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Under Lock & Key

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[Political Repression] [Abuse] [California] [ULK Issue 7]
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Who are the Real Gangs?

I have been accused of this gang allegation but actually it is the prison guards at the prison, especially ISU and IGI, who are a gang, always oppressing and beating people up at their desire. I’m not sure if you have heard about how ISU operates at this place. In an attempt to catch prisoners off guard when they’re about to search for contraband, they rush into buildings and go straight to specific cells with huge pepper spray canisters on hand. When they reach their target they first start emptying out their canisters at the occupants inside, then ask questions later.

Now, when they do these raids they’re not supposed to enter the cells, but wait until the prisoners themselves put their hands out through the food port to be handcuffed or get down prone on the floor. Then they can open the door and pull them out. (They are not supposed to even use their pepper spray cans unless somebody’s safety is at risk or in immediate danger but they do it anyway.) This is a CDC policy throughout California’s prison system but it’s not what they do at this prison.

Right here they just barge in and after beating down the prisoners and cuffing them up, they literally drag them out of the cell. Also, while they’re restraining them, they always yell out loud for everybody to hear “stay down, quit resisting!” when they’re not resisting, in an effort to excuse their excessive use of force.

Later on you can hear them bragging about their abusive actions or making fun of how the prisoners were screaming. Needless to say, at the time they file their reports they always omit the part where they barge into the cells and beat down the prisoners. This is exactly what happened to me and my cell mate at the time back in December 2007, but when I filed a formal complaint against ISU they shot me down saying I took too long, that I only had 15 days to file.

The fact is, I did take longer than 15 days. It was several months actually. However, the appeals coordinator has the discretion to accept a late filing on a showing of good cause. When I explained my reasons (fear of retaliation, among other things) they simply responded that my appeal had been reviewed by the chief deputy warden in accord with AB05/03, and further suggested that I “research this in the law library” knowing full well that prisoners in ASU do not have law library access unless they have a court ordered deadline. Just another form of oppression by higher ups…who is actually the gang in this picture?

But they want to cover up their wrongful acts by locking us away indefinitely, in spirit breaking lockup units until we parole, die or become snitches. The worst part of all is that the so-called gang allegation doesn’t even have to be proven at all. All they need is “some evidence,” under their own standards, which they often fabricate. Or like in my case, use someone else’s on somebody they want to get rid of for any reason. It’s a convenient tactic they have been using for many years and since it has given them results, it doesn’t seem like they will be changing their ways any time soon.

This article referenced in:
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[Abuse] [Cameron County Detention Center] [Texas]
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No Rehab in Texas

I am currently at Cameron County Texas Jail/Detention Center. There are more prisoners here than this facility is equipped to hold, making it harder for many by having to sleep on the floor. The water is terrible and I believe it has added bleach and/or salt. The food is lousy and even when the food is decent we always get a small serving. We are made to pay taxes even though we're in prison and when we complain we're told that the citizens are paying for our food and housing. When I mention that I too pay taxes I am laughed at or mocked. We are denied a special diet tray for religious purposes and for vegetarians, etc. There are no rehabilitation programs and the community complains when so many prisoners come back again and again.

Here the mail officer censors whatever he wants, it is at their discretion to deny anything: letters, photos, books, etc. Worse yes, there is no appeal process in place to fight this, this is a violation of our prisoner's rights. Though we are incarcerated, we do not cease to have rights, though they are less. I have brought some issues up to the Texas Jail Standards (where complaints are sent for Texas jails only) and they seem to go with whatever is decided in the facilities.

I have seen officers mace a guy more than once when there was no need to, and use force excessively to take their anger out for having to get up out of their chairs and do some work. Here it is mostly a sitting job except for those bringing and taking out people to wherever they need to go. This does not help to rehabilitate and that was what I thought these kinds of places were for.

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[Organizing] [New York] [ULK Issue 7]
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An Interview with Mfalme Sikivu, Executive Minister of UFD

Ujamaa Field Dyansty Emblem
UFD stands for the Ujamaa Field Dynasty. This article describes more of what it's all about. MIM(Prisons) solicited contributions for this Peace Issue of ULK from many comrades both in prison and out. We are aware of many efforts to make peace and take on the real correctional tasks that none of the capitalist run "DOC"s seem capable of or interested in. UFD stands out among these projects as it is explicitly part of the anti-imperialist United Front. This is so important, because ultimately we know there can be no peace without an end to oppression and injustice. We also know that capitalism only benefits the worlds minority, most of whom live in the imperialist countries. All the job training programs in the world can't change the fact that capitalism requires a concentration of capital that sucks every resource it can from the majority of the world.

Q. How would you describe UFD, what is its purpose?

A. I describe UFD as it states in our code, “…a counter-gang of ex-gangbangers, ex-hustlers, ex-prisoners and prisoners, and youth committed to collectively raising up each other to become conscious and prosperous New Afrikans.” Our purpose is stated in our mission, “[t]o serve as a positive and constructive alternative to gangs street and prison life, especially for our youth, who we focus on bringing into our movement through UFD, and to build a brotherhood and sisterhood through which our ndugu can improve themselves and their circumstances while making a better life for themselves and their families.”

