Since March 2013, the main Kersplebedeb website has been migrated to a primarily wordpress format.
What this means in practical terms is that everything you are used to seeing on Sketchy Thoughts is now being posted straight to Kersplebedeb and simply being automatically mirrored here. So in general, you will probably have a better reading/viewing experience if you head over to Kersplebedeb.
For those who prefer the Sketchy Thoughts blogger layout for whatever reason, this page will continue to be automatically updated whenever something is posted to Kersplebedeb, for at least the short-term future. However, as additional functionality is added to the Kersplebedeb site via wordpress, the Sketchy Thoughts page will probably begin to show its age more and more.
Saturday, April 08, 2023
Since March 2013, the main Kersplebedeb website has been migrated to a primarily wordpress format.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
“We will have to earn, if not demand, respect for our rights through sacrifice and struggle just like the masses of other politically, socially and economically marginalized people on this planet. And that’s where out best chances for justice lie—in struggle, not in a civil lawsuit.” –Frank “Outlaw” Reid
Friends, Comrades and Allies,
Frank “Outlaw” Reid, a comrade imprisoned in Red Onion State Prison, and co-author of Defying the Tomb, is bringing four guards before a jury on October 28-30 in Wise County, VA for a brutal beating he suffered at their hands in 2009. Please read the press release and his public statement attached for more details, and follow the trial on Twitter at @justice4outlaw and on Facebook at Justice Outlaw.
JUSTICE FOR OUTLAW!!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 22, 2013
Contact: Kate Piper (202) 718-7043
PRISON GUARDS FACE CIVIL SUIT IN ATTACK ON VIRGINIA PRISONER FRANK “OUTLAW” REID
Big Stone Gap, VA: On Monday, October 28, a jury will begin hearing testimony in a civil suit filed against four prison guards in Wise County, Virginia for an alleged attack on Wallens Ridge prisoner Frank Reid in July 2009. Reid filed the suit after defeating prison officials’ charges of aggravated assault in the same incident. Reid is charging the guards with violating his constitutional rights as a prisoner of the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC), including the right to due process, equal protection, and the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure.
On July 10, 2009, Reid was brutally attacked and beaten by guards at Wallens Ridge State Prison, when three officers and a sergeant yelled racist slurs as they tackled him to the ground, kicked and punched him repeatedly, then bashed his head into the concrete floor. After the attack, Reid was denied medical care and his right to the prison grievance process. He was also denied access to photos and other documentation of injuries he sustained.
Reid has long been a target of political repression and racial discrimination and is recognized as a fierce critic of U.S. prisons. He has written extensively about abuses perpetrated by guards employed by VDOC and works to organize fellow prisoners for better treatment and living conditions within Wallens Ridge and Red Onion State Prisons. He co-authored a book titled “Defying the Tomb” with Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson, another former VDOC prisoner who has been politically targeted and singled out for severe abuse by Virginia prison guards.
Reid beat charges of attempted aggravated assault and battery on July 21, 2009 in an official prison hearing. “[The charging officer’s] testimony does not support his charge. Therefore my decision is to dismiss the charge.” Despite being found not guilty by the Hearing Officer, Reid was stripped of his accumulated Good Time. If they hadn’t taken that time from him, Reid would have been released already.
After charges against him were dismissed, Reid filed a grievance through prescribed channels. When asked what remedy he sought, rather than requesting individual relief, such as money, good time, or a transfer to a less brutal prison, he requested that “all VDOC employees who abuse and brutalize prisoners be terminated as a standard policy and practice of the VDOC.” His grievance was ignored all the way up to the Director, in violation of VDOC policy requiring that all grievances be investigated and responded to by officials.
Reid filed the civil suit in US District Court against the guards who beat him, as well as the Wallens Ridge State Prison warden and VDOC officials who were complicit. The warden and VDOC officials have since been dismissed as defendants, but the four officers will still face a jury trial on the 28th of October.
