SF BayView, September 17, 2012
Our four principal negotiators/representatives here in the Pelican Bay State Prison Short Corridor remain steadfast toward achieving our five core demands, which has been an ongoing struggle. There has not been much that we as a collective would lay claim to, but one is aware of the manipulative games that CDCR and wardens are playing to attempt to discourage any future demonstrations on a collective level.
Our four reps have been in an ongoing dialogue with the associate warden, appointed by the warden here at PBSP SHU (Security Housing Unit) to deal with our Core Demand No. 5 exclusively. This is something that started in the month of February and continues to this day.
But sadly, there have not been any substantial programs or privileges authorized by the warden, who chooses to maintain the solitary confinement prisoners in a NON-productive state of programming, while offering small concessions on canteen and packages, which is something that was supposed to have been given to us over 23 years ago. Outside of that, we have not been able to get any cooperation from prison officials.
We have caught them in many lies in respect to these meetings and how they all conspired to mislead our representatives, who saw very quickly through their games but decided to go through the process so that the public can see that the mentality that oversees these procedures will never see us as human beings.
For the last 25-plus years, we have been subjected to these solitary confinement units – Ad Seg, SHU – the result of administrative placement, whereas for the most part we have been model prisoners for those amount of years, while being deprived of any meaningful programming or privileges. Yet in the current meetings, the heartlessness that is shown toward our collective is something that one must see as a personal attack that has nothing to do with prison security or policy.
Providing us a decent meal three times a day should be a human right. Our captors don’t think so.
Holding us in solitary confinement units indefinitely is in violation of our civil and human rights. Our captors don’t think so.
Depriving us of any meaningful – or any – contact with our families, friends and associates is denying us a natural right, as well as a civil and human right. Our captors don’t think so.
Subjecting us to NO programming or privileges whatsoever, when our behavior has been above prison requirements, is unacceptable. Our captors don’t think so.
What they think is that we should remain in the worst mental and physical state imaginable until we rot and die in these hell holes for doing nothing.
But being the kind of human beings they are, they have a history of hating. As Laura Magnani put it during the mediation team meeting in April in Sacramento with George Giurbino [representing CDCR] and legislative aides,
“(We notice) that you all are making decisions over the lives of New Afrikans and Mexicans, who are more than 85 percent of the prison population and solitary confinement units, in California. Yet there is not one (such) person present in this room who is in the CDCR decision-making process.”
The same can be said for our meetings with the assistant wardens, where there is not one human being who is New Afrikan or Mexican in the decision-making process.
Here at PBSP SHU, it’s impossible to treat people like human beings if you have an inherited history to treat them like animals. This is why we have been made to suffer for 20-plus years here without even being given proper clothing for a very cold climate, until we subjected ourselves to a hunger strike in which three prisoners died. This is HATE – NOT about gang activity or violation of prison policy, rules and regulations. It’s about HATE by those who are in a position of power to do as they please and they subjectively do just that.
The meetings, in my opinion, are only a front so that the administration can come back later and say that they did this and that, when actually they did nothing; you dig? It’s an attempt to manipulate the Amerikan people into thinking that they are not torturing prisoners, because the prison is catering to their every need.
But the truth is in their actions, and there have been NONE in our favor thus far. We have been dealing with Demand No. 4 as well, and there has been nothing substantial on that. Demands No. 1, 2 and 3 are for the policies of the STG (Security Threat Group), and we have all seen what that is. We’re waiting on the revised version now.
As for health and medical issues, we have not even begun to address that, but it is good the federal government didn’t let CDCR get out from under their oversight.
It is also important to know that all reps/negotiators should have been in dialogue with their wardens at CCI (Tehachapi), Corcoran and New Folsom SHUs. I even encourage prisoners in general population to do this as well.
There is also a pattern where all the CDCR officials who have been dealing with overseeing our process – Undersecretary Scott Kernan, retired; Adult Director George Giurbino, soon to retire; Warden G.D. Lewis, soon to retire; and Assistant Warden P.T. Smith, soon to retire – all who have nothing to lose, which is why they are not sincere in their negotiating with our representatives. Instead, they are playing GAMES.
One Love, One Struggle.