Monthly Archives: April 2016

Food protests spreads to third Michigan prison

From Detroit Free Press.

Food protests spreads to third Michigan prison

LANSING — Mass prison food protests that began in the Upper Peninsula moved to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula Tuesday as nearly all Level II prisoners at a Jackson-area prison refused to eat lunch or dinner.

Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the Corrections Department, said only about 40 of the roughly 700 Level II prisoners at Cotton went to the chow hall for lunch and dinner on Tuesday. About 1,000 other prisoners, who have different security classifications and use a different kitchen, were not part of the protest, he said.

“It was very passive, like the other ones were,” and “very calm.” Gautz told the Free Press Wednesday, adding that prisoners’ complaints included both the quantity and quality of the food.

Mark Dennis, a spokesman for Michigan’s Florida-based prison food vendor, Trinity Services Group, declined to comment Wednesday.

The protest at Cotton may have been instigated by a prisoner who was transferred there for assaulting a prisoner who chose to go to the chow hall during an earlier food protest at Kinross Correctional Facility in the UP, Gautz said.

Food demonstrations began at Kinross on March 20 and 21 and then spread to nearby Chippewa Correctional Facility about a week later.

Both of the UP protests were characterized by extremely high participation rates among inmates, which disturbed both the prison administration and the Michigan Corrections Organization, which is the union representing corrections officers.

“Absolutely, we’re still concerned — it’s been spreading,” said Anita Lloyd, a spokeswoman for the MCO.

Hamburgers — a popular item — were the lunch meal at Cotton on Tuesday, so it’s a concern that such a large proportion of Level II inmates would act in unison by staying away, Lloyd said.

“We’ve asked the administration for a meeting to discuss these ongoing problems and they’ve agreed” to schedule one, Lloyd said. “They say they are aggressively working on this,” but “something more has got to be done.”

Gautz said the Cotton protest caught officials by surprise because inmate representatives met with the warden and Trinity representatives Tuesday morning and the warden even joined prisoners to eat a meal. It appeared the issues were being resolved and there was no indication a protest was planned, he said.

There were several food-related protests under problem-plagued Aramark Correctional Services, the former prison food contractor. But reports of food-related disruptions had subsided since Trinity replaced Aramark about nine months ago.

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.

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Call for May Day Work Strike in Alabama Prisons

Believe it or not, the entire country is looking at Alabama. Specifically, the Alabama Prison System and its Leadership. Right Now- We have a spotlight on the National stage to show & prove the Effects of:

Alabama’s draconian Habitual Offenders Statute,
Alabama’s Mandatory Life without Parole Capital Offense Statute,
Alabama’s arbitrary Parole Board,
Alabama’s parasitic policy of Warehousing & Economical Exploitation rather than Education, Rehabilitation and ReEntry Preparedness.

Believe it or not,
the entire country is listening– OUR COLLECTIVE ACTION/INACTION will speak louder than words.

As in all Emergency Distress Calls… “MAY DAY , MAY DAY”

May 1- May 31… 30 DAYS OF NOTHING!

… No Work No Talk!

Call in for Targeted Prisoners in North Carolina

Two prisoners in North Carolina are being targeted for their organizing efforts, they need people to call in and express support for them.

Kevin Cox is a politically active prisoner struggling at the moment just to be able to receive mail and contact from the outside. He asked that this statement be shared with anyone who might care to help call in to the prison. Since he wrote this, he’s been transferring to Marion CI, but is still facing the same issues.

Greetings, Shalom Aleyka, Salaam Alaykum, Amani,

My name is Kevin Cox #1217063. I’m a political prisoner who’s being housed in Bertie Correctional Institution, in Windsor, NC. Since my incarceration I’ve dedicated my life to the struggle by fighting for the rights of prisoners, human rights for all oppressed people and rights for LGBTQ. Also I’m a dedicated member of the Black liberation movement and a member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party [distinct from the New Black Panther Party], which is a legal aboveground political organization. At Bertie Corrections, I’m being treated like a ‘slave’ because of my political beliefs, my continuous activism in educating prisoners and my refusal to be submissive to Bertie Correction’s oppressive rules and regulations, which correlates to division, miseducation, Continue reading

Tipping Point in Texas Prison Strikes? New Wave of Lockdowns, Threats


April 16th, 2016

TX. Since April 4th, prisoners in at least 4 Texas prisons have been on strike for better conditions and an end to slavery and human rights abuses. This strike is but the latest in a nationwide mass movement inside prisons for dignity and freedom. Minimum wage in Texas prisons is 00/hr. Access to medical care requires a $100 medical copay.