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/prison-guards-face-civil-suit-in-attack-on-virginia-prisoner-frank-outlaw-reid/
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Tarek Loubani and John Greyson are two canadians who have been held in prison in Egypt for the past month and a half. The following statement was written some while back, but their canadian support team held it back fearing that it might lead to retaliation against the two if it were released. However, given news reports that Loubani and Greyson are facing impending charges, they have made the decision to release it now so as to explain what may be going on.
“We are on the 12th day of our hunger strike at Tora, Cairo’s main prison, located on the banks of the Nile. We’ve been held here since August 16 in ridiculous conditions: no phone calls, little to no exercise, sharing a 3m x 10m cell with 36 other political prisoners, sleeping like sardines on concrete with the cockroaches; sharing a single tap of earthy Nile water.
“We never planned to stay in Egypt longer than overnight. We arrived in Cairo on the 15th with transit visas and all the necessary paperwork to proceed to our destination: Gaza. Tarek volunteers at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, and brings people with him each time. John intended to shoot a short film about Tarek’s work.
“Because of the coup, the official Rafah border was opening and closing randomly, and we were stuck in Cairo for the day. We were carrying portable camera gear (one light, one microphone, John’s HD Canon, two Go-Pros) and gear for the hospital (routers for a much-needed wifi network and two disassembled toy-sized helicopters for testing the transportation of medical samples).
“Because of the protests in Ramses Square and around the country on the 16th, our car couldn’t proceed to Gaza. We decided to check out the Square, five blocks from our hotel, carrying our passports and John’s HD camera. The protest was just starting – peaceful chanting, the faint odour of tear gas, a helicopter lazily circling overhead – when suddenly calls of “doctor”. A young man carried by others from God-knows-where, bleeding from a bullet wound. Tarek snapped into doctor mode…and started to work doing emergency response, trying to save lives, while John did video documentation, shooting a record of the carnage that was unfolding. The wounded and dying never stopped coming. Between us, we saw over fifty Egyptians die: students, workers, professionals, professors, all shapes, all ages, unarmed. We later learned the body count for the day was 102.
“We left in the evening when it was safe, trying to get back to our hotel on the Nile. We stopped for ice cream. We couldn’t find a way through the police cordon though, and finally asked for help at a check point.
“That’s when we were: arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a ‘Syrian terrorist’, slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries. Was it our Canadian passports, or the footage of Tarek performing CPR, or our ice cream wrappers that set them off? They screamed ‘Canadian’ as they kicked and hit us. John had a precisely etched bootprint bruise on his back for a week.
“We were two of 602 arrested that night, all 602 potentially facing the same grab-bag of ludicrous charges: arson, conspiracy, terrorism, possession of weapons, firearms, explosives, attacking a police station. The arrest stories of our Egyptian cellmates are remarkably similar to ours: Egyptians who were picked up on dark streets after the protest, by thugs or cops, blocks or miles from the police station that is the alleged site of our alleged crimes.
“We’ve been here in Tora prison for six weeks, and are now in a new cell (3.5m x 5.5m) that we share with ‘only’ six others. We’re still sleeping on concrete with the cockroaches, and still share a single tap of Nile water, but now we get (almost) daily exercise and showers. Still no phone calls. The prosecutor won’t say if there’s some outstanding issue that’s holding things up. The routers, the film equipment, or the footage of Tarek treating bullet wounds through that long bloody afternoon? Indeed, we would welcome our day in a real court with the real evidence, because then this footage would provide us with our alibi and serve as a witness to the massacre.
“We deserve due process, not cockroaches on concrete. We demand to be released.
“Peace, John & Tarek”
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/statement-by-political-prisoners-tarek-loubani-and-john-greyson-from-egypt/
Friday, September 06, 2013
Where: QPIRG Concordia, 1500 de Maisonneuve O., suite 204
When: Thursday, September 12 at 6:30pm
ADMISSION IS FREE * WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE
The long-awaited Volume 2 of the first-ever English-language study of the Red Army Faction—West Germany’s most well known urban guerillas—covering the period immediately following the organization’s near-total decimation in 1977. This work includes the details of the guerilla’s operations, and its communiqués and texts, from 1978 up until its 1984 offensive.
