Filed under: Bloc Party, Incarceration, Mexico, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
It is likely that Jared Chase will die in prison. Phil Africa died from medical neglect in prison. Mumia Abu-Jamal struggles daily with medical neglect. Eric King continues to be refused adequate medical treatment. We are writing this week with heavy hearts. We are writing this week with shakey fists and clenched teeth. We’re fucking sad and we’re fucking angry.
We have lost a lot of revolutionaries in the last year, and many more are struggling to keep from dying behind bars. There is a lot we could say about all of this, but the past week or so, the case that has been on our minds the most is the case of Jared Chase. Jared is the last member of the NATO 3 still in prison, arrested at the NATO summit protests in Chicago, May 2012. The NATO 3 were struck with trumped up terrorism charges, allegedly making molotov cocktails with plans and materials completely provided by two undercover cops.
— natalie solidarity (@constantnatalie) February 12, 2016
The reason Jared Chase hits so close to home for us is because we were in Chicago for the NATO summit demonstrations. We remember waiting outside of the jail to get news of what had happened to the folks who had been detained in the raid that swept up Jared and his 2 co-defendants. We remember being exhausted and freaked out by the massive amounts of surveillance and security that had locked down Chicago for a week. We still get nervous when we hear the sound of helicopters over head. We remember videos of the snatch and grabs, and the secret detention centers where Chicago PD brought protesters to be interrogated. We remember protesters getting run over by police vans.
Jared could have been one of us. Except Jared has Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s is a degenerative brain disorder that is very hard to diagnose, and without proper medical care it will kill you quickly. Jared’s disorder is only compounded by being kept in solitary confinement, in an environment that induces stress and rage, especially when you have a disorder that causes mania and makes you prone to wild outbursts that guards would have no clue how to handle other than brute force. Jared has already been beaten countless times.
So this brings us to what we really want to talk about this week, kids. What are we going to do about it? If Jared dies in prison, what will be our response? What is our response when they take another member of MOVE, or when medical neglect is used to kill off more of our friends inside? If we can hold militant and rowdy noise demos for days of solidarity with masses of prisoners, what response do we have when they steal one of our own from this world? In other places, and in other times, cities burned when one of ours had their life cut short by the State. So far, most of what we do is make panicked and angry calls to the prison. Now, let us be clear, we don’t want to throw any shade on the ones running direct support for any comrades who are locked up. To every person who has written letters, called a prison to demand meds or proper food, passed around a petition for parole, done interviews to keep their friends names on the lips of anyone who would listen, we give our absolute gratitude and respect. We have done plenty of this ourselves, and we want all of it to continue. And more.
What would it look like if every time one of our friends wasn’t getting what she needed to survive the inside, there were slashed patrol car tires, or other acts of sabotage against some state infrastructure? However small, what message could it send to our friends inside? Our enemies? What catharsis could be found in taking out our feelings of rage at the deaths of loved ones taken too early, at the very things they fought to bring down? What healing can be found in attack? What power?
Friends, we want strategy and planning here, we don’t just want to glorify fantastic acts as the only things worth aspiring to, but we do think that a lot of you have already fantasized about these things. We want to give voice to that desire and ask, why not? If there are good reasons (which for many of us, there are), what do we do to make it possible? How do we realize our dreams and desires for vengeance and retribution against power, instead of be beaten down into depression? These are the questions we ponder on our porch in spring time, or under blankets with insomnia in the winter. These are the dreams we have, as we go to see another comrade behind glass, looking sickly while guards tell us “he is fine.”
With these questions in mind, here are some people to keep in your hearts this week:
Jared’s court date was moved to February 18th, because the judge was sick. View Facebook event here and send invites.
Cook County Criminal Courthouse
2600 S California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60623
We are not allowed to use the broom, mop tolitebrush or even given a wash rag to wipe with. They (G.S.P) do not provide you with none of these items to clean with. We can not flush our own tolits. (Is flushing my tolit a privilege? This program is lost of all privileges not rights.) So if my roommate use the bathroom and nobody is in the dorm for hours at a time (which happens all the time) we have to sit in our room and inhale each others waste. It’s so many different germs and bacteria in a human waste that can lead to serious health problems. We are not allowed to put anything over the tolit to try to block the smell. (Not even while eating) not having a tolit button is very inhumane. Being that we cannot flush our own tolet the waste sits in the tolit for hours at a time which causes bacteria to build up. And being we aren’t able to properly clean our tolits (again not even allowed to use the tolit brush) sooner or later we are gone to get sick. According to S.O.P (Standard Operation Procedure) we are supposed to be allowed to properly clean our cells on the regular….
On February 4 last, members of the ex-prisoners’ organization Supporters of The Voice of Amate, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) released a message at a press conference about their demand for damages for having been unjustly deprived of their liberty. Those who were imprisoned for over a decade demanded that the state government:
Fulfils its promise to pay material damages and losses of goods and estate caused by the unjust imprisonments that we suffered with our families over a number of years.
