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 [=>]
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 [=>]
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.
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
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, 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 science.” He stated that autocracy was the best way to confront [=>]
THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION AS TEST OF WORLD POLITICS
I have been active in a number of student groups around labor and women’s issues. We always talk about “intersectionality” and recognizing different struggles. Somehow that didn’t seem to apply, though, when it came to the Syrian Revolution. Suddenly people didn’t want to talk about it. I [=>]
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?
Readers’ Views from the Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: SYRIA AND WORLD POLITICS; WARS PAST AND PRESENT; PHILOSOPHY AND MASSES; PRISONERS READ & SPEAK
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?
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.
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part II
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.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya:
In 1953 Russian slave laborers in Vorkuta acted
Editor’s note: July-August marks the 60th anniversary of the historic strike in the Russian slave labor camp in Vorkuta. Following Dunayevskaya’s May 1953 Letters on Hegel’s Absolutes, the 1953 revolts in Russia and East Germany were formative events for Marxist-Humanism. Few agreed with [=>]
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013
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 revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse [=>]
AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
When the Green Movement started in Iran over the 2009 election, the so-called leaders were part of the government who were against Ahmadinejad. The growth of the movement of women and youth got so big it became “out of control” by the so-called leaders. The government leaders got scared because [=>]
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.
Nobody seemed to notice that the old man had quit eating. When we went on lockdown status on Jan. 11, he had not eaten in 16 days.
ARCHIVES AS LIVING
I have been following the readings for the 2012-2013 Marxist-Humanist discussions with great enthusiasm. I was especially energized by the “Women as force and reason of revolution” selections. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1970 piece “The Women’s Liberation Movement as Reason and as Revolutionary Force” was fresh and relevant to today. This is no surprise [=>]
From the January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Pelican Bay families support prisoners
Editor’s note: California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC) came together during the prisoners’ 2011 hunger strike initiated by prisoners in Security Housing Unit (SHU). To support the prisoners’ ongoing movement, specifically the Agreement to Cease Hostilities (see Nov.-Dec. 2012 N&L), CFASC [=>]
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 [=>]
Below are excerpts of a Nov. 5, 2012, statement by Kurdish prisoners on hunger strike in Turkey since Sept. 12. Now thousands more prisoners are joining the hunger strike, making it one of the largest hunger strike protests in history. [On Nov. 18, after press time, the strike was called off. The strikers won the [=>]