Friday, April 26, 2013


It is, of course, Scission's prison friday and we are returning to the state of California.

The California Depaprtment of Corrections (CDCR) has still not met the demands that were agreed upon which ended a peaceful protest at Pelican Bay and elsewhere within the California prison system.  In response, prisoners have informed, actually in February, that another peaceful protest will resume this July.  The protest will again include a hunger strike and work stoppage.

In February in a notice from  the PBSP -SHU Short Corridor Representatives addressed to Governor Jerry Brown, CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard, and other interested parties:

Before we began our July 01, 2011 peaceful efforts to bring about the long overdue re- forms to the CDCR system, we presented Governor Brown, CDCR Secretary Cate, and many others, with our “Formal Complaint” spelling out the reasons why we are willing to put our lives on the line in order to bring about the necessary changes. Along with our “Five (5) Core Demands,” wherein we made it clear that we can no longer, complacently, accept the policies and practices that have subjected us, as well as thousands of other pris- oners, and loved ones outside these prison walls, to decades of torture within these solitary confinement SHU/Ad-Seg Units, based on innocent associations and unsubstantiated alle- gations of involvement in illegal activities.

The undisputable fact is that many of us have been held in solitary confinement for the past 10 to 40 years, based on fabricated information provided by prisoners who have been tor- tured to the point where they provide false information to IGI, in order to get out of the SHU/Ad-Seg. Few of us, if any, have ever been formally charged with, or found guilty of a single illegal, gang-related act. (To review our Formal Complaint, go to: For the 5 Core Demands, see:

We have demonstrated our commitment to our cause through our hunger strike actions – from July 01 to July 20, and from Sept. 26 to Oct. 13, 2011. We remain 100% collectively committed today!

We have kept our word, while patiently waiting for the CDCR to keep theirs. However, at this point, it is clear to us that the CDCR has no intention of implementing the substantive policy changes that were agreed to fifteen or sixteen months ago – based on their highly touted “Security Threat Group” proposals [March and June 2012], and the much hyped “STG Pilot Program” [October 11, 2012], the CDCR has clearly demonstrated their bad faith; because their alleged changes to the policies/practices at issue are a sham.

In reality, the proposed changes will greatly expand upon the number of prisoners who will be subjected to long-term isolation in torture cells; all the above is detailed in our written Rejection/Oppositions to the March and June proposals. As well as the October 11, 2012 Pilot Program. (See them at:!Newsletter/Rock2_1 and at:!Newsletter/Rock1_2. The entire Pilot Program is at:’s-Oct.-11-2012-Security-Threat- Group-Pilot-Program.pdf.)

Another recent example of the CDCR’s refusal to honor the agreement is PBSP’s Warden Lewis’ refusal to allow a test run – visiting pilot program for additional visiting time on the weekend of Nov. 17 and 18; such additional time was agreed to during negotiations with Undersecretary Kernan [see his August 2011 memo]. Thereby, Warden Lewis has directly violated the agreement on this point too!

There are a number of additional examples that have been, and can be, pointed out to dem- onstrate the CDCR’s non-responsiveness/unwillingness to make meaningful changes to the current policies. Therefore, based on the CDCR’s failure to meaningfully address our Five (5) Core Demands, we presently have no available alternative avenues to obtain the long overdue changes, in a timely manner, other than giving the CDCR until July 08, 2013 – as a deadline – to meet our stated demands.

Failure to come to a legally enforceable agreement will be deemed as just cause for us to resume our indefinite, nonviolent, peaceful protest action(s) until the changes are made, as exemplified below.

You won't believe, but actually you will believe the directive you will read below to Corcoran SHU staff concerning how to respond to the hunger strikes scheduled to begin on July 8.  The first post below is from NCTT-Cor-SHU. 

This isn't it from Pelican Bay.  It seems that issues of the San Francisco Bay View (SFBV) newspaper are being confiscated and kept from prisoners there.  Readers of Scission are familiar with the SFBV.  Many a SFBV article, analysis, editorial has been presented on this web site.  The SFBV is a national black newspaper which has a proud history of standing up not just for prisoners but for all sorts of progressive political actions, not to mention in being a leader in the struggle against white supremacy.  

The second post below deals with this second issue and is from, where else, the San Francisco Bay View.

Alarming: Corcoran SHU administrators are directing staff to


dispense with California law and state procedures/policy 

regarding mass hunger strikes

On Monday April 8th they ran no yard on 4B facility in Corcoran-SHU. We of course investigated as to why we were, yet again, denied yard access without explanation and discovered staff had all gone to some sort of “training.”