The Red Army Faction emerged from the student movement in West Germany in the 1960s. Adopting anti-imperialist politics inspired by struggles occurring in the Third World, and a clarity that came from growing up under a post-Nazi successor State, the RAF engaged in bombings, bank robberies, and assassinations for over twenty years. But what made these acts of violence relevant to the left, not only in West Germany but throughout Europe, were the political manifestos and theoretical essays that accompanied them , as the RAF attempted to chart a path to revolution in a stronghold of imperialism. Ultimately, they (like the rest of the left) were unsuccessful in this endeavour, yet the RAF’s decades of struggle provide a wealth of lessons for the movements to come.
Join the book’s publisher for a discussion about the experiences of the RAF and other West German guerillas such as the 2nd of June Movement and the Revolutionary Cells, from the 1970s until the 1990s, examining the primarily political character of urban guerilla organizations, the consequences of this fact in terms of strategy and survival, and why all of this matters today.
Dancing with Imperialism was published in 2013 by Kersplebedeb Publishing and PM Press. It is the second volume in the RAF Documentary Histories. Both it and volume 1 (Projectiles for the People) will be available at this event a special price.
For more information, email email@example.com
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/dancing-with-imperialism-a-red-army-faction-book-launch-and-discussion-in-montreal/
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/breaking-down-solitary-california-prison-hunger-strike/
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The above image is a self-portrait of Billy “Guero” Sell, hunger striker who died at Corcoran state prison on July 22, 2013. CDCR attempted to cover this up, not even informing prisoner advocates it met with in the following days that a death had occurred. When outside supporters were informed days later by other prisoners, CDCR reluctantly confirmed the news, but insisted that Sell had not been on hunger strike, but had “merely” committed suicide by hanging. (Which in itself would say plenty about the conditions he was being held in!)
Perhaps not so coincidentally, in the intervening days, the press reported that “independent monitors” from the state Inspector General were being sent into prisons to review how hunger strikers were being treated. The initial results of this “independent monitoring” seem unpromising, but as preemptive damage control it all makes a certain kind of sense.
While the precise details are not yet known, CDCR has since been forced to admit that Sell was in fact on hunger strike, and had been registered as such until just a day before he died. (Keep in mind that if a prisoner accepts any liquid other than water, such as the Kool-Aid issued with meals, that prisoner in counted as ending his hunger strike. If a prisoner is seen “fishing” – passing anything from cell-to-cell – that prisoner is similarly considered off hunger strike. This and other counting tricks keeps the number of hunger strikers low.)
Carol Strickman, an attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners With Children, has provided this list of other prisoners who, over the past two years, have similarly died and had their deaths ruled suicides, in the context of the ongoing hunger strikes against solitary:
Johnny Vick apparently hung himself on Friday, September 16, 2011, in his cell at Pelican Bay State Prison. This was during the period between the first and second phases of the 2011 hunger strike (July 1 – 20, then September 26 – October 13). He was 30 years old. We understand from Mr. Vick’s family that he had mental health issues. We are not certain that he was in the SHU or Ad-Seg at the time of his death, but had at one point been in the SHU. He may have been on suicide watch at the time of his death. It was reported that proper procedures were not followed.
Alex Machado hung himself on October 24, 2011, in his Ad-Seg cell at Pelican Bay State Prison. He had been placed in Ad-Seg at Kern Valley State Prison in December 2007. He was later transferred to Pelican Bay SHU in February 2010. In June, 2011, he was removed from the SHU and transferred to Ad-Seg at Pelican Bay due to his mental health needs. We do not know if he participated in the hunger strikes. Alex was known and liked for his assistance to other prisoners in their legal matters.
Neighboring prisoners reported that he was screaming for help before going silent. A longer report is available on Solitary Watch.
Hozel Blanchard killed himself on November 8 or 9, 2011 in his Ad-Seg cell in Calipatria State Prison. He was 41. In his last weeks, he wrote to his family and to the courts about guard harassment and he sought an emergency transfer out of that prison. He also wrote that he had been on hunger strike and had been hospitalized for it.
