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Readers’ Views: May-June 2017

May 1, 2017

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

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Humanism: a way forward for prisoners

September 17, 2016

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.”

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Shut down all of today’s Alcatrazes!

September 14, 2016

On Aug. 23, California’s Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition leafletted the staging area for trips to Alcatraz prison raising discussions with locals and tourists about how solitary confinement is torture.

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Walking against indefinite detention

Buddy Bell of Voices for Creative Nonviolence tells of their recent 150-mile walk across the state of Illinois on the issues of indefinite detention, solitary confinement and the racist U.S. prison system.

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Voices From the Inside Out: Prisoner’s ‘worth’

July 5, 2016

Prisoner Robert Taliaferro discusses the profit made from prisoners by the prison industrial complex and the shame of supposed rehabilitative programs that in reality are required, not for rehabilitation but for continued punishment of prisoners and profit for the prisons.

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HugoPinellBW

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell (1945-2015)

September 3, 2015

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.

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rm 18 archÌv - Na snÌmke bez udania d·tumu, ktor˙ poskytol Washington Post 21.aprÌla 2004, americk˝ vojak drûÌ psa pred irack˝m v‰zÚom vo v‰znici Ab˙ Ghraib. Washington Post ˙dajne zÌskal stovky fotografiÌ a kr·tkych digit·lnych videoz·znamov, doteraz nezverejnen˝ch, na ktor˝ch americkÌ vojaci na jeseÚ 2003 citovo a telesne zneuûÌvaj˙ irack˝ch v‰zÚov vo v‰znici Ab˙ Ghraib z·padne od Bagdadu. TASR/AP
This undated still photo made available by The Washington Post on Friday May 21, 2004, shows a U.S. soldier holding a dog in front an Iraqi detainee at Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad. The Washington Post has obtained what it says are hundreds of photographs and short digital videos - as of yet officially unreleased - depicting U.S. soldiers physically and emotionally abusing detainees last fall in the Abu Ghraib prison. (AP Photo/The Washington Post) ** MANDATORY CREDIT: THE WASHINGTON POST ** INTERNET OUT, NO SALES **

Philip Zimbardo and Marx’s Humanism

August 30, 2015

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.

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Graphic for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Transgender liberation at the Left Forum

July 3, 2015

A report of two workshops on Trans liberation at the Left Forum, one that was affirming and one that provided no way forward for Trans people except a very narrow view of both gender and the Trans liberation struggle.”

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Kalief Browder

Editorial: Black Lives Matter NOW!

June 28, 2015

The video of Cpl. Eric Casebolt’s June 5 attack on Dejerria Becton and other kids at a pool party in McKinney, Texas, went viral because it was simultaneously shocking and commonplace. In 2015 USA, protests were inevitable and were heard around the world.

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Women in solitary

March 7, 2015

A woman prisoner talks about how women experience Security Housing Units (SHUs) at the California Institution for Women (CIW).

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“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

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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Photo by Urszula Wislanka for News & Letters.

Prison hunger strike commemorated

November 24, 2014

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 [=>]

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Solidarity had the might to move the mountain of prison torture that kept us isolated and voiceless. ­ We still need you now, even more

October 13, 2014

An appeal from prison hunger strike activists Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Jabari Scott about the unlawful and inhuman conditions at Tehachapi State Prison and the non-implementation of the agreements worked out between prisoners and California Gov. Jerry Brown. News and Letters Committees has been covering the prisoners’ hunger strike even before it began (see Pelican [=>]

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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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Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part 2

August 31, 2014

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. [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 1

July 7, 2014

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

RESPONSES TO MARXIST-HUMANIST PERSPECTIVES

The Marxist-Humanist Perspectives (N&L, May-June 2014) give a critical assessment of the polarization between the oppressive forces of capital’s social relations and humanity’s efforts to realize human dignity. It shows humans are not just passive victims of capital. First [=>]

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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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Readers’ Views, Jan.-Feb. 2014, Part 2

March 9, 2014

From the January-February 2014 issue of News & Letters:

Readers’ Views, Part 2

ENVIRONMENT UNDER THREAT

Recently I attended a talk near Berkeley, Calif., by a retired professor about the effect of environmental damage on political instability in the Middle East. He spoke disparagingly of Arab countries, but was full of praise for Israeli technology and “adaptive [=>]

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Catch-22 for prisoner with disabilities

December 7, 2013

The only way to get out of Administrative Segregation is by attending the Gang Renouncement and Dissociation Process. After many months I was told that I could not attend this program because the units do not house inmates with wheelchairs and don’t have cells or showers for the handicapped.

