Prisoners Hunger Strike Enters 2nd Month: Letters from the Front Lines

August 25, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following letters from prisoners were sent to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund:

"A conscious decision to live to fight another day..."

Pelican Bay State Prison



Received your letter of 8/2/13 tonight. As of today 8/8/13 things on the front lines are worse as ever. There has been mass moves throughout the prison, people are being uprooted and placed in various sections within the system and beyond. Some have been sent to other prisons, and outside hospitals for medical treatment. At the onslaught they rode down on everyone, however in particular those of us that were on the hunger strike they removed anything that was edible or drinkable, its a wonder that they didn't turn off the drinking water. They waited several days before anyone saw a medical person. I was the very first to see one only because of my medical history and being on chronic care. I had a heart attack in 09', which is compounded by high blood pressure, Essentially I was told that if I continued I would certainly die as my heart couldn't take it, it was the tenth day of only water, plus they took all the dailey meds except the nitro tabs, and a couple of the heart meds, that I reassessed the situation.

As I felt my life being drained away I made a conscious decision to live to fight another day, if not my body wouldve shut down completely. I am (62) years old. Theres alot of men back here with complicated medical problems as well, some eventually stopped while others continued. Almost dailey men were being sent to the clinic or outside hospital, those sent to the outside had to receive IV's, just to live.

Everyone was given a (115) misconduct write up for the hunger strike, the punishment ranged from the loss of 30 to 90 days at least where I am located, it may be more severe elsewhere. Those taken to Ad-Seg were primarily reps and plaintiff in the beginning in the Ruiz-V-Brown Suit... Its rumored that those sent to Ad-Seg will be there for some time. I am also made aware that at least a few of the reps weren't on the hunger strike due to very serious health reasons, but since their names were on the list as active reps or alternatives, they're being punished none the less. In Ad Seg you have absolutely nothing in your cell, and with the cold air blowing down twenty-four seven, its very easy to become quite sickly, aside from complication of not eating. The pads are filthy, for a couple weeks they didn't wash our clothing just recently they began again, the showers and floors are really nasty, haven't been cleaned for over a month, theres no tier tenders, and to expect the C/O's [guards, ed.] to do their jobs is a stretch. The mail is spotty, most of the time its not passed out, they find some excuse not to give it to us.

Theres been to date (1) fatality, the administration class that it was a suicide, while others there on the scene say differently. He had just come off the Hunger strike the day before why would he kill himself. The R.C.P. and other papers were stopped especially if it shed light on the hunger strike. By in Large most of the C/Os are civil, however theres some with serious issues and wear the contempt on their sleeves for all to see. Actually I find it best to stay out of their way if possible in as it can easily escalate to something worser. Overall the atmosphere here remain intense, nerves on edge, tempers flaring, confusion is the order it seems, however most remain determined to move forward where it may lead. Thanks for the support in Keeping the people at Large informed on the plight of those behind enemy lines held in Solitary Confinement. We appreciate all the help given to this just cause.

                 In Solidarity

PS Regarding the stoppage of the RCP there were several papers that were stopped, however in recent days the order was reversed and the papers were allowed in.

"Yes, I am a direct participant in this most honorable and historical Statewide/National Prison Hunger Strike!"

Corcoran State Prison, CA

California Dept. of Corrections & Rehab (CDCR)

August 11, 2013

Dear PRLF,

Revolutionary Greetings! In response to your most resent letter dated August 2, 2013, Yes, I am a direct participant in this most honorable and historical Statewide/National Prison Hunger Strike!

It was a stroke of luck that your letter caught me here at Corcoran State Prison (CSP-COR) because as a result of my protracted litigations challenging my illegal SHU confinement for the last thirteen (13) consecutive years and a futile act of appeasement the Departmental Review Board (Director of CDCR) ordered my immediate (RE-LEASE) from CSP-COR/SHU and on July 2, 2013 transferred me to the level III general population of the XXX State Prison, which is billed as the Beverly-Hilton of all of Calif.'s state prisons, but I haven't received anything but stiff and un-warranted harassment since I got there.

Upon my July 2, 2013 arrival at XXX, the Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI) and Institutional Security Unit (ISU) immediately confiscated all my personal/legal property (i.e., 13 boxes) and to this very day refuses to release them.