By chance, or design, one of the N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU coordinators was under escort by 2 officers who, by happenstance or design, began discussing the nature of this training that would take another 2 days of additional training to complete:

In preparation for the July 8th peaceful protest action (hunger strike, work stoppage, etc.) Corcoran SHU administrators are directing staff to dispense with California law and state procedures/policy regarding mass hunger strikes and instead will institute a policy designed to raise the potential for maximum casualties (deaths) amongst prisoner participants, while negating the existence of input data or any health care services monitoring information.

CDCR staff at Corcoran have been directed that there will be no weigh ins, blood pressure checks, or other medical monitoring of hunger strike participants for the duration of the July 8th peaceful protest. Instead, a single officer will be given a video camera to “monitor” participants every few days or so. The facility will be locked down, a state of emergency enacted and all yard, visits, and medical ducats will be suspended. No one will leave the cells. No medical intervention of any kind, including health care services daily nursing observations and weekly pcp evaluations as mandated by California CorrectionalHealth Care Services Policy Manual 1.m.s.p.&p., vol. 4, chapter 22.2, will be allowed.

Once a participant loses consciousness, if he is discovered by staff before he expires (dies), he will then receive medical intervention in the form of force feeding (physicians order for life sustaining treatment). Once this occurs the participant will be considered no longer on “hunger strike.”

Many of you may see the obvious contradiction in prison staff being trained by warden Gilespie to intentionally violate the law and health care policy, with the complicity of prison doctors, nurses and technicians, to intentionally jeopardize the lives of peaceful protestors – but what’s not obvious, and in our opinion most insidious, by willfully preventing input data to even be collected, eliminating visits, and confining any proof of the hunger strike to correctional officer videography – CDCR can control the narrative completely.

With plausible deniability pre-structured, this approach allows CDCR to under-report actual hunger strike participant numbers, claim those on hunger strike are actually eating by recording on video non-participants who are eating, releasing the video’s to the press characterizing them as hunger strikers who are not actually striking, and do all of this while denying protestors access to mandated health care evaluation and clinical monitoring, ensuring serious injury or death befalls at least some protestors. When it does, just like with Christian Gomez, they can claim the victim was only hunger striking a day or so and instead died of a “pre-existing medical condition unrelated to the hunger strike.”

That this premeditated violation of their own policy is both illegal and immoral is a given, and in fact of secondary concern. That they are doing so to maintain this domestic torture program, with all its inhumane and arbitrary components intact, at the expense of your tax dollars, our minds, bodies, and very souls is what should outrage us all.

Our cause is a righteous cause, our peaceful protest to realize the 5 Core Demands just and fair. We can not allow the state to undermine the purpose and impact of these sacrifices. We are prepared to die to end great injustice, should we not be allowed the dignity of these sacrifices being accorded the state’s policy and our opposition acting within the guidelines of their own law? A criminal is defined not by what he/she is called, but by what they do. Who are the criminals in this case? The answer is as obvious as the question, all that’s left to be decided is if you will stand idly by as this crime is committed.

A Luta Continua

N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU  -  -
April 10, 2013


Hands off the Bay View

April 26, 2013

Statement from the Pelikan Bay Human Rights Movement First Amendment Campaign

by Abdul Olugbala Shakur, Sondai Kamdibe Dumisani, Abasi Ganda, Ifoma Modibo Kambon, Dadisi Yero, Askari Joka, Mutope Duguma, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Baridi Yero, Kijana Tashiri Askari, Yafeu I-Yapo

Preamble: Fascist repression can only flourish when the voices of its victims have been brutally silenced and isolated within the concrete confines of a man-made construct where the scrutiny of the media cannot transcend the walls. Those walls are erected by legislative venality and deprive humanity of an eyewitness account of how captured human minds, spirits and bodies are being disfigured by the instrument of officially sanctioned evil that plagues this vortex of torture they call Pelikan Bay.
'Pelican Bay Censorship' by Michael Russell, web
Drawing by Michael Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
But contrary to the fascist intent, the voices of resistance reverberated within the depths of this concrete hell as New Afrikan revolutionary prisoners since our arrival have refused to remain silent and have waged a continuous campaign to put an end to this racial injustice. And for over 20 years the San Francisco Bay View has played a critical role in allowing our voices to be heard.

As a result they themselves have become a target for the CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) agents of repression, such as the Office of Correctional Safety (OCS), Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI) and Investigations Services Unit (ISU). The confiscation of the March [and, since this was written on April 5, also the April] issue of the Bay View is a clear indication of the agents of fascist repression escalating their attacks against the Bay View.

