation of the past and present grieved events of prison-controlled torture blaze a paper trail that shows abuse by guards is a lot deeper than being inadvertent or isolated events.
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.”)
We are being held in solitary confinement, and the state compels us to answer personal questions or be held in isolation indefinitely. They call this bi-weekly interrogation “programming,” where we’re forced to reveal our most personal information to our captors, “the state,” knowing that this information can and will be used against us.
Hundreds turned out for Oakland City Council's Public Safety Committee meeting on Jan. 15, 2013, to oppose paying $250,000 to bring “supercop” William Bratton and his "stop and frisk" and other zero tolerance police policies to Oakland. The bid for Bratton’s consult seems to be simply Oakland throwing good money after bad.
What was amazing about the hearing Monday was the prosecution’s admission that it didn’t have enough evidence to convict these men. As attorney Daro Inouye said of Jalil Muntaqim, who pled no contest to the prosecution’s charge of conspiracy, his client picked up a loaded grenade to save his brothers, his friends, his fellow defendants, and he didn’t plead guilty. That language did not pass his lips.