Gang validation images needed for July 1 hunger strike commemoration

by Sharon Martinas

Black-August-Organizing-Committee-dragon, Gang validation images needed for July 1 hunger strike commemoration, Abolition Now! Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity (PHSS) will be organizing community actions to commemorate the one year anniversary of the California prisoners’ hunger strike, which began on July 1, 2011.

As a part of these community actions, we plan to have some visual images that express aspects of what it means to be in solitary confinement.

One of those key aspects is “gang validation.” Prison authorities can use many excuses for gang validating a person, such as a subscription to the SF Bay View, a tattoo, certain colors, symbols of Mexican and Chicano culture, symbols of Black liberation culture, images denoting the Aryan Brotherhood etc.

Our visual will be a collage of drawings or pictures of these images, which will be visible at our community actions. We have a wonderful artist who will be creating that collage.

I have volunteered to research these images, but I’m having a bit of trouble finding specific descriptions of them.

So, if you know of specific examples of things that people have been gang validated for, including tattoos, symbols, images, letters, books and other written works, or any other kind of situational evidence, I would really appreciate it if you could send it my way, so that I can give it to the artist. If you have a picture of the symbol or image, that would be helpful.

Please email me at, or send the info to the SF Bay View at 4917 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124. Thanks so much for your assistance.