"Take No Prisoners"

Bar None on Hiatus

In Uncategorized on 14/06/2013 at 21:18

Bar None is no longer meeting as a group. We have left this blog up as an archive of our work, but we are no longer regularly updating it. You can try reaching us at the contact information on the About Us page. You will probably get better results by contacting an active group such as Californians United for  Responsible Budget (CURB), Critical Resistance, California Coalition for Women Prisoners or our longtime partners California Prison Focus. We remain deeply concerned about the prison industrial complex and particularly the prison system in California. We are all continuing the work of abolishing prisons and hope that you will get involved in some way too.

Sincerely,

Jessica Whatcott, Bar None

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

In Uncategorized on 14/07/2011 at 19:12

URGENT: MEDICAL
CONDITIONS REACH CRISIS IN PELICAN BAY HUNGER STRIKE

According to a source at Pelican Bay State Prison, who prefers to be
anonymous, the medical conditions for many strikers have deteriorated
to critical levels, with fears some prisoners could start to die if
immediate action isn’t taken. For at least 200 prisoners in the SHU at
Pelican Bay, medical staff have stated:

“The prisoners are progressing rapidly to the organ damaging
consequences of dehydration. They are not drinking water and have
decompensated rapidly. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick
that they are vomiting it back up. Some are in renal failure and have
been unable to make urine for 3 days. Some are having measured blood
sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated.”

Since the hunger strike has spread to at least a third of CA’s
prisons, family members have informed Prisoner Hunger Strike
Solidarity of their loved one’s conditions. They have reported hunger
strikers have lost 20-30 pounds, are incredibly pale, and that a
number of prisoners fainted and/or went into diabetic shock during
family visits this past weekend. Some prisoners have been taken to the
prison hospital in at least Corcoran and Pelican Bay.

TODAY: Take Action! Call NOW!

Governor Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841
“Hi my name is _________ . I’m
calling about the statewide prisoner hunger strike that began at
Pelican Bay. I support the prisoners & their reasonable “five core
demands.” I am alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating medical conditions
of the hunger strikers & the inaction of the CDCR. I urge you to make
sure the CDCR negotiates with the prisoners immediately & in good
faith, before prisoners are force-fed or even die. Thank you.”

***Also call your legislators and urge them to make sure the CDCR
negotiates with the prisoners in good faith.***

CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate: 916-323-6001
“Hi my name is _____. I’m calling about the statewide prisoner hunger
strike that began at Pelican Bay. I support the prisoners & their
reasonable “five core demands.” I am alarmed by the rapidly
deteriorating medical conditions of the hunger strikers & the inaction
of the CDCR. I urge the CDCR to negotiate with the prisoners
immediately & in good faith, before prisoners are force-fed or even
die. Thank You.”

Other Ways to Support the Hunger Strike:

The prisoners need international support! No matter where you are
geographically, you can help amplify the prisoner’s voices and
demands:

Check out the blog and Attend Solidarity Events & Demonstrations!
Sign the online petition!
Organize a Solidarity Event/Action in a city or town near you!
Share this information with everyone you know through phone calls,
emails, facebook, twitter, and more!
Use grassroots & mainstream media to raise awareness and amplify the
prisoner’s demands!
If you have a loved one locked up and want support contacting them
about the hunger strike, reach out to the coalition by sending an
email to prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com. It is important
that they have updates on the status of the hunger strike both at
Pelican Bay and across California, including how people are showing
solidarity & support for the hunger strike outside.

Thank you for your support!

In Struggle,
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity*

*Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is a coalition based in the Bay
Area with international supporters of prisoner rights advocates,
lawyers, community members and anti-prison activist organizations. The
coalition and hunger strike was initiated by prisoners in Pelican Bay
State Prison. Coalition partners include: Legal Services for Prisoners
with Children, All of Us or None, Campaign to End the Death Penalty,
California Prison Focus, Prison Activist Resource Center, Critical
Resistance, Kersplebedeb, California Coalition for Women Prisoners,
Revolution Newspaper, American Friends Service Committee, BarNone
Arcata, and a number of individuals throughout the United States and
Canada. To get in contact with the coalition, email:
prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com. For more info, check out our
blog

Torture Is Torture, no matter how it is served: Coercive Isolation!

In Reports From Inside on 26/05/2011 at 21:36

‘Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elementary way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people.’