On July 18, 2013, Captain K. Smith and Warden Valenzuela identified me as a "leader" of this most honorable and monumental Statewide/National Hunger Strike; placed me in administrative segregation (Ad.Seg.); and issued me a "SERIOUS" Rule Violation Report (RVR) essentially for exercising my constitutional right to "peacefully" protest against a government agency (ie CDCR) via a "peaceful" Hunger Strike.

On August 1, 2013, I was transferred back here to CSP-COR via a Court Subpoena to be a material witness in the XXX Court for a comrade of mine against these pigs here in CSP-COR/SHU.

Upon my August 1, 2013, arrival here at CSP-COR I was immediately rushed to the Emergency Room and subsequently admitted into the CSP-COR Acute Care Hospital (ACH) where I am now, due to XXX (Ad. Seg.) completely mishandling and neglecting my protracted participation in the Hunger Strike (inadequate access to fluids) and underlying medical conditions that were left untreated at XXX (Type 2 diabetes) all of which has now rendered me in critical condition and the politics here at CSP-COR between prisoners, medical personnel and administration is heavily leaning towards discharging me from ACH and placing me in CSP-COR (Ad. Seg.) pending my transfer back to XXX (Ad. Seg.) to start that process all over again.

CSP-COR has already told me off of the record that CDCR does not want to support or provide my use of the medical department as a grand stand for this Hunger Strike and that my retention in the CSP-COR ACH is not condusive to the smoke screen CDCR is putting up before the public indicating that participating in the Hunger Strike has wound down and is of no real significance.

I am in the process of writing a detailed article on this whole ordeal and will send you a copy for publication and popularization when completed (It's a MUST PRINT)

My energy level and concentration is extremely limited, so I will close now and get back at you as soon as I finish the aforementioned artical, but in the meantime, I am enclosing another artical I have written for immediate publication in the REVOLUTION newspaper and on-line edition of Revolution.

Lastly, it would truly be inspiring if you could download some articals and photographs of the demonstrations that have taken place in our behalf throughout the State and Nation so that I can share them with our fellow comrades. Many of us do not have our T.V. and all newspapers are being sensored throughout CDCR. In fact, I haven't received a copy of REVOLUTION in well over a month!!

In struggle,

"turning into the final stretch..."

Aug. 11, 2013

We of the National Plantation Psychosis Awareness Committee (N.P.P.A.C. pronounced N-PAC) throughout CDCR our sincere solidarity and appreciation to the 33,000 plus who have unselfishly supported and/or participated in this most honorable and historical statewide/national hunger strikes. You of the masses have all done and continue to do a commendable job (each in your individual and collective capacity) in bringing the reality of this cause to the public at large, and doing so with the most impressive numbers this nation has ever seen!

However, as these numbers continue to taper off, as anticipated, you will increasingly hear prison officials, the media, and various misguided individuals say that this hunger strike is dying out. To the contrary, this hunger strike is not dying out, nor is it dictated by the initial sensationalism of numbers. Such thinking is wrong. As in all successful movements of this nature the success of the hunger strike is now entering the political phase of hyper-dramatization, which will be marked by self-sacrificing prisoner volunteers. These volunteers will be comparatively few, but will continue to unselfishly push this hunger strike until the last man is standing.

I have some serous underlying health conditions that put me at greater risk than some, or maybe even most, combined with my age factor (55), but these are only calculations set by man not the supreme creator. So I personally vowed on day one not to give in until all of our collective demands are fully met or the creator calls me home for even greater rewards.

It would be foolish to think that the magnitude of the honorable demands for basic human rights, as laid out in detail by our comrades of Pelican Bay, will be met by CDCR without a significant death count. Therefore, it is inevitable that some of us will die in this struggle before the public's outcry will persuade CDCR to capitulate to our very reasonable demands.

Therefore, it can only behoove our designated negotiators and representatives not to negotiate any of the 45 demands until those of us who have self-appointed ourselves to carry this struggle to the end have had the opportunity to make their/our full contribution. It will be these contributions and the public's angry outcry that will be the deciding factor in this demonstration.

We are just now turning into the final stretch, so I implore the designated representatives to please not prematurely negotiate our demands until all of our resources are fully and effectively engaged.

Dare to struggle, dare to win, or god damn it all!


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