Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Pelican Bay State Prison - California

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Isolation Already Loosening at Pelican Bay

MIM Distributors,

It is always my pleasure to reach out and re-establish lines of communication. I hope that you all are in the best of God's care. One can never be too sure in this line of work. I'm well, as i get ready for this July 1 2011 hunger strike for the cruel & unusual treatment we prisoners held in solitary confinement have endured. All the same it is an enduring struggle that we must fight in order to change our reality.

I am writing because i need you all to forward me that issue dated in the month of June 2011 called Under Lock & Key, because I did not receive it. So if it's possible that I can get a back issue I would sincerely appreciate it.

Now, I look forward to re-opening the lines of communications because although it's not been my thought that they were cut off we are beginning to track it better, so it's all good sometimes.

Sincerely,
a California prisoner


MIM(Prisons) adds: This writer hadn't heard from us in over two years due to censorship in California. But as the hunger strike approached, the staff at Pelican Bay State Prison were on their best behavior. While the strike organizers were already having sit-downs with the Warden's office before the strike began, censorship has eased for the many organizations that struggle to get their mail to those being held there. A month ago, staff claimed to not even know their own policies in attempts to censor our mail. But the prisoners' struggle has already had an impact of loosening their attempts to isolate us from each other.

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[Campaigns] [Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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The Call

maoistcdcr
This is a call for all prisoners in Security Housing Units (SHUs), Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg), and General Populations (GP), as well as the free oppressed and non-oppressed people to support the indefinite July 1st 2011 peaceful Hunger Strike in protest of the violation of our civil/human rights, here at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (PBSP-SHU), short corridor D1 through D4 and its overflow D5 through D10.
It should be clear to everyone that none of the hunger strike participants want to die, but due to our circumstances, whereas that state of California has sentenced all of us on Indeterminate SHU program to a “civil death” merely on the word of a prison informer (snitch).

The purpose of the Hunger Strike is to combat both the Ad-Seg/SHU psychological and physical torture, as well as the justifications used of support treatment of the type that lends to prisoners being subjected to a civil death. Those subjected to indeterminate SHU programs are neglected and deprived of the basic human necessities while withering away in a very isolated and hostile environment.

Prison officials have utilized the assassination of prisoners’ character to each other as well as the general public in order to justify their inhumane treatment of prisoners. The “code of silence” used by guards allows them the freedom to use everything at their disposal in order to break those prisoners who prison officials and correctional officers (C/O) believe cannot be broken.

It is this mentality that set in motion the establishing of the short corridor, D1 through D4 and its D5 though D10 overflow. This mentality has created the current atmosphere in which C/Os and prison officials agreed upon plan to break indeterminate SHU prisoners. This protracted attack on SHU prisoners cuts across every aspect of the prison’s function: Food, mail, visiting, medical, yard, hot/cold temperatures, privileges (canteen, packages, property, etc.), isolation, cell searches, family/friends, and socio-culture, economic, and political deprivation. This is nothing short of the psychological/physical torture of SHU/Ad-Seg prisoners. It takes place day in and day out, without a break or rest.

The prison’s gang intelligence unit was extremely angered at the fact that prisoners who had been held in SHU under inhuman conditions for anywhere from ten (10) to forty (40) years had not been broken. So the gang intelligence unit created the “short corridor” and intensified the pressure of their attacks on the prisoners housed there. The object was to use blanket pressure to encourage these particular isolated prisoners to debrief (i.e. snitch on order to be released from SHU).

The C/Os and administrative officials are all in agreement and all do their part in depriving short corridor prisoners and its overflow of their basic civil/human rights. None of the deliberate attacks are a figment of anyone’s imagination. These continuous attacks are carried out against prisoners to a science by all of them. They are deliberate and conscious acts against essentially defenseless prisoners.

It is these ongoing attacks that have led to the short corridor and overflow SHU prisoners to organize ourselves themselves around an indefinite Hunger Strike in an effort to combat the dehumanizing treatment we prisoners of all races are subjected to on a daily basis.