Christian Gomez died on February 2, 2012, while on hunger strike at
Corcoran State Prison. He was 27 years old. Corcoran prisoners had issued a set of demands to the warden in December 2011, and resumed a hunger strike in late January. Mr. Gomez had only been on hunger strike for a few days. His death may be attributable to an underlying medical condition possibly aggravated by a lack of treatment by the prison’s health care department.
As Strickman notes, “Regarding suicides in general, a report is written every year that analyzes each suicide, and recommendations are made to CDCR. The person who has written these reports resigned this year, stating that his recommendations are not followed.”
Commenting on these “suicides”, Chad Landrum (another hunger striker) wrote,
“How do we know that these men intended suicide? We don’t. But of greater significance, we do know that there were repeated attempts to call “Man Down”, kicking on cell doors, etc., which was willfully ignored and neglected by guards. In parallel circumstances, were not state employees involved, anyone else would be charged with either murder or at the very least manslaughter.”
Indeed, regardless of the precise manner in which Sell and the other suicided prisoners died, their deaths can be rightly seen as cases of murder. Just some of the many murders that have resulted from isolation torture, the cruelty of captivity and confinement, and the vicious refusal of prisoncrats and government leaders to negotiate in good faith and meet the prisoners’ just demands. Such systemic murder is the logical conclusion of a system designed to destroy people, the physical corollary to what is primarily intended to occur in their minds and spirits.
We must think hard on how to break the impasse and force an end to the ongoing confinement and torture of tens of thousands.
More lives depend on it.
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/the-murder-of-billy-sell/
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Letter from a Hunger Striker: “If We Can Do This in Prisons Then Our Barrios and Ghettos Can Also Form United Fronts Out in Society…”
Today marks day nine of our peaceful protest hunger strike/work strike. We have heard on the news that people are being rehoused in an effort to isolate people further! The whole purpose of what we are doing is to protest isolation and as a result this concentration kamp reacts by further isolating us!
The news said 30,000 people participated in this prison strike which made history. But the state has also made history by torturing thousands throughout Amerikkka and its gulags. We are facing an extermination, a neutralization of thousands of oppressed mostly Brown and Black peoples. But this soft genocide is an extension of the long lineage of colonization that Chicanos, New Afrikans and First Nations people have been facing for 500 years. Prisons in the U.S. today are but appendages of this legacy of oppression on these shores.
Although we live in this advanced Imperialist state with all its high tech modes of repression and ultra secret technology it continues to underestimate the power of the people. We sit here in a supermax isolation torture center and yet we managed to mobilize 30,000 people in gulags throughout the state and beyond to rise up to these barbaric conditions and we resist this barbaric practice of torturing us en masse.
What seems to anger the state the most is that we have broken with reactionary views and have taken on a more revolutionary stance in our struggle for human rights behind prison walls. We have come to see that the ruling class has pitted us against one another within prisons but this wasn’t the first time. For hundreds of years the state has found ways to use divide and conquer tactics to keep us unable to come together for a resolution to our common oppression.
Our biggest advancement has been in our ability to form this United Front and it frightens the state because if we can do this in prisons then our Barrios and Ghettos can also form United Fronts out in society and this is when real people’s power can be exercised outside the State’s influence, it is when the people can be introduced to alternative forms of authority.
Today we continue in our indefinite hunger strike as we face the beasts to stop the torture and this is but one step toward some real transformations in U.S. prisons and throughout Amerikka.
Jose H. Villarreal
PO Box 7500
Crescent City, CA 95532
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/letter-from-a-hunger-striker-day9/
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Panel Discussion: The California Prisoner Hunger Strike & Ending Long-term Solitary Confinement on 7-17-13 at Revolution Books in Berkeley, CA
Andres Thomas Conteris, CloseGitmo.net – Stop U.S. Torture in Gitmo and U.S. Prisons; Director, Program of the Americans of Nonviolence International — recently interviewed hunger strikers in Pelican Bay SHU
Steven Czifra is a UC Berkeley student who spent a total of eight years in solitary confinement, including five in the Pelican Bay SHU. Along with other UC students and professors, he is taking part in a rolling solidarity fast in support of the prisoners and their demands.
