Update: California prisoners’ call to end racial hostilities in prison and on the streets

California prisoners declared an end to racial hostilities beginning Oct. 10. LA youth have spread it to the streets. Unity disarms the guards and the cops of their most deadly weapon: divide and conquer. But prison authorities are spreading confusion. Please copy this story and mail it to all the prisoners you know.

http://sfbayview.com/2012/california-rises-to-prisoners-challenge-to-end-racial-hostilities/

California rises to prisoners’ challenge to end racial hostilities

October 14, 2012
by Mary Ratcliff

In the U.S., we not only encage 25 percent of the world’s prisonersmore than any nation in the history of the world and more Black people than were enslaved in 1850 – but we isolate at least 80,000 of them in solitary confinement. I contend that the purpose is to drive them mad; and after years of reading their letters, I believe they are targeted for this intense form of torture not because they are the worst of the worst but because they are the best and brightest.

In September, the Short Corridor Collective, prisoners confined to the SHU in Pelican Bay State Prison, one of the first and harshest examples of mass solitary confinement, sent out a historic call for racial hostilities to end in California prisons beginning Oct. 10.

Of the prisoners in the SHU, who are all “considered the most dangerous and influential (prisoners) in the state,” these men in the Short Corridor are “the leaders, what one authority called all the ‘alpha dogs,’” writes Nancy Mullane of KALW, who managed to get approval for a visit to the SHU – and even an interview with a SHU prisoner. In California, reporters’ access to prisoners is largely barred by law.

In a letterto prisoner advocates, these so-called “shot callers,” who prison officials say require isolation to prevent them from ordering prison murders, have shown their true colors. Writing “on behalf of all racial groups here in the PBSP-SHU Corridor,” they declare that “now is the time for us to collectively seize this moment in time and put an end to more than 20-30 years of hostilities between our racial groups.”

“Therefore,” they write, “beginning on Oct. 10, 2012, all hostilities between our racial groups in SHU, ad-seg, general population and county jails will officially cease.” With this call, prisoners who endure some of the world’s worst punishment have disarmed their jailers – disabling the most effective weapon in the Corrections Department arsenal: divide and conquer. Continue reading

Occupy Atlanta Unites Bloods and Crips

November 8, 2011
Occupy Atlanta Unites Bloods and CripsIn an unexpected union first reported in article written by Occupy Atlanta participant Tim Franzen, two rival gang members have put aside their differences and are now sharing a tent at the Occupy Atlanta demonstration. Why? Shabaka Addae Guillory, a 20-year-old who joined the Crips at age 14, and Sherrod Britton, a 29-year-old Blood member, say their commitment to jobs, health care and affordable higher education outweighs their conflicting affiliations.

The Huffington Post reports:

“I saw him in the park, saw his colors,” Guillory told Franzen. “There was no mean mug or rivalry because we realized that what’s happening here is so much bigger then gang rivalry.”

Both men were attracted to the protest and its purpose. Guillory joined the movement after hearing about it on the news. Britton, who was passing the demonstration one day, said he stopped to get more information and never left.

“I stayed for the common cause, speaking for the people,” Britton said. “I feel strongly that we have the right to jobs, health care, and affordable higher education.”

This isn’t the first time the rival gangs have put their problems aside to fight for a common cause. In August 2010, both active and former members of the gangs came together for the Heal the Hood Peace March in Denver.