Detroit activists reviews the film, “Detroit,” and finds it insulting to actual history and a “brilliantly filmed wasted opportunity.”
On July 20 a remarkable collection of people from many faiths gathered in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in San Francisco to urge them to release Veronica Zepeda from Mesa Verde Detention Facility.
Chelsea Manning received a Presidential commutation but deserves much more. She is owed a pardon, compensation and an apology
In-person report of a vigil in Chicago against the torture of Ildar Dadin and other political prisoners in Russia.
Prisoner Robert Taliaferro writes of the Wisconsin maximum security facility prisoners’ hunger strike to end the inhumane practice of long-term solitary confinement and for improved medical care for prisoners with mental illness in segregation.
A view of what the failed coup in Turkey has wrought, including mass arrests of teachers, trade unionists, doctors, medical personnel, and others as Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, makes a grab for total power.
Healthcare worker Htun Lin takes up the relationship between workers in healthcare in the U.S. who are told “not everyone can be saved,” and what is happening in Syria where the Syrian government, Russia and Iran are bombing civilians including–or especially–hospitals and healthcare workers.
Indigenous people, mostly women, respond to a video about their community, the ejido of Tila, which struggled against the government who tried to take their land and are now an independent community.
Foregrounding the new formal solidarity between Trust Black Women with Black Lives Matter, we explore the thought and actions of women worldwide, including the struggle for reproductive justice in the U.S.; women fighting war and terrorism in places like South Sudan and Syria, the successful fight of domestic workers to organize, and the need to make the revolutionary content of such actions explicit.
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2016-2017
Women prisoners in Central California Prison are battered by so-called wellness checks.
On the deadly racism of the Chicago and U.S. police and the creative response from those struggling against it.
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.
A roundup of the situation of people with disabilities and how they are fighting for their rights including in Mexico, a prison in Carlisle, Penn., outrage against the shackling of two young students with disabilities in Covington, KY, the banning of a child with cerebral palsy and autism in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and disabled people in Iraq who face neglect and isolation.
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.
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.
Now there is the convening in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on May 7 of the Women’s Court on war crimes against women during the war in the 1990s. Women came together from all corners of the former Yugoslavia to demand justice for the crimes committed against them during the wars and the suffering that followed.
Tulsa: Eric Harris murdered by Sheriff’s “reserve” cop; North Charleston: cop murder of Walter Scott videoed; Chicago: meager reparations for victims of police torture.
Durban, South Africa—On April 8 Abahlali baseMjondolo supported a march against xenophobia organized by our comrades in the Congolese Solidarity Campaign together with the Somali Association of South Africa and other migrant organizations. There was a permit for the march and yet the police would not allow it to go ahead.
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.
Crescent City, Calif.—The physical and emotional toll of being in the SHU (prisons’ “Secure Housing Unit”): • Manic guards off their meds. • That last good photograph stamped with a boot. • Classification hearings postponed for potlucks. • The daughter whose eyes fill when you ask innocently, who are you?…
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 [=>]
The U.S. government took an ominous, reactionary political turn in the 2014 midterm elections, with Republicans taking control of the Senate. Extreme pro-war Senators like Joni Ernst in Iowa and Tom Cotton in Arkansas join veterans like Senator “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” John McCain, who will now control the Armed Services Committee and is hell-bent for new “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq. The whole Republican campaign—including these pro-war, pro-fossil-fuel, pro-“fetus is a person” candidates—ran on a cynically deceptive anti-Obama mantra….
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 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 [=>]
“My decision to go on hunger strike points to the need for new forces to defend the idea of universal human rights. Although the number of inmates refusing to take food at Guantanamo has recently declined substantially, solidarity remains a vitally important factor.”
Readers’ Views from the Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: SYRIA AND WORLD POLITICS; WARS PAST AND PRESENT; PHILOSOPHY AND MASSES; PRISONERS READ & SPEAK
London, England—Some found it strange that a man voluntarily stopped eating for over 20 days. I found it hard. After all, I like to eat as much as anyone else. Yet my decision to go on hunger strike in support of Guantanamo Bay prisoners had a deeper, political meaning.
I was in good company. The usually [=>]
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.
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).
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.
Escape from Camp 14 is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in a North Korean slave labor camp to escape, doing so at the age of 23 in 2005. Shin’s life is testament to the putrid essence of that militarized, state-capitalist totalitarian society.
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 [=>]
The opening of Barack Obama’s second term made it clear that, despite all talk of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is to be no end to the state of permanent war either abroad or at home.
President Obama promises to end the war in Afghanistan after 13 years. But the Afghan people have [=>]
The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013
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 [=>]
Los Angeles—On Jan. 10, 150 activists gathered outside the downtown Federal Building to protest the ongoing torture and indefinite detentions of Muslim prisoners for a decade, without charges. The press conference was sponsored by Amnesty International, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, and Immigrant Communities for Justice and Peace. Pacifica Radio KPFK, Global TV [=>]
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 [=>]
Chicago—Twenty-four Black men are still in jail almost 40 years after the first allegations of torture were brought against the Chicago Police Department.
In every case, their confessions were obtained illegally through torture.
On Nov. 5, 30 people, including the mother of Javan Deloney and family members of four or five other torture victims, met at the [=>]
From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011
Part II of
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2012
Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage
- I. The Arab Spring
- II. The wars at home
- III. Japan: earthquake, tsunami and meltdown
- IV. Revolution, organization and philosophy
- V. Marxist-Humanist Tasks
(Part I was posted yesterday. Parts III through V to come in the next few days)
II. The [=>]
Editor’s note: Mark Clements spent 28 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was one of many tortured under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s reign of terror. Clements is now Chairman of the Wrongful Convictions Committee of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. The following is excerpted from [=>]
THE OPPOSITE OF WAR IS NOT PEACE BUT REVOLUTION
Your Statement, War threat over Korea,” issued on your website on Dec. 9 had it just right! “The continuing threat of war on the Korean Peninsula underscores the urgency of the Marxist-Humanist perspective that the opposite of war is not peace but revolution.”
And you had it right [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:
Forum: Stop the culture of torture
Chicago–At the end of September the Illinois Coalition Against Torture gave venue to torture victims and their primary lawyer at “Jon Burge GUILTY–beyond the trial.” The event featured Mary L. Johnson, mother of a still-imprisoned torture victim; Flint Taylor, battling lawyer for [=>]