by Kubwa Damu Katika Chimurenga
Supreme salutations and a profound regards are extended to the California prisoner hunger strikers and those participating in the work stoppage and all supporters, from those of us Black, Brown and White prisoners here on 4A-1R in the Corcoran Security Housing Unit and on 1L, 2R and 2L, who stood and are standing in support of the five core demands and any other positive, productive demands that may be endorsed by the prisoner society to better the decaying California Department of Corruption and Repression (CDCR) – Prisoners in Struggle.
I come before you with the first of what may be a series of speed bumps and roadblocks in our path towards accomplishing the initial goals set forth: the five core demands. The other small demands being met are just a distraction to appease those of the prison masses long enough. Don’t be fooled! When the smoke clears, those small demands granted will be once again revoked.
Well, comrades and the people, CDCR came with the first of its scare tactics on July 13, 2013, at 8:30 p.m., six days into our peaceful, nonviolent hunger strike and work stoppage, with the serving a CDCR 128-A hunger strike chrono. It stipulates that all prisoner participants are disrupting the medical and mental health care services and that we are furthermore participating in disruptive behavior with prison gang members and associates and/or disruptive groups. They place the blame on the Pelican Bay SHU originally.
Look, people of the prison masses, I’d like very much to make something crystal clear to you and our vigilant, staunch supporters: Our loved ones who have faced and been duped by the faulty validation process because of debriefers, rat snitches and racist, fascist corrupt officers are not the only ones constantly being placed in these SHUs and Ad-Segs (Administrative Segregation) because of the confidential information process.
Also placed there are the unfortunate, prestigious intellectuals of our communities who are not only uncompromised but have been vigilant with a steadfast persistence in awaking the prison lumpen population. They must be silenced for being of a conscious mind state.
I come before you with the first of what may be a series of speed bumps and roadblocks in our path towards accomplishing the initial goals set forth: the five core demands.
This month, July 2013, marks the 11th year I’ve been in SHU. Now while not all of my time spent back here in SHU has been disciplinary-free, my original two offenses are what I will attempt to shed light on to show fault in Pelican Bay State Prison and CDCR.
On July 15, 2002, an alleged incident supposedly took place on PBSP B-Yard involving one prisoner who was up next to get searched by COs (correctional officers) on his way to the yard when he threw something into the rotunda. This brother, who had once been a very well-respected individual of the Black community, was soon to be paroled and could not face the fact that he had placed “prison duty” over his soon-to-be “freedom.”
Well, in exchange for him not to face three strikes felony prosecution, he was told by Lt. McKinney and Capt. Wheeler to give up all reputable Muslims and Black leaders or individuals on that B-Yard. Now keep in mind, up until this time the brother was “solid,” a stand-up man of the Muslim Black community.
He did admit this to one of the brothers held on this charge I’m speaking of. He did as they asked because he felt that the brother next to him should’ve taken that specific beef for him, but did not.
Myself and a handful of other prisoners were charged and found guilty of “conspiracy to commit murder on a sergeant/peace officer,” which we appealed immediately. After over one year in Ad-Seg, from July 24, 2002, to Aug. 13, 2003, we were found not guilty; the charge was dismissed. See the Rules Violation Reports (RVRs) of July 15, 2002, July 24, 2002 etc. [Damu enclosed copies of several documents with his letter]. On the reversal of finding, the hearing lieutenant states that several 1030s (Confidential Information Disclosures) which claimed I conspired with other prisoners and gangs were not even in my C-File (central file). How is this possible?
Well, mysteriously, on June 21, 2003, or somewhere in that vicinity, the COs asked me to step out and submit to a cell search in Ad-Seg. I complied since I knew I had no contraband. But after searching my cell they found a weapon. On or about this same date, a CO allegedly got stabbed several times by a comrade and ex-celly of mine.
Because this prisoner is from a lumpen neighborhood in Pasadena and is associated with a particular organization and I was said to have held leadership in that organization that gives him the authority to direct its assets, I was accused of giving specific orders for this attack to take place. There are two major factors to take notice of with this second conspiracy to commit murder on a peace officer: 1) I was in Ad-Seg at time of the assault, and 2) IGI (Institutional Gang Investigations) and ISU (Investigations Services Unit) alleged that he was an informant!
Conclusion: Although I had no clue why the incident occurred or about the accusations the COs made toward his character, I felt extremely content that he did what he did and had no hesitation toward expressing his sentiments after the fact. You don’t call a righteous man an informant, especially if you’re a CO, and expect him to walk that off. That’s crazy! That does not excuse the fact that I was found guilty based solely on his and my prior associations – which I explained – and nothing more.
Now although I will admit that rats, snitches and confidential informants do exist, I’ve looked at numerous of my 1030s and it’s plain to see that they are manufactured by the correctional officials to suit the investigation or Rules Violation Report at hand. What’s so cold is they’re so bold and blatant with doctoring up 1030s, RVRs etc. that they write the 1030 to a science, while knowing it’s a lie!
I have 1030s stating I was on one yard doing something or calling hits when I was actually on another yard. And upon pointing those major errors out, I was still found guilty and told, “It does not matter where you’re at. You are capable of doing so from everywhere, anywhere in prison!”