Q. How does UFD relate to lumpen organizations (LOs), commonly known as gangs, and how do these LOs relate to UFD considering that UFD’s purpose seems to seek to undermine them?

A. Look, UFD isn’t in competition with any LO. Unlike some of them who fall victim to the divide and conquer tactics of the Establishment, we don’t view other oppressed people as enemies just because they rock different colors. Plus, we have a law that states, “Avoid conflicts with others and dead beef: before they get physical…” For the most part, the LOs our ndugu are around have been cool toward us. We don’t actively try to recruit their members, but nor do we hide our purpose. Those who choose us, we accept them. Those who don’t, we work to teach and help them.

Q. But part of your code says “UFD is devoted to leading others away from gang …life…” Don’t you think certain elements within an LO may take that as meaning you’re after their members?

A. Maybe, if they don’t understand our meaning. To lead one away from gang life doesn’t have to mean we seek to coax them out of their affiliation. By UFD doing right, we set an example for the LOs to follow as a whole. If our only means to lead one away from gang life is to get them to leave their affiliation, then we’re ignoring our greater purpose – to serve the people. As much as we disagree with some of the bullshit LOs get caught up in, they’re still oppressed like us.

Q. What efforts can UFD make to bring peace between LOs?

A. Once we’ve established ourselves as a positive and constructive force here to stay, and ourselves avoid the trap of warring with LOs, we’ll garner a certain respect in the prisons and on the streets. At that time we can counsel LOs to consider the damage they do to themselves by warring among themselves. Through UFD’s success, we get to show them their potential strength in doing better.

Q. Do you honestly think it’s possible they’ll hear you?

A. UFD takes political direction from the New Afrikan Maoist Party being that the Party politically leads the New Afrikan Liberation Movement. Our parent organization, the New Afrikan Ujamaa Dynasty, is a part of this movement. We tend to agree with the Party’s assessment that, until there is a revolutionary change within urban subculture that is dominated by the colonial/criminal mentality of which George Jackson spoke, LOs will themselves not fundamentally change. But UFD can play a significant role in decreasing the conflict between LOs by first being a good example and second, by educating those who’ll listen to us.

Q. When will that revolutionary change take place?

A. Hard to say, UFD is poised to lend its hand when the time is upon us. For now we’ve focused on doing all we can to help our ndugu change and better themselves and do what they can to uplift their families which in turn empowers our communities.

Q. How can interested youth join up with UFD?

A. Either by hollering at one of our ndugu authorized to bring them home or by contacting our executive assistant Taraji Vuma at New Afrikan Ujamaa Dynasty, PO Box 40799, San Francisco, CA 94140.

Q. How does UFD deal with the repression of its incarcerated members?

A. NYSDOCS [New York State Department of Correctional Services] has charged a couple of our ndugu with possessing unauthorized organizational materials. This is bullshit because UFD isn’t an unauthorized inmate group and the ndugu charged weren’t accused of using our literature to recruit other inmates to an unauthorized inmate chapter of UFD. We have a federal lawsuit in against NYSDOCS over this issue. They’ve been repressing members and supporters of the different NALM-affiliated organizations like ours since at least 2004.

Q. If UFD isn’t an unauthorized group, then why does NYSDOCS discipline its members for possessing its literature?

A. Because NYSDOCS is reactionary like any other state bureaucracy. It seeks to protect its existence. UFD represents more of a threat to NYSDOCS not because we advocate violence or disobedience (which we don’t), but because we have the potential to do what NYSDOCS can’t do effectively: correct the behavior of our incarcerated ndugu. Could you imagine the public relations nightmare for them? Some obscure, fraternal group comes along, recruits prisoners in large numbers who actually reform themselves. Hell no! There are other implications involving the exposure of corruption and abuse only an organized group can expose. The less common identity and unity prisoners have, the easier it is to abuse them and cover it up. Just having a growing number of prisoners who join an outside organization not subjected to NYSDOCS control, even if its prison members aren’t organizing among themselves without permission, is a threat to prisoncrats' cover-up abilities. So, prisoncrats will do all in their power to discourage prisoners from joining up.

Q. Would you say this affects the ability to bring peace among LOs?

A. Definitely. NYSDOCS officially doesn’t recognize gangs. Stupid, because they exist. Humans are social beings, we clique up for the bad or good. As steel sharpens steel and people sharpen people, so too groups sharpen groups. In other words, if you suppress positive and constructive groups, you destroy the very thing that can encourage groups on the wrong path to choose a better one. The positive and constructive groups NYSDOCS does approve are kept so isolated and ineffectual that they might as well not exist at all.

Q. What message do you stress to your UFD ndugu?

A. Do better, be better, and know better and push and challenge each other to do the same. The establishment, law enforcement and prison officials in particular, along with even some regular folks, will call us a gang just because some of us are ex-lumpens (that is, used-to-be gang bangers, hustlers, etc.) and some of us are in prison. Many have come before us claiming how positive they were only to fall right into the trap of the colonial/criminal mentality. This always seems to happen. In our case, it CANNOT! Though we must accept the bad with the good and recognize that none of us can be perfect, we need to be more good than bad, suppressing the bad at every turn. We need to break old habits that aren’t productive and learn new habits. If not, we will fail and become just another group hanging onto a banner, doing nothing productive, and deceiving ourselves that we rule or are almighty while under the foot of law enforcement and prisoncrats. This is absurd! And I’m not prone to embracing too much absurdity, though I fall short, too. But this is why we’re together. Each one help one! We have a better chance at succeeding together than alone.