Therefore, on July 1, 2011, we ask that all prisoners throughout the State of California who have been suffering injustices in General Population, Administrative Segregation and solitary confinement, etc. to join in our peaceful strike to put a stop to the blatant violations of prisoners’ civil/human rights. As you know, prison gang investigators have used threats of validation and other means to get prisoners to engage in a protracted war against each other in order to serve their narrow interests. If you cannot participate in the Hunger Strike then support it in principle by not eating for the first 24 hours of the strike.

I say that those of you who carry yourselves as principled human beings, no matter you’re housing status, must fight to right this and other egregious wrongs. Although it is “us” today (united New Afrikans, Whites, Northern and Southern Mexicans, and others) it will be you all tomorrow. It is in your interests to peacefully support us in this protest today, and to beware of agitators, provocateurs, and obstructionists, because they are the ones who put ninety percent of us back here because they could not remain principled even within themselves.

The following demands are all similar to what is allowed in other super max prisons (e.g. federal Florence, Colorado, Ohio and Indiana State Penitentiaries). The claim by CDCR and PBSP that implementing the practices of the federal prison system or that of other states would be a threat to safety and security are exaggerations.

The names of representatives of all major races listed as co-signers. The prisoners say they are “All races Whites; New Afrikans; Southern Mexs., and Northern Mexs.”

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[Campaigns] [Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 21]
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PBSP SHU D-Corridor Hunger Strike

tabling pelican bay strike

Attention: beginning July 1, 2011, several inmates housed indefinitely in PBSP-SHU D-Facility, Corridor Isolation, will begin an indefinite hunger strike in order to draw attention to, and to peacefully protest, 25 years of torture via CDCR's arbitrary, illegal, and progressively more punitive policies and practices, as summarized in the accompanying Formal Complaint. PBSP-SHU, D-Facility Corridor inmates' hunger strike protest is to continue indefinitely until the following changes are made:

OUR FIVE CORE DEMANDS:

  1. Individual Accountability - This is in response to PBSP's application of "group punishment" as a means to address individual inmates rule violations. This includes the administration's abusive, pretextual use of "safety and concern" to justify what are unnecessary punitive acts. This policy has been applied in the context of justifying indefinite SHU status, and progressively restricting our programming and privileges.
  2. Abolish the Debriefing Policy, and Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria - the debriefing policy is illegal and redundant, as pointed out in the Formal Complaint [IV-A, p. 7]. The Active/Inactive gang status criteria must be modified in order to comply with state law and applicable CDCR rule and regulations [eg, see Formal Complaint, p. 7, IV-B] as follows:
    1. Cease the use of innocuous association to deny inactive status,
    2. Cease the use of informant/debriefer allegations of illegal gang activity to deny inactive status, unless such allegations are also supported by factual corroborating evidence, in which case CDCR-PBSP staff shall and must follow the regulations by issuing a rule violation report and affording the inmate his due process required by law.

  3. Comply with US Commission 2006 Recommendations Regarding an End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement - CDCR shall implement the findings and recommendations of the US commission on safety and abuse in America's prisons final 2006 report regarding CDCR SHU facilities as follows:
    1. End Conditions of Isolation (p. 14) Ensure that prisoners in SHU and Ad-Seg (Administrative Segregation) have regular meaningful contact and freedom from extreme physical deprivations that are known to cause lasting harm. (pp. 52-57)
    2. Make Segregation a Last Resort (p. 14). Create a more productive form of confinement in the areas of allowing inmates in SHU and Ad-Seg [Administrative Segregation] the opportunity to engage in meaningful self-help treatment, work, education, religious, and other productive activities relating to having a sense of being a part of the community.
    3. End Long-Term Solitary Confinement. Release inmates to general prison population who have been warehoused indefinitely in SHU for the last 10 to 40 years (and counting).
      Provide SHU Inmates Immediate Meaningful Access to:
    4. Adequate natural sunlight
    5. Quality health care and treatment, including the mandate of transferring all PBSP-SHU inmates with chronic health care problems to the New Folsom Medical SHU facility.

