by William E. Brown Jr.
Editor’s note: This is the first letter that the Bay View has received from any of the Corcoran hunger strikers who signed their original petition, “New hunger strike: Petition for improved conditions in Administrative Segregation Unit at Corcoran State Prison,” which was sent to the Bay View and published Dec. 30, 2011, since William E. Brown Jr. wrote “Ripple effects of Corcoran ASU hunger strike” in mid-January. The other petitioners are Pyung Hwa Ryoo and Juan Jaimes. If anyone has heard from or about them, please contact the Bay View at email@example.com or (415) 671-0789. William E. Brown Jr., known in the rap world as Pye Face, is responding in this letter to the Bay View’s Feb. 15 story, “Corcoran ASU hunger strikers continue after one starves to death, while CDCR lags on gang validation revisions.” He discusses the death of the first confirmed hunger strike martyr, Christian Gomez.
Marilyn McMahon, an attorney working with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition, reports on retaliation at Corcoran ASU: “Hunger strike participants got rules violations, and five prisoners who my source described as ‘spokesmen’ got rules violations for inciting or leading a mass disturbance – which can bring a year in the SHU. Also, three prisoners (presumably also spokesmen) had their visits suspended.”
“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable” – a proverb of the Bondei people of Tanzania
Revolutionary greetings from Pye Face, head rep of United KAGE Brothers, prisoners’ union, ministers and litigants to all concerned family members and advocates who fear we, the hunger strike protestors, may be experiencing serious medical issues and even death. Yes, it’s true. We all – Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White inmates, petitioners, mentors, prison reformists and others alike – are behind the razor wire in much discomfort both mentally and physically.
We are saddened by the news of the loss of our frontline immortal freedom fighter, Christian Alexander Gomez.
We are saddened by the news of the loss of our frontline immortal freedom fighter, Christian Alexander Gomez. Tragically, it’s believed to be fact that on Feb. 2, 2012, he died because of an infection he developed during the phases of our hunger strike here in CSP Corcoran ASU-1 (California State Prison Administrative Segregation Unit). Yes, it’s true. We are in disarray, but hell no, we are not in despair. To lose all of our hope or confidence would be totally blasphemous to our just cause. We will not become negligible within our right path movement despite these dark ages. Yes, it’s true.
It happened because of the medical staff and prison officials, including CCI Maxfield, CCII Rider, Wardens J. Cavazos and C. Gipson, CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) Director Matthew Cate, CDCR spokesperson Terry Thornton, Capt. T.A. Variz, Lt. K. Weatherford and Sgt. T. Lawson of AdSeg/ASU-1. Yes, it’s truly because of their negligence. And why? Our immortal freedom fighter moved in the footprints of Gandhi, who too cashed in for change.
“The comrades who are in jail are not criminals. They are prisoners of war. They are heroes struggling against racism, fascism and imperialism.” – The RATF, Nov. 5, 1981
It’s really time for us, the Black and Brown prisoners, the incarcerated majority, and all our brothers to unite, regardless if you’re on mainline in general population or in AdSeg, ASU or SHU.
It’s really time for us, the Black and Brown prisoners, the incarcerated majority, and all our brothers to unite, regardless if you’re on mainline in general population or in AdSeg, ASU or SHU (Security Housing Unit). In honor of all of our ancestors, not only should we unite now, on every damn CDCR yard, but we mustn’t waste more time on fruitless issues. Let’s be honest – and this is being 100 percent real – prison politics needs a new facelift. To deny it’s true, you’re afraid of the inevitable change which unity may bring on the mainline. Yes, it’s true.
We are in a self-inflicted genocidal war zone that we can just level out if we become the true brave hearts that we are. Here in ASU-1 Corcoran or in the SHU, if we can find common ground here, then we could come to gain an adult understanding of the beast art of “divide and rule.” In understanding the imperialist games behind spreading and perpetuating gang warfare, two things should be kept in mind: 1) divide and rule (or agitate, indoctrinate and divide) and 2) self-inflicted genocide.
As an Afrikan king against genocidal environments (KAGE), I am very much aware that yes, it’s true, divide and rule is a strategy of containing and controlling populations that are of profitable use to those administrators in power, but represent a threat if allowed to unite.
Divide and rule is a strategy of containing and controlling populations that are of profitable use to those administrators in power, but represent a threat if allowed to unite.
My Black, Brown, Yellow, Red or White KAGE brothers, listen up. Genocide is a strategy employed to dispose of a population seen to be of little or no profitable use to those in power. Self-inflicted genocide, my brothers and sisters, is truly the strategy of divide and rule.
