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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

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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Maroon graphic

A victory for Maroon!

March 1, 2016

On Friday, Feb. 12, United States District Magistrate for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Cynthia Reed Eddy, issued a decision denying both parties’ motions for summary judgment and ordering a trial in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel, which challenges the 22-year solitary confinement of Abolitionist Law Center client and political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. The trial will mark the first in the country in a case challenging long-term solitary confinement.

'Race' poster

‘Race,’ a review

March 1, 2016

“Race” (2016) is the story of Jesse Owens’ triumphant wins in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin just before World War II. Nicknamed “The Buckeye Bullet” for his legendary speed, Owens distanced himself from socially constructed hurdles which ran counter to his personal goals. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, the film features rising star, Stephan James (“Selma”) as Jesse Owens.

Beaming joy and power, Albert Woodfox greets family and supporters the day of his release, on Feb. 19, 2016. – Photo: AP

Albert Woodfox attends his birthday party as a free man, happy to ‘give others hope’

February 20, 2016

Friday, Feb. 19, Albert “Shaka” Woodfox, the only member of the Angola 3 remaining in prison, was released after nearly 44 years in solitary confinement. Earlier in the month, Ashé Cultural Arts Center had scheduled a screening of the film, “Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution,” directed by Stanley Nelson, at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate Albert Woodfox’s birthday that day, Feb 19. The evening turned into an actual birthday party for Woodfox.

Free at last! Albert Woodfox, last of the world famous Angola 3 to be released, leaves prison Feb. 19, escorted by his brother, Michael Mable.

After nearly 44 years in solitary, Albert Woodfox is freed today on his 69th birthday!

February 19, 2016

Just moments ago, Albert Woodfox, the last remaining member of the Angola 3 still behind bars, was released from prison 43 years and 10 months after he was first put in a 6-foot-by-9-foot solitary cell for a crime he did not commit. After decades of costly litigation, Louisiana state officials have at last acted in the interest of justice and reached an agreement that brings a long overdue end to this nightmare.

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“Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

Love and lessons in memory of Comrade Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell

February 19, 2016

Comrade Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was murdered on Aug. 12, 201, at California’s New Folsom State Prison. He was a veteran and much loved leader of the Prison Movement against oppressive prison and social conditions. On behalf of the New African Black Panther Party‑Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC), I would like to share some thoughts in his honor and memory and also to point out important lessons our movement must learn and carry on from his legacy.

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Sensory deprivation is depravity

February 14, 2016

From within and beyond the $100,000 8-by-14-foot steel and stone sensory deprivation cell that is designed for my mental, physical and social dehumanization, I bring to you this letter of concern regarding the adverse effects of long-term sensory deprivation. Upon seeing me for the first time in over a year, a fellow prisoner shook my hand and then proceeded to put both arms around me to embrace me.

The Black world mourns the loss of Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, shown here at the October 2014 Florida AMU Black Psychology Conference with Wanda Sabir, and celebrates her legacy. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Wanda’s Picks for February 2016

February 4, 2016

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (“Isis Papers”) made her transition Jan. 2, 2016. She was 80. The psychiatrist who challenged white supremacists on what she called “The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy)” to look at their own melanin deficiency for what it is, “envy,” stirred and continues to stir the waters. She always stated theoretically that “Black lives matter,” way before the #blm movement.

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A closer view of Steven James’ painting, which he’s offering to donate to Allegra, Yogi’s daughter

I was one of the last ones to see our beloved Brotha Yogi alive

January 30, 2016

My name is Devon Bush, a Black Afrikan inmate in struggle here in CSP Sac. Look, I was involved in the riot that took place Aug. 12, 2015, in the B-Yard. Also, I was one of the last ones to see our beloved Brotha Hugo L.A. “Yogi Bear” Pinell R.I.P. alive. His last words to me was, “Do come back.” The short three and a half weeks I spent with him on the yard is filled with enough love and realism to last me a lifetime.

Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), shackled, smiling cropped

Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), innocent on death row

January 23, 2016

Today our guest on Block Report Radio is Bomani, formally known as Keith LaMar. He is an Ohio death row political prisoner and survivor of the Lucasville Rebellion 23 years ago. He will talk to us about the history of that rebellion, his recent hunger strike, the state of Ohio planning to set his execution date and more. It’s on honor to have you on, my brother. Can you tell the people about the Lucasville Rebellion?

David Johnson of the San Quentin 6 on his comrade Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell

December 28, 2015

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was a soldier of the people. He defended Black prisoners against racist attacks and stood up for the basic human rights of prisoners. Racist prisoners don’t respect prison unity. There was an agreement in existence at the time to end all hostilities. But it was an agreement that was not honored by racist White prisoners. So in collusion with prison guards, they took advantage of the situation and they assassinated Yogi.

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