12 years in the SHU

May 1, 2015

Pelican Bay Prison, Calif.—Twelve years have passed since I entered the Security Housing Unit (SHU) on gang validation. This year I turned 53 years old. My cognitive skills over this past decade have taken an odd turn. The deterioration is discernible. When I first arrived I was attentive and, if you’ll excuse the expression, bright-eyed. I thought I could beat this thing, whatever this thing was. I confess—I was ignorant.

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What solitary means

January 30, 2015

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.

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House of no justice

September 1, 2014

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.

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No rehabilitation

July 7, 2014

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 [=>]

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California legislators ignore hunger strikers’ voices

March 19, 2014

Sacramento, Calif.–At the Legislative Hearings on Feb. 11, experts presented their analyses, which showed that even the very small changes California Department of Corrections (CDC) said they were implementing, in fact they are not. No policies are being changed to address the problems brought out by prisoners and their families. One family member was taking the legislators to task, saying that the promises of reform the legislators vow to make now, they made 10 years ago. Nothing changed. Things got worse.

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Support prison truce

December 5, 2013

Alex Sanchez, co-founder of Homies Unidos in Los Angeles, spoke in support of prisoners’ call to cease hostilities, backing the solutions arrived at by those who used to be part of the problem.

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California hearings on prison torture

March 24, 2013

Sacramento, Calif.–On Feb. 25, around 100 people, mostly family members of prisoners organized as California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC), gathered on the state capitol steps. They shared their stories before a historic second legislative hearing on California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDC) policies regarding prisoners held in the Security Housing Units (SHUs). An [=>]

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March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web

March 16, 2013

The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013

Lead

From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedom

Two recent events have shown the deep and seemingly intractable worldwide oppression of women and, at the same time, revealed women’s militancy and determination to [=>]

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Pelican Bay prisoners aim to end hostilities

December 11, 2012

Hunger strike unity logo created by a Pelican Bay prisoner

Agreement to End Hostilities

(NOTE: All names and the statement must be verbatim when used and posted on any website or media, or non-media, publications)

August 12, 2012

To whom it may concern and all California Prisoners:

Greetings from the all PBSP-SHU [Pelican Bay State Prison-Security Housing [=>]

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Voices from Pelican Bay SHU hunger strikers

November 26, 2011

September 28, 2011

Revolutionary Salutation,

The SHU prisoners hunger strike started again as of Sept. 26….Apparently the level of prisoner participation surprised California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)….Despite the attempt to undermine and stigmatize the latest effort, the general consensus of the prisoners is that there is no stopping until some real quality changes are made [=>]

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SHU prisoners: We want to be treated like human beings!

November 17, 2011

Pelican Bay, Calif.–On Sept. 26 Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisoners resumed their hunger strike, suspended on July 20, to give California prison authorities a chance to make good on their promises to address the prisoners demands (see “Pelican Bay SHU struggle continues!” Sept.-Oct. N&L). Especially important to the prisoners was getting out of perpetual solitary confinement, [=>]

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November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters available on the web

November 6, 2011

November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters now on the web…
Lead: Occupy Wall Street strikes deep chord, challenges rulers

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, since beginning in New York City’s Zuccotti Park–renamed Liberty Plaza–on Sept. 17, has spread to hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S. and linked with the occupation movements in Europe. [=>]

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L.A. solidarity with Pelican Bay prisoners

September 15, 2011

Los Angeles–On Aug. 13, 30 youths, mostly young women, gathered at the County Twin Towers Prison to support the Pelican Bay prisoners’ hunger strike. With the drumbeat and the performance of Aztec dancers, the protesters held individually made signs that read: “Prisoners are human beings, give them their rights”; “We stand in solidarity for prisoners’ [=>]

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Pelican Bay hunger striker speaks

September 14, 2011

Pelican Bay, Calif.–Here in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU), a number of us prisoners decided to launch a peaceful collective protest in the form of a hunger strike starting July 1. This action is necessary due to the anti-human, draconian institutional policies implemented by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

According [=>]

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Pelican Bay SHU struggle continues!

September 13, 2011

Pelican Bay, Calif.–The hunger strike among California prisoners, consigned to perpetual solitary confinement in Security Housing Units (SHU), was suspended on July 20. The conditions that drove many prisoners to severely endanger their health by not eating for three weeks persist. According to prison officials themselves, at one point 6,600 inmates in at least 13 [=>]

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New September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters now available online

September 10, 2011

News & Letters, Vol. 56, No. 5
September-October 2011

Lead

Political spectacles cannot hide reality of deranged capitalism

At the end of a months-long political spectacle in Washington–manufactured over irrelevancies concerning what should have been a routine raising of the national debt limit before the Aug. 2 deadline–reality struck with a bombshell: the anemic “jobless” recovery in the U.S. [=>]

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Stop torture in California prisons!

August 6, 2011

A special report from News and Letters Committees:

Stop torture in California prisons!

The hunger strike among California prisoners, consigned to perpetual solitary confinement in Security Housing Units (SHU), officially ended on July 20th but what persists are the conditions that drove many prisoners to severely endanger their health by not eating for three weeks. Prisoners we [=>]

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Pelican Bay SHU on hunger strike

July 22, 2011

Editor’s note: Prisoners at Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHUs) are going on a hunger strike July 1 to demand the prison recognize they are human beings. This follows the Georgia prison uprising and the Ohio prisoners’ actions earlier this year. Prisoners at Corcoran State Prison announced they are joining the strike. Several cities, including [=>]

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