Q. Any final words?

A. Yeah. To my UFDeez, many will doubt you, some will hate you, but we must earn the respect of all by living up to our ideology and laws. To do this we must have faith in ourselves, in each other, and in our leadership. Be strong and resolute. Love the people and they’ll love you. UFDeez, Dynasty Forever!!

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[Gender] [Southport Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 12]
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Gender Oppression and Health Care

I am the author of the article “Psycho-sexual Warfare vs. Political Prisoners” that appeared in Under Lock & Key (September 2008). There are a few issues that I forgot to include in that article that a lot of comrades could learn from. We all know that guards regularly pay for access to prisoners' sexuality in a variety of ways, but there is another “prison game” that goes on behind these walls involving the dehumanizing and exploitation of prisoners by the medical staff. Let me explain.

Here in the Southport Correctional Facility, which is the oldest SHU in the state of New York, the medical staff including nurses, provide medical treatment to prisoners based on non-medical factors like money, looks, favoritism and sexual favors. There is a group of nurses who only provide medical treatment and attention to their so-called “jailhouse husbands” which they select based on how much money the prisoner has, looks, and the willingness of the prisoner to comply with brainwashed behavior by providing sexual favors such as masturbating in front of the nurse, hand jobs and even to a lesser degree blow jobs.

This might sound minor and even funny to some people, but let me explain why this form of psycho-sexual warfare “game” might be the most serious of them all.

There is a group of about 10 nurses here in Southport, including nurse Jil Jilson and nurse Angela Gorg who actually go around this prison picking and choosing which inmates they want to exploit and receive sexual favors from, as if they are picking which slave to own, and whatever prisoner they decide to choose, will be the prisoner that they give top priority to when providing medical attention and treatment.

Now, sit back and think about this for a second. There are 800 prisoners in Southport, each of these 10 nurses have their own “jailhouse husband” who they give top priority to when deciding who to provide medical care to. That means only 10-15 prisoners out of 800 prisoners actually have their medical needs addressed on a daily basis. All of these nurses work closely with guards and top ranking officers to gain access to prisoners who meet the sexual, exploitation and brainwashing objectives.

This also means that over 90% of prisoners will have their serious medical needs go unaddressed for a long period of time because they don’t meet the “criteria” of these gender oppressors which also means that over 90% of these prisoners will have their medical conditions worsen over time and some even suffering permanent injuries due to the deliberate indifference of these nurses which is supported by top ranking prison officials and medical staff.

This is a deadly game that is played in most prisons and is another form of exploitation, manipulation and coercion that these gender oppressors use to further degrade prisoners and reinforce their which supremacist ideas.

I currently have a federal lawsuit pending against top-ranking staff in the Southport medical and dental department, which I hope will fully expose these type of psycho-sexual warfare/gender oppression games.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Waking From mid-fight scenes... and the shit ain't a dream: Imagine being me


Imagine losing your fucking mind from being confined behind dollar signs
Imagine the times I’ve cried
The times I’ve tried
Imagine me alone in a dark room dying inside.
But can you imagine me locked on the block?
One more shot
Jumpin’ back hot like hollow tips from a glock
Rippin' the spot
Grippin’ a knot
If they ain’t shittin’ getting em off the pot.
Imagine after a decade of space
Me showing up at my ex-girls place
Imagine her face
Imagine her mouth’s taste
As she wishes she could erase the day she went astray
And the way I was betrayed
Imagine me not having anything to say and just walking away.
Yea, imagine me hittin the streets again
Reheatin’ beef’s again
Breaking limbs off of the family tree and friends that sinned
Imagine me back after just doing ten.
Imagine hate being so strong it becomes one man’s home
The beat in his heart, the strength in his bones
The seed in the garden that grows all his wrongs.
I imagine getting one more lot to cast
For all things new and things passed
I imagine puttin’ a flame to gas
An aim to the blast
Imagine me telling the whole world to kiss my ass
Yeah, imagine that
The system stealing your life ‘til you’re old then saying you can have it back
Stuck in a box like a savage jack
And expected to pop back to society like an average kat
But I can’t imagine that
Imagine my eyes being the last ones you see
My expression being the last one you read
The last time you breathe
Imagine the need
Imagine being me!

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[National Oppression] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 7]
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Fighting Imperialism in Wisconsin

I have had enough of being denoted a nigger or nigga or whatever the hell they wish to call my people. No more of the racial backward politics, the hands that rock the cradle of oppression!

Even as a fellow Afrikan brotha sits in the White House, which is, let us not forget, stained by the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors who were forced to build it, Amerikkka remains the nasty, hateful, oppressive, greedy, unconscious government that it always has been. There has been no real change for my people, the disenfranchised of the nations of people who constantly fall at the hands of imperialism. All that has changed is the man who holds the whip. My brothers and sisters, did not some of our own brothers enslave us on this land? Whip and shackle us?

