Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Pelican Bay State Prison - Federal

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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.

[Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 78]
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CPF Demands Gov. Newsom Liberates Our Elders

Join MIM(Prisons), KAGE Universal, CPF and others at this forum in February

Recently a comrade from outside California wrote MIM(Prisons) to ask for an update on the leaders of the movement against solitary confinement because ey hadn’t heard anything about them recently. The below letter to CA Governor Newsom provides that update in the context of an ongoing agitational campaign.

While MIM(Prisons) supports the release of these elders, we focus our campaigning on the release of all people from long-term solitary confinement in line with the U.N. Mandela Rules. The decision to settle with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in the Ashker suit was a huge blow to this cause. While we don’t know what would have happened if the trial went to court, we knew and know exactly what a settlement would mean. Comrades in Texas and elsewhere should take a lesson from the leaders still sitting in solitary confinement in California a decade later. SHU/RHU/Control Units are torture! There is no acceptable outcome of our campaign against solitary confinement other than abolishing them completely.


California Prison Focus
KAGE Universal
4408 Market St., Ste. A
Oakland, CA 93608

Governor Newsom
1021 O Street, Suite 9000
Sacramento, CA 95814

March 18, 2022

RE: Liberate Our Elders

Dear Governor Newsom et al.,

California Prison Focus (CPF) and K.A.G.E. Universal are requesting your immediate action under the current humanitarian health crisis to investigate the ongoing retaliation being faced by the imprisoned human rights activists and members of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) who authored and honored the historic 2012 Agreement to End Hostilities (AEH), significantly reducing violence on California’s prison yards, and beyond. The Agreement to End Hostilities encourages conflict resolution and direct communication between races to counter violence between prisoner organizations. This opened the doors for the prison to begin providing a host of rehabilitative programs. Because of the sacrifices those individuals made, countless others have been saved from enduring decades-long solitary confinement torture as they did.

When these men, who had been tortured in solitary confinement for decades had attempted to disseminate and promote this historic accord, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) obstructed their efforts, claiming that the AEH qualifies as third-party communication. Staff members refused to post the statement throughout the prison, while during that same period, and since many years earlier, CPF was receiving reports that guards were placing “disruptive” individuals on the yards to instigate fights. [See Prison Focus archives, www.prisons.org]

“Mr. Y stated that some people try to sabotage it, namely the correctional officers, who continue to try to trick the general population with their anti-solidarity games…” Pelican Bay State Prison Report, PF Issue 48, Winter 2016

CDCR claimed that the signers of the AEH presented a major threat to the safety of the general prison population and in September 2013, there were approximately 3,881 prisoners in CDCR’s Security Housing Units (SHU) when the AEH had just been distributed inside CDCR and outside to civil society.

Approximately 2000 people were released from the SHU starting in early 2016 as a result of the Ashker v. Brown settlement agreement. When these older men came out of the SHUs, their principle thinking, and mentoring of younger prisoners in General Population yards created a dramatic decrease in violence, except when instigated directly or indirectly by prison policy and/or guards. To the contrary, as the men returned to the yards struggling to cope after decades of torture, they continued to promote and honor the AEH. Their commitment to non-violence and class unity among the SHU “kickouts” was even more remarkable as CDCR did nothing to assist SHU prisoners in transitioning to General Population even though it was extremely difficult for them after decades of being in solitary, living 24/7 in tiny cells with no natural light and under severe and harsh conditions.

CPF received reports and letters that the elders who were released from solitary confinement after so many decades were having a profound impact in reducing violence on the yards. At the same time CPF was receiving hundreds of letters a year, reporting incidents of violence that were directly or indirectly caused by both overt and covert actions taken by prison staff, sanctioned by the policy and prison administration of CDCR.

The signers by every organized group in CDCR, those who promulgated the AEH, and their fellow prisoner organizers of the California Prison Hunger Strikes, have been suffering from extreme retaliation ever since. Twelve of the original 16 signers continue to languish in prison today, as most of them are still being held in one form or another of solitary confinement. One organizer died before he was ever to see freedom. Others have received new and serious charges that are possibly retaliatory, so as not to disrupt CDCR’s false narratives that the organizers of the historical California Prison Hunger Strikes are the worst of the worst. And while studies claim that California faces a 66% recidivism rate, they continue to refuse to release these elders who pose a risk of less than 2%.

