It is our intention to transform “prison slaves” into respected and productive members of the international proletariat movement. As a proletarian, YOU, the sister or brother sitting on your bunk, or in your cubicle, or in the day room reading this essay – YOU are a WORKER and not a SLAVE. Your lives matter, and you have great potential to be an extremely productive and successful member of the new society we are struggling to create.
The toxic health crisis, one of the most underreported and serious health conditions in the United States, affecting as many as 35 million children, is moving under a giant spotlight this week, with historic new leadership on the issue and ambitious new advocacy efforts. California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointment today of toxic stress leader Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as the state’s first surgeon general is a ground-breaking step and an important validation of the need for greater awareness of toxic stress.
On Tuesday, Dec. 11, up to 40 immigrants detained at the now infamous Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma began refusing meals, initiating a hunger strike in protest of the conditions they face. One detained activist listed the group’s demands as follows: “I am part of a group of detainees that are going to go on hunger strike as the only way to protest and shine a light on the abuses that we suffer here." This strike is the latest in a series of strikes protesting conditions inside the facility; the most recent mass strike began on Aug. 21 in conjunction with a national prison strike.
On Aug. 24, guards here at Florida State Prison (FSP) donned special “formal” uniforms of black pants, dark grey shirts and black neckties. The special occasion? They were executing a man who was sentenced to die for a double homicide in 1987. Looking at each guard that day, I could only shake my head at their solemn pretensions and utter hypocrisy. There they were united in killing a man as punishment for a “crime” that they frequently collude in committing themselves.
I’ve been actively working on the blueprint and inner working of a nonprofit, The Peoples Prison Defense Committee, which will be a wing of or in partnership with George Jackson University. PPDC is a grassroots non-profit organization whose primary mission is rooted in prison and parole oversight. Through information, direction, providing of resources and community awareness and engagement, the committee seeks to bridge the gap between the community and the prison.
On May 16, inmates at Old Folsom State Prison made contact with the outside world to announce that they will begin a hunger strike on May 25 in response to ongoing mistreatment, dehumanization and unbearable living conditions at Old Folsom. When incarcerated people take action to fight for their dignity, their rights and their lives, those of us on the outside must answer with solidarity. Our support is crucial in getting their demands met and minimizing retaliation against them. We must let these brave individuals know that we have their backs, and that they will not be forgotten.
Coyote Acabo caught a felony assault case in July of 2015 during a Black Lives Matter protest while defending a comrade who was put in a chokehold by a white inebriated man enraged that his good time country music show was interrupted by a group of cacophonous, banner-bearing protesters. The Bay View met Coyote years ago when he was locked up in Nevada and sent us one of his brilliant commentaries on the evils of imprisonment. We rejoiced with him when he was released and ask readers to support him now as he’s locked up for doing the right thing. Donate what you can at https://rally.org/supportcoyoteacabo.
In hopes of getting people to understand the mind and psyche of a sexually abused minor, I took a moment to speak with child psychologist Phyllis Haugabook. Phyllis is a therapist who has worked with sexually, mentally and physically abused children for over 17 years. Listen to what she has to say about the effect sexual abuse has on the psyche of the child and why so many sexually abused children often protect their abusers.
Despite being held in solitary confinement for years, men known as Kinetik, Dhati and Brother M, primary leaders of the Free Alabama Movement, have been instrumental in organizing a statewide prison work stoppage in Alabama that began on Sunday, May 1. Alabama prisoners who have been on strike over unpaid labor and prison conditions are accusing officials of retaliating against their protest by starving them.
They’re like, “Fuck it. I can die out here for nothing going at these cats from the other side or I could die for justice tonight with these police.” They’re fearless – they’re ready to be a martyr. Now all of this money that it must cost to bring all these cops in, ... all y’all had to do was put one man in jail. That’s it! A thousand police officers are going to be here in St. Louis and for what? To go out and kill another unarmed Black kid in the streets and then leave him there for four hours? I think that the ripple effect of this is going to rock the whole nation. It could be the tipping point for race relations in America when it comes to policing.
They are called the Dallas 6 – and we ain’t talking about Texas. Dallas, in Pennsylvania, is one of nearly 30 prisons in the state, located in its rural outback. The six are young Black men who, in 2010, tried to stage a peaceful protest in the prison’s “hole,” its solitary confinement unit. The Dallas 6 are potentially facing more prison time for refusing to submit to torture, for men have died, in America, while strapped into the torture chair.
This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.