I encourage the brothers of the motherland to learn who they are, their true origins and essence. Come on into the movement of Maoism, only then can we find a proper vehicle through which to attain assistance for true freedom in this land. I believe in the cause of justice and freedom, of the principles of love, truth and peace, and in socialism we can pave the road to a form of communism that would allow us all to accomplish our primary objective which is, and let this be clear to all, liberation from this damn government.

I've noticed that there has not been one Wisconsin captive's writing published, and I would like to change that. Not only change that but also get more Wisconsin prisoners involved in the movement.

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[Prison Labor] [Allred Unit] [Texas]
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CCA Making Money in Texas

Prisoners in the belly of this dungeon prison, Allred Unit gulag, are confronted with the reality of unjust conditions and oppression. The prison administrators have continually ignored complaints about the poor quality of the food, conditions of confinements and the physical abuse of prisoners by the ignorant, intolerant, racist, poorly trained corrections workers.

Since their inception, they have been racked with serious use-of-force complaints and complaints about poorly trained corrections workers, lack of guards, and poor food facilities. Corrections Corporation of Amerika keeps prisoners fed and housed for $60 a day and still makes a profit.

A detailed 174 page after action report, prepared by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, noted the CCA's deficiencies and serious errors in administrating the prison dungeon plantation gulag. The disciplinary system here is totally unjust.

Food is a major cost for prisons. Outsourcing of food supply and preparation is one item many Texas prisons are attempting to implement to save money. Companies are cashing in on this cow, submitting low bids to feed prisoners, with poor food quality. The prisoners here on lock-down are pissed off at the poor quality of the food and the inedible meat-type products.

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[Organizing] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 8]
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Info About Work in WI: We Need to Keep Fighting

At this place there are 1050 prisoners. There are 2 dorms. Dorm B holds 55 prisoners and Dorm A holds 110. There are 2 cell halls, North and South, about 300 prisoners each. The hole holds 150 and stays packed to capacity. Intake holds about 100 and a medical unit about 40.

Approximately 300 have jobs at maintenance, yard crew, bath house, rec, school hallway janitor, rotunda janitor, dorm janitor, canteen, library, tutors, cell hall swampers, paint crew, wardens clerk, treatment center janitor, health service clerk, visiting room janitor, picture project photographers, the kitchen, and Badger $tate Industries, in which they are paid between 12 cents to 42 cents an hour plus 2 cents extra on weekends and holidays, and they work up to higher positions in wages.

Prisoners who go to school get 15 cents an hour - yea they pay them, if you can call it that, to go to school. And those who don't go to school or have a job get 5 cents an hour to sit in a cell, which adds up to about $4 every 2 weeks, not nearly enough to get a stick of deodorant and soap, especially once they take out 50% for child support or other court obligations one might have. Yes, I still have to pay child support while in prison, 50% of any earnings.

The pay ranges are: 12 cents ($9.60 every 2 weeks), 19 cents ($15.20), 24 cents ($19.20), 35 cents ($28) and 42 cents ($33.60). And Badger $tate Industries is separate from institutional jobs. 18 prisoners have those jobs and get from 79 cents to a dollar an hour. They make clothing for outside vendors and to sell to prisoners around the state. They also make the pillows and mattresses. People on the streets want this closed because BSI could provide them with jobs. Prisoners at BSI used to get minimum wage and up.

I see brothers I rotate with work around here to get basic necessities because they have no income or family support on the outs. And if I give a brother a bar of soap or something to eat it is viewed as an infraction and I will be written up for "unauthorized transfer of property" and the soap confiscated. We aren't allowed to do what is right here and help our fellow man. Divide and conquer. Just like they do with the jobs. Brothers will cut each others' throat for a higher paying job around here.

On the other hand, I hate the idea of working in a prison (or on a plantation) because it helps to fuel it. If we all protested by not working, the staff would have to cook, clean, etc. It happened during lockdowns before and staff hated it. But there are not enough brothers willing to sacrifice their only income for change. The wages have continuously gone down in the 10+ years I've been down and canteen prices have continuously gone up.

I know of brothers who made this little money to send it to their kids, etc, or pay for phone bills. So some work for their families. But if the 100 kitchen workers all stopped working that would cause a lockdown and the warden would want to know why they won't work. In 2002 I was sent from here to Supermax for inciting a riot against staff and the old warden here asked prisoners what it is that they wanted and these suckas said more rec, shoes with air bubbles, porn and cigarettes. But when they took the cigarettes in 2000 they didn't riot. They only got more rec and the staff took 1 pair of shoes (we used to be allowed 2 pair) but that 1 pair could have air bubbles if they could afford them. I got back here in 2006, 4.5 years later and realized that brothers sold us out.

So I don't put my head on the chopblock any more because I know that most won't ride for a real cause for improvement such as more law library time (we only get 30-40 minutes a week, if lucky), better wages, better medical care. If the workers did stop working they have another prisoner that will fill that spot before the day has ended. Capitalism taught them individualism so most are for self and quick to say "I came in by myself, I'm go do me."