This constitutes a human rights crisis and we can no longer remain silent. We demand that the signers of the AEH, as well as for all organizers and participants of the California Prison Hunger Strikes, to be safe from retaliation, including further torture, isolation or, as laid out in the PHRM Blueprint, from being coerced, threatened and blackmailed to betray fellow prisoners with false accusations. We demand that the signers of the AEH be granted 2933 credits, based on the attached Certificate of Acknowledgment, to reduce or modify their sentences, and receive an immediate opportunity to demonstrate their readiness to return to their communities, starting with the individuals who have already had a positive impact on their community and society and would clearly have an even greater positive impact they will have on society as a whole if released.

In addition, the PEACE program that has already been established at Pelican Bay State Prison joins CPF and KAGE Universal to request that the AEH be posted throughout all CDCR institutions, using Inmate Welfare Funds.

Sincerely,

Kim Pollak, California Prison Focus, Executive Director
Minister King X, K.A.G.E. Universal, Founder, Executive Director
California Prison Focus, Director of Culture and Art

Cc: Kathleen Allison, CDCR Secretary
    Signers of the Agreement to End Hostilities
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[Control Units] [Revolutionary History] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 78]
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Rest in Power: Principal Thinker, Peace Maker, New Afrikan Revolutionary Paul Redd

Paul Redd memorial
Memorial for Paul Redd in Oakland, California

As comrades in Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere took action to protest long-term solitary confinement and mass incarceration this Juneteenth, we lost a leader in the struggle against solitary confinement and oppression in all forms in California. Paul Redd passed away on 19 June 2022. His funeral was July 9th in Oakland, Calfornia.

Redd was a New Afrikan Revolutionary, an author, and a principal thinker behind the development of the 2012 Agreement to End Hostilities(AEH) across California prisons. The AEH preceded an historical campaign against Security Housing Units(SHU) that included the largest prison hunger strikes in history.

Statement from Paul Redd’s family

“Paul Redd left us on Juneteenth. A hero to so many, he was loved by so many communities: from his childhood friends in Oakland, to his family who has always been with him, to decades-long friendships from the inside, to the many friends he made in his two years home after 44 years of wrongful incarceration, including 30 in solitary. He will be remembered for his infinite love, his courage, strength, generosity, hope, his poetry, and passion for justice. We love you Paul!”

Words from Redd’s comrades:

“Paul Redd’s passing is heartfelt for many as he was a staunch advocate of Black Love and Solidarity. His dedication and commitment to freedom of himself and other prisoners made him a target of the State and thereby a political prisoner. I spent prison time with Paul in Tracy and San Quentin, and know of his years of selfless service in the Black Guerrilla Family. As a soldier for the liberation of his people, he will be sorely missed in the field of battle opposing white supremacy and the tyranny of capitalism-imperialism. Paul, I salute you!!!” – Jalil Muntaqim

"He taught honor and respect to so-called thugs and ‘hood niggas’ and showed them how to respect and give concern for each other in such a way, thereby the world would come to respect and honor them. He also taught them to be young Lions and soldiers for all seasons. I was one of those young soldiers that he taught. And I was one of those young warriors that had grown with the example that he gave me. I stand now as an eternal witness to the teachings that this Brotha imparted to me, the political education. He taught me to refuse. He showed and taught me how to stand and not bend, buck or bow before the murderers who held us captive in Amerikkka’s concentration camps.

“…This Brotha, his spirit lives forever. I’m Brotha Balagoon Kambone, a Brotha and a friend.”

see more here: Friends and Comrades of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement, 27 June 2022, “Songs of tribute to Paul Redd, home with the ancestors”, The San Francisco Bay View, Vol 47, No 7.

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[Control Units] [New Afrika] [K.A.G.E. Universal] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 77]
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Liberate Our Elders Event Unites Inside & Out

19 February 2022 – K.A.G.E. Universal and Hella Positive hosted an event featuring the voices of New Afrikan elders as part of the campaign to Liberate Our Elders from the cages of the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation(CDCr). As the comrades say, little “r”, because there is no rehabilitation, and rehabilitation must come from within.

At this event MIM(Prisons) shared copies of our new pamphlet, A Revolutionary 12 Step Program, in the spirit of supporting self-transformation via independent institutions of the oppressed. We also joined K.A.G.E. Universal in promoting the United Front for Peace in Prisons, as they work to expand the message of independent peace building behind bars and in local schools in Oakland.