It is imperative for all of us to understand that the Bay View is part of us. Mary and Willie Ratcliff is our sista and brotha and they have sacrificed much to help us and serve our communities. We must now go beyond rhetoric and lip service in support for the Bay View.

We now present the following statement: The San Francisco Bay View is a national Black newspaper that serves the interests of the New Afrikan communities inside Amerikkka. Its objective is to always bring attention to the injustice that occurs against New Afrikan people by speaking out against the injustices handed down by the state and federal government, who systematically abuse their authority in order to suppress the voices of the oppressed.

For over 20 years the San Francisco Bay View has played a critical role in allowing our voices to be heard.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is supposed to protect our freedom of speech, but time after time we see that the state officials tend to resort back to the Dred Scott v. Stanford Supreme Court case, where it was said that New Afrikan people “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

These are the words that Warden G.D. Lewis, C.D.W. Ducart, A.W. Swift, ISU Capt. Barneburg, IGI Lt. Frisk and their subordinates live by when it comes to New Afrikans’ freedom of speech – even after several court victories in respect to our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, in which the court clearly stipulated in their many rulings that the prison officials were in violation of our First Amendment rights.

Brad Ford, cropped, web
Brad Ford, a prisoner in the federal system, uses his meager earnings to buy subscriptions for younger prisoners he mentors. The Bay View, denied for three of the last four months to subscribers at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, is currently being allowed in to federal and state prisons around the country and throughout California, except for Pelican Bay.
These same officials continue to defy the courts in order to violate our First Amendment rights. These officials have chosen a course of action where they themselves have not only violated our First Amendment rights continuously but have conspired to use their positions as state officials with the power to deprive us prisoners of our procedural due process rights. The March issue, Vol. 38, No. 3, of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, of which Mary Ratcliff and Willie Ratcliff are editor and publisher, was denied [to subscribers at Pelican Bay] per CCR Title15, Section 3006(c)(3): “Except as authorized by the institution head, inmates shall not possess or have under their control any matter which contains or concerns any of the following: … (3) Plans to disrupt the order or breach the security of any facility” and CCR Title 15, Section 3315(a)(2)(C): A serious disruption of facility operations. Yet the officials chose not to provide us a clear 1819 form per CCR Title 15 3136(a), disapproval of inmate mail per each mail item incoming or outgoing.

The officials’ actions are calculating and malicious because they deliberately withheld the Bay View paper from the prisoners who actually had been consistent in their litigation against the blatant violations of our First Amendment rights. It was each of us who were not provided the CDCR 1819 forms which we have to have in order to file a 602 appeal grievance form for that which is having an adverse effect on us. In this case, it’s our First Amendment violation governing our incoming mail.

By not issuing us our CDCR 1819 form, the CDCR/PBSP (Pelican Bay State Prison) officials are not only denying us our procedural due process but our right to file a civil lawsuit and petition of writ of habeas corpus to the courts for violations of our First Amendment rights. So the CDCR/PBSP official actions are arbitrarily insidious racist attacks on New Afrikan prisoners exclusively and the only New Afrikan newspaper that has chosen to stand up against the CDCR/PBSP’s deliberate threats and power in the interest of the oppressed prison class held in CDCR custody.

We also want to say that CDCR/PBSP officials literally ran a test run when they confiscated the 25 Bay View issues in January 2013 from those lone subscribers while giving everyone else their subscription. Only through progressive litigation can we beat back these arbitrarily insidious racist attacks by prison officials who should have never been given authority to run no prison, let alone human beings.

We will aggressively continue to attack these actions against our freedom of speech! It is worth noting we have over 15 lawsuits pending in the federal court. Brotha Abdul Shakur has a lawsuit pending specifically pertaining to the confiscation of an article he had attempted to send to the Bay View. The judge in this matter recently ordered the defendants, IGI and ISU, via the attorney general to respond to Brotha Abdul’s lawsuit. He also has a similar petition being reviewed by the California Supreme Court, so we are aggressively challenging the CDCR/PBSP campaign of repression.

People, we are all in this battle together. We cannot fight this battle by ourselves, especially from within solitary confinement. We must launch a coordinated effort in our endeavors to protect our First Amendment rights and defend the Bay View against any and all attempts to sabotage its functional capacity and impede their free speech.

We will aggressively continue to attack these actions against our freedom of speech! Your support is imperative to our success.

