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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

Bato Talamantez of the San Quentin 6 makes the first public appeal, on June 17, 2011, to support the hunger strike, organized by prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU, which began on July 1, 2011. Participation by an amazing 6,600 prisoners across the state was topped months later in the second hunger strike that 12,000 participated in and the last hunger strike, beginning July 8, 2013, which drew 30,000 participants, the largest hunger strike in world history. – Photo: United for Drug Policy Reform

Testimony of Everett D. Allen, M.D., former chief physician and surgeon at Pelican Bay State Prison, to US Senate Judiciary hearing, Part 2

August 28, 2015

Dr. Everett D. Allen’s testimony to Sen. Richard Durbin’s United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights at its hearing on “Solitary Confinement as Torture” on June 19, 2012, was previously published by the Bay View, and this testimony was presented to the second hearing, held Feb. 25, 2014.

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Kambui Nantambu Jamaa 031914, web cropped

The other death sentence: Deliberate indifference at Corcoran SHU

August 28, 2015

“Deliberate indifference” is defined as “the act(s) or omissions of a prison official who knows that the prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious harm or significant pain and disregards that risk by not taking reasonable measures to abate it.” But what happens when deliberate indifference is longstanding, pervasive, well documented and expressly noted by officials over the course of time. Yet the state does nothing to correct it?

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Hugo Pinell 1982, cropped

Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell, comrade of George Jackson

August 25, 2015

On Aug. 12, Hugo “Yogi” Pinell (1944-2015) was killed in the California State Prison-Sacramento. Pinell was a comrade of George Jackson, W.L. Nolen, James Carr and other founders of the modern prison movement. He was released from solitary confinement in 2014 after 45 years, the longest any state prisoner has spent in solitary.

A prisoner in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary Angola, a former plantation, peers through his mail and food slot. Will the condemnation of longterm solitary by Justice Kennedy and President Obama help him finally find freedom? – Photo: Adam Shemper

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy goes out of his way to denounce solitary confinement

August 21, 2015

Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed with the majority in its most recent capital punishment case. But in an unusual move, he dedicated almost all of his concurring opinion to condemning the practice of solitary confinement in the nation’s prisons, even though the issue, of his own admission, had “no direct bearing” on the case. In Kennedy’s lengthy opinion concerning how Ayala was incarcerated, he noted that Ayala had been isolated for most of his 25 years of custody.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Heavenly views of redwoods and the ocean line the highway to hell at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, Del Norte County, 13 miles from the Oregon border on the rugged coast of the far northwest corner of California.

Hell in paradise: Visiting Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell at Pelican Bay State Prison

August 20, 2015

Written Nov. 14, 2013 – The 80-mile drive from Eureka to Crescent City, Calif., must be one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the world, with magnificent forests of spruce and redwood to the east and breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean to the west. I’m on my way to Crescent City to visit Hugo Pinell, the only member of the San Quentin 6 – the famous trial that grew out of the murder of George Jackson – still imprisoned.

Support SB 124 to end solitary confinement for youth

August 20, 2015

California should display national leadership in the area of juvenile justice, not be among the states with the most backward, inhumane and primitive policies. We respectfully urge you to take whatever leadership steps are possible to protect the fundamental rights of this highly vulnerable population of juveniles and offer your strong support for SB 124.

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California Attorney General Kamala Harris kicked off her U.S. Senate campaign with a private fundraiser in San Francisco April 1, 2015. – Photo: CBS San Francisco

California Attorney General Kamala Harris must end the barbaric practice of solitary confinement

August 17, 2015

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is nothing if not ambitious. Not content with being the Golden State’s top law enforcement officer – a position she has held since 2011, after serving seven years as San Francisco County’s district attorney – she’s currently running for the U.S. Senate and is the clear favorite to replace Barbara Boxer, who is retiring in November 2016. Harris must not miss this historic opportunity to end solitary confinement in California.

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Hugo Pinell, Shirley, his late wife

Beloved political prisoner Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell, feared and hated by guards, assassinated in Black August after 46 years in solitary

August 14, 2015

Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll. By some accounts, it was his first day on the yard after 46 years in solitary confinement when Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was assassinated Aug. 12. Prison guards celebrated on social media: “May he rot in hell” and “Good riddens” (sic), they typed. Yogi was the only member of the San Quentin 6 still in prison, and his role in the events of Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson was assassinated, has earned the guards’ incessant enmity ever since.

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Protest at Robert E. Lee Circle. Lee was the commander in chief of the Confederate States of America. People wore “Resurrect the Village: Unity Equals Power” t-shirts. The chant was, “Take down Robert E. Lee and all symbols of white supremacy!” – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Wanda’s Picks for August 2015

August 7, 2015

The Third Annual Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey B’Earthday and Community Celebration is Saturday, Aug. 15, 2-5 p.m. Gather at the “Abundant Knowledge” mural at Marcus Books. Please bring your immense wisdom, families, original books by Garvey, red-black-green items and drums. And don’t forget to bring some funds – as each participant will receive a 10 percent discount on every item purchased that afternoon.

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“The Agreement to End Hostilities” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

We can’t breathe! Thoughts on our Agreement to End Hostilities

July 25, 2015

The Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines the word “hostility” as 1) a hostile state, condition or attitude; enmity; antagonism; unfriendliness; 2) a hostile act; 3) Opposition or resistance to an idea, plan project, etc.; 4) acts of warfare; 5) war. So our initial question to the people is: “What does hostility mean to you?”