The event brought together many outside activists and organizations and the voices of New Afrikan principal thinkers from the Pelican Bay SHU who are now on the streets as well as some still imprisoned. Speakers included imprisoned elder Sitawa, one of the main reps during the historic California hunger strikes, and Paul Redd who is now released. Louis Powell’s voice was also heard through the reading of his new book, Chronicles of a Prison Dirty War: California Prison Politics.

In the closing of the event, Minister King X pointed out that these elders are “walking dictionaries,” and the state is “trying to eradicate our history.”

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[Abuse] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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More Petty Retribution in Pelican Bay Following Ashker Settlement

I have been unable to respond promptly due to various things happening here in the SHU. For example, based on the settlement agreement a lot of people are going up for committee and getting kicked back out to the mainline.

Well it seems these pigs aren't liking the settlement and have instituted a mass search from block to block. Mines was hit a few weeks back and to appease their anger/or retribution almost all radios and CD players were confiscated with the excuse of gluing shut the battery console or the security tape/seal is in the wrong place or tampered with therefore rules violation reports (RVRs) were issued out! The same with certain TVs!

Yeah things took a turn where petty nit-picking was given a new meaning. My circumstances were just as bad. After my whole pod was pulled out and placed in visiting rooms to await our pod search for nearly 5 hours. We were escorted back only for some to find total disarray in our cells, confiscated radios for similar reasons as explained above and I noticed my TV was damaged I brought to the supervising sgt attention who was willing to have my TV repaired until I mention the pig who searched my cell must of did something foul for which he immediately flipped the script and attempted to accuse me of damaging my own TV to gain something from CDCR. This blatant denial of the obvious was in attempts to have me react negatively to get sprayed out. For which I didn't, due to my placement that same day for transfer it didn't seem like a wise decision.

This just goes to show how CDCR behaves when pressure is put on them to change their policies of unconstitutional practices. Recently I have mentioned that while people have been getting kicked out the SHU their cells have been left vacant. This still holds true as of me writing this. The pigs are beginning to fill up empty cells on the lower tier with prisoners from upper tier whether it's same pod or not, my pod is currently full because of people form other pods moving in. We inquired as to when more people will drive up and we were told until whole tiers are left vacant. An ambiguous response as there's at least 3 pods with up to 5 or less people. 2 pods have no one on upper tier. So I'm not sure in what direction the SHU is heading or what purpose it will serve in the near future? While the big search on our block the sergeant actually told a whole pod that this will become common practice due to training COs and maintaining their employment for our releases will make their jobs obsolete in the SHU. The veracity of this pig's tirade is plausible yet we've heard other rumors for our blocks search/raid the underlying issue is the pigs are seeking retribution and looking for anything to write us up for.

I didn't get hit with a RVR as the pigs raiding my cell damaged my TV (intentionally or accidentally) is questionable, although I had to file a 602 and the outcome is yet to come at my new facility.

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[Control Units] [Organizing] [Hunger Strike] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 46]
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Torture Continues: CDCR Settlement Screws Prisoners

CA UFPP

It's been over a week since we got the news on the settlement of Ashker v. Brown.(1) For a case that is so central to what we do as an organization we've taken our time to respond. We've read and re-read the legal documents and listened to the celebratory news coverage of the settlement. Yet our reaction remains the same, deep disappointment.

The settlement is a victory for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and it knocks out one of the three main legs of the campaign to shut down the SHU — the courts (the other two being public opinion and prisoners organized around their own interests). This case had a lot of the known anti-isolation lawyers and some influential long-time SHU prisoners behind it. It was an alliance that will be tough to beat any time soon.

The Maoist Internationalist Movement, along with many other organizations, has spent decades campaigning for the end to long-term isolation in U.$. prisons. We have long countered the public who question us with, "what is your proposed alternative?" with the simple answer, "not torturing people." Ending long-term isolation in U.$. prisons would be a simple reform that unites the lowest common denominator of prison reformers. Almost everyone agrees we should end torture, and that is reflected in the ongoing movement to do so. It is only the fascist-leaning cop-lovers and state bureaucrats that oppose the call. Actually, in many states the state bureaucrats support ending long-term isolation.

Yet through all the years of struggle here in California, somehow the CDCR has succeeded in painting the ending of torture as the extreme option, with the recent settlement as the sensible compromise. But they are wrong: the extreme option is overthrowing the state and replacing it with one run by the oppressed, where the real killers and exploiters are imprisoned and taught how to live collectively with other humyn beings, not thrown in isolation. Ending torture in prisons is the most basic, sweeping reform that would actually improve the conditions in U.$. prisons.