Larry Everest, covers the prisoner hunger strikes for Revolution newspaper and is the author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda. (See Revolution Interview: Carol Strickman, from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition Prisoners’ Struggle Against “Cruel and Unusual Punishment Amounting to Torture”)
Michael Montgomery is a reporter for KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting who has covered California prison issues.
Danny Murillo was arrested at 16 years young, and sentenced to 15 years in state prison. 17 months were spent in Administrative Segregation (the hole) and six years in the Security Housing Unit (the SHU). Currently an undergrad student at UC Berkeley in the Ethnic Studies department and a George Miller Scholar.
On July 8, California prison authorities admitted that over 30,000 prisoners had joined the hunger strike by refusing meals. The Los Angeles Times said this “could be the largest prison protest in state history.” Prisoner representatives from the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement said, “our nonviolent peaceful protest of our subjection to decades of indefinite state-sanctioned torture, via long-term solitary confinement will resume…consisting of a hunger strike/work stoppage of indefinite duration until CDCR [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] signs a legally binding agreement meeting our demands, the heart of which mandates an end to long-term solitary confinement (as well as additional major reforms).”
Co-sponsored by Revolution Books and
the Stop Mass Incarceration Network-Bay Area
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/panel-discussion-on-california-hunger-strike/
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/medical-abuse-2013/
Saturday, July 13, 2013
This statement was created by Members of The Prison Birth Project:
As Prisoners across the country prepare to strike, our hearts and thoughts are with them. As incarcerated women we know first hand many of the abuses the strikers face on a daily basis—as well as many of the repercussions they may face in retaliation for the action against these abuse.
As incarcerated mothers we experience lack of access to healthy food, lack of respect, autonomy and access to health care, lack of access to children and are regularly set up by the system to fail.
As we stand in solidarity with striking prisoners, we ask you to stand in solidarity with us. Not just on July 8th—but every day of the year. To be in solidarity with us, we need folks from outside to come inside! Being behind the wall is hard and we need support while we are here, so when we get out we can be leaders. We need allies to be here both inside and out, to support us in creating space and community, to come together and be leaders. We need to be leaders because we are the experts.
We are here. We need folks to listen from their heart and be by our side when we are ready to speak, to strike and to stand out. We need allies to rally in support of policies inside and out so we can survive while we are here and thrive when we get out. We need allies to help us break down the wall between men and women inside—to help us bridge the gap and support our families through the realities of the criminal system.
Because of our experience, we are the experts on these issues and we ask that all allies, reformers, abolitionists, lawyers, legislators and our families work together, come together around the realities – not rhetoric – and help us move mountains and break down the walls in a supportive and sustainable ways physically, spiritually, politically and personally.
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/statement-of-solidarity-from-incarcerated-women-across-massachusetts/
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Greetings to our supporters and all people of conscience.
We are grateful for your support of our peaceful protest against the state-sanctioned torture that happens not only here at Pelican Bay but in prisons everywhere. We have taken up this hunger strike and work stoppage, which has included 30,000 prisoners in California so far, not only to improve our own conditions but also an act of solidarity with all prisoners and oppressed people around the world.
We encourage everyone to take action to support the strike wherever they live. Sign the petition demanding California Governor stop the torture; plan rolling solidarity fasts if you are able; use every means to spread the word; and participate in non-violent direct action to put pressure on decision-makers.
If it was not for your support, we would have died in 2011. Thank you everyone. We are confident we will prevail.
