Declaration to the People of America, read on Sept. 9, 1971, by L.D. Barkley at Attica
I ain't making this shit up. Officials may talk about getting rid of violence and gang strife in their prison, but the reality is quite different. They love and promote it.
Just last year, the ACLU filed a law suit charging that Idaho prison officials "promote and facilitate a culture of rampant violence that has led to carnage and suffering among prisoners at the state-owned facility operated by the for-profit company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)."
the lawsuit charges that epidemic violence at the facility is the direct result of, among other things, ICC officials turning a blind eye to the brutality, a prison culture that relies on the degradation, humiliation and subjugation of prisoners, a failure to discipline guards who intentionally arrange assaults and a reliance on violence as a management tool.
In September of last year, the ACLU accepted a settlement with the Idaho Department of Corrections. I wonder what has changed.
If this stuff goes on in Idaho, it goes on everywhere.
And it is supported by government officials as well. For example, not all that long ago after listening to reports of stabbings and broken bones, eye gouging and heads split, at a hearing, Curt Hagman, a California Assemblyman from Chino (location of one of California's many prisons), merely shrugged and said, "By nature prions are violent." Mr. Hagman is joined by countless Americans who could care less what happens behind the walls and bars.
In the free world we know that if we want to make a better world, a new world, it is up to us, the multitude, to do it. We can't wait for and we surely cannot expect the rulers of the Empire to do it for us.
Well, the same holds for those in prison. The prison officials are not going to fix anything and neither are the government officials who fund them. Only the prisoners themselves can do it.
However, prisoners can't do it totally by themselves. They need us out here beyond the walls to help them when they ask us. Prisoners alone are an isolated, atomized mass existing in a society of pure repression and isolation. We can help break that isolation. We can come at their cagers from the outside.
Whatever. Read the article below from the San Francisco Bay View and think about it...and act.
I am being housed in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) in solitary confinement – isolation – here at PBSP, so I am in a position to talk to certain influential Mexican and white prisoners. That night I wrote the warden – Warden Ayers – a letter explaining to him I would like to initiate a peace talk designed to resolve this conflict. The following morning I was escorted to the warden’s office. He was interested in my proposal. While in his office, he asked what can he do to facilitate this peace process; I told him I need to speak with a number of prisoners. He told his staff to accommodate my endeavors. I was able to bring all relevant parties to the table and a peace plan was adopted and a ceasefire was imposed.
We knew there were a number of associate wardens here at PBSP as well as IGI administration in Sacramento – i.e. the Institutional Gang Investigation Unit – along with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) that did not want this truce to take place, and true to form they sabotaged our peace talk with lies and negative propaganda. And being that we had failed to mobilize an outside grassroots support base, we were not able to effectively challenge the lies and distortions that were being told by the CDC.
We could have resolved this racial conflict five years ago, but the CDC did not want us to achieve this goal, and as a direct result the conflict has spun out of control. Since 2000, there have been at least five hundred race-based riots and approximately as many individual stabbing assaults related to this conflict. Over 200 riots took place in 2005 alone but, more importantly, since 2000 the conflict has now spilled over to the community, especially in Southern California. Now the communities are caught up in this conflict, but the facts remain, it was the CDC that sabotaged our endeavor to resolve this conflict, and now it has enveloped the entire state of California.
Along with this mission statement, we have prepared a petition in support of our peace talk. Our goal is to collect at least 1 million signatures in the state of California by Aug. 1, 2012, when we present this petition to the California Department of Corrections (CDC). We also intend to collect a million signatures outside the state of California.
We are up against one of the most powerful and corrupted lobbyist forces in the country, and we will need all the support we can get to defeat the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). We need your concrete support, not lip service or rhetoric. Support our Peace Talks!