Our First Amendment campaign is calling on all people, especially the prison rights movement, to do the following:

  1. contact Warden Greg Lewis via email or phone and demand that IGI and ISU put an end to censoring the Bay View and release the March issue [and April issue] of the Bay View to the prisoners housed within the PBSP Security Housing Unit;
  2. contact Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell. Inform her how Pelican Bay State Prison Institutional Gang Investigation Unit (IGI) and Investigative Services Unit (ISU) are attempting to censor the Bay View newspaper because of their reporting on the hunger strikes, the five core demands, end to hostilities, sensory deprivation, torture and long-term solitary confinement;
  3. actively help to organize support for the Bay View. This will discourage the fascist agents of repression in their endeavors to ban and isolate the Bay View. Subscriptions are imperative towards the Bay View’s longevity and stability. Brotha Abdul Shakur suggested that activists should organize a Bay View subscribers’ party where attendants pledge to subscribe to the Bay View in support of our ongoing campaign to defend and protect our free speech;
  4. establish communication with the primary coordinators for our First Amendment campaign. We are all involved in litigation. Brotha Abdul Shakur has seven active cases presently pending, five Section 1983 civil suits in the federal courts, one in the local superior court, and one under review in the California Supreme Court.

Your support is imperative to our success.
Send our brothers some love and light:

  • Abdul Olugbala Shakur (s/n J. Harvey) C-48884, D1-119 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (s/n R. Dewberry) C-35671, D1-117 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Mutope Duguma (s/n J. Crawford) D-05996, D1-117 (SHU) , P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Sondai Kamdibe Dumisani (s/n R. Elllis) C-68764, D1-223 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Baridi Yero (s/n J. Williamson) D-34288, D4-107 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Ifoma Modibo Kambon (s/n D. Burnett) B-60892, D4-103 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Kijana Tashiri Askari (s/n M. Harrison) H-54077, D3-123 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Yafeu I-Yapo (s/n L. Alexander) B-72288, D3-119 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Abasi Ganda (s/n E. Jackson) C-33559, D2-107 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532;
  • Dadisi Yero (s/n L. Benton) B-85066, D1-101 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532
  • Askari Joka (s/n J. Franklin) C-08543, D2-207 (SHU), P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95532

Response from the Bay View

We are deeply grateful to the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement First Amendment Campaign and will do all in our power to support them in defending the First Amendment rights of us all. “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” wrote the Russian revolutionary Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who served four years hard labor in Siberia. That truth is beginning to manifest to the U.S. public nationwide and especially in California in a recent flood of mainstream news stories critical of prison policy and practice and the politicians responsible for it.

Pelican Bay is on the wrong side of history. Its officials’ fear of the upcoming July 8 hunger strike and work stoppage, a reaction to their refusal to negotiate in good faith over the prisoners’ Five Core Demands issued two years ago, is apparent in their current violations of the laws and regulations that are supposed to govern them.

The Bay View has yet to receive any official notification from Pelican Bay State Prison saying why and from whom the March and April issues were withheld. Numerous subscribers, however, have written to say they did not receive their papers. All but one had not been issued the 1819 mail disapproval form, which is prerequisite to their filing a 602 appeal.

We want to thank those prisoners who did receive their papers for sharing them with those who did not. If any subscriber who was denied his paper is not located where he can share another subscriber’s paper, write to us and we will send a copy with the pages cited by Pelican Bay officials removed. – Willie and Mary Ratcliff

Prisoner cancels subscription for fear of retaliation

The following letter was written April 10 by a prisoner whose name must be withheld:

“I am a subscriber to your publication and have been for approximately eight years and it truly pains me to have to write this correspondence to you at this time to ask that you remove me from your subscriber list and no longer ship your publication to me due to the prison’s view of your publication.

“While I truly enjoy your publication, it would prove to be detrimental to me to continue to receive your publication. It is my hope and sincere prayer that the prison would change its view towards your publication.

“For me, your publication has been very informative and educational and it has helped me become a better person. I truly do not understand the position of the prison.

“I am aging and cannot deal with any potential fallout as a result of my receiving your publication. It is very sad that men are not allowed to educate themselves.

“I suffer from mental health conditions that would be exacerbated by being a target of the prison’s affection as a result of my receiving your publication. I just learned of the potential problem today while reading someone else’s March edition.

“I hope to someday be able to once again enjoy your publication. Just know that it is with great regret that I make this decision. As I have stated above, I am aging and my mental health is not good. I must protect myself from harm.

“I am also a grandfather with a desire to see and hold my grandchild who was born in July of last year. I have not seen her in person and I wish to transfer down south where I can visit, so I am putting my family desires ahead of everything at this time.

“I would like to close by thanking you for educating me and being a source of comfort through many lonely years. May you have continued success. God bless you and your entire staff.”

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