MIM(Prisons) responds: We get a lot of letters like this one from comrades behind bars who are down for the struggle but frustrated with the lack of support from their fellow prisoners. It is true that capitalism has taught prisoners individualism well. And the reality of Amerika is that citizens in this country have a material interest in preserving the system that is benefiting them. While prisoners are in a unique position because the very system that used to benefit them is now locking them up, it will not be an overnight transformation for people to see the connections with the capitalist system and move beyond individualist thinking. We know that most prisoners are not down for the anti-imperialist struggle. But we also know that their conditions leave many prisoners with open minds hungry for education. And so it is our job, both on the streets and behind bars, to provide educational material and food for thought to as many prisoners as we can reach. This is the purpose of Under Lock and Key. And we rely on conscious brothers and sisters behind bars to circulate it and spread the word.

In addition to many letters like this one, we also get many letters from prisoners who talk about how they pursued an individualist and selfish mentality for many years before having their eyes opened by something they read or by someone on the yard talking to them.

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[Control Units] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania]
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Urgent Action Alert: Camp Hill SMU torture

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HRC-FedUp! URGENT Action Alert: 6 Prisoners
Assaulted in the SMU at Camp Hill; Chemical and
electro-shock weapons used; racist violence and
repression on the rise again; take action Today
Tomorrow and Next Week.

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Forward further and wider than ever because enough is enough!

On January 20, 2009 guards in the Special Management Unit (SMU) at the State Correctional [sic] Institution (SCI) in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania assaulted six prisoners, reportedly citing as reasons that these men file grievances against guard misconduct and are engaged in civil litigation against DOC officials; contact outside organizations (HRC/Fed Up! and www.prisoners.com in particular) to expose conditions of torture; also to send a message-in their words: "fuck a historical day, y'all always going to be niggers."

Seven men inside the state's premier torture unit have testified to the following events in reports to HRC/Fed Up!, including six men who submitted Declarations of Truth pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746 and subject to the penalty of perjury, adding to the hundreds of pages of prisoner reports, additional Declarations, institutional paperwork, and civil litigation documents sent to our offices from the SMU at Camp Hill alone since only June of 2008. The incidents have been verified in a personal interview with Mr. Damont Hagan, who has since been transferred (as we've been demanding for 5 months). Superintendent's Assistant Robert Volciak further verified that four or five men were subjected to forcible cell extractions on the 20th in a telephone conversation of January 26th. Several others around the state and the country, from Louisiana to California, have received reports of these assaults as well and contacted our offices.

We are asking that you read the alert, become angry, and act accordingly to help protect the men in the SMU and by extension all others subjected to the normalized white supremacist torture occurring on a daily basis inside prisons in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S.

Inauguration Day

David Smith #FZ5176: On 1/20/09 C/O Liddick, C/O Zeigler, and Lt. Kuzar approached Gary Tucker's cell upon the pretext of wanting to conduct a search, despite having conducted one on 1/15/09. When Tucker came to the door, Liddick said, "Since this guy likes filing grievances, let's make an example out of him." Tucker refused to leave his cell after Kuzar denied his request to have a Captain or Unit Manager present. Willie Robinson then refused to leave his cell out of fear for his safety. David Smith then consented to a cell search, and was promptly assaulted by the above named staff and thrown in another cell, separated from his property. Mr. Smith reportedly suffered undisclosed injuries.

Gary Tucker #FG8520: In his own words: "A little later that morning a cell extraction team came to my cell. I was then told to come to the door and cuff up. When I walked to the door a guard opened the slot and sprayed me in the face with a whole lot of OC mace. I backed away from the door blinded; seconds later more mace was sprayed inside the cell, trapping my lungs up, that's when about 7 guards (including Lt. Kuzar, C/O Brant) charged into the cell slamming me to the bed with electric shields [that discharge 50,000 volts of electricity]. These electric shields were pressed against my body and held there for several minutes while the 6 guards took turns beating, kicking, and shocking me with hand held stun guns. After cuffing me they continued beating me down and shocking me. The guard holding the camera maneuvered the camera so that the beating couldn't be caught on it. From D-12 I was dragged out the cell and hoisted into the medical cell. There the beating continued (shocking, choking, and punching) and a male nurse squirted a liquid in my eyes that didn't seem to help at all. Next I was airlifted up a flight of stairs (after protests from several inmates about my medical condition [which requires me to be] bottom tier status. I was taken into D2-20, slammed face first to the metal bed frame and the 6 or 7 guards continued jumping and shocking me with stun guns. After several minutes of this I was stripped naked, dragged to the floor and pulled up to the tray slot and the cuffs were taken off after they tried to break my wrists. I requested to see medical but was denied the request so my injuries weren't [recorded]. The injuries suffered were as follows: face swollen both sides; wrists with deep cuts from the cuffs; stiff neck (I can barely move my neck); severe pain in my lower back which makes it hard for me to move; my right arm dislocated; badly swollen right ankle that I can't put pressure on and a bloody mouth. Several inmates witnessed this assault and the Lt. Kuzar kept yelling, "Stop resisting" which was merely a means to justify their actions in assaulting me. Truth was I never resisted; I couldn't resist at all."

