[Ppnews] Hugo "Yogi Bear" Pinell

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 16 14:23:51 EDT 2007

From: Kiilu Nyasha <kiilu2 at sbcglobal.net>


October 16, 2007

I received a letter from Yogi dated October 3 
that I feel compelled to share with you – along 
with a report from Georgia Schreiber of 
California Prison Focus who visited him last 
weekend.  Known as one of the San Quentin Six, 
Yogi has been incarcerated since 1964!

We learned that Yogi is suffering from very high 
blood pressure.  He’s currently on medication for 
it, but we’re very concerned for his health since 
he has endured solitary confinement (no phone 
calls, no contact visits, no yard, no company) 
for 37 years.  Yogi has suffered the last 17 
years in Pelican Bay’s notorious SHU (Security 
Housing Unit,) or Supermax, a windowless nightmare.

He wrote:

“Yes, great, the SF8 are out on bail.  That case 
should be thrown out.  And it is great that the 
Jena 6 are getting much love and support.  Like 
you, I’m hoping that the new generation will be 
the one to make bigger and unified changes for 
our [movement] and the people, but ours, for 
sure, for that will give us the formula of how to 
help others.  One big problem, which I’m sure is 
noticeable [sic] or pointed out to our youth is 
the fact too many elders, who used to be in the 
freedom struggle and should be active still, they 
are retired (?) or roaming around in the 
background, or labeled former this or former that 
as if the struggle is to be served up to a 
certain age?  Very few of you, Beautiful People, 
stay the course and [are] still growing, 
therefore others can give you props but won’t 
come along because they see no progress, hence 
the excuses or reasons why they go different 
ways.  I don’t know all of the reasons why not, 
but it hurts soo deeply to see the horrible 
conditions we exist in, specially in Africa, Brazil and in the Islands.

“I feel the same way you do, when it comes to my 
family being those who show me love, care and are 
there for me.  I keep very much to myself in here 
and I can deal with it, for the longest, but it 
hurts and bothers me that the affiliation label 
is being used to keep me in these 4 units, used 
to keep me from going to a main line where I can 
get regular fresh air, lots of sunshine, better 
food, and, more importantly, contact visits.  I 
haven’t had a contact visit since Dec. 
1970.  Would be great if I was in the same line 
with Ru [Ruchell Cinque Magee].  The weather 
there is warm the year around and it would be so 
easy for Mom, you, the family to visit 
regularly.  The label is also being use by the 
board to deny me release.  It’s almost impossible 
to win a challenge of the label [gang 
affiliation].  All I can say is no, I’m not 
affiliated with any group, of any kind and ask 
them to show me my name on anything or produce a 
source I can question.  And they say they don’t 
need my signature on any document.  That all they 
need are sources who say I’m affiliated, sources 
who cannot be revealed for security 
reasons?!  I’m stuck in the most difficult of 
situations, Sis, because I want so badly to touch 
Mom.  Not only that, her condition is frail, and 
if I can’t be home, I should be able to touch her 
and I know that would give more strength and determination to hold on

Isn’t nearly 44 years enough?!?

For more information on Yogi Bear, go to 

Please write letters, make phone calls, make a 
fuss about the ongoing torture – yes torture, 
extreme isolation and sensory deprivation – of 
this brave brother who was one of George 
Jackson’s closest comrades and one of the 
soldiers who stood up when Black prisoners were 
under fire in the 1960s and early ‘70s.  (See 
Minh Yee’s Melancholy History of Soledad Prison).

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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