  4. Provide Adequate Food - cease the practice of denying adequate food, and provide wholesome nutritional meals including special diet meals, and allow inmates to purchase additional vitamin supplements.
    1. PBSP staff must cease their use of food as a tool to punish SHU inmates.
    2. Provide a sergeant/lieutenant to independently observe the serving of each meal, and ensure each tray has the complete issue of food on it.
    3. Feed the inmates whose job it is to serve SHU meals with meals that are separate from the pans of food sent from kitchen for SHU meals.

  5. Expand and Provide Constructive Programming and Privileges for Indefinite SHU Status Inmates. Examples include:
    1. Expand visiting regarding amount of time and adding one day per week.
    2. Allow one photo per year.
    3. Allow a weekly phone call.
    4. Allow Two (2) annual packages per year. A 30 lb. package based on "item" weight and not packaging and box weight.
    5. Expand canteen and package items allowed. Allow us to have the items in their original packaging [the cost for cosmetics, stationary, envelopes, should not count towards the max draw limit]
    6. More TV channels.
    7. Allow TV/Radio combinations, or TV and small battery operated radio
    8. Allow Hobby Craft Items - art paper, colored pens, small pieces of colored pencils, watercolors, chalk, etc.
    9. Allow sweat suits and watch caps.
    10. Allow wall calendars.
    11. Install pull-up/dip bars on SHU yards.
    12. Allow correspondence courses that require proctored exams.

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[Download and Print] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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PBSP Food Strike Flyer (updated) and Example Letter

PBSP Strike Flyer
Click to download flyer.

This flyer can be used as a whole-sheet flyer, or print it double-sided, cut it in half, and it becomes a half-sheet flyer. Use it to spread the word about the striking prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison.

On the flyer there is an example of a support letter to send to administrators about this issue. It is reprinted below for your convenience.

Dear Warden Lewis,

I am writing this letter to you to express my concern for the prisoners held in Pelican Bay State Prison’s short-corridor Group D. It is my understanding that these people have no disciplinary charges, but are being held in extreme isolation, unable to send photographs to their families or speak to them on the phone.

I am concerned that these prisoners, who are under your responsibility, are being denied their Constitutional right to due process. Not only do these prisoners not have any disciplinary charges, but IGI is intimidating and harassing them into fabricating information to avoid false gang validations. This is illegal and upsetting. As a citizen of the state of California, I fund your paycheck, and I expect more from a state employee than to allow these gross violations of the Constitution to happen right under your nose.

Studies prove time and time again that prisoners who have contact with their family are able to rehabilitate much better than those who are isolated. They are better able to adjust to society when they are released, and avoid being sent back to prison. It is completely irresponsible that you would permit IGI to cause this potential damage in a person’s life, when they are supposed to be allowed these privileges.

Since you are the Warden of Pelican Bay State Prison, I am asking that you intervene in these illegal and irresponsible practices going on in short-corridor Group D. Please allow the prisoners held there their full privileges according to CDCR policies, and end the harassment and intimidation of prisoners, especially ones who have no information, and no disciplinary actions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I also thank you for your future efforts to resolve this problem.

Sincerely,
Your Name Here

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[Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 20]
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July 1 Pelican Bay SHU Food Strike to Protest Inhuman Isolation

I'm writing to enlighten you of the new millennium oppression going on in Pelican Bay short-corridor. Since 2006 over 210 prisoners are being housed here unjustly by IGI (the gang task force) AKA "Green Wall" which is known to utilize prisoners who will debrief against other prisoners. Their inhuman treatment towards prisoners who will not lie and become false informers for IGI "Green Wall" helps keep the short-corridor program of oppression functioning.

