Could massive internal displacement today rewire the Jonestown of yesterday? Wanda Sabir offers an up-close narrative of the MoAD-hosted reading and discussion with Dr. James L. Taylor, playwright Sikivu Hutchinson Ph.D., audience and cast of the play “White Nights, Black Paradise,” dissecting the Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple phenomenon.
Ivan Kilgore is retaliated against for speaking out about inhumane conditions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in California’s prisons, and Talib Williams denounces CDCr’s irresponsible handling of the crisis.
TDCJ rules prisoners via the very real and constant threat of retaliation. Just a brief discussion with any current or former TDCJ prisoner would detail countless stories of revenge perpetuated by TDCJ officials on a daily basis.
On Oct. 4, 2015, at the McConnell Ad-Seg Unit located in Beeville, Texas, prisoner Jarvis Dugas, No. 1386881, was preparing for a visit with his mother. Dugas, who is known to his friends as “Homestead,” is a Black man who is mentally handicapped and physically disabled. He walks with a pronounced limp. Dugas’ mother, Regina Strange, is a former employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She is all too familiar with the overt tactics of mistreatment, abuse and degradation associated with the corrupt prison agency and because she knows that, she regularly visits her son Jarvis.
My name is Mr. Leonard McQuay, No. 874304, known and honored as Brother Khalfani Malik Khaldun. I am currently in my 31st year incarcerated inside the Indiana Department of Corrections. There was a very serious need for me to compile this complaint and report to inform you of the many violations existing inside Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, with the hope that you will call for an investigation to substantiate the allegations of violations being exposed to you in my complaint. Immediate outside oversight and intervention from you is being requested by me with this complaint and report. Please read the following with an objective eye and an understanding heart, because we need your help.
Civil Rights Attorney John L. Burris held a press conference on Oct. 26 to announce he is filing racial discrimination lawsuits in the Superior Court of San Francisco on behalf of four African American men against Clark Construction Group-California, Inc., for creating a racially hostile work environment and for allowing the men to be subjected to harassment, intimidation and retaliation.
I answered the call Aug. 21, 2018, and put together a hunger strike team. My name was released on the local WTOL News as one of the protesters with the Nation of Islam, who showed their support by hitting the parking lot entrance with banners to protest mass incarceration and prison slavery. A plot to kill me and poison my food by an officer was exposed. But I’m hard to kill. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Kanye West has never been afraid to speak out even if what he had to say wasn’t in line with popular opinion. Kanye saying slavery was “a choice” offended many people by degrading the lives of the millions of people who suffered for centuries as slaves. Recently, at the White House, Kanye sprinkled some gold gems in with the foolishness, especially his statement about the 13th Amendment, which did not abolish slavery, not in prison. I refuse to reject the help when entertainers like Kanye West join prisoners in advocating for prisoners’ rights.
The mother who filed judicial recall notices against Contra Costa Judges Fannin, Hardie and Haight has been threatened in an attempt to silence her. The week she filed the notices, when she visited with her daughter in CPS (Child Protective Services) care, she was forced to accept a mandatory police escort. She was humiliated; her small daughter was terrified. The mother said she will never forget her daughter’s terrified face – and the gut-wrenching feeling of power being abused.
For years now, I have endured threats, both overt and covert, from the mouths and hands of CDCr’s (California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation’s) OCS (Office of Correctional Safety), ISU (Investigations Services Unit) and IGI (Institutional Gang Investigations), all of them paramilitary services that boast they are a gang and call themselves the Green Wall. (See my article “Sitawa: Exiting solitary confinement – and the games CDCr plays.”)
I would like to bring to the cognizance of the people the atrocious treatment of prisoners by a company called Prison Transportation Services of America (PTSA). This is a private company based out of Tennessee that transports prisoners being extradited across the country. The conditions in which the prisoners are transported are most arduous and inhumane with no consideration for the safety or well-being of the prisoners.
These prison profiteers and imperialist oppressors aren’t feeling the recent show of power and solidarity among prisoners throughout AmeriKKKa. In the same manner, the FBI’s COINTELPRO sought to thwart the emergence of a Black Messiah, mass incarceration in Amerika seeks to sabotage the emergence of any movement which challenges the capitalist-imperialist plan to lock up, exploit, disenfranchise, poison and in some cases even kill the poorest cross-section of Amerikan society.
Having been one of the many who have been let out of the control units (SHU), I can say that there is some victory in this development, but there is much work to be done outside the SHU and still a ways to go before victory is complete. This accomplishment of opening the gates of SHU for many simply means we face new forms of oppression; it changes in form but not in essence.
Major George Tillery is a Pennsylvania lifer, 65, who confronted SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s deteriorating health. Prison authorities retaliated against Major Tillery – repeatedly ransacked his cell and denied him medical treatment for seeking medical assistance for Mumia and other prisoners. Tillery was transferred to SCI Frackville and then falsely charged with drug possession, disciplined and given six months in “the hole.”
I caught up with Aaron Patterson’s lawyer, attorney Demitrus Evans, to get the story firsthand. This will be the first in a series of stories that I am working on to expose the cases of current day Black political prisoners in this country, because it is very important that our people know the truth about how this government deals with the people who truly do work on behalf of our empowerment.
The California department of prisons threatened, muzzled and defamed a top medical officer at San Quentin for blowing the whistle on its shoddy mental health care, the doctor claims in court. Dr. Christopher S. Wadsworth, former chief psychiatrist and medical director of San Quentin State Prison, claims the state and 10 prison officials retaliated against him for a March 2014 memo on constitutionally inadequate conditions that continue today.
Often when citizens of this nation think of “state repression,” images of Egypt, North Korea, Apartheid Palestine or Nazi Germany immediately spring to mind. U.S. state controlled media has become practiced at flooding our airwaves and attitudes with images of violent retaliation and systematic repression of dissent in other nations as a means to obfuscate the U.S. state’s engagement in identical activity in its own society.
The following information is based on numerous letters from prisoners in the High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois written in December 2013. These prisoners expect to go on hunger strike on Jan. 15, 2014, due to their placement and retention in severe isolation, under inhumane living conditions, without notice, reasons or hearing. This will be a peaceful protest. Retaliation can be expected.
This poem is dedicated to those individuals who are currently and previously have been victims of this nation’s torture chambers, otherwise known to the rest of society as solitary confinement (called the SHU in California) – also to the ones who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for change. Your decision to give your life for this noble cause has NOT been in vain. To the rest of us still standing for something, continue to fall for nothing.
I was a petitioner during the Dec. 28, 2011, hunger strike here at Corcoran State Prison. I suffered a misfortune at the hands of CDCR in Kern Valley State Prison. I am back at Corcoran State Prison Administrative Segregation Unit and nothing that was promised to us did we ever receive, and to be honest the living conditions have even worsened and many of us have been subjected to harassment and vindictive and retaliatory behavior.
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