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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

Baridi X Williamson 2016

Baridi X Williamson: I went inside my heart to survive the torture in the Pelican Bay SHU

November 29, 2016

Leaving out of Pelican Bay solitary confinement torture prison facilities/units/cages for the first time on Jan. 23, 2015 – after arriving there Nov. 29, 1990 – I remember witnessing my first sunrise. It would be the first of many first time experiences of using my natural senses again after being buried alive in that concrete box deprived of the natural use of those senses for the last 25 years – a quarter century.

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The notorious Bill Bratton, now police commissioner over the NYPD once again, the champion of stop and frisk, was in charge of this April raid, apparently his way of maintaining the oppression since the end of stop and frisk. Altogether, 120 were arrested in what the NYPD and the local press calls the largest “gang takedown” in the city’s history. – Photo: Theodore Parisienne

War on the Bronx

October 31, 2016

Booms and bangs shatter eardrums, and the shuffling of many feet sparks fear among neighbors. A young mother, Paula Clarke, and her two daughters, are rudely awakened by these early morning sounds and noises. “I thought that [it was] terrorism, nothing else,” Clarke later told a reporter. In a way, it was. But it was state terrorism, where dozens of cops invaded public housing projects – as if it was a foreign country. Why? They were searching for members of gangs, they said.

Troy Williams at Humboldt State University

To all those still locked inside

October 30, 2016

My journey began in the mid-1980s, when folks in my community began to hear about a “supermax” prison that would be built in nearby Crescent City, California. At that time, my colleague Tom Cairns and Mike Da Bronx, my husband, and me were busy at KHSU producing a weekly radio show called Alternative Review. In 1990, I would get one of the first letters from that place, Pelican Bay State Prison. It came from a young man named Troy Williams. He liked my radio show.

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Protest prison censorship of the Bay View: Use this sample letter

October 29, 2016

Nearly a thousand subscribers to the Bay View newspaper were denied their September papers – and we suspect their October papers as well – because of its coverage of the nationwide strikes to end prison slavery that began Sept. 9. Prison officials censoring the paper claim it will incite disruption. Like claims that someone being beaten by a gang of cops is “resisting,” the Bay View is “disrupting” prison operations.

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“Forest” – Art: Anthony C. Oliver, P.O. Box H-79800, 1-EB-109, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94974. Anthony would love to have a penpal of any age and gender who likes art.

ArtReach: Exhibition of artwork and poetry by 20 men on San Quentin’s death row

October 28, 2016

Last June, an inspiring and thought provoking art exhibition took place in London, in the UK. From June 24 to July 6, 2016, approximately 20 inmates from San Quentin’s death row showcased their work alongside mine; I make collages and sculptures from discarded objects I pick up along the banks of the River Thames. The name of the exhibition was ArtReach (reaching out with art), and the aim of it was to enable prisoners to share their work with the outside world.

On April 9, 2016, supporters holding a rally outside Holman Prison to draw attention to Free Alabama Movement’s campaign to end prison slavery placed a banner on top of the sign identifying “W.C. Holman Correctional Facility.”

Free Alabama Movement Peace Summit turns chaos into community

October 2, 2016

Despite scant media coverage, the largest prison strike in history is entering its third week. Retaliation is rampant, both against the organizers in prison and against the Bay View for spreading the word. The Free Alabama Movement that started the prison-strikes-to-end-slavery campaign is defeating a violent divide-and-conquer scheme to turn prisoner against prisoner with a Peace Summit, reminiscent of the Agreement to End Hostilities in California, which this month is entering its fifth year of keeping the peace.

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“Solitary Confinement Is Torture” was drawn immediately after the end of the 2013 hunger strike. The three hunger strikes, unprecedented in word history, and the Ashker settlement that followed two years later, in 2015, went a long way to abolish solitary in California, but nowhere near far enough. Thousands are still in solitary – under various names – with almost no contact with other human beings; that’s torture! – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, HDSP D3-20, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

My life in solitary confinement

September 29, 2016

I wake up every morning and stretch, then say a prayer thanking the Lord for allowing me to make it through another day and night. My mattress is in real poor condition, as it’s old and the cotton is coming out, so I’ve had to re-sew it in order not to further damage my back. I spend at least 20 minutes every morning stretching, then brush my teeth and wash my face. This starts at 5 a.m.

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow speaks during the inaugural national conference of the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM) on Sept. 9, 2016, in Oakland. – Photo: Kenneth Glasgow

Former prisoners are leading the fight against mass incarceration

September 28, 2016

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow was one of roughly 500 people who convened in Oakland, California, last weekend for the first national conference of the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement. Hailing from more than 30 states, it was a shared fact of life among participants that the change they need – including fundamental civil rights – will not simply be handed to them by people in power. They must fight for it themselves.

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A prisoner builds furniture for a company called Furniture Medic – in prison, where concern for workers’ safety is scarce. One prisoner told of having to smash the glass on old TVs and computer screens all day with no protection from the flying glass.

Strike the punishment clause from the 13th Amendment

September 18, 2016

In a society where peaceful resistance is purported to be the correct method of protest, we must ask ourselves why these thousands of prisoners, engaging in peaceful methods of protest, are being retaliated against and punished in the most brutal and inhumane ways? The answer is simple. The actions of these courageous prisoners – however peaceful – are not constitutionally protected.