We have been placed in short-corridor Group D, falsely labeled as gang members and housed here isolated for non-disciplinary actions. We are not allowed Group D privileges; the short-corridor has its own set of rules structured by IGI. They have no oversight and are allowed to be inhuman towards prisoners who don't believe in their devilish propaganda! We understand we are in prison, we are serving our time disciplinary-free, all we are asking for is fairness. Below are just a few of many reasons why on July 1 2011 the short-corridor and SHU will go on a food strike to protest our inhuman isolation.

  1. If we must be placed in this short-corridor let it be for disciplinary actions we have done.

  2. IGI must stop the abuse of their power to manipulate/intimidate prisoners to falsely accuse other prisoners of being so-called gang members to justify their inhuman objective.

  3. We must be allowed to receive all of Group D privileges, especially us in the short-corridor who have not done anything to warrant inhuman isolation.

  4. We must be allowed to at least send our family members a picture. It's been over 18 years since I have sent my family a picture, and other prisoners go even longer!

  5. We must be able to talk to family on the phone. It is important that we have family support and help on personal rehabilitation.

I would like to ask if you can help us spread the word and on July 1 2011 have a candlelight vigil in support of us and to show solidarity in our struggle, or any other such act that may be able to help bring attention to our conditions.

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[Gang Validation] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Fighting Gang Validation Laws

I just completed my fourth reading of a pamphlet I received from you titled "Shut Down Control Units in Prison," and I found it in step with my own thoughts on the subject.

Your interpretation on how prisoners are validated is right on point and I'm living proof of it, my validation was based on my being in possession of written materials and an image of a dragon. But the inept way in which I was validated isn't what made me go into a state of frenzy, it was the fact that after being in the prison system for 12 years, prior to my being validated, I had no idea of what the validation process was. As one who spent a great deal of his time studying the rules and regulations of the prison system, I can only guess that the reason I overlooked the validation process is because I became too busy fighting to make a difference in other areas of the prison system, but now that I'm in the grasp of the demon I'm going to alter the hell he has pulled so many into.

After spending about a year in the SHU trying to figure out how the hell I was validated, I rolled up my sleeves and started working on how to not only get myself out of the SHU, but the multitude of others around me. But I soon found out that a large number of prisoners in the SHU feel so defeated that they have given up hope and become content with being in the SHU. Some have even become proud of being validated and don't want to hear anything from me about what we can do to get out of the SHU.

One of the first cases that I started studying about the validation process is a case you wrote about in the pamphlet you sent to me which is the Castillo case. Now don't get me wrong the case knocked on the door of change, but it should have kicked down the door. An example of what I'm referring to is the rule change requiring that a prisoner has to be in possession of items such as written materials or symbols on their body before they are placed in the SHU. But what the attorneys who represented Castillo didn't ask the court to make a requirement of is that the CDCR must list the names of which written materials, tattoos and symbols are "gang related," because as we now know the CDCR can say anything that they want is a gang related item.

I've written to the attorneys who represented Castillo, and one told me that they no longer work on prison cases and the other one who you wrote about in the article told me that he wanted $5000 to answer my questions about the Castillo ruling. So I filed a 602-appeal, and to make a long story short my appeal was shot down due to my filing it too late, and although that door was closed another one has opened and I'll keep you updated on the outcome.

Another thing you wrote about prisoners being in the SHU that I agree with is how atrocious it is that a prisoner can be put in the SHU for a determinate term for committing a violent act, but a prisoner who has a tattoo, symbol or certain written materials in their possession will be put in the SHU without committing any violent action for an indeterminate term for a minimum of 6 years (this also is a stipulation that the attorneys for Castillo could have changed). In conversations that I've had with some Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI), they have agreed with me about the flaws in the validation process, but also said that it isn't their responsibility to correct it. I can understand why they would say it, so myself and other prisoners must pick up the baton and run with it towards the finish line of change. It's time for me to step down from my podium speaking about subjects you already have a full understanding of, so in closing I thank you for all that you are doing for those of us behind prison walls and I look forward to hearing from you again.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Check out our campaign against control units for more information on the fight against these torture chambers filled with people on false gang validations.

