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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

'Censorship in Solitary Confinement is Psychological Torture' 111314 art by Michael D. Russell, web cropped

SF Bay View banned inside Indiana prisons: Do Black Lives Matter behind the walls?

June 27, 2016

In the December 2015 issue of the San Francisco Bay View, I wrote an article entitled “Do Black Lives Matter Behind the Walls” and introduced to the Bay View audience the newly formed New African Liberation Collective (NALC). While this particular issue was allowed into prisons throughout the state, it was seized at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, where I was being housed, based upon the orders of the Internal Affairs Department as a security risk.

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Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois. – Photo: Jim Larrison

Illinois prisoners boycott overpriced phone calls, commissary and vending machines

June 26, 2016

During the month of April, at least 100 of those incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center, about an hour outside of Chicago, Illinois, participated in a boycott of the overpriced phone calls, commissary goods and vending machines. “Mass incarceration is a luxury business,” stated Patrick Pursley, one of the men who joined in the boycott. The boycott comes at a time of growing demonstrations led by those inside U.S. prisons.

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Supporters of the Wisconsin hunger strikers hope they will resume eating to avoid the dangerous and torturous force feeding they’re suffering now, and the supporters vow to keep protesting and pressuring officials after the strike ends.

Wisconsin DOC is force feeding prisoners who are on hunger strike to end solitary confinement

June 24, 2016

Using a practice which has been condemned by the American Medical Association and the Red Cross as a form of torture and “never ethically acceptable,” Wisconsin Department of Corrections personnel have been forcing a feeding tube through the nose and down the throat of their restrained and struggling captives three times a day since last weekend.

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“Control Unit Torture” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Hunger strike at Wisconsin’s Waupun state prison against conditions of a ‘living hell’

June 22, 2016

An estimated half dozen or more prisoners locked away in solitary confinement at Wisconsin’s maximum security facility in Waupun, announced last week they would begin a hunger strike in opposition to what one inmate has described as a “living hell” in the institution’s “hole.” Waupun is located 55 miles northeast of Madison. It is notoriously known as “the Prison City,” with three state prisons inside the city limits.

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“Dying to Live” hunger strikers’ supporters stop to pose for this picture before delivering their letter to Wisconsin DOC Secretary Jon Litscher in Madison on June 21. The prisoners are willingly starving themselves to end solitary confinement.

Wisconsin prisoner hunger strike enters second week, spreads to multiple facilities – you can help!

June 22, 2016

On June 10, Wisconsin prisoners held in long term solitary confinement at Waupun Correctional Institution started a “food refusal campaign.” They wish to bring the horror of administrative confinement (AC) to the public’s attention and end this torturous practice. Solitary confinement for more than 15 days has been deemed “torture” by the United Nations, but in Wisconsin, the Department of Corrections has held many prisoners in isolation for decades.

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'Inside prisons & out in the streets, support the movement to end solitary confinement' poster

Prison rules must abide by human rights standards

June 22, 2016

International law regarding the right to personal integrity prohibits physical as well as mental torture and that prohibition is absolute: It recognizes no exception based on an emergency or other circumstance. Equally absolute is the prohibition on any form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which covers pain or suffering – also of either physical or mental nature – that is less severe than torture and not necessarily inflicted with intent.

Hugo L.A. Pinell, legendary leader of the California Prison Movement who was held in solitary confinement for a record 46 years, then assassinated in prison on Aug. 12, 2015, was affectionately known as Yogi Bear and often called Yogi or Yog. This is his likeness as a young man. – Art: Kiilu Nyasha

Yog been through hell and was not burnt

June 22, 2016

The SHU, the wars, the times and obviously the love and hate he experienced made Yog who he was. When I met him in 2001, I of course had read about him and heard the stories, but I was definitely not prepared to meet anyone like that.
One of the letters in the Bay View said Yog taught him how to “time travel”; that sounds about right. Yog was a hot mess in that regard; his mind was not always grounded but that also was one of his strengths. He had his own world in there.

This is the prison that the women locked up inside it call “Miserable Murray.”

I am fighting for women in Texas prisons

May 31, 2016

I am a walking, living proof of a life that has been pulverized, destroyed and abandoned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I have been housed in Ad-Seg going on four years now, held in captivity of prolonged solitary confinement, deprived of adequate sleep, nourishment, clean ventilation, peace and privileges. Living in the misery of Ad-Seg causes much psychological damage. Justice needs to be served.

Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence poster

Incarceration, justice and the planet

May 29, 2016

Prisons inspire little in terms of natural wonder. But prisoners, one could assume, must have little concern for the flowers or for otherwise pressing environmental issues. With all the social quandaries present in their lives – walls of solitude, the loss of basic human rights – pollution, climate change and healthy ecosystems must seem so distantly important: an issue for the free. In actuality, prisoners are on the frontlines of the environmental movement.

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Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) logo – Art: J. Heshima Denham, J-38283, KVSP B2-117U, P.O. Box 5102, Delano CA 93216

Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print

May 28, 2016

CDCr has systemic and dysfunctional problems that run rampant statewide within California’s prisons for both women and men which demand this California government to take immediate action and institute measures to effect genuine tangible changes throughout CDCr on all levels. The Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print is essentially designed to deal with identifying and resolving primary contradictions by focusing on the various problems of CDCr’s dysfunction.

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Sleep deprived prisoners’ supporters protested outside the headquarters of the California Department of Corrections in Sacramento on Nov. 30, 2015. – Photo: Liberated Lens

PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation asks for letters about the ‘security/welfare checks’

May 26, 2016

Guards have been jarringly waking prisoners every 30 minutes on death row at the Central California Women’s Facility since May 2014, and in the Pelican Bay SHU since Aug. 2, 2015, for so-called “security/welfare checks.” This is serious, ongoing sleep deprivation which is torture. These checks may also be harming people in other prisons; PB SHU and CCWF death row is where we have heard the most complaints.