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Champion of resistance: Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3, survivor of 43 years in solitary confinement, speaks in San Francisco

September 10, 2016

I had the true honor of attending a welcoming reception for Albert Woodfox, the last of the Angola 3, on Sept. 7 in San Francisco. Albert spent 43 years of his 44 years in prison in solitary confinement, mostly in Angola, Louisiana State Prison, a former slave plantation, actually still a slave plantation-prison. Not only did Albert look wonderful, with a big smile on his face, but he looked relaxed, happy and full of revolutionary optimism and resistance.

Dameion Brown as Othello in Marin Shakespeare production

Wanda’s Picks for September 2016

September 2, 2016

Actor Dameion Brown, playing the title role in the Marin Shakespeare Company’s production of “Othello,” is getting standing ovations since the production started. Still in previews, Brown has with this role seen a dream come true. Since the MSC production of “Othello” opened Aug. 26 for previews, we learn that Brown is a formerly incarcerated or convicted person (FICP), just released after serving 23 years of a life sentence.

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Free Speech Society logo

Free Speech Society emergency bulletin

August 24, 2016

It is no secret that CDCr’s counterintelligence units have been plotting revenge on the class members of Ashker v. Brown to have us returned to indefinite solitary confinement. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that it wasn’t a matter of coincidence, as we embark upon the first anniversary of Brotha Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell’s assassination, that the media began leaking fraudulent reports to the public generated by IGI, ISU, OCS and the FBI about the BGF plotting to avenge the death of Hugo Pinell.

Ruchell Magee, George and Jonathan Jackson – Art: Kiilu Nyasha

Black August, a story of African freedom fighters

August 21, 2016

On this 37th anniversary of Black August, first organized to honor our fallen freedom fighters, George and Jonathan Jackson, Khatari Gaulden, James McClain, William Christmas and the sole survivor of the Aug. 7, 1970, Courthouse Slave Rebellion, Ruchell Cinque Magee, it is still a time to embrace the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical fitness and/or training in martial arts, resistance and spiritual renewal.

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Shujaa Graham speaks on the late George Jackson and Hugo Pinell

August 13, 2016

Legendary California Prison Movement activist and former deathrow prisoner, Shujaa Graham speaks on the inspiration and lessons that he received from brothers like the late Hugo Pinell and George Jackson, while he was a political prisoner in the 70’s. If you would like to hear more from the Block Report, you could tune into BlockReportRadio.com. […]

Free political prisoners Chip Fitzgerald and Ruchell Magee!

August 12, 2016

The Block Report interviews former political prisoner and current All of Us or None organizer Arthur League about his comrades, political prisoners Chip Fitzgerald and Ruchell Magee. We also discussed the history and assassination of political prisoner Hugo Yogi Pinell, last August 12, ’15 in New Folsom. Tune in for more of the Block Report at BlockReportRadio.com.

In “The New Seal of California,” artist, musician, first woman to join the Black Panther Party and a descendant of explorer Sir Francis Drake, Joan Tarika Lewis reimagines the seal of California to be inclusive of her Black identity. Could Queen Calafia, the warrior queen said to have ruled over a kingdom of Black women living on the mythical Island of California, as described by Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in 1500, also have been an inspiration?

Wanda’s Picks for August 2016

July 31, 2016

The new “Black Woman Is God” exhibit, curated by Karen Seneferu and Melorra Green, features the work of over 50 Black women artists in a variety of genres: film, mixed media installation, sculpture, paintings, photography – in a range of sizes covering entire walls to intimate corners. We travel below ground into spaces where lives are born and secret formulas are calculated … brews stirred.

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

Black August 2016

July 30, 2016

From behind the enemy lines of the California State Prison System, from within the “belly of the beast” that is the Amerikan injustice system, I greet you all and call for your full attention to the annual commemoration of Black August and invite all prisoners and families throughout Amerika to join us in honoring our beloved martyrs with fasting, studying and sharing respect and unity with Panther love and knowledge in the spirit of our fallen comrades.

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Russell Shoatz III and Sharon Shoatz with their father Russell Maroon Shoatz after his February 2014 release from solitary confinement into general population at SCI Graterford, where photographs are permitted in the visiting area.

Maroon sues DOC and wins! Settlement reached in Shoatz v. Wetzel

July 12, 2016

July 11, 2016, Pittsburgh, Penn. – A settlement has been reached in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel, which challenged the 22-year solitary confinement of Abolitionist Law Center client and political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. This brings an end to litigation begun in 2013. In February 2014, following an international campaign on behalf of Shoatz, he was released from solitary confinement.

Hugo Pinell interviewed on TV 1983

Hugo Pinell, aka Dahariki Kambon: Decades of assassination attempts against the man most feared by CDCr

June 29, 2016

The recent victory won by the prisoner hunger strikers, the “solitary settlement” in Ashker v. Brown, is indicative of the solidarity among prisoners today, and it is for this reason I am sharing my story and history of Dahariki Kambon. We must carry on the spirit of what he stood for; his fight was against the racist oppressors and their cruel laws and policies of injustice and inequality.

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Erika Rocha graphic-1

Suicide crisis in California women’s prison: Advocates demand justice for Erika Rocha and Shaylene Graves

June 28, 2016

Erika Rocha was 35 years old and one day away from her Youth Parole Hearing on April 15, 2016, when she committed suicide at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona. Since her death, the suicide crisis at CIW has only worsened. On June 1, yet another young woman of color died at CIW. Her name is Shaylene Graves and she was 27 years old and six weeks away from returning home to her loving son, family and friends.

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