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[Censorship] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 17]
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Activists in SHU Still Face Total Censorship

I want to send a fraternal embrace to everyone. I am writing from the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU). I write this letter in response to some stepped up repression that seems to have increased here starting last year in 2009. It is important to understand when these restrictions occur so as to see more broadly if such occurrences are random or a wider campaign. I have within the last year had "returned to sender" eight pieces of mail from MIM(Prisons). I was never notified from the prison, and I had no idea of these returns or rejections until MIM(Prisons) notified me of these refusals. I reach out to highlight this situation, this tragedy that is occurring to me so that these lessons may be used by a receptive ear, worked with in some way, and possibly overcome in the future.

Censorship exists, not censorship of some technological weapons or some type of recipe for a plague of sorts but censorship of ideas, banning of political theory that is not compliant with the state norm. I have always taken on legal battles, jailhouse lawyer activities, anything to right a wrong and resist an injustice system that was built on the land of my ancestors. For this prison resistance I am rewarded by the state with an aggressive push to keep excellent political theory from reaching me, from comrades being able to send a letter of encouragement or perhaps a book on political science.

I was receiving literature and Maoist books from MIM for several years while on the "mainline" general population and I delved into those works so many times that even though I am currently subjected to censorship of political correspondence from MIM(Prisons) I have a strong understanding of the society we live in and the need for political power. It is situations like what I am currently undergoing that really drive home the need to liberate oppressed nations. Here in the SHU, Raza cannot even learn or read about their ancient pre-Columbian languages as the state says this is gang related. Now political science, the ability to theorize and have ideas of a society outside of what currently exists, is denied us.

Occupation is done on many levels all over the world. In some countries occupation may be more subtle but if you look close enough the similarities are there. When the Japanese occupied Korea after the war the Korean language was banned; the Korean people could only speak Japanese. All Korean history and political literature outside Japanese imperialism was censored. We must learn from history; not just our specific history of our particular country of origin. A study of all histories will show that what is occurring here has occurred many times.

The situation in California prisons in particular should be noted and learned from; the censorship we are experiencing has been employed in years past. This targeting of political organizations has been seen and felt on many levels, but today's censorship comes at historic times. It is because contemporary ideas and revolutionary theory in general and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in particular is essential for future struggles and because of the current "awakening" of oppressed nations people in prisons that CDCR has begun a program of censorship particularly in its control units, i.e. SHUs where it is no coincidence that the most politically advanced are held captive. Getting the independent press, such as ULK, in the hands of the imprisoned masses is of extreme importance.

The people are fighting to educate the political prisoners, uplift the consciousness of prisoners, and bring politics to the prison houses nationwide, and build the prison base for revolution. At the same time the ruling class sees the 2+ million potentially revolutionary prisoners behind bars and knows that every prisoner who takes up the struggle for a better society is another addition to resist their program. They understand that prisoners in general are becoming radicalized yet they know they can't shut down all so called "freedom of the press," so they spend their time and resources on what they feel are their prime target group or persons of influence which are what they label the people held in control units. By doing so they are basically isolating these comrades from correspondence, political literature or study material of any sort, even of basic contact with comrades on the outside.

This is being done to dull or attempt to dull the revolutionary edge in the prison population, starting in SHUs and expecting this dullness to permeate the rest of the population. The need for people who still have the ability to receive any papers, newsletters or literature from MIM(Prisons) to do so is of utmost importance, with vigor and hunger as if you will never get the chance again because once in a SHU you will be censored. The need to support independent press like ULK is on top of the priority list and should be done financially or any other way. It is times like now that I appreciate a crisp uncut publication like ULK; when only watered-down periodicals are allowed to reach me I see how precious ULK is.

