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I have chosen to use a piece of poetry as my editorial for this month. I had not written poetry in years but was inspired after reading an article written in the Bay View by Chinyere Egu, listening to the music of Grand Opus, and spending the weekend with my daughter and grandchildren. Spoken word, whether it came in the form of old Negro spirituals or old school hip-hop, has always inspired our people to move beyond the limitations of our current situation.
These are letters recently received from the writers by the Bay View. Guards seemed to be in a celebratory frame of mind -- Since prisoncrats could not break him, they set him up -- Hugo Pinell was locked up longer than any other SHU prisoner -- This is a revolutionary time; the pig is in a panic as prisoners show humanity, restraint and intelligence --
Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll. By some accounts, it was his first day on the yard after 46 years in solitary confinement when Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was assassinated Aug. 12. Prison guards celebrated on social media: “May he rot in hell” and “Good riddens” (sic), they typed. Yogi was the only member of the San Quentin 6 still in prison, and his role in the events of Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson was assassinated, has earned the guards’ incessant enmity ever since.
I have read your publication periodically over the years, and after some discussion with fellow prisoners, it was suggested I seek your assistance with getting the message out there that I need help! The enclosed documents tell a lot of the story of what I’ve been up against for years. Most of my support system has died – mother, wife, daughter and sister. The Brother Keith Wattley took my case and fought it to a short lived victory.
I’m delighted to report the rally for Yogi Bear was just wonderful. Headlined “49 Years of Injustice: Release Hugo Pinell,” decrying Yogi’s 49 years in prison, 43 years in solitary confinement and 23 years in the infamous Pelican Bay SHU (Security Housing Unit), the rally was held Sunday, June 9, 4 p.m., at Freedom Archives, 518 Valencia, San Francisco.