According to the New York Times, prison directors have become more supportive of reducing the use of solitary confinement after a man who spent 8 years in isolation was released in 2013 and went to the house of Colorado's prison chief, Tom Clements, and shot him dead.(2) Yet reducing the number of people in long-term isolation only serves to extend the life of its practice as it affects less people and there is less outrage. This reduction also suggests that some people still deserve to be tortured. That is why MIM(Prisons) has never supported measures to get only certain groups out of long-term isolation.

The Ashker settlement has been heralded as "effectively ending indefinite long-term solitary confinement" and "setting strict limits on the prolonged isolation of inmates." Yet in the actual settlement we read,

"CDCR shall not house any inmate within the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison for more than 5 continuous years. Inmates housed in the Pelican Bay SHU requiring continued SHU placement beyond this limitation will be transferred from the Pelican Bay SHU to another SHU facility within CDCR, or to a 180-design facility at Pelican Bay. Inmates who have previously been housed in the Pelican Bay SHU for 5 continuous years can only be returned to the Pelican Bay SHU if that return has been specifically approved by the Departmental Review Board and at least 5 years have passed since the inmate was last transferred out of the Pelican Bay SHU."

That's it! That's the extent of the "strict" limitations on long-term isolation in California. So if you're in another SHU, or Ad-Seg or some other unnamed long-term isolation situation, which about 14,000 of the over 15,000 in isolation in California are, there are no limits.(3) If you're in Pelican Bay you must move to another SHU after 5 years. Five years later you can come back. Alternatively, you could spend 4.5 years in Pelican Bay, 2 months out, then go in for another 4.8 years, and on like that for the rest of your life. Does this really address the Eighth Amendment claim by the plaintiffs of cruel and unusual punishment? The length often cited for having serious mental affects on humyns is in the range of 15 to 30 days!

Now with the new Step Down Program prisoners are supposed to have a way to return to "a general population setting within three or four years." So the class of prisoners being represented in this case, those who have been in the SHU for ten or more continuous years, are being addressed adequately according to those who agreed to this settlement. But even moving forward there are exceptions for Administrative SHU Status, allowing people to be held as long as CDCR deems necessary.

There is one progressive concession given in the settlement: "CDCR shall not place inmates into a SHU, Administrative Segregation, or Step Down Program solely on the basis of their validation status." Additionally, "CDCR shall modify its Step Down Program so that it is based on the individual accountability of each inmate for proven STG [security threat group] behavior, and not solely on the inmate's validation status or level of STG affiliation." Finally, as a result of an ending to the indeterminate SHU sentences for prisoners "validated" as members of prison gangs, in the next year "CDCR shall review the cases of all validated inmates who are currently in the SHU as a result of... an indeterminate term that was previously assessed under prior regulations..."

This addresses the Fourteenth Amendment claim that the CDCR was violating due process with the validation system and the use of group punishment, at least somewhat. As we saw a couple years ago, the new STG policy actually opened up STG charges to a wider range of organizations than was covered by the previous validation system. The supposed upside is that the rules require actual STG behavior by the individual to justify placing someone in SHU, not just association. Yet, in the new SHU Term Assessment Chart we see that "Recruiting inmates to become an STG affiliate" is a SHU punishable offense.

As mentioned above, this settlement seems to eliminate the judicial strategy of ending solitary confinement in California for the near future. But it also strikes a huge blow against the strongest leg we have to stand on, the collective organizing of prisoners. Turns out, under the settlement you can expect to spend 12 months in SHU for "Leading a disturbance, riot or strike", and 6 months for "participation in a disturbance, riot or strike" or "Inciting conditions likely to threaten institution security" (for those not aware, the latter was a common charge made against those who peacefully refused food in recent years to protest long-term isolation in California prisons).

They are outlawing peaceful protest, and non-violent, passive resistance for the prison movement. Amerikans criticize other countries that torture people for peacefully protesting the government that is abusing and, well, torturing them. How is it that leaders in the prison movement have signed on to this?

As we have previously reported, the new STG policies still give prisoners points for things like tattoos, greeting cards and talking to certain individuals. So it is not really true that you can no longer be punished for affiliation. Abolishing this practice was part of the 2nd demand of the hunger strikes.

As a result of reviews (which were mostly underway before this settlement anyway) we have a number of comrades who are getting out of the SHU right now, without having to debrief (snitch). This will no doubt be a positive thing, as we expect many of them will stay politically active in their new locations where they will have more opportunities to reach out to others. Yet at the same time we've already seen the next generation of prison leaders going to the SHU. It seems that the youngsters are getting thrown under the bus here.

