San Quentin Six: Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington, D.C., Aug. 19, 2017, Solidarity Statement

by David Giap Johnson, Willie Sundiata Tate, Luis Bato Talamantes of the San Quentin Six and former San Quentin death row prisoner Shujaa Graham

At the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C., Allegra Taylor and her daughter – daughter and granddaughter of Hugo “Yogi” Pinell – notice some matter of concern. At least one attempt was made to disrupt the rally, held across the street from Trump’s White House. Behind them is Bomani Shakur of George Jackson University. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Greetings and Solidarity,

We take this opportunity to express our support for this historic event that supports prisoners’ human rights and to amend the 13th Amendment’s slavery exemption clause, so that legal slavery is finally abolished. When you consider the historic application of slavery in America, slavery in any form should not be tolerated in our society.

For years we have struggled to defend the civil and human rights of prisoners both during our incarceration and upon our reentry back into our respective communities. We took to heart the principles that were espoused by Comrade George Jackson. We come to prison as criminals but while here we transformed ourselves into revolutionaries so when we return to our communities we can be productive and make meaningful contributions for the betterment of society.

Willie Sundiata Tate, Luis Bato Talamantes and David Giap Johnson of the San Quentin Six enjoy Geronimo Day at the Eastside Center for the Arts in Oakland on Aug. 21, 2011. – Photo: Sue Acevedo

For years we endured indeterminate periods of isolation and sensory deprivation, so we know firsthand the inhumane and barbaric treatment that one can be subjected to while in prison. Yet those experiences have not dampened or diminished our resolve to fight for the human rights of those confined to these prisons.

As a society, we want to see healthy and wholesome individuals returning to society upon their release from prison. The inhumane and barbaric treatment that one can experience, indeterminate periods of isolation, and sensory deprivation is damaging to an individual’s mental health and physical wellbeing. It is dehumanizing and must end.

Therefore, it is incumbent on us to raise our voices in defense of prisoners’ human rights. This is the way we express our HUMANITY!

Long Live the Indomitable Spirits of Comrade George Jackson, Hugo “Yogi” Pinell and all Fallen Comrades. Black August Resistance Forever!!

This statement was delivered at the Aug. 19 Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March and Rally by Allegra Taylor, daughter of Hugo L.A. Pinell.