I am embarking on another legal battle for the censorship here in Pelican Bay and i encourage others to do the same. United we will overcome this battle.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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An All Points Bulletin from the Concrete Tombs of Pelican Bay

To my people of the free communities of Babylon, as of January 2006, a new phenomenon of fascism has been introduced into the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California via the creation of a new "Communications Management Unit" (e.g."C.M.U.") program (affecting Housing Units D1 thru D4). The disciples of Adolf Hitler (our kaptors) have taken the extremes of fascism to a whole new level!! The construction of Pelican Bay's "Communications Management Unit" program is a prototype of the models that have been created in Terre Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois of the Federal Prison System. Pelican Bay's new "Communications Management Unit" program has largely been kept secret from the free public, because the implementation of this C.M.U. program was done on an arbitrary & illegal basis, to where our fundamental constitutional protected human rights and freedoms (e.g. "speech, expression, association, etc.") are being violated without any cause for concern on their part. Normally, whenever there is a new program, policy, or rule change, the free public is made aware of it through the "Regulation and Policy Management Branch" (e.g. "Notice of Rule Change") as mandated per the "Administrative Procedure Act" (A.P.A.). But ask yourself this: "why all of the secrecy now, if this new C.M.U program is being implemented in accordance to law?"

But nonetheless, since January of 2006 Adolf Hitler's disciples (our kaptors) have begun rounding up prisoners in your atypical "slave catcher" fashion, and then began moving us into the new C.M.U. program without us prisoners ever being told, given a reason, or a notice, as to why we have been designated chosen to be housed in the new C.M.U. program. Neither were we accorded a hearing regarding our new classification & housing change. This act within itself has violated our substantive & procedural due process rights, as well as the equal protections of the law as warranted in Wolff v. McDonnell 418 U.S. 539 (1974); and C.C.R. Title 15 Section 3375. Months later, it was revealed to us prisoners the reasons for us being designated/chosen to be housed in the new C.M.U. program. It was because the Pelican Bay State Prison administrators felt we were "real gangstas" with influence in our alleged gang affiliations, to which we were supposedly utilizing to control, intimidate, and influence other prisoners so they could commit unlawful criminal acts on the behalf of that prison gang. But again, we prisoners were not allowed the ability to defend ourselves, as we were not provided with a hearing, or given notice about the wanton allegations being made against us. Meaning that these diabolical monsters are utilizing a "blanket approach" to charge/convict whomever, regardless of whether that prisoner has, or has not been previously found guilty in allegedly utilizing his influential ties to a prison gang, to control, intimidate, and influence other prisoners.

There are several notable contradictions that have become manifest within Pelican Bay's C.M.U. program that amount to First Amendment constitutional violations of speech, expression, association, etc. such as:

  1. Stopping & stealing all our incoming/outgoing mail under the false premise of us promoting gang activity;
  2. Arbitrarily charging/accusing our families, friends, and loved ones of being involved in & promoting unlawful criminal activities (e.g. "gang activity"), which is done as an intimidation tactic to subvert, disrupt, neutralize, & sabotage our relationships with the free communities;
  3. Any form of communication (e.g. "talking") between prisoners is automatically assumed to be a form of gang activity;
  4. Not according our families, friends, loved ones, or us prisoners a hearing, in instances when we are collectively charged/accused of being involved in our promoting gang activities; and
  5. Not reporting incidents of unlawful criminal activities (e.g. "gang activity") to the criminal & postal authorities as they are mandated to do whenever our mail is believed to be involved in unlawful criminal activities as is required, per. C.C.R. title 15 Section 3132(a.)