After the press conference they staged a sit-in in front of the San Cristobal de Las Casas Cathedral, where they remained until an agreement was signed with representatives of the State Government promising to meet the damages in staged payments, meeting the total by April 30 of this year at the latest. They announced the rest of the commitments on the part of the government through a communiqué, such as the liberation of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in the State Centre for Social Reintegration (CERSS) No. 5, as well as finding a way to free Alejandro Diaz Santiz, member of The Voice of Amate, held at Villa Comatitlan maximum security prison, near Tapachula, who is being immediately transferred to San Cristobal de Las Casas prison “as a sign of good will.”
A new article is out explaining research that rats have complex emotions, which begs the question if the humans that experiment on them feel anything at all. We have to remember that humans aren’t the only species capitalism enjoys putting in cages.
Decades of experiments have shown that rats are smart individuals that feel pain and pleasure, care about one another, can read others’ emotions, and will help unfamiliar rats even at a cost to themselves. It’s time to apply what we’ve learned from these animals and stop conducting experiments on them in laboratories.
Anarchist prisoner Marius Mason revealed his new painting dedicated to Leonard Peltier, He also designed a post card in memory of Sylvia Rivera. We love to see this love and solidarity displayed between imprisoned revolutionaries and eco-defenders.
Meanwhile, folks in Cincinnati, OH marked the day of action to free Leonard Peltier with a demonstration.
Folks in Sacramento, CA gathered to demand an end to prisoner torture at the beginning of February:
On February 1, 2016, people from all over California gathered in Sacramento at the headquarters of the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCr) to demand an end to the dangerous and deliberate sleep deprivation being inflicted on the people in solitary in Pelican Bay State Prison SHU, under the guise of “welfare checks”.
Before the Rally, more than 15 formerly incarcerated people, family members, pen pals, and other activists visited the offices of Loni Hancock (chair of the CA Senate Public Safety Senate Committee), Bill Quirk (chair of the CA Assembly Public Safety Committee), and reps from various districts to demand the immediate suspension of the sleep deprivation “welfare checks” in the Pelican Bay SHU. Sleep Deprivation Is Torture.
Prison rebel, Keith Lamar (Bomani Shakur) has compiled some of his favorite music that keeps him going through this great article on Mask Magazine.
Listen to Flamenco Sketches and you’ll immediately understand why I was willing to starve myself in order to hold on to this record. This one song has brought me back from the brink countless times over the years – I mean, you can’t listen to this level of musicality without reaffirming your humanity. There’s no way.
The Earth First Prisoner Support Project received a letter from Chuck Africa, calling on radicals to think creatively and act against rodeo shows and the use of animals for entertainment.
Please give me (and trade among comrades) some suggestions. I am limited in here, but I still want to help and encourage those I network with to protest this brutality and torture of these innocent animals.
The MICATS have some court settlements to announce:
Hello kitties. Yesterday was a busy day. Dylan and Vicci both had court dates for probation violation for failure to pay restitution. Chris has received a notice for a coming violation hearing. Here are the updates:
Dylan, who along with Duncan stopped construction on the expansion of Enbridge Line 6B 7n 2014, was released from probation after completing a year. Of the $38,000 for restitution, he paid $30 in total. The restitution is meow a civil matter, he’s no longer at risk of going to jail for not paying restitution. We are very happy that he is free of papers and get can get back to the shenanigans.
Vicci, one of our #micats3 who also halted construction of the same expansion project in 2013, had to go before a judge for resisting restitution for the last 2 years. Not wanting risk losing her 2 jobs and not being able to care for her grandchildren and sick mother, she agreed to pay $40 a month for 6 months and her probation is to continue until March 2018. While the first appeal was denied, she is heading to the Supreme Court for the next appeal. We will keep y’all updated as to when that will take place.
Brandon Baxter of the Cleveland 4 also has a new address. Send them a letter!
FCI Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
This is a feeling you can’t escape
its an empty loneliness, I know it
me by myself despite a strong team
back in the boxing ring
keep hoping that i’ll wake from this
how did McDavid handle it when the judge said 19?
This is fear I can feel it
eating through my stomach
like a starving lion lurking
I float in the warm blood below
that puddles beneath my cold carcass
nothing I have to say, sadly
is worth the struggle for a last breath
when all there is to eat is poisonous plants
do you skip a meal or go for broke?
Vomiting up the last of my hopes
torn between defiance and defeat
battle cries and fate’s cruel jokes
all of my heroes have records
my internal infrastructure sparks riots
when I wake the smokes scattered
and I have to face reality
survival is a must
acceptance then progress
it hurts though
The lovely Prison Books Collective down in Chapel Hill, NC has put out another prisoner birthday calendar. Get to writing!