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Jose Villarreal 2005

Coordinated offensive on STG kickouts

May 25, 2016

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.

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Artist Javier Torres writes: “The art piece that I put together expresses the effects of long term solitary confinement. The man in the drawing is made of stone – not that long term solitary confinement turns you into stone, but it’s something that it does to you internally and mentally. I’ve been in solitary confinement for only a short time and I can say that it’s not a good place. These torture chambers need to be shut down.” He calls this artwork “Solitaire.” – Art: Javier Torres

Terrible Tier II: We are fighting for our lives

May 24, 2016

I’m writing this on behalf of myself and the Goodfellas, which the Georgia Department of Corrections has validated as a security threat group. We are being held indefinitely in the very restrictive and oppressive Tier II: Behavior Modification Program, which is identical to the severe conditions of the SHU in California and any supermax long term program across the nation. We are being held based on affiliation alone or have been falsely validated because of association.

Alabama prisons are the most overcrowded in the country. This is Elmore Correctional Facility in Elmore, Alabama. – Photo: Brynn Anderson, AP

Prison labor strike in Alabama: ‘We will no longer contribute to our own oppression’

May 13, 2016

Despite being held in solitary confinement for years, men known as Kinetik, Dhati and Brother M, primary leaders of the Free Alabama Movement, have been instrumental in organizing a statewide prison work stoppage in Alabama that began on Sunday, May 1. Alabama prisoners who have been on strike over unpaid labor and prison conditions are accusing officials of retaliating against their protest by starving them.

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'Black Panther's Party for Self-Defense' young Panther beside sign on wall, cropped

On self-defense against racist murder

April 26, 2016

For us to make sense of the relentless, 400-year-long onslaught of racist violence against New Afrikans and other nationally oppressed people in Amerika and the absence of a collective program of comprehensive self-defense and secure communities among the majority of the New Afrikan population in the U.S., it’s important we first grasp the origin of this contradiction, as all other points of contradiction and irrationality flow from it.

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Allegra Taylor, daughter, Hugo 'Yogi' Pinell New Folsom 080215, web cropped

Hugo Pinell’s daughter Allegra invites you to join in honoring her father on April 23

April 19, 2016

On Aug. 12, 2015, within the walls of New Folsom Prison, freedom fighter and political prisoner Hugo “Yogi” Pinell of the San Quentin 6 was assassinated on the prison yard by members of the Aryan Brotherhood, with the assistance of the guards. Seven months later, the community who loves him is coming together to remember his life and contribution to the Black struggle for self-determination and human rights. We will be celebrating his life on Saturday, April 23, 1-5 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St. in San Francisco. Any and everybody from the community is invited.

Prisoners are “driven” to the fields by a guard on horseback in a scene reminiscent of plantation slavery on a Texas plantation-turned-prison known as the Ellis Unit, the photo taken in 1978. – Photo courtesy of the Marshall Project

Prisoners in multiple states call for strikes to protest forced labor

April 8, 2016

Prison inmates around the country have called for a series of strikes against forced labor, demanding reforms of parole systems and prison policies, as well as more humane living conditions, a reduced use of solitary confinement and better health care. The strike’s organizers remain anonymous but have circulated fliers listing a series of grievances and demands and a letter articulating the reasons for the strike.

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With great joy, Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm Shabazz finally meet in 2010 after Malcolm was released from prison and traveled to Oakland to meet some of his strongest supporters throughout his years behind enemy lines. During that time, Malcolm, grandson of Malcolm X, and DeAndre Williams, grandson of Dr. Chancellor Williams, became close friends. And both of them corresponded with Yuri, who devoted herself to encouraging political prisoners after she had worked with Malcolm X in Harlem and was the person who cradled his head in her lap when he was assassinated while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

I shed a tear

March 30, 2016

Old friends passing … I shed a tear … Remembering … Their smiling and laughing … Educating me … And making me feel loved … I shed a tear … ‘Cause now … I feel as if I’m all alone … I shed a tear … DeAndre Williams went to trial in 1997 as a result of a six-count indictment. He was acquitted on all six counts. Normally, any defendant acquitted on every count of an indictment would walk out of the courtroom a free man. Not Williams. He was sentenced to 25 to life and remains in prison in New York.

After decades of extremely abnormal solitary confinement, New Afrikans emerge to an even more abnormal world where young men who could be their grandsons have been robbed by menticide of their racial pride. Will their joining forces produce a new generation of revolutionaries?

Survivors of solitary join menticide survivor ‘grandsons’ with one love, one struggle, one aim

March 23, 2016

For decades while under solitary confinement, I was one of numerous New Afrikan subjects who was trapped in oblivion, while the world outside of solitary confinement was constantly changing. We survived by feeding off the imagination of a past movement that had died away several decades ago. It wasn’t that we couldn’t let go of the past. We simply refused to surrender to institutionalized racism.

Cornelius Harris, cropped

Hunger striking Cornelius Harris in USP Florence, Colo., near death

March 10, 2016

On Feb. 17, 2016, Ohio state prisoner Cornelius Harris, held in the high security U.S. Penitentiary at Florence, Colo., after being transferred against his will from the state to federal prison system, began refusing meals, vowing not to eat until he is transferred back to Ohio. Recently, he has refused not only food but fluids. Cornelius is sacrificing his health and possibly his life because hunger striking is the only peaceful way he can try to be heard.

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