“My son and others are literally sitting down to say – ‘Stop killing us. Stop enslaving us. We are human. This has got to stop’” said Judy, whose son’s prison is on lockdown. “I think the strike should spread. I believe prisoners and families together have the power to collapse this system.”

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#EyesOnTexas Solidarity Call in!


As of Monday, April 18th, prisoners in Texas have been a labor strike for two weeks. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is retaliating by locking the prisons down and depriving prisoners of even the standard abysmal human necessities they are forced to provide. Retaliation against people who refuse to work for free is one of the tools prison administrators use to assure that prisoners can continue to be exploited in today’s modern day slave system.

If you have a minute, please call the following administrators and read the scripts below:

*Brad Livingston, Executive Director, TDCJ, (936) 437-2101 or (512) 463-9988
*Bryan Collier, Deputy Executive Director, TDCJ, (936) 437-6251 or (512) 463-9988
*Jay Eason, Deputy Director, TDCJ, (936) 437-6318 or (512) 463-9988
*TDJC Ombudsman Office (936) 437-4927
*TDJC Office of the Inspector General (936) 437-5030
*TDCJ Executive Director (512) 463-9988

EASY Script: “Hi I’m calling in support of striking prisoners in Texas and their demands for good time, an end to $100 medical copay, an independent grievance procedure and an end to human rights abuses. Stop enslaving our brothers and sisters, eyes on Texas!”

CHALLENGING Script: “Hi I heard about the prisoners labor strike and I’m calling to find out what sort of progress you are making toward meeting the prisoners demands.” Here is the list of demands for you to discuss. Continue reading

Dallas 6 Mistrial

Background on Dallas 6 here.

Jury refuses to convict prisoners charged with riot and aggravated harassment in landmark “Dallas 6” prisoner whistleblower trial.
Defendants, family members and supporters declare victory and call for an end to prison abuse and corruption brought to light in testimony

A hung jury in the trial of the three remaining prisoner whistleblowers of the “Dallas 6” led Judge Gelb to declare a mistrial today in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in a closely-watched case that has dragged on for six years. The three men, Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, and Duane Peters, defended themselves against charges of “riot” and (for Mr Keys) aggravated harassment, while exposing rampant abuse and corruption at SCI Dallas prison and in the Pennsylvania prison system generally.

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Urgent: Call to support tortured hunger-striking prisoners in Louisiana

From SF Bayview

April 15, 2016

by a prisoner at David Wade Correctional Center, Homer, Louisiana

Written April 11, 2016, received April 15, 2016 – This is to notify you that several prisoners have begun a hunger strike openly while others are on a silent hunger strike, which may endanger their safety.

The three active prisoners who began the hunger strike on April 9, 2016, are now also on what is called “extreme suicide,” which is where they place you in FULL RESTRAINTS (chains) – that is, shackles and handcuffs attached to a waist chain. This is done for days at a time. They are also on “strip” – dressed only in a paper gown.

The torturous punitive conditions here at David Wade Correctional Center have gone on long enough. The sadistic practices by security and the administration are a violation of human rights and decency.

The administration has admitted to the infliction of corporal punishment against prisoners on lockdown. Just now as I write, they sprayed a prisoner while he was on his knees and struck him several times. They also sprayed and beat another prisoner who is mentally ill and has been on for over a year. He has also been on food loaf for a long time.

We badly need some help and support down here.

Please call if you can – just a phone call will spook them. Thank you!

  • Department of Corrections Secretary James M. LeBlanc, 225-342-6740
  • Deputy Secretary Eugene Powers, 225-342-6744
  • Undersecretary Thomas Bickham, 225-342-6739

The Bay View thanks Claude Marks, director of Freedom Archives, for this message. Contact him at 522 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, (415) 863-9977, or

Abolish ALL Prisons, Private and Public

By Critical Resistance, published in SF Bayview

April 11, 2016
As momentum continues to grow against the colossal U.S. imprisonment system, the need for strategic targets is crucial, yet we are seeing an overbearing focus on private prisons. We are in a moment when reforms that appear to be “progressive” can actually entrench the violence of policing, imprisonment and surveillance even further.

But it is also in these moments when we can have strong and decisive impacts, when we must push ourselves and our movements to understand how we are to most effectively deal the strongest blows against the prison industrial complex (PIC) in ways that shrink it. We certainly don’t want to give it room to maneuver, and allow the power maintained by the state to cage Black, Brown and poor communities to remain not only unchallenged, but legitimate and stronger – but the increasing focus on private prisons will undoubtedly allow it to do just that.

Across the country, private prison divestment campaigns are metastasizing as a way to combat “mass incarceration.” However, despite the claims of some behind these campaigns, the profit motive of private prison companies is nowhere near a significant drive of the imprisonment system. And as such, nor are private prison companies a “strategic target” in the fight against the prison industrial complex.