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Maroon the Implacable

December 6, 2013

Faruq, a prisoner at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, reviews “Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz” (PM Press, 2013), written by a revolutionary theorist forced to endure the psychological and physical torture of solitary confinement for the past 40 years.

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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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Pelican Bay prisoners suspend their hunger strike

November 19, 2013

The PBSP-SHU, Short Corridor Collective Representatives hereby serve notice upon all concerned parties that after nine weeks we have collectively decided to suspend our third hunger strike action on Sept. 5, 2013. To be clear, our Peaceful Protest of Resistance to our continuous subjection to decades of systemic state-sanctioned torture via the system’s solitary confinement units is far from over. Our decision to suspend our third hunger strike in two years does not come lightly. This decision is especially difficult considering that most of our demands have not been met (despite nearly universal agreement that they are reasonable).

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Families stand up for prisoners’ rights

September 21, 2013

From the new September-October 2013 issue of News & Letters:

Families stand up for prisoners’ rights

Editor’s note: Marie Levin spoke at many of the demonstrations. This statement is from July 31.

Oakland, Calif.—My name is Marie Levin. My brother, Sitawa Jamaa, is in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay. He has been on hunger strike [=>]

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News & Letters banned in Pelican Bay

September 19, 2013

On July 8, 2013, another hunger strike was launched here inside the security housing unit (SHU) in an ongoing effort to try to bring an end to the injustice of long-term SHU confinement. On July 12 I was prevented from receiving the July-August issue of N&L because page 9 had an article on the Pelican Bay hunger strike.

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Support striking prisoners!

July 4, 2013

Since February, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have carried on a massive hunger strike to protest indefinite detention in abusive conditions with no end in sight…. On July 8th California prisoners being held in solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay “security housing unit” (SHU) for indeterminate periods will resume their hunger strike.

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May-June 2013 issue of News & Letters is out

April 29, 2013

The new May-June 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web:

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013
You may view this issue of News & Letters in pdf form here

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view

The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in [=>]

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California hearings on prison torture

March 24, 2013

From the new March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters:

California hearings on prison torture

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 [=>]

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Pelican Bay prisoners aim to end hostilities

December 11, 2012

From the November-December 2012 issue of News & Letters

Pelican Bay prisoners aim to end hostilities

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 [=>]

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Mock SHU draws crowds

October 3, 2012

From the September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters:

Mock SHU draws crowds

Photo by Urszula Wislanka for News & Letters

San Francisco—The San Francisco Mime Troupe invited the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Support Coalition (PBHSSC) to put up a mock Security Housing Unit (SHU) cell at their performances of “The Poor of New York,” a satire [=>]

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From the belly of the beast—Pelican Bay prisoners speak

August 10, 2012

From the July-August 2012 issue of News & Letters:

From the belly of the beast—Pelican Bay prisoners speak

A new pamphlet

Pamphlet front cover

From the Introduction:

Hunger strikes by California prisoners, fighting perpetual solitary confinement, arose in mid-summer 2011 and the fall just when the Occupy movement took off. The prisoners’ thoughts and actions put the criminal justice [=>]

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New May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters is online

May 3, 2012

The new issue of N&L is online:

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013

Counter-revolution’s rise shows need for a total philosophy

Revolution, having forced its way to center stage over the last year and a half, cannot easily be bottled up. That explains the viciousness of the counter-revolution, whether the violent police attacks on occupations from New York to [=>]

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Voices from Pelican Bay SHU hunger strikers

November 26, 2011

From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Voices from Pelican Bay SHU hunger strikers

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 [=>]

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

November 17, 2011

From the new November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:

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

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 [=>]

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