Censorship Alert! Revolution Withheld from Prisoners in Pelican Bay Prison, CA

May 14, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Revolution newspaper has just learned that several prisoners from Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (solitary confinement) in California have sent word to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) that the prison has withheld from them issue #302 (May First 2013) of Revolution newspaper. The documents from the prison officials forwarded by these prisoners to the PRLF cited specifically pages 3, 12, and 13, claiming that issue #302 is "contraband" and alleging that these pages contain "plans to disrupt the order or Breach the security of any facility." While the prison officials were not more specific as to what they were referencing, the following articles were included on those pages: "Celebrate May Day 2013—Humanity Needs Revolution", "Support Prisoners' Struggle Against Torture", "Agreement to End Hostilities", a quote from Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:28, "From Carl Dix: A Proposal for Action to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and All Others Who Want to Fight the New Jim Crow", and "Defend Noche Diaz, Revolutionary Fighter for the People".


Regular (non-tax-deductible) donations can be made online at PRLF.org or by check/money order, payable to PRLF, and mailed to PRLF:

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To volunteer, or to contact PRLF: 773.960.6952, contact@PRLF.org

Censorship of the newspaper that many prisoners call their "lifeline" is outrageous, illegal and immoral and must be fought. As the prisoner subscriber writes below, "… it's not enough we are kept in windowless cells w/ no sunlight, but we are further tortured with holding our mail hostage." The PRLF currently sends revolutionary literature into prisons in 41 states, including subscriptions to Revolution newspaper, books like BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian and other revolutionary and progressive literature and is solely funded by donations from the public.

The three pages cited by the prison authorities on official forms do have in common news coverage of the courageous and inspiring stand prisoners in solitary confinement in California have taken in calling for a hunger strike to begin on July 8 to end the inhumane conditions they face [see: prisoners call for hunger strike, "Peaceful Protest to Resume July 8th 2013, If Demands Are Not Met"]. These pages also called on people throughout society to START NOW to build support for this hunger strike and quoted Carl Dix: "People who have been locked down in the dungeons of this country and have been condemned as the worst of the worst have stood up and said NO MORE!... If at all possible, we must through this protest force the state of California to meet these demands and make it unnecessary for these prisoners to take such a desperate action." The allegations made in official documents issued by prison authorities are clearly as outrageous as they are bogus and are nothing short of an attempt to isolate, demoralize and further torture these prisoners through denying them revolutionary sustenance, including news of growing support beyond the prison walls for their efforts to stop the criminal and unimaginably horrible conditions of long-term solitary confinement to which they have been subjected.

Regular readers of Revolution may remember that in 2010 Pelican Bay authorities banned Revolution newspaper before they were compelled by sharp political and legal struggle to reverse the ban. To learn more about this previous ban and the struggle to overturn it, read "Prison Officials Attempt a Cover-up of the Ban on Revolution Newspaper—Mobilize to Say: NO WAY!" and "We Demand: Overturn the Ban of Revolution Newspaper at Pelican Bay and Chuckawalla Prisons in California and All Prisons". And watch the pages of this paper for more news on this censorship battle and prepare to spread the word, donate to PRLF, and join the fight to put this paper back in the hands of prisoners like one who wrote in 2010, "Once I was challenged to dream of a better world, I can’t stop thinking about it." Specific efforts to keep news of growing outside support for the planned hunger strike from reaching the prisoners themselves must be exposed, opposed and turned into further impetus to urgently spread and build a more powerful society-wide determined protest to end this torture.

The PRLF received the following letter from one of the prisoners being held in solitary confinement who was denied access to issue #302 of Revolution:

"…we are kept in windowless cells w/ no sunlight but we are further tortured with holding our mail hostage."



Today I received an 1819 Disapproval form ["California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Notification of Disapproval—Mail/Package/Publications," eds.] saying the Revolution issue #302 5-1-13 is being denied, the reason this prison states is…"Title 15 3006.contraband (c)(5) Plans to disrupt the order or Breach the security of any facility, pg. 12". [p. 12 of Revolution Issue #302 is the CDCR’s official basis for refusing to give the issue to the prisoners. Other prisoners got notice citing pgs. 3, 12 and 13 as the basis, eds.]

This is the same reason they rubber stamp everything, most information that is denied can be found in USA Today, Time magazine, etc. etc. It's just more harassment and censorship! It's really ridiculous how they deny pubs that they disagree with, it's not enough we are kept in windowless cells w/ no sunlight but we are further tortured with holding our mail hostage.

I am 602ing this [appeal within prison, eds] but I wanted to notify you. I was going to contact the ACLU which got at the prison last time but I was out of postage. So I wanted to let you know.

—Prisoner in Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU)


See article this week by Carl Dix, "Emergency Situation: Act to Stop Mass Incarceration and Racist Murders of Our Youth Now!"


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