So this is a wake up call to those not yet in the SHU. In July 2013, 30,000 prisoners stood up against long-term isolation, recognizing their common interests in this demand, even though most of them were not housed in isolation themselves. This was an amazing demonstration that epitomizes the progress made over the last 5 years or so to consolidate the prison movement in California. This continues to be celebrated in the form of the Agreement to End Hostilities and the countless commemorations taking place today, September 9th, in the spirit of peace and solidarity in commemoration of the Attica uprising.

As this settlement was released, public statements from CDCR celebrated it as a continuation of their plan to reform the system after the SHU successfully broke the prison gangs that had taken over. Yeah right. These prison gangs were encouraged by the state who teamed up with white nationalist prisoners to oppress New Afrikans, and later enforced the north/south divide on the [email protected] nation. The continuation of and expansion of united action around the Agreement to End Hostilities is crucial to preventing the CDCR from returning to that status quo.

Leading up to the recent settlement we had one comrade building for a new wave of hunger strikes. As this settlement does not address the most important of the 5 Core Demands, ending conditions of isolation for all prisoners, this call remains valid. And while we've always warned comrades to build outside support for such actions, one lesson we can take from California is that such actions must be organized on the inside. Even California Prison Focus, who has been visiting prisoners in the SHU for decades, and who has lawyers with privileged access to their clients, was in the dark during the hunger strikes until the CDCR decided to pull in outside mediators. As always, MIM(Prisons) is committed to supporting the organization of prisoners and fighting to defend the First Amendment rights of prisoners (and ourselves) of speech and association. The ending of a policy that allows the state to torture people for belonging to certain organizations was a blow against the excessively repressive policies of the CDCR in relation to the First Amendment. With this settlement we find California in a similar situation to most of the rest of the country, where torture continues to be the method of choice for population control of the oppressed who do not walk in step with the oppressor.

And so, the struggle continues. Until solitary confinement is abolished, shutting down control units will be a central campaign for MIM(Prisons) and United Struggle from Within.

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[United Front] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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End to Hostilities Holding, September 9th Plans Small

As we're all aware, in order for the end to hostilities to become a reality, all prisoners should promote it or encourage it to other prisoners who are just arriving to the system. In my location (Pelican Bay SHU), all have adhered to "ending hostilities" even though it's been evident the pigs have tried to crack it by putting certain prisoners in compromising circumstances, such as opening the wrong cell when one comes back from yard. It's done in a manner that's obvious. I've witnessed this happen at least 3 times in a year, but with no incidents as all are adhering to the End of Hostilities!

Now that a federal oversight to release SHU prisoners from indefinite solitary confinement has been implemented we can only anticipate CDCR to create scenarios where prisoners will be placed in vulnerable or compromising circumstances in order to report incidents to the federal courts to justify their need for suppression. Over 1100 prisoners have been reported to have been kicked out from solitary confinement, yet the proposed actions will be of releasing many into small units or yards of their own just like main lines, but integrated with validated released SHU prisoners.

The news is fairly new, but what we know is that we're all being released and there is now a time limit on how long we can be housed in solitary confinement! All was made possible through a collective effort and peace building!

Although September 9th is a historical day in prison history in California prisons, we now have a July 8th where we can reflect on to see our efforts transcend expectations.

To sum up in my area the end to hostilities is adhered to and a lot of class conscious conversations are constantly being addressed. Everything pertaining to prisoner rights to the abolishment of solitary confinement is a hot topic where ideas are matched, debates and polemics are welcomed with respect. Our lives are affect by all our actions. It just helps more when we're all on the same page. I cannot say that a grand meeting will be held on September 9th or anything else as we do have class consciousness, but not all are receptive to political/revolutionary discussions and being that my unit is very small, I will probably be the only one participating in a solidarity fast on September 9th. My revolutionary solidarity goes out to all other USW comrades.

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 47]
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"New" Torture Tactics at Pelican Bay

SolitaryIsTorture
I want to inform you about a new torture tactic being used here in the Security Housing Units (SHU). Since August 3 [2 weeks ago] the staff have been doing what has been termed "security/welfare checks" which entails staff walking by every prisoner's cell every 30 minutes 24/7 and pressing a button that has been installed next to our cells. Due to the design of the SHU the sound everyone and everything makes is louder than it should be and at night we are woken up every thirty minutes due to staff opening/closing the pod door, which is extremely loud, stomping up the stairs to the top tier and back down, and making a loud bang sound when hitting the button next to our cells as they are hitting metal on metal.

