Jonathan J. Rodriguez submits a drawing of the view from his solitary cell.
Report on the 21-day hunger strike begun by prisoners at Folsom State Prison’s administrative segregation on May 26th.
Readers’ Views on Philosophy and Revolt vs. Trumpism; Trump and the Left; Injustice to Immigrants; Anti-Woman, Anti-Labor Uber; ACT UP; From Iran; To Mexico; Why Read News & Letters?
Although we do not have a daily newspaper, this crisis-ridden period compels us to strive to act as if we do. Organizational tasks as always are meant to include, not exclude, friends and new contacts who are not yet Marxist-Humanists.
The unprecedented Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration revealed the blossoming of a universal movement with many particulars, from women’s demand to control their own bodies, to Black Lives Matter, to the struggle at Standing Rock.
Reader’s Views on Women vs. Reaction; Women and Philosophy; Syria and Humanity; Support Trans Children!; Animals and Us; Repression vs. Justice; Why Read “N&L”; Voices from Behind the Bars
Readers’ Views on Hegel’s dialectic and today’s retrogression; Why read N&L?; La Raza unida; Education and freedom; Racism in Burma and U.S.; Voices from behind the bars
Readers’ Views on The Dialectic of History Vs. Retrogression; Prisoners, Supporters Speak.
Shared story from Jesse Perez, prisoner in solitary confinement in a California prison.
Prisoner and hunger striker Faruq looks at the way forward after the historic California prisoners’ hunger strike and emphasizes the importance of “the banner of our humanism that allowed the forging of a tremendous unification across the racial divides.”
An appeal for funds to help keep the paper, News & Letters, going and growing; and to help us expand our subscriptions to prisoners.
Readers’ Views on Needed New Beginnings in Philosophy and Revolution; Making One Year Count; Subjugated Knowledge; Free Syria/May Day; and Voices From Behind the Bars.
On the same day that General William Westmoreland waved the flag before Congress, Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army. While the general was applauded even by the doves, Ali was, within hours, stripped of his title of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. War exposed the open nerve—”the Black Question”—which has always been the touchstone of U.S. history. It placed American civilization on trial before the world much more seriously than the “war crimes tribunal” in Stockholm.
The Berkeley Human Rights Center hosted a talk, “The (In)Justice System: Incarceration, Education, and Reentry: Reversing the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” part of a series about imprisonment, arbitrary and racist “mass incarceration.” The primary purpose—to create different realities for the incarcerated, the formerly incarcerated, and those yet to be incarcerated—was not made central.
Readers’ Views on Women as Reason; Harriet Tubman; Racism and Internationalism; Bisexual Health; Trans Liberation and Feminism; Chinese State vs. Workers; Nuclear Arms Threaten All; Ireland’s Red Banner; Remembering Olga Domanski; Haggard but Not Tired; Voices from Behind the Bars.
Part V of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Together with the depths of counter-revolution, the passion for philosophy points to both the need for and the potential for totally new beginnings in the transformation of society, for new banners of freedom as a polarizing force.
Part I of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Discontent is seething in the U.S. among workers, youth, Blacks, women, LGBTQ, including elements of the new society. Fear of revolution is powering neo-fascism opposing the revolt.
Readers’ Views on: The Movements from Practice and from Theory; Berta Caceres; Why Read N&L?; Women’s Liberation; Voices from behind the Bars.
An article by a formerly incarcerated person who gives a critical review of a conference on the criminal (in)justice system that leaves out the heart of the issue because it leaves out those most impacted by incarceration.
Women prisoners in Central California Prison are battered by so-called wellness checks.
Jury unanimously finds that prison guards violated California prisoner Jesse Perez’s constitutional rights.
Philosophy, theory and News & Letters; Flint Part Ii; Mumia Abu-Jamal; Voices from behind the bars.
California prisoners battle barbaric ‘justice’ system; Against ISIS attacks; Women under attack; Support Maati Monjib; The Burmese Way; Race, class & politics.
readers views, nov dec 2015, part 2
The Raza needs theory that includes struggles within U.S. borders, not simply how to support other people’s struggles. There are issues unique to our existence. Nationalism of the oppressed is applied Internationalism.
On the 60th anniversary of News & Letters we discuss its philosophic basis and invite readers to participate.
In California the ongoing struggle of prisoners against the U.S.’s barbaric criminal justice system reached a milestone in the effort to totally transform a society in which millions of poor, unemployed and people of color end up in an inhuman gulag.
On Aug. 12, Hugo “Yogi” Pinell (1945-2015) was killed in the California State Prison-Sacramento. Pinell was a comrade of George Jackson, W.L. Nolen, James Carr, and other founders of the modern prison movement.