The second rule, for which I must credit my brother of the KAGE, Mr. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, states, “The second trend relates to the extermination of the Indians and what’s left of their land.” The “Indian removal” and genocide, which reduced them to less than 1 percent of the population in their own native land, was accomplished in large part by the upper class Euro’s playing different Indian nations against each other and getting them to Willie Lynch one another, as we discriminate among each other today on the prison mainline.
Brothers, we are in one burning house … and the roof is over all of our damn heads.
Understanding Sun Tzu (a Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who wrote “The Art of War” in about the fifth century BC):
1) The first stage, which he gave top priority, is to “STOP THE ENEMY’S PLAN” – prevent one from being successful against you.
2) The second stage, if the enemy’s plans cannot be stopped, is to “disrupt his alliances.” This means divide the gut, the inner circle; breed haterism, jealousy, fear, ambition, anger, etc.
3) The third stage presented by Sun Tzu is “ATTACK and DEFEAT the ENEMY.”
Brothers and sisters on or beyond California’s chain gangs, we’ll be defeated if we don’t unite now. While the beast is on his knees economically, the game of divide and conquer remains, when I and others alike are permanently placed upon that don’t-got-shit-coming list.
Brothers and sisters on or beyond California’s chain gangs, we’ll be defeated if we don’t unite now.
On Feb. 14, 2012, I had to appeal these same games of neglect. I threw my spear straight at the beast Mrs. CCI A. Maxfield and Capt. T.A. Variz. My appeal was based upon retaliation and perjury committed by CSP-Corcoran staff. CCI Maxfield had made recommendations for both myself and my cellmate KAGE brother D. Givens (AD3732). Basically she supported the false charges which were stacked against us, disallowing us to have a fair and just and impartial hearing. In our petition listing our demands issued before we began our hunger strike, Demand No. 5 is “that we be afforded due process in our 115 hearings.”
CCI Maxfield lied and committed perjury (Penal Code Title 8, Chapter 37.02), stating: “Upon Inmates Committee review before recommendations, the following suspect’s 114-D is current and accurately documents the reasons for ASU-1 placement. A review of the CDC 114D indicates the documents were issued in sufficient detail and suspect was afforded due process requirements, suspect was given 72 hours preparation time. Suspect did not request witnesses at the CDC114D hearing. Investigative employee was not assigned at the CDC114D hearing. Capt. T.A. Variz conducted the administrative review on 1/26/12.”
Capt. Tod A. Variz is the same liar who had first sent an email to Arnold Cruz lying to both his co-worker Cruz and us, the petitioners, inmates Ryoo and Brown, by stating, “Please let them know the hunger strike is over and resolutions to some of the issues they presented are forthcoming.”
Again, my people, remember not only was Demand No. 5 neglected and overlooked but see Demand No. 11, “that no reprisals be taken for the employment of our right to petition.” Again, not only were Ryoo (F88924), Jaimes (V08644) and KAGE Brother Brown (T58106) all issued a 115 incident report, moved out of the prison, moved away from ASU1 in retaliation, the treatment of physical and or mental abuse remained non-forthcoming.
CCI Maxfield made threats against my character in a retaliatory manner, stating if Brown is found guilty, suspect has a pending RVR115 dated Dec. 30, 2011, for inciting and leading a hunger strike, a SHU-able offense. If suspect is found guilty, he could serve a 12-month (expected) SHU term. Couple this with the aggravated indeterminate SHU sentence, because I’m already serving a SHU aggravated for a simple mutual combat that the same biased committee failed or refused to correct based upon its merits. See due process claims.
CCI Maxfield made threats against my character in a retaliatory manner, stating if Brown is found guilty, suspect has a pending RVR115 dated Dec. 30, 2011, for inciting and leading a hunger strike, a SHU-able offense.
Petitioners have the right to a fair and impartial 114 and or 115 Rules Violation Report (RVR) hearing. When failed, the warden and a CCI or CDO (chief disciplinary officer) can all review or re-issue a new hearing or dismiss charges in full. Documentary and physical evidence like witnesses’ testimony or their written declarations may be presented during committee where doing so would not be “unduly hazardous to institutional safety or correctional goals.” (See CDCR Title 15 3084.5(h)(1) and 3338(h); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 566, 94 S.Ct. 2963 (1974), Brown v. Braxton, 373 F.3d 501 (4th Cir. 2004).
