Women prisoners and allies create health fair

July 8, 2015

Prisoner-advocates in Central California Women’s Facility initiated a health information exchange, not just sharing information about health, but acknowledging people taking care of each other under the worst conditions. Such care does exist in the prison and it needs support to strengthen and reinforce it.

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2015

July 4, 2015

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

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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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Journey to Death’s door

January 29, 2015

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.

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Essay: ‘We all can’t breathe’–Reflections on Marx’s Humanism and Fanon

As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?

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Revolt surges against racist system destroying Black lives

January 27, 2015

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.

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From Ferguson to Staten Island: The logic of racism is genocide

December 5, 2014

Protests erupted after the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner were let off. They mark a new moment of rebellion against a social order in which Black youth are made to live continuously suspended over an abyss of non-existence.
The passion to tear up this deeply racist society by the roots calls for the fullest development in activity and thought.

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Michael Brown rally

November 25, 2014

A participant reports on demonstrations in St. Louis and Memphis over the killing of Michael Brown and others by police.

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Readers’ Views, November-December 2014, Part 2

November 23, 2014

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 [=>]

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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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Prisoners’ food and mail cut

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 [=>]

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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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Voices From the Inside Out: On prison and race

July 7, 2014

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 [=>]

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No rehabilitation

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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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 2

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

UNCHAINING THE DIALECTIC

Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1953 breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolute Idea enabled her to illuminate a path not traveled by previous generations of revolutionaries. She is quite emphatic in raising the importance of “Unchaining the Revolutionary Dialectic” (May-June 2014 N&L), and capturing what [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 1

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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Low-wage workers strike, reach for a new way of life

July 1, 2014

The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.

A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.

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Readers’ Views, May-June 2014

May 25, 2014

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 Family!” Separation of family members has serious adverse effects [=>]

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Handicap This! May-June 2014

May 24, 2014

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.

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‘We do change in prison’

May 15, 2014

“When I came to prison, I was angry. I was hurt—physically, mentally and spiritually. I have fought very hard to become a person who lives with dignity.”

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Revolt and retrogression at home

May 6, 2014

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015: From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy. II. Revolt and retrogression at home. A. Women under attack. B. Many dimensions of revolt

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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

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 science.” He stated that autocracy was the best way to confront [=>]

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Prison privatization is a crime

February 13, 2014

On Dec. 1, Aramark Correctional Services will begin running Food Service for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), creating another sector of low-wage workers in Michigan. In a state struggling with a high unemployment rate and flooded with low-wage dead-end jobs, 60,000 in the fast-food sector in the metro Detroit area alone, why would the state government choose to add to these statistics?

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January-February 2014 News & Letters online

February 4, 2014

The January-February issue of News & Letters is online. Rampant U.S. surveillance slouches toward totalitarianism; Tahrir three years later; Charles Denby, worker-editor; Syrian revolution ‘brought us together’; Communization theory’s missing link: dialectical mediation; what happens after; Language and death in Juárez; Let RNs give care; …

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Readers’ Views, Nov.-Dec. 2013, Part 1

December 14, 2013

Readers’ Views from Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: U.S. RACISM AND BLACK AND LATINO STRUGGLES; LABOR UNDER ATTACK; CTA vs. THE HOMELESS; DISABILITY AND HUMANITY; ABORTION IS A HUMAN NEED; EGYPT’S CONTRADICTIONS; DETROIT CRISIS; NUCLEAR PERIL; WHY A NEWSPAPER LIKE N&L?

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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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No new LA jails!

October 4, 2013

Over 100 activists held a “no new prison” press conference and rally to stop plans to spend over $2 billion to build two new Los Angeles County jails. Rather than caging people, grant the money to community-based organizations and alternative solutions.

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Families stand up for prisoners’ rights

September 21, 2013

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 since its beginning, 24 days now. It’s a shame that our government has allowed [=>]

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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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Racism and the fight against it take center stage in the U.S.

September 5, 2013

Nationwide protests erupted immediately after the outrageous July 13 acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering 17-year-old African-American high school student Trayvon Martin last year. Within three days, thousands of protesters came out in dozens of cities, and a new group called the Dream Defenders began a 31-day occupation of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

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September-October 2013 issue of News & Letters available

September 3, 2013

The new September-October 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 5

Lead
Racism and the fight against it take center stage in the U.S.

Nationwide protests erupted immediately after the outrageous July 13 acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering 17-year-old African-American high school student Trayvon Martin last year. Within three days, thousands [=>]

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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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July-August 2013 issue of News & Letters is now online

July 1, 2013

News & Letters, July – August 2013. Lead: Turkey, Syria and Iran at crossroads of world revolt; From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: ‘Russia more than ever full of revolutionaries…’; Editorial: Support striking prisoners!; Essay: Communization theory and its discontents truncate Marx’s dialectic; Workshop Talks: The boss is spying; Revolutionary from Turkey speaks; Brazil’s uprising; Teacher and school struggles; and more…

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Judging workers for control and profit

May 6, 2013

The phenomenon of human beings losing a race with machines is especially pernicious in the healthcare workplace. The computer has become the virtual boss of everyone in the shop, by setting the pace of everyone’s job.

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