Damont Hagan #DS9488: In his own words: "I was approached by C/O Brant who threatened me, informing me that I had to come out for a search, stating 'the camera can be manipulated Hagan, remember that.' He also called me a 'nigger.' . . . After a while, I told Unit Manager Chris Chambers [about the threats] . . ., and informed him that 'I fear for my life.' He retorted, "Hagan, I'm tired of this complaining to HRC and www.prisoners.com and preliminary injunctions. Y'all did this to y'all selves, now y'all scared. You're coming out regardless, so write HRC [which he did-let's be there for him] or have .com write the Attorney General again, who cares.' . . . A cell extraction team came and the same SMU staff (Brant, Kuzar) were in suit. I also witnessed them abuse Gary Tucker. They told me to cuff-up and I told them I feared for my life (on camera). Sgt. Maxwell then sprayed me with OC which got in my lungs and eyes, forcing me to cuff up." After being cuffed Hagan was taken to a cell where his clothes were cut off of him and Sgt. Maxwell whispered sexually lewd comments to Hagan regarding Lt. Flowers (a female) being present. Mr. Hagan was denied water for two days, his food was tampered with when it wasn't denied altogether, and he was left naked in a freezing cell, which caused him to become sick. He was transferred on 1/27/09 to SCI Pittsburgh.

Ronald Jackson #CF3994: Mr. Jackson refused to exit his cell because of the threatening and assaultive behavior of the guards, and was subsequently attacked with mace and punched several times in the back and head by C/O Brant, carried to another cell where C/Os Brant, Liddick, Ziegler, Lt. Kuzar, and Sgt. Maxwell cut off his clothing and cut his dreadlocks. Mr. Jackson was left bleeding behind both ears, had numbness in both hands, and cuff markings remained on his wrists for 6 days. Mr. Jackson was left naked and without property or state issue items for six days-like all the others assaulted on this day. On January 26th he was returned to his cell, which was still contaminated with mace. C/O Huber, Jones, Sabolsky, Banks, Martz, and a Lt. stole and destroyed much of his personal and legal property. In a written response to Mr. Jackson regarding this theft, Superintendent Palakovich justified yet another unmistakable effort on the part of SMU staff to deny access to the courts under the pretext that his property was contaminated with mace and needed to be destroyed as a result. Given that several of the prisoners extracted that day have reported being returned to cells still contaminated with mace, this explanation cannot be taken seriously. Mr. Jackson's lawsuit against the DOC will likely be sabotaged by this theft and destruction of his legal documents, which is a widespread practice throughout the PA DOC.

Willie Robinson #FX7258: After refusing to exit his cell for obvious reasons, Mr. Robinson was attacked by the same guards with mace and thrown in a cell that had dried blood on the walls and floor for 6 days without bed sheets or underclothing. Following this he was returned to his former cell, which was still contaminated with mace, including his bedding.

Jamar Perry #DQ4432: Mr. Perry was also attacked with mace and cell extracted on this day. According to Michael Edwards, in a Declaration subject to the penalty of perjury, Mr. Perry is severely mentally retarded, constantly covers his cell and his person with bodily waste-which he also ingests-and suffers from suicidal tendencies. Staff, including C/O Flynn, Sgt. Jones, and Lt. Kuzar, frequently call him names such as "retarded nigger," and encourage him to kill himself. Mr. Perry has been constrained in a "restraint chair" on several occasions, including the first three days of February. These devices are widely recognized as implements of torture. He reportedly wants to die, and ranking officials, including Regional Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore-Smeal have witnessed his fetid condition and taken no remedial action, despite policy provisions against housing severely mentally ill and developmentally disabled inmates in the SMU.

White Supremacy and Repression

In another Declaration from Michael Edwards, Unit Manager Chris Chambers is again alleged to have threatened Mr. Edwards for his correspondence with HRC/Fed Up! Chambers and Huber and others have repeatedly threatened Damont Hagan and Gary Tucker about their involvement with HRC and www.prisoners.com, along with other efforts to expose torture and officially-sanctioned sadism inside the SMU at Camp Hill.

An all white staff in the SMU is holding hostage and waging a one-sided war against a captive, defenseless population that is "99.9% blacks and latinos," according to Mr. Edwards.

A small sampling of racist remarks made by SMU staff, according to Declarations submitted by Michael Edwards, are as follows:

*1/19/09: C/O Brant stated over the PA system, "I have a dream that one day all of you niggers will be dead," after which he laughed, clapped his hands, and lit a smoke; *1/20/09: Lt. Kuzar stated, "He [Obama] may have won, in my eyes he's still a nigger." Brant and C/O Flynn started laughing at this, and Kuzar continued, "There will be no showers or yard today. We are going to show you niggers who run this SMU."
*1/20/09: When told Tucker has a medical condition and is not to be housed upstairs, Chambers replied, "I don't give a fuck what medical says, I want that nigger upstairs now."
*1/30/09: After Chambers told Mr. Edwards he would not be receiving any law books or property in retaliation for his working with HRC/Fed Up!, Huber told the inmate, "Hey listen up nigger, I have the green light to kill your black ass," before walking away from the cell laughing.
*2/1/09: Lt. Kuzar stated to Mr. Edwards, "Nigger do you honestly believe we are going to let you, or any of these other niggers get away with what you are doing?"

Hagan, Jackson, Tucker, Robinson, Smith, Edwards, Terry Brooks, and others in the SMU are being targeted for their refusal to be silenced and submit to a regime of white supremacist torture. These men continue to file grievances, pursue civil litigation, and write family, friends, and other allies on the outside to expose the illegal and degrading conditions they are being subjected to.