I’ve looked at numerous of my 1030s and it’s plain to see that they are manufactured by the correctional officials to suit the investigation or Rules Violation Report at hand.
OK, let’s use your system of preponderance of evidence: If an issue occurred on A-Yard and I’m on B-Yard, I could not possibly have participated in that incident. If I’m a Christian and Muslims specifically are having issues, if I’m a Blood or Bay Area and the 1030 claims numerous sources say I’m a Crip, if I’m out to court and a 1030 claims I’m on this prison yard participating in criminal activities, those are not the preponderance of the evidence! Yet CDCR abuses its authority to convict or persecute prisoners on the norm – and not just validated prisoners.
Again, I’ve been in SHU 11 years. From 2002-2003 until 2008, that five years was specifically for a conspiracy to commit murder on a CO fabricated by IGI and ISU at PBSP. Back then I thought it was righteous to be a part of something so well-planned and organized. Even if it was a lie, it made me look like the “Don Mega” of all gangsters. It’s on paper.
That’s an unconscious mindset – immature – and it is also eluding the obvious. The IGI and ISU COs are exploiting and oppressing me for either self-gain or promotion in employment or they’re abusing their power and authority. Whatever the case may have been, I’ve had 11 long years to wake the hell up, and the first six of those years were the most trying of all. The hell with PBSP, Corcoran and Tehachapi Security Housing Units and CDCR Ad-Segs, IGI, ISU etc. for oppressing and repressing me as you did!
But I also thank all of you racist, fascist correctional officials, because the punishment and torture to which you subjected me turned out to be a supreme blessing for me! During those long 11 years, I may have lost a beautiful wife, sister (RIP), relatives who all supported me financially with unconditional love and respect. But I gained a few things which I now consider much more valuable than all else: 1) New Afrikan revolutionary consciousness, 2) keen knowledge and over-standing in various subjects, 3) tolerance and patience, 4) staunch discipline, 5) love, unity and respect for Black people, 6) politeness toward all men and women deserving of it; and 7) most of all I get a chance to struggle alongside all the New Afrikan Black men whose compassion and love for revolution rubbed off on me. That’s just to scratch the surface of what positive/productive light I’ve absorbed in SHU.
Also placed in the SHU are the unfortunate, prestigious intellectuals of our communities who are not only uncompromised but have been vigilant with a steadfast persistence in awaking the prison lumpen population. They must be silenced for being of a conscious mind state.
Now I see why CDCR always attempts to assassinate the character of validated prisoners. If them brothers, the comrades, our elders can get through to someone like me and transition my negative attitude towards all who opposed or refuted me into a productive man and humble New Afrikan who’s determined more so now than ever to transcend in knowledge, strength and spirit, then imagine how many of the Lumpens on those mainlines will react to such positive influences.
CDCR, you got men prisoners locked down who ain’t caught combative, serious infractions (RVRs) in decades! Most of them encourage the prisoners to avoid catching infractions as well as other actions of nonsense.
But you don’t want respectable, responsible prisoners on those general population yards. You like the usual assaults, gassing, IXs (indecent exposures) etc. You like the racial and prisoner-on-prisoner violence, huh?
You are selfish, CDCR administration. You’re not the ones who have to walk these tiers or those yards; your COs do! Yet it is YOU, the policymakers who set the pace, who can attempt to make these CDCR prisons more productive. We need productive role models on these yards, conscious prisoners who can help in directing the illiterate to literacy. We need our positive, productive role models to assist in strengthening our character.
And we need you to stop – knock off – the bogus confidential information 1030 fabrications. End long-term indefinite SHU terms and kill that faulty step-down program.
It is YOU, the policymakers who set the pace, who can attempt to make these CDCR prisons more productive. We need productive role models on these yards, conscious prisoners who can help in directing the illiterate to literacy.
In conclusion, I will continue to raise my voice and assist in irritating and agitating you until you comply totally with the prisoner masses’ five core demands or I’m dead! Either is fine with me! If I’m gonna live in hell, may as well be naked and soaked in gasoline. But what I refuse to be is compromised, broken and dependent on you, CDCR!
End long-term indefinite SHU terms and kill that faulty step-down program.
It is for these reasons and many, many more that I have chosen to participate in this peaceful hunger strike and work stoppage. If you consider my willingness to starve myself to better my living conditions universally through nonviolent practices as disruptive behavior, then you’re even worse than what you’ve labeled us prisoners, as criminals, gang bangers, the worst of the worst etc. It is for this very reason and those I’ve mentioned that I will continue to stand in solidarity with all solid prisoners in struggle to put an end to this decaying CDCR prison system or rebuild a more productive one.
May we prisoners continue to struggle in solidarity until our goals are met and afterwards.
Send our brother some love and light: Kubwa Damu Katika Chimurenga (s/n Hayward Mayhan), P-60322, CSP-Corcoran SHU, 4A-1R-26L, P.O. Box 3476, Corcoran, CA 93212. This letter was written July 15 but not mailed out of the prison until Aug. 14. Since the hunger strike began, Corcoran has been notorious for holding incoming and outgoing mail.