I could continue listing several more contradictions as it pertains to Pelican Bay's new C.M.U. program, but these five contradictions relate primarily to our current social conditions in the C.M.U. program. I have also written a couple of pamphlets entitled: "Resisting the Subversive Extremes of Political Persecution"; and "Evidence of Corruption, Genocide, & Neo-Colonialism within Pelican Bay's C.M.U.", and the secondary contradictions thereof. If interested, you may write to the following address to obtain a copy of these pamphlets:

ATTN: So. Chicago ABC Zine Distro
c/o Anthony Rayson
P.O. Box 721
Homewood, Ill. 60430

MIM(Prisons) adds: After overturning the illegal ban on MIM mail within the California prison system in late 2008, Pelican Bay began returning all mail from MIM once again in the middle of 2009. As this comrade points out there are no rights for the oppressed in amerika and the continued expansion of control units to repress the oppressed nations is the best example of this.

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[Political Repression] [Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Resisting the subversive extremes of political persecution

We, the new Afrikan Black prisoners who are being held captive in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in the state of Kalifornia, are currently being placed under siege and arbitrarily persecuted for our political beliefs. The means of political persecution that we are being subjected to is being perpetuated on multiple fronts by our kaptors, such as 1) The continued infringement upon our 1st amendment right to the freedom of political expression and political activity, 2) The continued criminalization of our political beliefs/viewpoints as allegedly being the expressed activity of promoting gang and criminal activity in the interest of a particular prison gang. These fascist pigs have been relentless in this area, in spite of the fact that time after time it has been proven that the content of the ideological political beliefs expressed are not advocating any form of violence or criminal activity, 3) subjecting us to round 'da clock cell searches, to where any and all New Afrikan revolutionary reading material (books/writings) is arbitrarily confiscated. In particular, as it related to materials that identify with the ideological principals of New Afrikan revolutionary nationalism or the honorable and beloved comrade George Jackson, 4) The confiscation of our outgoing/incoming mail that also advocated the ideological principles of our fallen comrade George Jackson, and 5) The accumulative effect from these subversive practices is that, the material is then used against us, in order to substantiate their arbitrary decision to keep us New Afrikan Black prisoners held indefinitely in the SHU.

Note, these factors are also utilized against us at our parole board hearings, in determining whether we are suitable for parole or not. And based on the arbitrary threshold of interpretation in identifying us as prison gang members on account of our political beliefs, being found suitable for parole is out of the question.

These fascist practices are continuing, with no means to an end in sight. And this is in spite of the fact that there have been several court rulings rendered forth in our favor, to where the courts have consistently stated: "George Jackson, and the ideological political beliefs of George Jackson do not constitute a material basis for a prisoner being involved in the promotion of criminal and gang activities…"

The most recent court ruling was rendered forth on June 15, 2005 by the Del Norte County Superior Court, Case No: HCPB-04-5054. The basis of litigation centered around the fact that Pelican Bay State prison officials had arbitrarily confiscated an incoming mail package that was being sent in from Santa Rosa Junior College (prisonerwriting.com). The incoming mail package contained a political science study manual that was put together by the personnel of George Jackson University. The following reasons were given as to why the incoming mail package was being disallowed: 1) The political science study manual contained the names of several validated prison gang members, 2) prison officials had deemed the address that the incoming mail package was being sent from to be a prison gang mail drop box, and 3) they had identified comrade George Jackson as being a prison gang member, in light of a photograph of George Jackson that was featured on the political science study manual. Prison officials went on to cite the following citations and provisions of the California Code of Regulations, as a basis to justify their confiscation of incoming mail: CCR, Title 15, Sections 3006(c)(16), 3023(a), 3136(a).