During the day it's the same thing except the wand makes a high-pitch beeping sound when hitting the button. So 24/7 it's non-stop excessive noise that doesn't allow us to sleep longer than 30 minutes without being woken up. I feel like I'm living in a dream 24/7 as I'm always stirred and feeling the effects of being denied sleep and not being able to go through my normal sleep cycles. Anyone with common sense can see this is cruel and unusual punishment. The ironic thing is staff say it's to prevent suicides. Yeah let's make a bunch of excessive noise all day and night and not let anyone sleep longer than 30 minutes at any given time, that should prevent suicides. If it's driving relatively stable prisoners crazy I'm sure it's pushing those with mental health issues over the edge.

Also by doing this, even though it's misguided and unnecessary, the CDCR is admitting that the SHU makes people more likely to commit suicide if they need to check on everyone every 30 minutes. I have filed an administrative appeal on this to have it stopped or modified and plan to file a lawsuit if we are not allowed to sleep normally again. In the mean time I'm writing friends/family to call the prison/CDCR head quarters and complain about this, and I'm writing all prison organizations and public servants to make them aware of this new form of torture being conducted.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This sleep deprivation torture tactic has been reported on from San Quentin for some time, and we recently received word from a comrade on pending litigation on this issue:

"I am challenging a blatantly obvious psychological torture program put in play by Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of the gulag system in California, as a payback to the SHU guys for the hunger strikes. The CDCR had to throw us, death row, under the bus too, to make it less obvious who the target really is.

"There is a program whereby they come and shine lights in eyes, bang and yell, using a 'beeper' stick to hit the cell tray slots, every 20 to 30 minutes, all day and night.

"In my moving papers I proved it is utterly pointless as stated, as a suicide prevention program. Anyone knows you can commit suicide during the half hour between walks, and also in our unit it takes them over 20 added minutes to get the keys, get shields, and race in and pounce on a guy hanging by the neck. It is specious.

"So I filed saying this is far too onerous to be a mere act of stupidity, it is a malicious torture of the SHU units only (including PSU, psych wards, all lock-up units). If this does not cause suicide, what would? Ha!"

This latest tactic of inhumane sleep deprivation reinforces our point that the settlement of the Ashker v. Brown lawsuit will do nothing to end torture in California prisons. As the comrade above points out, this is not rogue COs, this is facility policy. We received reports over a year prior about the new Guard One torture program. As one comrade pointed out at the time, most deaths in cells are due to medical neglect.

Calling this a "new tactic" is a bit of a misnomer. This same exact system of "security checks" every 30 minutes has been used in recent history in Texas and North Carolina. Though in these cases they seemed more targeted, and the comrade in North Carolina grieved the abuse and won. In fact, this type of sleep deprivation dates back more than 50 years when prisoners suffered similar conditions in Walpole, Massachusetts. All these examples go to show that the system is inherently oppressive, and only by overthrowing imperialism will we ever begin to see humane treatment of prisoners.

We view the latest behavior by guards at Pelican Bay as a form of retaliation against the prisoners held in SHU, to show them who is in charge and that torture is alive and well in spite of the "successful" settlement. Exposing this consistent mistreatment of prisoners in California is a must to counter the narrative that the modern prison movement has succeeded in transforming the CDCR, or the conditions they submit their prisoners to, in any way.

The acute threat of this form of torture requires an immediate response.

A concerted effort has been taken up by a number of groups supporting the California prison movement to contact the warden to demand an end to this torture.

Write to:
Warden Clark E. Ducart
Pelican Bay State Prison
P.O. Box 7000
Crescent City, CA 95531-7000
email: [email protected]
call: (707) 465–1000 ext. 9040

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[Censorship] [Political Repression] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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W.L. Nolen Mentorship Progam Cited as Gang Material

Know Your Role

Community Bulletin from the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement - First Amendment Campaign

This bulletin is to alert and update the community on the current fascist offensive that is being waged by one sadistic pig named S. Burris of the Pelican Bay State Prison - Prison Intelligence Unit (aka IGI). Officer S. Burris is going through some very drastic measures to try and criminalize the W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program (WLNMP). This is typical of any fascist!

For example, within the WLNMP's Mission Statement, it states that our objective is to provide the community with alternatives to joining gangs, along with tools of violence prevention and intervention. Only a complete idiot would insist that this constitutes gang activity!