Despite being starved, gassed, electrocuted, beaten, sickened, and subjected to racist death threats on a daily basis, these men refuse to submit, they continue to resist, and they are calling on us to take action again.

This action alert is more comprehensive and far ranging in the targets it lists than the ones in November and September (provide links). We have watched the Emergency Response Network grow considerably over the last 12 months, especially during the last 4, and countless people have answered the call to defend the rights and lives of prisoners. This is why we are asking even more from our allies this time, because we trust you will continue to intensify your efforts, channeling your outrage into action and building this movement against torture and racism and for human rights.

As Michael Edwards recently wrote from the SMU: "Keep doing what you are doing, because it surely is working. Some of these guards are just walking around here banging on any and everything, and using racial slurs. This means we are winning the war." I take this to mean that this latest outburst of hate and violence by SMU guards is a desperate reaction to growing outside pressure. They are trying to silence the men in the SMU through daily acts of terror, but it is not working. Resistance continues, and the outside pressure is growing. . . .

Action Alert Targets and Talking points

DOC Targets

DOC Secretary Jeffrey Beard-717-975-4918
2520 Lisburn Road
Camp Hill, PA 17001

Superintendent John Palakovich
SCI Camp Hill
P.O. Box 200
Camp Hill, PA 17001

Office of Professional Repsonsibility
Director James Barnacle (formerly with the FBI (i.e. u.s. political police) for 30 years-see the book Agents of Reprssion by Churchill and Vander Wall for more on the criminal nature of the FBI)
717-214-8473
2520 Lisburn Road
Camp Hill, PA 17001

1)-Report the truth of the Inauguration Day atrocity: six men were targeted for assault with chemical and electrocution weapons by guards calling them "niggers" in retaliation for these prisoners continuing to file grievances, pursue civil litigation, expose prison conditions to the public, and otherwise seek justice. Be specific, name the names of the prisoners, guards, the threats made and injuries suffered. Tell them that you are sickened by the endless reports of flagrant racism on the part of guards and the obvious approval of such by top officials in Camp Hill and the DOC. Grievances and civil suits reach Supt. Palakovich and Secretary Beard by the thousands regarding the racist attitudes and actions of staff under their command, and they refuse to take action

2)-Emphasize the role of Unit Manager Chris Chambers-demand he be fired: As our abuse logs indicate (http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org/fedup/abusereports.htm), Unit Manager Chris Chambers, who oversees the SMU, bears command responsibility for the actions of Jones, Kuzar, Sabalsky, Banks, Flynn, Brant, and the rest. We want to build his infamy and make him a liability to the PA DOC and SCI Camp Hill. If his superiors lean on him because of the heat they feel from the people, then he will lean on SMU staff to end the torture in order to protect himself. Tell Beard that you have reviewed the accumulated evidence from the 20th and the preceding months, and that Chambers needs to be held accountable for his crimes. Failure to do so will be understood as complicity in torture. Emphasize that several prisoners consistently report that Chambers has personally told them on multiple occasions that he is punishing them for filing lawsuits and contacting HRC/Fed Up! and www.prisoners.com.

3)-Transfers for Tucker, Jamar Perry, Michael Edwards, Terry Brooks, Ronald Jackson: These men need transferred immediately. When speaking of Gary Tucker tell them that his continued confinement in the SMU is a violation of DOC Policy 6.5.1 (which is top secret-forbidden to the public-and has been provided to HRC via clandestine means) which states that an inmate who does not show progress in the initial 12 to 18 months should be deemed a failure and transferred. Mr. Tucker has been in the SMU for 28 months. Furthermore, Jamar Perry suffers from severe developmental disability (i.e. reportedly mentally retarded) and needs an immediate transfer. Edwards, Brooks, and Jackson continue to face retaliation for filing grievances and lawsuits.

4)-Speak your own truths, make your own demands: If you have ideas of who to contact (press, lawyers, the Justice Department, law enforcement, United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, NAACP, ACLU) then tell the authorities of your intention and then get a hold of these organizations and have them contact us to learn more. Each one needs to conduct their own investigations to verify these truths. Also, be encouraged to tell them that they need to close down the SMU for good-it is a failed program that does nothing but torture vulnerable prisoners, and it is irredeemably racist. Please inform HRC/Fed Up! of your efforts so we can keep track of where this alert and the supporting evidence are sent and the various responses it receives. Be encouraged to become a point person for reaching out to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the NAACP, or whoever. Just make sure you are familiar enough with the talking points and the evidence that supports them and stay in touch with us.

5)-Prior Notice: Beard and Palakovich have been notified of the criminal acts of retaliation, racist hate crimes, denial of access to the courts, assault, medical neglect, etc. months ago. There is a paper trail leading to their office and their adamant refusal to accept accountability for the actions of staff under the command of Unit Manager Chris Chambers amounts to complicity in torture.

6)-Accountability: Let it be known, finally, that we intend to see criminals held accountable, and that each denial, evasion, and deception on the part of prison officials will only strengthen our resolve to pursue justice by every means possible. We want accountability now.