Pelican Bay Prison guards use court-ordered “wellness checks” to harass prisoners. They make it impossible for anyone to get any sleep as they rampage through each SHU pod for 10-20 minutes.
Readers’ thoughts on “Dialectics of Philosophy and of Forces of Revolution”; “Free Mumia!”; “Federico Arcos, 1920-2015”; and a section of “Voices from Behind the Bars.”
A discussion with Philip Zimbardo followed the San Francisco premiere of “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” a movie based on his notorious 1971 experiment. It raises questions about the meaning of being human, which for Marx turned on needing human beings as free beings whose self-determining, free, conscious activity is not a mere means but the first necessity of life.
Black lives as Subject; Russia in crisis; Nothing about us without us; Homelessness in L.A.; Central Canada Alliance; Perspectives and philosophy; Elderly to the streets?; Women and Yemen half-peace; Labor and climate justice; Dialectic and women’s liberation; Voices from behind the bars
Prisoner Rand W. Gould writes to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder about what is wrong with continued incarceration of elderly prisoners.
New York—Police here have been told to halt stop-and-frisk policies because they unfairly target Black and Latino youth. But the Transgender community in Jackson Heights, New York, is undergoing its own particular form of stop and frisk. Trans women, especially Trans women of color, are stopped on a daily basis, told that they have to submit to a search (which they don’t) and if they are found in possession of a condom (which is legal) they are arrested for loitering or prostitution.
Revolt and Counter-Revolution, from Greece to Syria; Here Come the Reformers; Women’s Freedom; Against Racism
The thoughts of News & Letters readers on: MARXIST-HUMANIST PHILOSOPHY IN THE WHIRLWIND OF EVENTS; SAVING THE PLANET; and VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS.
UltraViolet, a mostly online petition-generating organization, recently went out into the real world by holding 25 or so “meet and greet” events in 15 different states. The one I went to was on the north side of Chicago.
Nothing can prepare you for entering the Security Housing Unit (SHU). It’s a world unto itself where cold, quiet and emptiness come together, seeping into your bones, then eventually the mind.
Dunayevskaya’s letters on Hegel’s Absolutes; Bhopal toxic disaster; Voices from behind the bars
Stepping across the threshold of this particular Death’s door, I was greeted by the spectacle of ancient and sick prisoners in wheelchairs being rolled silently through the hallways, looking like so many ghosts in some haunted asylum.
Protests erupted following the decision by a St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the cold-blooded murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Thousands marched under the slogan “Black Lives Matter!” These demonstrations grew in the wake of the equally outrageous decision of a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the murder of Eric Garner.
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Oakland, Calif.—On Sept. 6 about 100 people in Mosswood Park commemorated one year since the suspension of the historic 60-day hunger strike, the third of its kind, by California prisoners opposing the torture of solitary confinement. The Security Housing Units (SHU) prisoners’ unprecedented cross-race [=>]
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Readers’ Views, Part 2
PHILOSOPHY, ACTIVITY, ORGANIZATION AND SOCIALISM
I appreciate how Dunayevskaya relates Hegel’s Absolutes with the concrete tasks of building a revolutionary organization. History is the process of becoming. Hegel said that Being and Nothing are abstractions, whereas [=>]
I am an inmate at New Folsom State Prison and was personally involved in the statewide hunger strike that started on July 1 in protest of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitiation’s (CDCR) practices of cruel and unusual punishment.
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Amarillo, Texas—The Texas prison system cut the total number of first-class letters that indigent prisoners are allowed to send from five per week to five per month. This has backed up my correspondence. By the end of the first week I have already posted my [=>]
From the September-October 2014 News & Letters
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION
I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
by Robert Taliaferro
Race has always been at the forefront of this nation since its founding. It seems ironic that the generation that produced the country’s first Black president is also the generation that is seeing the advances made in civil rights during [=>]
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
Oakland, Calif.—On June 14 Critical Resistance (CR), an organization working for the abolition of the prison system, held a community forum on California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr). (Prisoners refuse to capitalize the “R” because there is no “rehabilitation.”)
The forum took up new [=>]
From the May-June 2014 issue of News & Letters:
LABOR AND IMMIGRATION
On April 8, about 100 people, the majority young Latinas/os, gathered in front of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the deportation of immigrants. Obama’s administration has aggressively deported 2,000,000 immigrants. We held signs reading: “Not Even One More!” and “No Separation of [=>]
Hungary’s discrimination; violence against women with disabilities in EU; Jenny Hatch wins right to make her own decisions; death of Michael Anthony Kerr, a North Carolina prisoner with disabilities.