by Kijana Tashiri Askari, Abdul Olugbala Shakur and Joka Heshima Jinsai, Free Speech Society
Written Aug. 4, 2016, received Aug. 23, 2016 – We, class members of Ashker v. Brown, have been alerted to a contradiction that potentially threatens to disrupt, undermine and compromise everything that we’ve worked so hard to achieve and have sacrificed our lives for, via all three hunger strikes, and this is inclusive of all the blood, sweat and tears that our outside supporters – the Prisoner Hunger Strike Support (PHSS) Coalition and others – have put forth in amplifying our cause by demanding our human dignity and respect from the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr) relative to abolishing their practice of decades of state-based torture – in particular, the unlawful warehousing of prisoners in solitary confinement.
It is no secret that CDCr’s counterintelligence units – Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI), Investigations Services Unit (ISU) and Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) – have been plotting revenge on the class members of Ashker v. Brown to have us returned to indefinite solitary confinement status since this lawsuit was settled in September of 2015. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that it wasn’t a matter of sheer coincidence, as we embark upon the one-year anniversary of Brotha Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell being assassinated that the state’s news media begin 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.
We have thus far identified multiple media outlets in California, such as KGO-ABC7 News in San Francisco, where it first appeared, and KABC-ABC7 News in Los Angeles, who are reporting this rhetorical nonsense concocted by IGI, ISU and OCS as if it is actual news – it’s not. They’ve taken the liberty to post these articles on their websites as well in an attempt to instigate a statewide racial war between different groups. Because of these reports, racial tensions may rise, thus making it imperative that we begin to organize and mobilize against this false propaganda now.
We would like to make it absolutely clear to the public: “We class members of Ashker v. Brown at Kern Valley State Prison and throughout CDCr prisons remain committed to our Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM),” which entails:
1) Upholding the integrity of our Agreement to End Race-Based Hostilities (AEH) by continuing to educate the entire prisoner class for purposes of sustaining a concrete understanding of what is required from each individual and/or group formation relative to our AEH, as we adamantly refuse to fall prey to CDCr’s COINTELPRO tactics!
2) Maintaining our united front, as we collectively recognize that our struggle is far from being over! We’re now confronted with a new phase of injustices on these mainlines such as
A) The arbitrary confiscation of personal property items and manuscripts, especially political and social justice works, during cell searches that are taking place to censor, harass and retaliate against class members of Ashker v. Brown.
B) The outright, complete and permanent confiscation – theft – of our incoming and outgoing mail without notice or explanation. This practice has specifically targeted our community development, social analysis and political activist work, striking at the very heart of our free speech rights in a blatant attempt to silence, censor and criminalize our contributions to our ongoing commitment to the Agreement to End Hostilities (AEH) and collective struggle for freedom, justice and human rights. Every effort to institute AEH programs has been criminalized in an effort to penalize us for maintaining our commitment to these principles.
C) Holding our incoming and outgoing mail three to five weeks before delivering it or mailing it out, and this includes not giving us “notice” that our mail is being withheld well beyond the five days maximum mandated in CCR Title 15 §3133(e).
D) The arbitrary issuance of petty and baseless 115s (tickets or write ups) specifically targeting our artistic and cultural expression, designed to ultimately return us to indefinite solitary confinement. Artwork and images representative of New Afrikan cultural heritage, which in some instances was produced and/or possessed while we were still in the SHU, and mailed in and out of CDCr facilities with the full knowledge of IGI and ISU, are now being reduced to “STG (Security Threat Group, the new term for ‘gang’) activity” in a blatant attempt to criminalize our very heritage, cultural identity and freedom of artistic expression.
E) Depriving us of viable job and vocational training opportunities, which obstruct our ability to attain freedom from state-controlled, capitalist-based parole boards.
F) Depriving us of our human right to the court-mandated 10 hours of outdoor exercise per week. Natural sunlight and fresh air is essential to the proper physical and psychological development of all human beings.
We could continue listing several more contradictions, but it would only obscure the focus of this bulletin. We cannot afford to wait until we are all back in solitary confinement before the coalition begins mobilizing around this issue. It must be aggressively pursued now.
Our objective is clear: “It is with an imperative urgency that we immediately mobilize our PHSS media and legal teams to identify and expose all of the news media outlets that are involved with this criminal conspiracy – in conjunction with IGI, ISU and OCS – to ignite a statewide race war in CDCr! We demand that all responsible persons be charged accordingly!”
Tell no lies – claim no easy victories!
For the Free Speech Society:
- Kijana Tashiri Askari, s/n M. Harrison, H-54077, KVSP B2-101, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216
- Abdul Olugbala Shakur, s/n J. Harvey, C-48884, KVSP B2-117, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216
- Joka Heshima Jinsai, s/n S. Denham, J-38283, KVSP B2-117, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216
How you can help
All supporters and human rights activists are asked to please join the call-in and email campaign to end these abuses and uphold the terms of the Ashker v. Brown settlement agreement, which specifies no retaliation by CDCr or its staff.
Please direct your criticisms and complaints to:
- Deputy Attorney General Adriano Htvatin, 415-703-1672, Htvatin@doj.ca.gov
- Corrections Secretary Scott Kernan, 916-445-4950, 1515 S St., Sacramento, CA 95811
- KVSP Facility A Warden G. Jaime, 661-721-6300
- KVSP Chief Deputy Warden S. Rimbach, 661-721-6300
Please forward a copy to our email, Freespeechsociety@gmail.com, so that we can send all responses to Judge Vadas via the class action attorneys.
This story first appeared at https://freespeechsociety.org/2016/08/24/free-speech-society-emergency-bulletin/.