The prison officials believe that they have a right to subject us prisoners to physical and psychological torment simply because we choose to fight peacefully for our basic human rights. These officials fail to realize that prisoners are committed to the peaceful struggle and by no means do we plan on giving up, under any circumstances.
We are the families of thousands of loved ones who have been incarcerated indefinitely – some for decades – in California’s “supermax” segregated and administrative housing units. Solitary confinement, even for short periods, has been known for centuries to cause irreparable physical and psychological damage: torture. Yet California continues to condone this practice.
Imagine you were framed again by prison gang officers using a tattoo you got as a child and a symbol in a birthday card to “validate” you as a “prison gang associate” and label you “worst of the worst” and placed in segregation in a Security Housing Unit, or SHU, for years on end. That is what happened to my childhood best friend and husband, Robbie Riva.
Everyone knows the U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, higher than China’s with four to five times our population, and it continues to spiral. One in 100 adults is locked up in this police state, now totaling 2.4 million. Just as chattel slavery produced abolitionists, this new form of slavery must generate prison abolitionists.
It’s a good thing to have exposure of torture going on in the Ad/Segs. We’d included all SHUs and Ad/Seg units from the beginning in our formal complaint. We all need to be united and work together on making the wrongs in this system right! It’s critical to include ASUs in the process of challenging SHU issues!
We’re entering into our hunger strike on Sept. 26 because our suffering must be exposed to the world. We will not stop under any circumstances until we’re liberated from these gulags.
We had our last and final meeting with Undersecretary Scott Kernan on Aug. 18, 2011. Sitawa and the rest of the negotiators were very disappointed with the outcome because the undersecretary’s horns came out for real!
I first of all want to say that this, what you all are doing, is long overdue and needed if we are ever going to change the direction of this unjust system. I know that for a lot of you the idea of resisting and speaking truth to power is instinctive, and we have to figure out a way to inject this spirit into more people.
Everybody out Tuesday, Aug. 23, for the rally at 11:30 a.m. on the South Steps of the State Assembly Building, Sacramento, then for Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s hearing on the Pelican Bay SHU at 1:30 p.m. Car pools leave from West Oakland BART at 9:30 a.m. Join the Day of Action to support the historic prisoner-led hunger strike protesting torture in California’s prisons. Support the families of hunger strikers testifying on conditions in the SHU and amplify the voices of thousands of prisoners across California. The hunger strike exposed for three weeks the carefully planned and executed barbarism of life in supermax America.
It has been 83 hours since I last chewed on anything. I stand with all my brothers still on hunger strike inside the SHUs at Pelican Bay and Corcoran and on the mainlines in Centinela and Folsom and all other prisoners throughout California and the nation in solidarity with the hunger strike.
The return of Jean Claude Duvalier, "Baby Doc," to Haiti as a free man was excruciating to veterans of the struggle that overthrew the 30-year dictatorship. The traumatizing symbolism of Duvalier’s return at Haiti’s weakest hour is an insult to the dead and an assault on the living.
Closed inside these units for 23-24 hours every day, prisoners have to study, write, exercise and create right in these cells. These cells are the size of big closets. This small cell must become your laboratory where you create your unshakable foundation.
Victoire Ingabire, widely regarded as Rwanda's opposition leader, was arrested on Oct. 14, 2010, after a week long police siege on her home. She is charged with the formation of a terrorist organization with the aim to disrupt the territorial security of Rwanda.
Last week the Pentagon proclaimed that the last U.S. combat forces had left Iraq. The U.S. has long outsourced the Iraq occupation to troops from some of the world’s poor nations, and many of the mercenaries due to replace other U.S. troops will also come from those countries, especially from Uganda.
Former Lt. Jon Burge was equipped with a special unit that included individuals such as Joe “Machine Gun” Gorman, who participated in the assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark. That is how he got his moniker “Machine Gun.”
Haiti, your awesome revolt in 1791 against the revolting barbarity of French enslavement of the Africans was preceded by many revolts of the enslaved African-Haitians beginning as early as 1522. You never accepted that Africans at home and in the Diaspora can be enslaved, can be deprived of their property, liberty and humanity with impunity.
The Chinese government responded March 12 to the release of a U.S. human rights report critical of China by issuing its own report criticizing the U.S. human rights record. The report covered issues relating to crime, racial discrimination and poverty and accused the U.S. of using its hegemonic power to continue “trampling” on the sovereignty of other countries while “posing as the world judge of human rights.”
If a person really cared about human suffering – torture, mass rape, pillage, torching of homes with people alive inside, targeted rapes to spread HIV/AIDS, burying people alive, chopping off of limbs – then such a person would condemn these acts wherever they may occur and demand that the perpetrators of the crimes be brought to justice.
This is not my first riot but it was definitely the best. It’s so good to see solidarity in action, to see prisoners of different races and factions coming together like this. We need more of this before we can really start making positive changes in this system!
Haiti, once the colonial-era "Pearl of the Antilles" (Caribbean), then the "Mother of Revolutions," has suffered for nearly two centuries for daring to fight for - and win - its freedom from European colonialism, slavery and plunder. If it hadn't been bled and exploited for centuries, Haiti would've had the wherewithal to protect its people.