The point here is the prison administration is allowed to lie to society, be criminal, then uphold the lie and law – all on the same justice scale. I and my UKB member Givens both have supporting documents speaking contrary to A. Maxfield’s claims that we refused or failed to request witnesses, present declarations etc. and the claim that we had 72 hours before giving us notice of the lesser offense, which would have allowed us to be afforded the most basic process to marshal the facts before their modification and CCI recommendations. (People v. Cook (App. 3 Dist., 2001) 111 Cal.Rptr.2d 204, 91 Cal.App.4th 910.)
The prison administration is allowed to lie to society, be criminal, then uphold the lie and law – all on the same justice scale.
Further, our formal inmate request cannot be deemed irrelevant because all relevant evidence means evidence which tends to prove or disprove an issue or fact in dispute. My highlights are intended to remind the public and the Gomez family that none of the 11 demands have been forthcoming. My hope is not one staff member here listed is held not responsible. In vain it would be to us all, from prison to the streets. I resonate the truth to these matters at hand. This ain’t the soft KAGE.
I repeat these words: “Long forgotten, ‘defeated’ movements and their ideals sometimes emerge with a renewed popularity unpredictable only the blink of an eye before. Victors may define the history of an era in large type, but between the lines of the boldface script of textbooks or news programs, a better sense of the future may be gleaned from the margins,” wrote George Katsiaficas in “Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party” in the journal New Political Science.
My highlights are intended to remind the public and the Gomez family that none of the 11 demands have been forthcoming.
With the idea that the entire system is corrupt and needs to be reconstructed, dozens of groups dedicated to revolutionary change appeared in the United States during the 1960s, but the Black Panther Party was the only one able to develop a massive following and appeal to a broad constituency. Therefore, as for my Blood brothers on the yards or beyond, remember the root of Brotherly Love Overcoming Oppression Daily. Stand at least for your homies’ sake.
And for my cuzzins, Crip brothers, Community Relations for an Independent People, yes, it’s true. You all were meant to stand with the revolters. If you all can’t remember, former Los Angeles gang leader Alprentrice “Bunchy” Carter virtually brought a military force into the BPP when he joined in 1967. Carter was the leader of the renegades, the hard core of the Slausan Boys. In the early 1960s, the 5,000-strong Slausans were the largest street force in Los Angeles. Yes, it’s true.
If you can’t remember Carter, then what about the ethics of Black atonement in racist Amerika, the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, who wrote in “Blue Rate, Black Redemption”: “Yes, America, as unbelievable as it may seem, ‘hood cops, with impunity, commit drive-bys and other lawless acts. It was common practice for them to abduct a Crip or Bounty Hunter and drop him off in a hostile territory, and then broadcast it over a loudspeaker. The predictable outcome was that the rival was either beaten or killed on the spot, which resulted in a cycle of payback.”
George Jackson wrote in “Soledad Brother”: “There is no other recourse. The System is not workable in view of the modern industrial city-based society. Men are born disenfranchised. The contract between ruler and ruled perpetuates this disenfranchisement.
“…Each individual born in these Amerikan cities should be born with those things that are necessary to survival. Meaningful social roles, education, medical care, food, shelter, and understanding should be guaranteed at birth. They have been part of all civilized human societies — until this one. Why else do men allow other men to govern? … So they can say that the world owes our children nothing? … If not … we can stop recognizing the power of any administrator.”
We Blacks and Browns and others alike, we have the same problem the buffalo had: We have the same weakness and also predatory men understand this weakness. As Noam Chomsky said, “I mean you’ve got to read this stuff: It is all targeted against the Black and Hispanic population, almost entirely.”
These reasons are why I and my United KAGE Brothers are seeking your help – society, advocates, litigants, teachers, students, others abroad – to start an educational self-help class titled The MLK Project, The Ministers Litigation KAGE. We’ll focus on ministry, litigating, teaching inmates their due process rights, how to protect themselves legally etc. We’ll use our cell as our sanctuary, our KAGE University, with self-help books, preparing for Parole Board hearings or re-entry etc.
None of our demands will be swept under the dirty rug.
This is the rebirth of the Black and Brown prisoner in his new image. Yes, it’s true. We are being denied rehabilitation here in CDC(R). None of our demands will be swept under the dirty rug.
Help the prisoners’ movements to be more organized so we lose no more lives. Also let’s take time to pray and send our love to the Gomez family in solidarity.
Let’s take time to pray and send our love to the Gomez family in solidarity.
The KAGE Grave – RIP to all revolters who fall behind the razor wire. Straight at the beast.
Send our brother some love and light: William E. Brown Jr., T-58106, Corcoran ASU-1, P.O. Box 8800, Corcoran, CA 93212-8800. Visit his page on FriendswithPens.com/A KAGE Brothers Redemption.