– Todd Ashker, C-58191, PBSP-SHU, D4-121
– Arturo Castellanos, C-17275, PBSP-SHU, D1-121
– Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), C-35671, PBSP-SHU,D1-117
– Antonio Guillen, P-81948, PBSP-SHU, D2-106
The PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Representatives
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/july-9-short-corridor/
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
For more news about the 2013 prisoner strikes, see:
Some background documents:
- The New Boss Looks A Lot Like The Old Boss (by Ed Mead, March 2012)
- The 2011 Hunger Strikes Remembered: Resistance Against Neocolonial Imprisonment and Torture (Kersplebedeb, 2012)
And background documents from the Short Corridor Collective:
- Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement: Short Corridor Collective’s Counter-Proposal to CDCR (2012)
- Pelican Bay SHU Short Corridor Collective’s Rejection of CDCR Proposal (2012)
- Short Corridor Collective Announces Agreement to End Hostilities (September 2012)
- Prisoners reject CDCR proposal; threaten new hunger strike (December 2012)
- Peaceful Protest to Resume July 8th 2013, If Demands Are Not Met (February 2013)
- June 20 Statement From Pelican Bay Short Corridor Collective (June 2013)
To get daily updates on the 2013 prisoner strikes, subscribe to the Hungerstrike Newsletter using the form in the right sidebar.
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/2013-prisoner-strikes/
Monday, June 24, 2013
Transfered, Beaten and Abused: The Ongoing Persecution of Kevin “Rashid” Johnson by the u.s. Penal State
The following is from a letter just received from Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. As previously reported here, Rashid was recently transferred from Oregon to Virginia, likely in retaliation for his ongoing work reporting on and challenging abuses by the prisoncrats.
As can be seen here, Rashid is once again being targeted for physical and psychological abuse, with the goal of “breaking him”, i.e. destroying who he is and reducing him to a compliant inmate of their torture system. Rashid explains:
I was flown here to Texas on Jun 14. The day after I’d talked to Ben and wasn’t set for another call for several weeks. It was all timed and premeditated to carry out foul designs.
First I was sent to a prison called Byrd Unit, where, as soon as I showed up they put me in shackles, and cuffed me at the waist so my arms were immobile. Then a goon squad in waiting (hiding) forcibly cut all my hair off. Then they use the fact that I quite predictably resisted to speciously justify sending me to their long term solitary confinement prison called the Estelle Unit, where I remain.
Soon as I got here I’m met by another good squad, then cuffed behind and leg shackled after a strip search. They then took me into an office where the Assistant Warden Wayne Brewer, Major David Forrest and Captain James A. McKee were. When I properly asked Brewer who he was, he barked “shut up motherfucker. I’m doing the talking!” I was then immediately attacked by Forrest and McKee who repeatedly choked and hit me in the face and head, while Brewer went into a tirade of curses and threats to “break” me, “kill” me, etc. When I could breathe I just talked shit back. When they got tired, I was kicked out of the office and taken to a cell by the goon squad, when an injured throat and swollen left jaw. All requests for medical care have been ignored.
I have since been subjected to cell and strip searches at least every 30 minutes to 2 hours around the clock, every day. When I questioned this on Jun 19, I was promptly met by another good squad. I came out for the search without issue. Then I was ‘escorted’ back into the cell, laid on the floor in back of the cell out of view of a present portable audio-video camera and punched and kicked several times in the head and face.
The cells are full of mildew, black mold and roach infested. Prisoners are routinely beaten and abused back here. In fact the one housed in the cell directly in front of me, Edward Long #579657, was beaten while handcuffed behind. His right face if bruised and he has a laceration on the left side held shut with sutures tape. His left eye is surrounded by a black ring and his back is badly bruised.
I protested the haircut on spiritual grounds and was told Texas allows no exceptions. VA and OR blatantly violated my rights by sending me to a system where they knew I’d be shaved by force when they could have compacted me to a system that has no such requirements. See, Gortrell v. Ashcroft, 191 F. Supp 2d 23, 38-40 (2002). Also frequent searches even one a day are illegal. Blanks v. Smith, 790 F. Supp. 192, 194 (1992).
Also they gave me several bogus charges from the Byrd Unit, which McKee, who assaulted me, presided as hearings officer over, refused to let me appear and found me guilty.
