August 8, 2012
Black August is dedicated to freeing all political prisoners and putting America’s night- and day-mare prison system in check. Black August is about making folks inside know we will not leave them to the embedded cruelty of their captors. The need to build more and stronger support for political captives is greater than ever.
August 7, 2012
Three African-American inmates in Pelican Bay and Corcoran SHUs criticize their continued isolation for being members of the Black Guerilla Family, the only Black prison gang in California that will lead to placement in the SHU. Drawings of dragons are used to justify their continued isolation.
August 1, 2012
SHU prisoners have been subjected to years of prolonged segregation. CDCR’s method of releasing gang segregation prisoners back to the general population via the new Security Threat Group policy is going to replace the six-year inactive policy, but in name only.
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.
June 29, 2012
In the past year we have witnessed a succession of murderous assaults reflecting a common character structure: The authoritarian psychology: Jason Smith beaten to death by racists in Louisiana; Trayvon Martin murdered by a racist vigilante in Florida; Christian Gomez allowed to die on hunger strike by prison guards in California; 17 people, nine of them children, slaughtered in Afghanistan; Kendrec McDade slain by racist police in California; Gerardo Perez-Ruiz murdered by border vigilantes in Arizona.
June 20, 2012
The first book I read after I decided to consciously educate myself to be a part of the movement was Sanyika Shakur’s “Monster” in the mid-‘90s. I was inspired by the sharpness of his ideas, his vocabulary and his grasp on history. I respected him in the same way I respected Tupac Shakur. I knew that one day I wanted to be able express myself as articulately as the two of them.
June 17, 2012
In testimony submitted to the first-ever congressional hearing on solitary confinement June 19, Dolores Canales wrote: “I am a mother of a Pelican Bay SHU prisoner, and since the hunger strike it has been my goal and passion to bring an end to such inhumane and torturous conditions going on right here in America – land of the free and home of the brave! When Americans are held in solitary confinement in other countries, it is considered barbaric and a form of torture, Sen. John McCain himself being one of those Americans.”
June 2, 2012
The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison who have spent between 10 and 28 years in solitary confinement. The legal action is part of a larger movement to reform inhumane conditions in California prisons’ Security Housing Units (SHUs) dramatized by a 2011 hunger strike by thousands of prisoners.
May 17, 2012
If we would have been self-transforming for the last 60, 50 years, there would not be millions of new slaves today and we would have the power to be making an impact and difference toward the building of the New World. Our teachers kept saying: “No matter what, we gotta keep pushing and growing. It’s the only way to continue our growth and become free.”
May 8, 2012
“The purpose of the … control unit is to control revolutionary attitudes in the prison system and in the society at large,” said former Marion Supermax Prison Warden Ralph Aron. What is shocking to many is how can some not only resist such systematic psychological torture, but actually improve themselves under such conditions of extreme duress.
May 7, 2012
Over 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are currently engaged in a steadfast and open-ended hunger strike that launched on April 17, 2012, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. They are demanding an end to solitary confinement; access to family visits for all prisoners; and access to education and media. And they are demanding international solidarity.
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.
March 7, 2012
When the Occupy San Quentin rally ended, San Rafael police followed us to the Richmond Bridge. I don’t know if it was Jabari Shaw’s orange CDCR jumpsuit that kept them wondering – Is he an escapee, one of ours? – or if it was the sheer magnitude of fearlessness represented by women like Kelly, a former prisoner who would not let her traumatic experience silence her. One brother got so full looking at the guards on the other side of the gate watching that he looked like he was going to leap the gate and hurt someone as he recalled the violations of his person over and over again. Members of All of Us or None dropped everything to embrace him when he left the stage.
December 31, 2011
Hozel Blanchard is the father of a prisoner in Calipatria State Prison who recently expired after the historic California prison hunger strike under mysterious circumstances. Why would a prisoner who helped lead two hunger strikes and was looking forward to an imminent parole date kill himself?
December 18, 2011
The CDCR should have to prove its accusations of gang activity, membership or association, providing the full panoply of constitutional protections. If the courts will not discharge their duty to protect constitutional rights, then the people must demand a change as is our/your right.
November 21, 2011
Evidence indicates Hozel Blanchard’s death wasn’t a suicide. J. Turner, Hozel’s brother, saw this article and reports that services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22, 11 a.m., at the Miraculous Word Christian Center, 2723 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. The family seeks “any information or advice you can provide for us to get justice for my brother. We also have an email set up solely for this purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org. Any information would be greatly appreciated … to get to the bottom of this tragedy.”
November 11, 2011
If this second hunger strike effort has taught us anything, it is that the power to transform an intransigent CDCR must come from the will of the people, from exercising your limitless power. Prison authorities were fully content to let us die this time and even modified their medical responses to maximize the chance of permanent injury or death to hunger strikers, which makes the broader aspects of this struggle so significant. Who dares to struggle? Who dares to win? We do, and we hope you do too. Join us! The power to shape history and the future of the society is in your hands.
November 7, 2011
California was the spark of many radical movements of the ‘60s. It was the spark of the old prison rights movement during the time of George Jackson. This new movement is occasioned by the mass incarceration that people did not know of back in the ‘70s and the growth of control units, or SHUs, as they call them in California.
October 16, 2011
I had never believed in hunger strikes, thinking that they’re counter-productive. However, when the gang unit began to work in concert with the chief medical officer, I decided to participate in this and the next hunger strike. Here’s why.
October 14, 2011
For 15 years the California Coalition for Women Prisoners – activists on the outside together with prisoners on the inside – have published an extraordinary newsletter called the Fire Inside. Hear Angela Davis keynote the anniversary celebration, hosted by our own Wanda Sabir, Friday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. at Valencia, San Francisco.