Testimony - Retaliation for writing grievances
About three months ago I started filing grievances to the Warden about the verbal abuse Sergeant Watkins was using towards me and several other prisoners. I asked two other prisoners to address this issue also and we started filing grievances on any misconduct that was happening on our housing unit.
In June as I was approaching the chow hall, I got stopped by Captain Mercer, Watkins and four other officers. Watkins said "if you and your buddies don't stop filing grievances, we gonna make y'all life hell around here." I took that threat, and did not let it affect my agenda. See, these devils will use fear as a tactic to get us to submit to their will or ultimatum. Two other prisoners and I kept on filing, and as you may assume, they came at us with bogus disciplinary infractions. They placed us on property restriction, where we have only a pair of boxer shorts to clothe ourselves, and we don't get a mattress or bed roll.
Around shift change the Captain Mercer started to give everyone in our confinement unit a lecture on prisoners abusing the grievance procedures. Comrades, these pigs will use force to break up anything they deem a threat to security. I was sprayed multiple times with chemical agents, denied meals several times, and denied my right to use the legal library. I had another prisoner write to the supreme court of Florida explaining my situation. The court treated the letter as a Writ of Habeas Corpus motion, and now I am awaiting the outcome of the court's decision.
My family was writing me, but these pigs were discarding my incoming mail, so after weeks of unanswered letters my family filed a complaint with the Secretary of the DOC, and finally I was taken off restrictions given proper hygiene products and legal papers. I still get harassed occasionally, but they don't play with my mail anymore or steal my grievances. My agenda is to get a transfer to another facility, but until then I will not let these devils stop me from utilizing my civil and constitutional rights.
Comrades we must prepare ourselves mentally to be able to persevere. The oppressor has advanced, this is a psychological war and genocide is the goal. While doing your part to unite the movement internationally you become a force in our battle to achieve freedom, justice, and equality.
MIM(Prisons) adds: This story of grievances being ignored or leading to retaliation is all too common in the Amerikan criminal injustice system. And not all of our comrades behind bars have family on the outside who are so diligent in defending the rights of their loved ones who are locked up. We need more comrades like this one, and his family, defending the legal rights of prisoners against the abusive prison staff. MIM(Prisons) and United Struggle from Within have launched a grievance campaign to help prisoners get their grievances recognized. We have petitions specific to several states and need more comrades to step up to make them applicable to more. Prisoners whose grievances have gone unheard should help build a library of custom grievance petitions for your state by sending them to MIM(Prisons). To participate in this grievance campaign, write to us and we will send you the info.
We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed in California