[Ppnews] San Quentin 6 declare solidarity with prisoners’ agreement to end hostilities

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Dec 2 16:51:01 EST 2012


    San Quentin 3 declare solidarity with prisoners’ agreement to end
    hostilities
    <http://sfbayview.com/2012/san-quentin-3-declare-solidarity-with-prisoners-agreement-to-end-hostilities/>

December 1, 2012
http://sfbayview.com/2012/san-quentin-3-declare-solidarity-with-prisoners-agreement-to-end-hostilities/

/*by Sundiata Tate, Bato Talamantez and Giappa Johnson – three of the 
San Quentin 6*/

We strongly support the statement issued by the Pelican Bay prison Short 
Corridor Collective calling for the end of racial and factional 
hostilities inside California prisons and in county jails. We believe 
that this along with our struggle for human rights is a most righteous 
cause which will have a tremendous impact on changing the perception 
that the Security Housing Units (SHUs) house only the worst of the worst.

The truth is that the SHUs are filled with those who have transformed 
themselves into socially conscious men and women who desire to live more 
productive and constructive lives while working to bring an end to their 
tortuous living conditions. These comrades who have issued the agreement 
to end hostilities demonstrate their commitment to changing not only 
their conditions but themselves. Furthermore, they seek to change how 
prisoners are treated and how prisons are currently run.

We encourage all prisoners everywhere to better understand the vile 
system that has entrapped them, that works to break them down and defeat 
the struggle for self-respect, dignity and a “say” in prison conditions 
that affect us all. This is an unjust prison system that continues to 
punish and inflict cruelty and torture while at the same time vilifying 
prisoners as animals who are unfit for better treatment.

This is no place for human beings to be put in, and those who find 
themselves trapped in these places cannot remain silent. If you don’t 
holler loud enough, no one will hear you!


      These comrades who have issued the agreement to end hostilities
      demonstrate their commitment to changing not only their conditions
      but themselves. Furthermore, they seek to change how prisoners are
      treated and how prisons are currently run.

What we OOGs see happening now behind the walls and razor wire and 
amongst seasoned prisoners is both heartening as well as sad. Having 
been subjected to similar conditions, we understand all too well the 
psychological stress, duress and damage that these conditions inflict on 
human beings.

We also know that there are many prisoners who cannot and will not 
survive the isolation without being driven mad or committing suicide. 
Already too many prisoners we know have died, while others are dying due 
to medical neglect, old age and the indifference of the state. It is 
inhumane to deprive a person of their humanity, to touch and be touched 
by loved ones. It crushes the spirit!

What’s in a touch? For those who cannot touch another human being, it’s 
a difference of the magnitude between heaven and earth! It is such a 
huge part of what makes us human.

There is no way to justify human beings forcibly held in isolation for 
indefinite terms without hope for release. In California, prisoners in 
isolation have not been able to touch their loved ones or any other 
human beings for decades. What is the purpose of living if one has to 
live like an animal in a cage instead of as a human being?


      It is inhumane to deprive a person of their humanity, to touch and
      be touched by loved ones. It crushes the spirit!

Ultimately, this is a peaceful movement to assert our humanity. 
Differences in race, sets and associations matter not. Each of us is 
ultimately responsible for maintaining and preserving our own 
self-respect. We hope that as comrades you will help lift each other up 
as you come to realize that the same oppressor oppresses us all!

We are all human beings. Let not the dark path separate you from fellow 
prisoners nor bury you alone!

The punishment for a conviction should not be arbitrarily extended nor 
intensified by prison authorities. No such thing as indefinite SHU! 
There should be no adding on to the sentence by depriving people of 
their good-time credits while people are in the SHU or by other means!

No such thing as three strikes! Families have been drastically affected! 
Their human right to visit their loved ones has been made nearly 
impossible for tens of thousands of families because of the distance 
families have to travel. For those who can afford to travel, the visit 
is traumatic when they finally arrive at their destination and are 
forced to speak to their loved ones through thick glass without being 
allowed to touch their family, loved ones and their children.

Sometimes families travel all the way to the prison, where they are told 
by prison guards that they will not be allowed to visit – with no 
explanation for the denial. This is degrading and painful to all 
involved. Yet, in California, that is a reality for tens of thousands of 
families and their communities.


      Ultimately, this is a peaceful movement to assert our humanity.
      Differences in race, sets and associations matter not. Each of us
      is ultimately responsible for maintaining and preserving our own
      self-respect. We hope that as comrades you will help lift each
      other up as you come to realize that the same oppressor oppresses
      us all!

We must unite to end long term isolation as punitive punishment! We 
support you in this movement and join your call.

The three of us were imprisoned together 40 years ago. Circumstances 
beyond our doing or control put us together in similar situations as 
your own. We endured, stood our ground for better and for worse, 
supported each other. We got beaten down but got back up.

Prison struggle made us comrades. Forty years later, we are still of one 
mind and proud to call each other comrades. Never surrender lest your 
spirit be broken. Other comrades will help you.

Maintain freedom of mind while captive. Prisoners from cradle to the 
grave but never slaves! Stand for the good and for justice for all. 
Struggle to overcome internal conflict. No longer is this about just one 
individual, one race, set or prison. Take heart. You are not alone!

/The San Quentin 6 – also including Hugo Pinell, who survives still in 
the Pelican Bay SHU after 42 years in solitary confinement, Johnnie 
Spain, whose murder sentence was overturned and who was released in 
1988, and Fleeta Drumgo, who was killed in Oakland in 1979 – were 
accused of attempting to escape on Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson 
was assassinated. Their dramatic trial, the longest in state history, 
lasting from July 28, 1975, to Aug. 12, 1976, cost the state over $2.2 
million – nearly $9 million in today’s dollars. They can be reached via 
Bato Talamantez at batowato at gmail.com <mailto:batowato at gmail.com>./

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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