[Ppnews] ‘Settle your quarrels’: Update on End to Hostilities, prisoners’ demands, hunger strike

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 27 10:09:28 EST 2012


    ‘Settle your quarrels’: Update on End to Hostilities, prisoners’
    demands, hunger strike
    <http://sfbayview.com/2012/settle-your-quarrels-update-on-end-to-hostilities-prisoners-demands-hunger-strike/>

November 18, 2012

http://sfbayview.com/2012/settle-your-quarrels-update-on-end-to-hostilities-prisoners-demands-hunger-strike/

/*by Arturo Castellanos*/

I’m one of the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU (Security Housing Unit) 
prisoner representatives. I write this to touch on a couple of issues of 
immediate importance.

First, we have received a lot of questions regarding the “End to All 
Hostilities 
<http://sfbayview.com/2012/california-prisoners-make-historic-call-to-end-hostilities-between-racial-groups-in-california-prisons-and-jails/>” 
paper, via prison publications, attorneys etc. I will answer the most 
important ones here.

No, it was never meant to be a call for a hunger strike on Oct. 10. 
Those that did go on one, no biggie. I’m sure it was good practice.

Yes, it’s also between all groups (all good solid Southern, Northern, 
Eastern, Western, up and down, back and forward). And since it involves 
all CDCR and county jails, it also involves all Youth Authority, YTS 
(Youth Training School), and all juvenile halls, camps etc. across the 
state.

We hope that this now clarifies the document to everyone’s satisfaction. 
Of course there are always going to be groups and individuals who feel 
that it does not apply to them and act accordingly in an adverse manner 
under that false belief. Well, the only thing that we can say to those 
is to repeat an old convict/prisoner common sense saying, “Don’t ever 
falsely assume one’s hands are tied, where one expects all others to 
just stand still and take it.” Therefore, it’s vital that this End to 
Hostilities holds for all races and groups, as I will briefly explain.

The documents the Short Corridor Collective have been putting out since 
our March 2012 rejection of CDCR’s STG-SDP (Security Threat Group, Step 
Down Program) 5.5 Program and will continue to put out are in the 
following order:

1. The Open Letter to Gov. Jerry Brown 
<http://sfbayview.com/2012/open-letter-to-gov-jerry-brown-stop-the-torture-now/>

2. The Agreement to End Hostilities 
<http://sfbayview.com/2012/california-prisoners-make-historic-call-to-end-hostilities-between-racial-groups-in-california-prisons-and-jails/> 
between all races and groups

3. Our Rejection/Response to CDCR’s STG-SDP 7.0

4. Our Demands/Notice giving CDCR a “deadline” to meet all of the 
demands, or else we are going to resume our peaceful hunger strike (HS) 
and work stoppage (WS) starting on July 8, 2013.

Note that we only agreed to “temporarily” suspend the July and October 
2011 hunger strike after CDCR agreed to change a lot of SHU policies and 
practices in a positive manner. Since then, CDCR has failed to honor 
their end of our prior agreements. Instead, they gave us STG-SDP 7.0 
that will only put a lot more in SHU.

July 8, 2013, will be two years. That’s CDCR’s deadline. Stay tuned for 
the last two documents. The last document should be out on the web by 
the end of this year. And we will also serve a copy of it on all CDCR 
officials. But I will give a sneak preview here in a couple of paragraphs.

Since July 2011, we have read in prison publications how prisoners all 
across the state and the U.S. are also being deprived and tortured in 
different ways, including women prisoners. We knew we were not alone in 
this.

So our Demands/Notice will contain, among others, the list of 
Orders/Demands listed in The Rock newsletter, Volume 1, No. 10, October 
2012 <http://www.prisonart.org/images/%21Newsletter/Rock1_10.pdf> (which 
are a part of our original five core demands); as well as our statement 
about how CDCR must abolish “intelligence” based SHU/Ad-Seg 
(Administrative Segregation) confinement, as stated in The Rock 
newsletter, Volume 1, No. 9, September 2012 
<http://www.prisonart.org/images/%21Newsletter/Rock1_9.pdf>.

We will also call on [prisoners in] GP (general population), Ad-Seg, 
death row and SHU representatives, including women (I’m also personally 
including here all YA and YTS), to draft up their own demands tailored 
to their own individual institutional needs to be served on CDCR and 
their prison wardens – I would get started on them now – as well as a 
call for all prisoners across the U.S., state and federal, to join us 
July 8, 2013, for a national hunger strike and work stoppage to protest 
solitary confinement and the continued deprivations and conditions in 
their individual prison systems.

We will also encourage reps from each U.S. prison to formulate their own 
separate demands, now tailored for their individual state and 
institutional needs, also setting July 8, 2013, as their deadline to 
meet their demands or else they will also go on hunger strike and work 
stoppage, which we will support. And for those interested as to 
acceptable strategies, have family and friends send you free download 
copies of The Rock newsletter Volume 1, No. 7, July 2012 
<http://www.prisonart.org/images/%21Newsletter/Rock1_7.pdf>.

In closing, we know a lot of prisoners are wondering why we did come up 
with a date so far away. As individuals from each group, we are always 
itching and ready to act; however, because this involves many different 
groups, ideas, opinions, as a collective we had to restrain our urges of 
going at it now and instead we had to exercise patience in order to 
obtain a mutual agreement between all of our groups which we now have.

That was the most important aspect of our own negotiations, to set a 
deadline for CDCR that we all agreed on. And to fully understand our 
vision, where we are not only thinking of our state, one must stand back 
and see the big picture of this upcoming main event, where all U.S. 
prisoners are asked to pick up the flag of solidarity and also volunteer 
and join us on that national hunger strike and work stoppage starting on 
July 8, 2013.

We are basically also opening the door and giving all U.S. prisoners a 
forum to put forward their own demands for change. This all takes a lot 
of time to do, plus, it’s less than a year away, which is nothing for 
those of us who have already spent decades in SHU. And for those who do 
not wish to participate, that’s fine with us. Just like all the past 
ones, this is going to be on a pure voluntary basis; however, it is now 
time to stand up on July 8, 2013, and be counted among those standing on 
the line that we have already drawn in the sand!

Always in solidarity!

Arturo Castellanos, C-17275, PBSP-SHU Prisoner Representative

/Mail to Arturo is severely restricted./


/“Settle your quarrels” is from the famous passage in “Blood in My Eye 
<http://books.google.com/books/about/Blood_in_My_Eye.html?id=JX7V2__KNtsC>” 
by George Jackson, written just before he was assassinated while he was 
locked in solitary confinement at San Quentin Prison and published 
posthumously: “Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the 
reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that 
people are dying who could be saved, that generations more will die or 
live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, 
discover your humanity and your love in revolution. Pass on the torch. 
Join us, give up your life for the people.”/
-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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