Officer S. Burris is attacking the WLNMP, not because we're involved in criminal activities, no! The WLNMP has been placed under attack because it possesses the potential of educating and unifying the oppressed masses to their real purpose in life. And this truth makes the WLNMP a viable threat to the prescribed social order of U.$. capitalism.

I have provided the community with factual evidence, wherein the courts have determined that George Jackson and W.L. Nolen were not Black Guerilla Family "prison gang members." They were actually members of the Black Liberation Movement. To receive a copy of this documentation, write to the below address and ask for the Request for Judicial Notice dated February 24, 2014 in the legal case of Marcus L. Harrison v. S. Burris, et al. - Case No: C-13-2506.

Attn: Central Texas ABC
c/o John S. Dolley
PO Box 7187
Austin, TX 78713

In the month of April 2014, I was issued four Stopped Mail Notices and one CDC 115 Rules Violation Report for communications relating to the WLNMP. For example, a comrade of the Maoist Internationalist Movement has contributed to the WLNMP by typing some of our study documents. I personally wrote these study documents and sent it to our MIM comrade via regular mail, but when s/he attempted to send me a copy it was disallowed on the grounds that W.L. Nolen and George Jackson are "prison gang members."

In conclusion, it must be noted that this contradiction is a continued manifestation of the Dred Scott court decision from 1857, wherein the U.$. Congress announced to the world:

"The negro lies so far below whites on the scale of created beings that they have no rights that whites are bound to respect."

We New Afrikans have committed to absolving ourselves from this contradiction via our collective efforts to restore and protect our human rights with the creation of the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement - First Amendment Campaign. We urge the community to get involved and check out our mission statement in the SF Bayview.


Dare 2 Struggle!
Dare 2 Win!

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[Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 37]
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Pelican Bay SHU Update, Small Progress After Hunger Strike

I want to give you some updates on some new developments around here. In the last couple of months here in the PBSP SHU we are now being given more privileges. We are now allowed 3 hour visits and the items/property that we may buy and possess was expanded so that we can now have 40 pictures, up from the previous allowed 15 pictures, we can have a bowl and cup, slippers/houseshoes, jalapeños, hot sauce, 2 pairs of sweats and thermals and two appliances, and others have already received a CD player/tape player for the radio. So it just goes to show that there was no reason to deny us such things in the first place.

Also, on 11 February 2014 Assembly Member Tom Ammiano introduced Assembly Bill No. 1652, which if passed and signed into law would limit the time validated inmates would spend in the SHU solely based on validation status to 36 months. It would also allow validated prisoners to earn and receive good time credits again. Write to: Legislative Bill Room, State Capitol, Room B22, Sacramento, CA 95814, and request a copy of the bill, or have someone on the outside go to www.leginfo.ca.gov.

Lastly, a new favorable validation case came out last year: In RE Cabrera, 216 CAL. APP. 4th 1522 C CAL. APP. 5th Dist. 2013. There's some good news but let's not get comfortable as we have a long way to go to abolish solitary confinement. Getting Assembly Bill No. 1652 passed would be a big step in the right direction, so get involved in any way you can and spread the word.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We've said before that you can't reform torture. California Assembly Bill No. 1652 would certainly improve individuals' lives by shortening the length of torture they face. But the state will still be terrorizing prisoners with the threat of 3 years in isolation for talking to people the state doesn't like or sporting a tattoo they find offensive or being a member of an organization they are opposed to.

The In RE Cabrera on Habeas Corpus case may make it a little harder for the CDCR to torture people for just a tattoo as it requires that one piece of evidence used to label a prisoner a Security Threat Group member must prove a two-way relationship between the prisoner and the group. Still, the process of "validation" using secret evidence remains in place making it hard for SHU prisoners to even know if this case applies to them.

As this comrade says, we still have a long way to go to abolish solitary confinement. But the progress in terms of organizing and building an opposition to this blatant torture and social control shows that the oppressed will not put up with this forever. Once a symbol of the state's strength over the oppressed, the torture kkkamps across the United $tates are becoming a point of weakness that exposes its oppressive nature while rallying resistance to its repression.