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“Support Our Fight to End Solitary Confinement” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike: Four years and still fighting

July 14, 2015

Four years ago prisoners in California – led by those in the control units of Pelican Bay – organized a hunger strike to demand an end to the torturous conditions of solitary confinement. Two more strikes would follow, with over 30,000 prisoners taking united action in the summer of 2013 – both in isolation and in general population in nearly every California prison. Current prison organizing continues a historic legacy of struggle.

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Open letter to Rwanda prisons director protests intensified isolation of presidential contender Victoire Ingabire

July 13, 2015

Since Friday, July 10, the management of the central prison in Kigali has decided to severely tighten the prison regime of Victoire Ingabire, Rwandan opposition leader and chair of FDU Inkingi, refusing her access to her attorney or to visitors and removing all her books. For someone already detained in solitary confinement, these measures amount to mental torture in violation of the International Convention Against Torture.

The stunning Albert Woodfox mural, just completed by Brandan Odums, is on the building at 537 S. Claiborne Ave. at Poydras in New Orleans. – Photo: Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune

Albert Woodfox mural reminds New Orleans of 43 years of injustice

July 13, 2015

A new 25-foot mural in the City of New Orleans reminds residents that Albert Woodfox, the last imprisoned member of the Angola 3, has been in prison and in solitary confinement for 43 years. On Friday, July 3rd, artist-activist Brandan “Bmike” Odums, put the finishing touches on the portrait of Angola 3 prisoner Albert Woodfox on the side of a stucco building near the Poydras Street intersection. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

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“California Department of Corruption and Retaliation” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore

The Fairness and Restoration Act of 2015

June 20, 2015

We as prisoners did not forfeit our citizenship when we came to prison or the laws which are designed to protect our basic human rights and dignity. The implementation and enforcement of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was a clear procedural deprivation of our rights under the Fifth and 14th Amendments. The Fairness and Restoration Act 2015 is about restoring fairness and justice to those who were denied it.

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The Los Angeles action for May 23 was a very well-received play, “If the SHU Fits: Voices from Solitary Confinement,” compiled by Andy Griggs and Melvin Ishmael Johnson, directed by Andy Griggs and performed at Chuco’s Justice Center. It will be performed again during Torture Awareness Month at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena 91103, on Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m.

On the 23rd of every month, Californians demand, ‘End solitary confinement!’ – May report

June 17, 2015

On May 23, 2015, families and loved ones of people in solitary, community organizations and prisoner-class human rights advocates once again mobilized Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) throughout California and in Pennsylvania. Since the actions began on March 23, 2015, over 30 organizations – statewide, nationwide and worldwide – became co-sponsors, 45 endorsed, and the movement keeps growing.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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On Quest for Democracy Day at the capitol in Sacramento, April 27, 2015, 250 people split up into 30 teams to visit legislators’ offices to advocate for legislation relevant to formerly incarcerated people and their communities.

Quest for Democracy 2015: Formerly incarcerated people lobby for justice in Sacramento

May 28, 2015

Our Formerly Incarcerated Quest for Democracy (Q4D) Day continues to grow and evolve. This year we had over 250 committed people. We had around 30 teams advocating on legislation relevant to formerly incarcerated people and our communities. Grassroots co-sponsors got a chance to educate community members about their bills. And Sen. Holly Mitchell as well as Assemblymembers Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Autumn Burke addressed participants.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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The militarized Georgia Department of Corrections Special Operations Section demonstrates a cell extraction at Horizons Event Center during a career fair, where military personnel leaving the service were recruited to become guards. – Photo: Misuzu Allen, U.S. Air Force

We cannot live by bread alone: Texas abuses prisoners with denied food and bread-and-water diets

May 26, 2015

Food is routinely used by U.S. prison officials to summarily punish, torture, abuse and retaliate against prisoners. This happens with especial frequency in administrative segregation (solitary confinement) where prisoners are confined inside locked cells all day every day and must have all meals delivered by guards. Under such circumstances, we remain at guards’ total mercy “to eat or not to eat.”

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Solitary confinement tricknology at Menard Concentration Slave Camp

April 30, 2015

On the battlefield of psychological warfare, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) made moves that “appeared” to redress the unconstitutionally inhumane conditions in Menard isolation unit that gave rise to last year’s hunger strike. But the move is no more than tricknology aimed at curbing grassroots activism and damage control due to the negative publicity that the hunger strike generated.

“Solitary Confinement” – Art: Baridi J. Williamson

Baridi Williamson at Pelican Bay: ‘I met with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez’

April 29, 2015

On Dec. 9, 2014, I visited with Mr. Juan Méndez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, who is now an expert on our class action lawsuit to end solitary confinement torture here in California. Hopefully, it will have a ripple effect across the U.S. I gave him a living experience witnessed from its opening in late December 1989 to the present under its “snitch, parole or die” mass validation and indeterminate SHU torture classification and enhanced coerced debriefing.

Siddique Abdullah Hasan, alleged ringleader of the 1993 Lucasville Uprising, is led to trial on Jan. 16, 1996. – Photo: Al Behrman

At Ohio’s supermax prison, a hunger strike ends but extreme isolation remains

April 26, 2015

Last week, men incarcerated at Ohio’s supermax prison brought a month-long hunger strike to a close. Between 30 and 40 men had refused all meals since March 16 to protest new restrictions placed on already severely limited recreation and programming for those in solitary confinement. On April 15, all but one of the men agreed to suspend the hunger strike after a meeting with the warden at which the prison agreed to lifting some, but not all, of the new restrictions.

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