For the past 20+ years, I and similarly situated prisoners have been compulsorily confined in one or more of CDCR’s sensory deprivation ‘torture chambers’ that exist throughout the state of California. These ‘torture chambers’ are euphemistically and incorrectly explained to the public as Security Housing Units (SHU), which were allegedly built and utilized for the purpose of housing and isolating from the rest of the prison population the so-called worst of the worse prisoners.

Before I continue, allow me to set the record straight! My fascist kaptors have arbitrarily designated me to serve an indeterminate SHU sentence as an ‘alleged’ prison gang member, solely for the simple act of identifying with and commemorating the political, cultural, and historical legacy of my New Afrikan Black ancestors during the month of August. Although I was accused of being involved in the preliminary stages of planning a physical assault, I was never formally charged or convicted of any violent criminal offense as a result of this unsubstantiated allegation! But nonetheless, I remain housed in the SHU indeterminately (i.e. coercive isolation) since August 12th, 1994, at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP), in Crescent City, California. The sole reason: my political beliefs as a New Afrikan Black freedom fighter!

In January through February 2006, the means of coercive isolation (i.e. psychological torture) was taken to a whole new extreme via the qualitative advancement of fascism, in which PBSP officials have implemented newly created, state-based ‘Communications Management Units’ (CMU), that are essentially designed to further desocialize and dehumanize arbitrarily designated prisoners, myself included.

The United Nations Convention Against Torture defines torture as ‘any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted.’ Several scientific studies have been conducted, their results revealed in an article that appeared in the New Yorker, rightfully entitled: ‘Hellhole,’ by Atul Gawande, March 30, 2009.

Gawande utilizes the personal testimony of Amerikkka’s own despotic war hero and U$ imperialist presidential candidate John McCain in the ‘Hellhole’ article of the New Yorker: “It’s an awful thing, solitary,” John McCain wrote of his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam- more than two years of it spent in isolation in a fifteen-by-fifteen-foot cell, unable to communicate with other POW’s except by tap code, secreted notes, or by speaking into an enamel cup pressed against the wall. “It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.” Gawande writes, ‘Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury.’

Now, John McCain came to this conclusion after spending only a little over two years in solitary confinement. I can only imagine what he would have to say if he had to experience and endure 2+ decades in soitary confinement, like me and other similarly situated prisoners!

Under the current construct of PBSP’s newly created state-based CMUs (i.e. D1-D4) of D-facility’s short corridors, all forms of ‘communication’ (i.e. stimulation) have been regulated to the extremes of virtual non-existence. For example:

A. The college educational programs are no longer accessible to prisoners in the CMUs, which we once used as a form of human stimulation.
B. New Afrikan Black prisoners are being compulsorily housed in isolation from other New Afrikan Black prisoners.
C. It is a crime to talk to another prisoner housed in the CMU and
D. Our outgoing and incoming mailings are routinely stolen under false premise of one promoting unlawful criminal (i.e. ‘gang’) activities.

Now ask yourself, what is the point and purpose of PBSP CMUs if it isn’t for advancing the fascist extremes of torture (i.e. coercive isolation)? When you also consider the previous forms of sensory deprivation that already existed in these concrete torture chambers prior to the creation of these state-based CMUs, such as being locked up and confined to a windowless ‘monkey cage’ 22.5 hours a day, in which there is no human contact with other prisoners, and no environmental stimulation, what can the purpose be if it isn’t to continue, maintain, and sustain their mechanisms of coercive isolation as a form of torture upon it’s captives?

The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, a bipartisan national task force, produced a study after a yearlong investigation in 2005-2006 that called for ending longterm solitary confinement of prisoners. The report found practically no benefits and plenty of harm- for prisoners and the public.

So now that you, the public, have been made aware of the concrete social conditions that we, the kaptive class of Pelican Bay’s CMUs, are confronted with, what are you willing to do in helping US prisoners resist this injustice?! I’m open to receiving any positive and constructive ideas that speak directly to how we, as a community, can mobilize ourselves into taking concrete action in exposing and negating the secretive practices of torture within amerikkka’s prisons.

So feel free to contact me at the following address:

Kijana Tashiri Askari
s/n M. Harrison #H54077
PO Box 7500/D3-122/SHU
Crescent City, CA 95531
myspace.com/dare2struggle
tashiri@gmail.com

The struggle continues!

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