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[Hunger Strike] [Political Repression] [California State Prison, Corcoran] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 35]
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Response in California a Hypocritical Farce

The battle against torture in California prisons is heading for a breaking point with unity running high among prisoners and resistance to change stiffening within the state. Since the third round of strikes ended in early September the promised state legislature hearing around the Security Housing Units (SHU) occurred and Pelican Bay SHU representatives met with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials. Yet the actions taken by the state in response to the protests have been the same old political repression that the SHU was created to enforce, not ending conditions of torture. One comrade from Corcoran reports:

I read in your latest publication that you guys hadn't had any news of the concessions Corcoran SHU made in order to bring our hunger strike to an end. For the most part, the demands made here are not even worth articulating, as they don't incorporate, in any way, the push towards shutting these human warehouses down completely.

The demands put forth here are simple creature comforts, which have not even been met by the administration, to pacify those who seem to have accepted these conditions of confinement.

Worse than the petty reforms, is the blatant political repression of strikers just as the world's attention is on them. The state knows that if it can get away with that now, then it has nothing to worry about. As another comrade from Corcoran SHU reports:

I stopped eating state food on 8 July 2013 and as a retaliatory measure I and a bunch of other prisoners were transferred from the Corcoran SHU to the Pelican Bay SHU. Only the thing is, when we got to Pelican Bay on 17 July 2013 we were placed in the ASU instead of the SHU, which made it so that we would have a lot less privileges and we couldn't even get a book to read. So we were just staring at the wall. On 5 August 2013 others and myself were moved to the SHU where we were again just staring at the wall. On 7 September 2013 we were again moved back to the ASU to sit there with nothing. On 24 September 2013 I was moved back to the SHU and I just received all my property last week.

So we were moved around and denied our property for 3 months or more. But that seems to be it right now and I can finally settle in. But I'm telling you that was a long 3 months. Other than that no new changes or anything else has happened around here. I did, however, receive a 115 rules violation report for the hunger strike, along with everyone else who participated, and in it it charges that I hunger striked as part of some gang stuff so it was gang activity. This is ironic since the hunger strike was about the CDCR misusing the validation process and what is considered gang activity. So now that 115 can and will be used as a source item of gang activity to keep me in the SHU longer.

While that comrade was sent to Pelican Bay, our comrade below is being "lost" in Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP). Organizing in California has gotten so advanced that the CDCR is moving people out of Administrative Segregation to isolate them. But with a third of the people actively participating in protests, there is no way for them to brush this movement under the rug.

I am writing to say that it's been over 5 weeks since our peaceful protest was suspended. I am a petitioner in the Corcoran Administrative Segregation Unit 2011 strike and am a participant and a petitioner in this 8 July 2013 one. I have been moved around and retaliated against. I went from ASU-1 to Cor 3B02 on 24 July 2013. I was moved back to ASU-1 on 16 August 2013 and then on 19 August 2013 I was moved to where I am currently housed in isolation with no access to anything although I am not "EOP." I am being housed against my will and the correctional officers here tell me I don't belong here but that they can't do anything because it's above their pay level. No one seems to know anything about why I am being housed here but all come to the same conclusion: that someone above them has me housed here. I'd like to know if there is anyone out there that you may have heard of that find themselves in similar situations or am I the only one?

We haven't heard anything yet. But don't let their games get to you comrade.

Another indication of the strength of change in California comes from a story being circulated by representatives of the Pelican Bay Short Corridor Collective. Multiple versions have been circulating about a historic bus ride where these "worst of the worst" from "rival gangs" were left unshackled for an overnight bus ride. It was reported that not one of the O.G.'s slept a wink that night, but neither did any conflicts occur. At least some of these men self-admittedly would have killed each other on sight in years past.(1) This amazing event symbolizes the extent to which this has become about the imprisoned lumpen as a whole, and not about criminal interests.

The CDCR keeps telling the public that they are instituting reforms, while in reality they are torturing people for being "gang members" for reasons such as protesting torture. Outside supporters can up the pressure to end this system of repression by letting them know that we know what they're doing, that their words mean nothing, and that going on hunger strike is not a crime. There is a campaign to call the CDCR out on their hypocrisy by contacting:

M.D. Stainer, Director
Division of Adult Institutions
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento CA. 94283
(916) 445-7688
[email protected]

Those on the outside who want to do more after they make their phone call should contact MIM(Prisons) at our new email address.

As we reiterated last issue, it is prisoners who determine the fate of the prison movement. And the only way prisoners can actually win is by building independent power. As long as this is a campaign for certain reforms, the state will go back to business as usual as soon as the outside attention fades. Torture cannot be reformed, and neither can an exploitative economic system that demands it. Of course prisoners can't end imperialism alone, but wherever we are we must focus on building cadre level organizations that can support independent institutions of the oppressed.

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