Currently, privately run prisons account for only about 8 percent of state prison populations and only about 5 percent of the overall 2.2 million people in both prisons and jails – a small fraction indeed. Despite this, we are told to believe that focusing on and attacking this small percentage will somehow yield a larger impact on the imprisonment system as a whole.

The numbers show differently, with there being no correlation between the use of private prisons and their impact on the overall imprisoned population; for instance, the number of prisoners held in private prisons dropped between 2012-2013, yet there was an increase in the overall imprisoned population.

Similarly, in certain parts of the country, we are seeing a shift in rhetoric and action towards an increased reliance on jails and other restrictions to people’s freedom, such as GPS monitoring. A focus on private prisons places the blame on profit, misleads us away from the root of the problem, and brings the additional threat of the PIC changing shape but not reducing its harm.

Another common argument is that because of their financial stake in imprisoning people, private prison companies’ significant role in the PIC lies in their political power. This is not only misleading, but overlooks the overwhelmingly larger role that “public” entities like police and prison guards unions play in politics.

Take California as an example: The GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the two largest private prison companies in the country, spent just $40,900 combined on Jerry Brown’s 2010 campaign for governor, while the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA, the state’s prison guards union) spent $2 million.

The guards’ union’s additional $5 million spent on all other political campaigns that year also dwarfs CCA’s $290,000. The CCPOA has continued to be a powerhouse in California politics – playing a major role in ushering in the state’s Three Strikes Law, for instance – but has kept a lower profile than the private companies have attracted.

Yet perhaps the most troubling rhetoric coming out of some divestment campaigns is the ethical argument – that our society should not deal with private companies simply because they profit from holding prisoners. Whether intentionally or not, this implies that “imprisonment is OK as long as a corporation isn’t profiting.”

In other words, the vastly larger numbers of non-private, state-run cages becomes legitimized. And unfortunately, this is exactly the type of logic that has made its way from some divestment campaigns to the top of the chain:

“Hillary believes we should move away from contracting out this core responsibility of the federal government to private corporations, and from creating private industry incentives that may contribute – or have the appearance of contributing – to over-incarceration,” said a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Feb. 1, 2016.

Clinton’s defense of imprisonment as a “core responsibility” of the government came after some groups pressured her and demanded that she cut ties with private prison companies. Victory? Not at all.

This is but one example of the dangers that Ruthie Gilmore, among others, has cautioned anti-prison activists about in her powerful piece, “The Worrying State of the Anti-Prison Movement.” Again, we want to bring down the PIC, not allow it to dance around our efforts to challenge it. Let’s fight imprisonment – not because in a few cases corporations are making a buck, but because we want to end the violence of cages.

Let’s be strategic. Let’s win, not for the sake of claiming a victory, but to get people free.

Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization working to abolish the prison industrial complex, can be reached at 1904 Franklin St., Suite 504, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-444-0484 or

It Ain’t Over Yet – Reportback on Holman Uprising

From AnarchyLive!

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 – Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

What began as a confrontation between prisoners from different regions of Alabama – namely, B’ham and Montgomery, with B’ham being the largest – escalated into two short riots against the pigs. After the prisoners squashed the beef among themselves without any violence, two pigs ran into C-dorm, which houses 114 prisoners and was informed that there was no problem and everything was under control.

One pig (Tate) tried to bogart his way through a crowd of prisoners and was immediately stabbed a number of times. After the two pigs ran out the dorm, one bloodied the warden, Carter Davenport, who has a reputation as an extremely sadistic, disrespectful, and nasty scumfuck fascist, who was recently removed from his post as warden at St. Clair maximum security prison for assaulting a prisoner, and reassigned as warden at Holman in 2015. He was stabbed after entering C-dorm like some kind of god. Continue reading

April 23: Memorial for Hugo “Yogi” Pinell


Members of The San Quentin 6 – Sundiata Tate, Bato T. and David Johnson – with Brother & Sister Comrades Present A Memorial for Hugo “Yogi” Pinell

We are taking this day to embrace and hold dear to our hearts the dedication of Hugo “Yogi Bear” Lyon Antonio Pinell (March 10, 1944 – August 12, 2015), beloved former San Quentin 6 political prisoner, who dedicated his life to becoming a revolutionary, and was the embodiment of the transformation into the New Man.

“Comrade George Jackson and Comrade Hugo Pinell, one Black and one Latino, were the living examples of the unity that can and must exist among the prisoner class.” – “The Black Panther Party and Hugo Pinell,” Nov. 29, 1971 edition of The Black Panther, Courtesy Billy X Jennings,, SF BayView, August 14, 2015. Continue reading