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Calif. Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing on SHUs 022513 by Sheila Pinkel, web

California Assembly reviews solitary confinement policies as prisoners threaten new hunger strike

February 27, 2013

On Monday, Feb. 25, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, held a hearing on the state’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). The hearing comes 18 months after the committee held a similar hearing prompted by a three-week long hunger strike in June 2011 that involved thousands of California prisoners across the state. Monday’s hearing focused on the implementation of new CDCR policies and considerations of their appropriateness.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Prisoners’ peaceful protest to resume July 8 if demands are not met

February 17, 2013

In response to CDCR’s failure to meet our 2011 Five Core Demands, the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Representatives respectfully present this notice of, and basis for, our individualized, collectively agreed upon decision to resume our nonviolent peaceful protest action on July 8, 2013. The upcoming peaceful protest will be a combined hunger strike-work stoppage action. Once initiated, this protest will continue indefinitely – until all Five Core Demands are fully met.

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It’s time to replace prison oppression with prisoner solidarity

January 19, 2013

The only way that we can stop the bleeding is by prisoners ending it first. By embracing the Agreement to End Hostilities, we can change our prison oppression into a more productive prison environment that serves the interests of us prisoners, as well as put an end to the policies that are inhumane.

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Scare tactics: How loved ones are terrorized into breaking bonds with prisoners

January 12, 2013

I am writing to inform you of the scare tactics that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) here at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (PBSP SHU) uses in order to intimidate our families, friends and associates away from corresponding with those of us who are held in these solitary confinement units – AdSegs and SHUs.

Report from North Kern: Progress and chaos on the road to liberation

January 1, 2013

They released about 30 of us back to the general population yards here at North Kern State Prison and transferred a lot of people as well to various prisons. The end of hostilities is working so far. I had a study session on my tier with Southern and Northern Hispanics, a few whites, and both Crips and Bloods on the importance of unity within this mass struggle for liberation.

Report from the Pelican Bay SHU Short Corridor Representatives: Continued ignoring of Five Core Demands could prompt resumption of peaceful protest

December 28, 2012

It has been more than 13 months since we agreed to suspend our non-violent, peaceful protest hunger strike actions in response to CDCR’s top administrators’ admissions that all of our Five Core Demands were reasonable and would be responded to via substantively meaningful changes to the policies and practices at issue. This has NOT HAPPENED.

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Report from North Kern: Progress and chaos on the road to liberation

December 27, 2012

We finally got a breakthrough with the CDCR here at North Kern State Prison: The ICC (Institutional Classification Committee) is starting to release their Ad Seg bodies back to the general population [out of solitary confinement]. They’re only keeping validated members now and not trying to validate a lot of people [as gang members or associates].

Creating broken men?

December 4, 2012

Many discussions are taking place on the nature of the indefinite solitary confinement program in the U.S. prisons and whether or not it constitutes torture. The debate on what to do about the program itself is being held at every level of social organization, from the U.S. Senate to the United Nations, from the California Legislature to the short corridors of Pelican Bay and Corcoran SHUs.

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Update from Calipatria ASU: It’s a big difference here

November 24, 2012

Things have been very mellow and tranquil here at Calipatria ASU. There hasn’t been any tension or bullsh-t with the staff or anything. Everybody got their TVs and cable installed recently and things have actually progressed. It will never be complete until the validation process is fixed and isolation has ended but there have been some real positive changes.

Gang investigators call sacred Mayan numeral a gang symbol

November 2, 2012

It is ridiculous and insulting for IGI to call a numeral of the great Mayan civilization that facilitated its advanced mathematics and architecture a gang symbol. The number 13 has great importance in my religion and my indigenous race, Mexical. To punish me for the use of this sacred religious number is in direct violation of my First Amendment rights, which include freedom of religion.

They circle like vultures

October 27, 2012

The new draft Step Down Program allows for any CO (correctional officer) or staff member to have any prisoner placed in SHU for anything they deem necessary, citing safety and security and public safety, even without any disciplinary action. Many of us have seen first hand the abusive nature of sadistic, racist and misogynistic CO staff who fabricate information to “break” prisoners.

My bogus validation and torture at Calipatria ASU

September 25, 2012

Gualberto Lopez and German Cabrera, both in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) at Calipatria State Prison as “alleged associates of a prison gang,” write about the inhumane, torturous treatment in segregation, Institutional Gang Investigators and the corrupt validation process, as well as the targeting of Mexicans/Latinos/Hispanics.

California prisoners make historic call to end hostilities between racial groups in California prisons and jails

September 12, 2012

Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU have announced a push to end all hostilities between racial groups within California’s prisons and jails. The handwritten announcement, sent to prison advocacy organizations, is signed by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective. The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. It also calls on prisoners throughout the state to set aside their differences and use diplomatic means to settle their disputes.

Getting ready for next Black August: Black August Memorial Commemoration Committees

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.

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Games the gang investigators play

August 16, 2012

I read the March issue of the S.F. Bay View and can see why these fascist captors of mine kept it from me. They already look at us New Afrikkkans as suspected “gang” members and anything political or educational we read they label it gang material. It’s absurd!

Facing hate: The psychological torment continues

July 2, 2012

The prison officials believe that they have a right to subject us prisoners to physical and psychological torment simply because we choose to fight peacefully for our basic human rights. These officials fail to realize that prisoners are committed to the peaceful struggle and by no means do we plan on giving up, under any circumstances.

Support the Pelican Bay State Prison Peace Talks

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.

My husband, my hero: The story of a prisoner labeled ‘worst of the worst’

April 6, 2012

Imagine you were framed again by prison gang officers using a tattoo you got as a child and a symbol in a birthday card to “validate” you as a “prison gang associate” and label you “worst of the worst” and placed in segregation in a Security Housing Unit, or SHU, for years on end. That is what happened to my childhood best friend and husband, Robbie Riva.

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Filed Under: Behind Enemy Lines
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