7)-Special for OPR: The Office of Professional Responsibility (which is neither professional nor responsible, but is-supposedly-an office), the DOC's own internal "investigation" unit assured an HRC/Fed Up! investigator in early January that they were in fact conducting an investigation into documented human rights violations inside the SMU at Camp Hill. After declaring that they always talk to the inmates, OPR Director James Barnacle went on to directly contradict himself by admitting that their "investigation" consisted of cross-checking our documentation with the prison's own records. Given that the prison records will report only what guards say, since the word of prisoners is deemed prima facie untrue according to their totalitarian (and, yes, racist) ideology, Barnacle more or less admitted that his investigation was in fact not an investigation at all. Furthermore, we have specifically asked several of the men in the SMU if OPR has interviewed them, and with one exception (Brooks was interviewed two or three months ago about an assault he suffered in 2007), nobody had seen OPR-despite several having contacted them-by the end of January. Tell OPR that we know they are not engaged in transparent and good faith investigations, because if they were SMU staff under the command of Unit Manager Chris Chambers would not dare perpetrate such atrocities. Demand responsibility and professionalism from Barnacle.

Political Targets

Governor Ed Rendell

See numbers 1-6 above. Rendell was informed at the end of November, with considerable documentation. He sent it to OPR.

Senator Stewart Greenleaf

Inquire into the appropriate process for requesting hearings in front of the PA General Assembly, and then request a hearing-to be organized by HRC/Fed Up! and our allies-regarding torture in PA prisons. Provide him our contact information and ask that his staff get in contact with us. Tell staff what is going on in the SMU at Camp Hill.

Local PA Representatives

Hammer away at them, make these lazy, incompetent, and corrupt parasites take a stand. Demand they petition Greenleaf for a hearing. Who are these fools anyway?

Reminders about demeanor, temperament, manners, composure, etc.

Just a reminder, it is acceptable and appropriate to express anger, be firm in our demands, and not tolerate deceptions and diversions. That said, it is critical that we control our anger and not vice versa, and maintain composure and dignity in our demeanor. We want the functionaries manning the phones and reading the mail to be impressed by our command of the facts and message consistency.

Mary Ann Kushner at SCI Fayette apparently told one of our allies that HRC people had been "nasty" to her. Given Mary Ann's less than sterling reputation as a truth-teller, I assume that means you were all doing your job and holding firm to our shared principles in defense of prisoners' rights and lives, which no doubt upset Mary Ann. So, keep the cursing to the minimum amount necessary and get at them day after day after day.

And pace yourself. Make a call today, two tomorrow, another the next day, and keep at it for weeks on end. This is a long struggle and we're in it for life. Invite others to join, today. Thank you.

We need lawyers! Please help us find lawyers with grit, intelligence, and integrity who are willing to go to war with the DOC.

PS-Taking it to the Streets

Phone calls and letter writing are important, very important for providing some measure of oversight and security to the men in Camp Hill and other torture chambers in PA and the U.S. But it is but one tactic amongst many. We need to take this to the streets and get on a move. Be on the lookout for an invitation in the near future, when the entirety of the country-and beyond-will be welcomed into the state to voice their collective outrage over the dehumanizing white supremacist torture of the PA prison system.

HRC/Fed Up! has accumulated over 100 pages of documentation of human rights violations in PA prisons in the last 16 months alone, supported by thousands of pages of prisoner reports, affidavits, declarations, grievances, requests to staff, and civil litigation documents, and further corroborated by hundreds of hours of interviews/conversations with prisoners and their loved ones on the outside. We can assert with absolute confidence and substantial-in fact, incontrovertible-evidence that torture is a widespread, systemic feature of the prison system that deliberately sabotages parole and increases recidivism, hence creating the conditions for continued market growth for the prison-industrial complex.

PPS-Call and/or write us!

Who are you? Have you taken action? Can we know one another and work together to beat back this insufferable brutality? Call, email, write whenever.

Please provide feedback as to your conversations with the peoples above and other efforts undertaken to protect the men in Camp Hill's SMU.

Thank you.

Solidarity, Health, Respect,
Trust, and Struggle

Contact Information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HRC/FedUp!
5125 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
[email protected]
412-361-3022x4~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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[Gender] [George-Greene Regional Correctional Facility] [Mississippi]
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Gender Responses to ULK 6

Recently I received the ULK No. 6, January 2009. This issue had many items of interest that are very familiar to me. First, I would like to speak towards the gender oppression situation. This is a sad fact both in prison and outside of it. I am a 53 year old male in Greene County Correctional Facility which is a state prison aka South MS Correctional Institute. In this gulag the majority of our warders are female. The reason for this is given as men are apt to have a criminal background or a poor credit rating, possibly both. Poor credit supposedly makes the males more apt to take bribes. Hence, a great security risk.

In this prison the female wardens observe all of the bodily functions from showers, to excretion of bodily wastes. During shakedowns they observe our being strip searched by male warders. Placement in the holding tanks for minor infractions, one is usually stripped down before being locked inside the cage. Females wander by and eyeball the prisoner while making derogatory remarks. At times while exiting our dining hall I have seen females strip males in the open, in front of the entire population, supposedly looking for smuggled food. This is contemptible.

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