On June 15, 2005, the Del Norte County Superior Court, by way of an evidentiary hearing that was held, firmly disputed and disagreed with the reasons that Pelican Bay State Prison officials gave in confiscating and disallowing the incoming mail. In fact, the court went as far as to say that "the reasons that were given by Pelican Bay State Prison officials were exaggerated." And concluded that 1) the photograph of comrade George Jackson did not constitute the promotion of gang, criminal, or violent activities, as in the words of Pelican Bay's own gang specialist Devan Hawkes: George Jackson is a member of the Black liberation movement and not a validated prison gang member, and 2) the address on the incoming mail package was not a prison gang mail drop as alleged, but was in fact an address to an academic institution for higher learning (Santa Rosa Junior College). It should also be noted that three individual pages were withheld because the issue of prisoners having a fundamental constitutional 1st amendment right to the freedom of association was not raised. These three individual pages had the names of fellow New Afrikan Black political prisoners of war, to whom Pelican Bay prison officials have arbitrarily targeted/labeled as being members of a prison gang. I have since obtained a copy of the transcripts (partial) from this evidentiary hearing, which outlines the material facts of this court ruling.

Using our historical ideological line of struggle as our guide to understanding the true nature of these fascist pigs (prison officials), we should realize that these fascist pigs have never been bound to the obligation of upholding and abiding by any laws that are created by the U$ government that don't serve their own perverse interests, as defined by the corrupt and decadent nature of the social system of U$ imperialism.

With the prison industrial slave complex being an extended mechanism of oppression for the U$ government, the only applicable means of justice that can be realized is through the power of the people. So lets mobilize around this issue and do what is necessary in exposing the unjust and fascist nature of political persecution that we New Afrikan Black political prisoner of are being subjected to.

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[Censorship] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Censorship of outgoing mail at Pelican Bay

This initiative is being brought forth under the social principles of communal cooperative work. The focus point of this initiative is to combat an arbitrary policy that the Pelican Bay State Prison administrators have initiated, which essentially violates the constitutional 1st amendment right to the freedom of speech/expression, as warranted to the captive class of prisoners that is being held in the SHU (Security Housing Unit). On November 13, 2006, the Associate Warden Ms. C.M. Scavetta authorized a memorandum which mandates that: "all prisoners housed in the SHU shall have their outgoing mail stamped in big red letters (Pelican Bay SHU - Unit D3) on the outside of the envelope, as well as on every single page of the enclosed correspondence, or on the noted contents therein…such as; "drawings, cards, political writings being sent out for publication purposes etc…"

We prisoners firmly oppose this new arbitrary policy, in that it vandalizes, defaces, and undermines the essence of our 1st amendment right to the freedom of speech/expression. Furthermore, this practice is semblance to how the Nazi Germans branded (stamped) the Jews that were being held captive in their Nuremburg concentration slave kamps for purposes of social control and eventual extermination! So in the true spirit of communal cooperative work, we prisoners are requesting the community's support in the form of launching a "phone call/letter writing campaign" in opposition to this arbitrary policy/practice.

For those of you who may be entertaining thoughts of doubt as to why you should get involved in this initiative, my people you should try to understand that we prisoners are an extension of every poor and oppressed community out in Babylon. Meaning that we prisoners remain an integral part of the community that we were removed from, but also our families, friends, and loved ones are also affected by this repressive practice via the mail that we send to them as well. What if your loved one or family member had a very important message to get out to you, but when you received his letter, you were unable to read it on account of it being stamped (vandalized) in very big red letters?

It is a historical truth that repression breeds resistance, so let our call of resistance be echoed in the form of placing phone calls and writing letters to the warden and associate warden of this prison in the expressed form of opposition and to the illegality of this practice. It will also help if you would notify your local politicians and legislatures about this to encourage them to investigate this matter, and to send letters as well. Send your letters to the following address:

Pelican Bay State Prison
c/o Robert Horel, Warden
5905 Lake Earl Dr.
Crescent City, CA 95531

Or:
c/o Associate Warden C.M. Scavetta
same address as above
707-465-1000

MIM adds: in our short experience with this policy we can collaborate this prisoner's statement that the stamps on every page of every letter make SHU prisoner's mail very hard to read. Further, stamping artwork essentially ruins the art. This policy serves no purpose other than harassment of prisoner's and their correspondents.

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