Tags Kevin Rashid Johnson
Tag: Kevin Rashid Johnson
When the concept of Black August manifested in 1979, many thought it was simply a focus group protest growing out of the avoidable death of Khatari Gaulden on Aug. 1, 1978, in the San Quentin prison infirmary. Survival for Africans in California’s prison population of 20,000 inmates had to that point been recognized by some as a bit more than problematic.
In spite of the AMA protocol on torture, the CDCR’s medical and mental health physicians have yet to offer California prisoners any qualitative medical or mental health treatment, intervention or service. And they have been present and dead silent on the issue of how we prisoners have been tortured in CDCR’s SHU and CMU, where social deprivation – torture – has been the norm for the past 10 to 40-plus years.
In their ongoing plea for justice and humane treatment, the inmates confined in the Security Housing Unit program at Pelican Bay State Prison must continue to use the only peaceful means available that will draw proper attention to their plight, a hunger strike. Going through a long term hunger strike involves every aspect of your being, physical, mental and emotional.
I was flown here to Texas on June 14. This is a bit more dire than the February ordeal, so it calls for at least as much sustained and broad help. (Rashid was abruptly transferred from Virginia, where he’d been held, mostly in solitary confinement, since 1990, to Oregon in February 2012, where he was placed in Oregon’s Orwellian Snake River Correctional Unit, an unvarnished behavior modification program.)
“Comrade” connotes equality and respect. It implies “I’ve got your back” and “we are one.” Comrades stand united unconditionally and, if need be, to the death. It implies a relationship that is inclusive, not exclusive, and not based on any triviality but revolutionary class solidarity. It represents the socialist future we seek to represent in the struggles of today and the eventual triumph of classless communist society.
Lynne Stewart devoted over 30 years of her life to helping others as a criminal defense lawyer. She defended the poor, the disadvantaged and those targeted by the police and the state. Now Lynne Stewart needs our urgent help or she may die in prison. Our determination can compel the Bureau of Prisons to file the motion for compassionate release that will free Lynne Stewart.
I am not one prone to fits of temper. But a few days ago I almost lost it. My outrage was prompted by witnessing the steady deterioration of another prisoner, resulting from particularly acute mental torture inflicted in Oregon’s Disciplinary Segregation Units, which duplicate almost exactly conditions of torture practiced at Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary that were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1800s.
Even before I began my political journey in 2001, I maintained certain principles – a variety of things I just don’t do. And usually, if ever I deviated from those principles, even in error, I’d end up in a tangle of trouble. February 2013 was an ordeal. I broke some of my rules and things got ugly. What happened is yet another experience that those who blindly trust the system – and those who don’t – need to know about.
Amnesty International hopes that the Feb. 25 hearing will be a genuine chance for all stakeholders to positively influence the current reforms being proposed by CDCR. Without reform, conditions in California’s SHUs will continue to violate a raft of international standards and treaties governing the treatment of prisoners, including the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
In a world ruled by capitalism only the rich have rights. Everyone else exists solely to serve them, to enhance their wealth. Those of no profitable use should receive nothing. For sharing their wealth would only lead to the wealthy’s own impoverishment, making them equals of the common people, which was unthinkable.
We received your appeal calling for urgent support of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The appeal, regrettably, omits mention of Lynne Stewart, who is serving currently 10 years in a federal prison for her role in defending Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman as co-counsel for the defense with former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and renowned civil liberties counsel Abdeen Jabara.
You cannot bury thousands of human beings under conditions that amount to torture – and you cannot leave it up to the torturer to establish the criteria for what constitutes torture. They never see anything wrong with what they do even when violating the law and the humanity of people. The STG policy makes it easier for CDCR to confine us to their dungeons.
Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU have announced a push to end all hostilities between racial groups within California’s prisons and jails. The handwritten announcement, sent to prison advocacy organizations, is signed by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective. The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. It also calls on prisoners throughout the state to set aside their differences and use diplomatic means to settle their disputes.
An estimated 80,000 men, women and even children are being held in solitary confinement on any given day in U.S. prisons. If the struggle to end inhumane treatment inside prisons is to become anything more than a largely apolitical movement for so-called “civil rights,” it must put two long-ignored points back on the agenda: race and revolution.
Many of the government’s “experts” claim that long-term isolation is not harmful to an individual’s psyche. Yet, when I look at my hands I see blood.
In protest against the ongoing foul and inhumane conditions at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison – one of America’s most notoriously abusive and racist prisons – dozens of inmates went on a hunger strike. The strike began on May 22 and lasted several weeks. I was imprisoned at Red Onion for over a decade.
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
On Jan. 20, I was transferred from Virginia’s Red Onion to Wallens Ridge State Prison. This transfer came on the heels of a Dec. 12 incident where a large portion of my hair was ripped out by a Red Onion guard. I’m now being faced with a series of threats by a staff known to abuse and even kill prisoners.
Six thousand six hundred California prisoners participated in a three-week-long hunger strike in July, seeking relief from unjust and inhumane conditions. In the face of California Department of Corrections (CDC) officials failing to honor settlement negotiations, the hunger strike resumed on Sept. 26, with nearly 12,000 prisoners participating in 13 of that state’s prisons.