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/transfered-beaten-and-abused-the-ongoing-persecution-of-kevin-rashid-johnson-by-the-u-s-penal-state/
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Rashid had been held in Oregon’s Orwellian Snake River Correctional Unit – an unvarnished behavior modification programme – since last 2012. In Oregon he had written a series of articles exposing the racism, medical neglect, and psychological abuse to which prisoners in that state are subjected. Like his initial transfer from Virginia to Oregon over a year ago, this latest move – yet again, across the country – is clearly retaliation for his persistence in shining light on abysmal and destructive conditions that prevail in prisons across america.
So now Rashid is in Texas. We don’t know what condition he is in, or what conditions he is being held in, but the time after a transfer is often disorienting, and the prisoncrats and guards often seize the opportunity to practice their malice. For that reason, now is a particularly important time to reach out and let this comrade know that he is in our thoughts – even a postcard with a simple message saying hello would be welcome at a time like this – and in doing so, you also let his current captors know that he is not alone, and that despite their efforts he is not isolated from us.
Write to Rashid at:
TDCJ # 01859887
264 FM Road 3478
Huntsville, TX 77320
Make sure a first and last name are clearly printed in the return address section of the envelope or your mail will be returned. Also, remember not to say anything that would give the guards an excuse to mess with Rashid more than they already are.
To learn more about Rashid, check out his website at rashidmod.com
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/rashid-transferred-to-texas/
Monday, June 10, 2013
Sleep Deprivation Intensifies Torture Conditions for Prisoners in Advance of Hunger Strikes and Work Actions
Oakland— Less than a month before state-wide hunger strikes are set to resume, The California Department of Corrections has instituted a new policy at Pelican Bay State Prison which has resulted in chronic sleep deprivation for prisoners in solitary confinement.
Both guards and prisoners complained to lawyers conducting legal visits last week about a new policy requiring prison guards to conduct “welfare checks” every thirty minutes on prisoners isolated in the prison’s Security Housing Units (SHU). Normally, prisoners in the SHU are counted every three to four hours by guards who patrol each unit, ensuring prisoners are in their cells. Each prisoner must be observed physically moving or showing skin. The frequency and method of these counts have already been challenged in a Federal lawsuit, /Ashker v. Brown/. Experts claim the sleep deprivation caused by the counts violate prisoners’ 8th Amendment rights.
“Sleep deprivation has many significant psychological consequences including irritability and impairment of the ability to make rational decisions,” says Dr. Terry Kupers, a clinical psychiatrist and an expert on forensic mental health. “Because of the harm it causes, sleep deprivation has been described as torture by organizations such as Amnesty International.”
The new policy has been ordered by Jeffrey Beard, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) newly appointed secretary whose Senate Confirmation Hearing is scheduled for June 19, 2013. The directive applies to over 1,100 prisoners who are in solitary confinement in Pelican Bay.
“Tensions were very high at Pelican Bay last week,” says Anne Weills, an attorney who is representing SHU prisoners at Pelican Bay. “The guards are on edge and upset about this new policy. Obviously the prisoners are on edge and suffering because of the sleep deprivation. But they remain resilient and deeply committed to peaceful actions to make necessary changes.”
In January, prisoners at Pelican Bay announced in an open letter to Governor Brown that they would resume hunger strikes and include work actions to protest the conditions of their confinement. In 2011 over 12,000 prisoners in over a third of California’s 33 prisons participated in two waves of hunger strikes. The 2011 strike was called off when the CDCR promised new policies and other improvements that addressed five demands outlined by prisoners. Almost two years later, prisoners and advocates claim the CDCR’s promises have been empty, and prison conditions have worsened.
“This is torture,” says Azadeh Zohrabi of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. “This intensified sleep deprivation adds to the long list of human rights violations endured by thousands of prisoners held in solitary for prolonged and indefinite terms, some for decades.”
Lawyers and advocates have also received demands from prisoners who plan to go on strike in San Quentin, High Desert, and Corcoran State Prisons. Prisoners have been clear that the strike could be called off if Governor Brown engaged in good-faith negotiations. Brown’s office has not responded to their request.
on the main Kersplebedeb website: http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/sleep-deprivation-intensifies-torture-conditions-for-prisoners-in-advance-of-hunger-strikes-and-work-actions/