Civil Rights Attorney John L. Burris held a press conference on Oct. 26 to announce he is filing racial discrimination lawsuits in the Superior Court of San Francisco on behalf of four African American men against Clark Construction Group-California, Inc., for creating a racially hostile work environment and for allowing the men to be subjected to harassment, intimidation and retaliation.
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.”)
Dear Kos, I’ve read your posts frequently over the years, and even sent a donation. Thanks for all your good work. I’ve felt a level of smugness creep in, however, which especially reflects in your recent headline, “Morons who voted for Republicans now worry they will take away their health care—as promised.” You even name call a woman who voted Republican a “moron.” Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment falls in this same category.
In three days, Iris Canada turns 100. Did you expect to live this long? Did you imagine bearing witness to the Black community’s dwindling to 3 percent of the population of San Francisco? In your dreams, did you think that your building would be sold and that you would have to endure an Ellis Act eviction whose sole aim was to extricate you from your home? Iris, with a voice so soft – tell me.
Having been one of the many who have been let out of the control units (SHU), I can say that there is some victory in this development, but there is much work to be done outside the SHU and still a ways to go before victory is complete. This accomplishment of opening the gates of SHU for many simply means we face new forms of oppression; it changes in form but not in essence.
When Ashker v. Brown (Governor of California) was filed as a class action in 2012, California held thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement, in Security Housing Units (SHU). In September 2015, the case was settled, and far-reaching reforms were ordered. These reforms are expected to dramatically reduce the number of prisoners currently detained in the SHU and limit the way SHU confinement is used going forward.
Six years ago, on Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant III, 22, was shot and later died of bullet wounds received when Johannes Mehserle, then a BART police officer, fired his gun at point blank range into Grant’s back – after Grant and his friends had been taunted with racial epithets and assaulted by Mehserle and other BART officers on the scene, while Mehserle’s partner, Tony Pirone, held Grant down with both hands and a knee on his head and neck.
When we were growing up, we understood that most of these white, Black and Brown police officers were predators. They came to our communities pumped up, looking for action. And there are several profiles of them: cocky, scared, fearless, racist, prejudiced, biased, anxious, gangsters etc. We was warned as young boys to have NO engagement with police, under NO circumstances.
I was a petitioner during the Dec. 28, 2011, hunger strike here at Corcoran State Prison. I suffered a misfortune at the hands of CDCR in Kern Valley State Prison. I am back at Corcoran State Prison Administrative Segregation Unit and nothing that was promised to us did we ever receive, and to be honest the living conditions have even worsened and many of us have been subjected to harassment and vindictive and retaliatory behavior.