I come from a “shit-hole”

Writings of a Toltec Survivor

I am not an American.

I was born in the continent known as “America”, yes. But somehow this United States has given itself the name of the entire continent.

Ronald Reagan demoted the rest of this magnificent continent to the mere “Backyard of America.”

That’s when I came here, to the “land of the free,” when Ronald Reagan sent billions of dollars to military dictators so they could use the money to rape, torture, and massacre my people. I didn’t want to come here. Oh, how I hated coming to this land so full of restrictions, prohibitions, and people kept so ignorant of their own history!

Once I came here, almost no one I met knew where my country was. They all assumed I was Mexican. Except for Mexicans. They knew where I was from, and knew they couldn’t trust me because if was from where I was, I had…

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#OperationPush: @FL_Corrections’ inmates to peacefully refuse to work starting today … #MLKday

Mega News

Published on Jan 14, 2018


Florida Prison Strike Planned for Martin Luther King Day 2018 | Miami New Times

“Our goal is to make the Governor realize that it will cost the state of Florida millions of dollars daily to contract outside companies to come and cook, clean, and handle the maintenance,” the organizers write. “This will cause a total BREAK DOWN.”

Source: Florida Prison Strike Planned for Martin Luther King Day 2018 | Miami New Times

 



The inmates’ statement, per the Miami New Times:

FL Prisoners Call for Operation PUSH to Improve the Lives of Incarcerated People and the Communities We Come From

Sending out an S.O.S. to all parties concerned!

We are currently forming a network agency within D.O.C. We are asking all prisoners within the Department of Corrections to take a stand by laying down starting January 15, 2018, until the injustice we see facing prisoners within the Florida system is resolved.

We are calling on all organized groups as well as religious systems to come together on the same page. We will be taking a stand for:

1. Payment for our labor, rather than the current slave arrangement
2. Ending outrageous canteen prices
3. Reintroducing parole incentives to lifers and those with Buck Rogers dates

Along with these primary demands, we are also expressing our support for the following goals:

• Stop the overcrowding and acts of brutality committed by officers throughout FDOC which have resulted in the highest death rates in prison history.
• Expose the environmental conditions we face, including extreme temperatures, mold, contaminated water, and being placed next to toxic sites such as landfills, military bases and phosphate mines (including a proposed mine which would surround the Reception and Medical Center prison in Lake Butler).
• Honor the moratorium on state executions, as a court-ordered the state to do, without the legal loophole now being used to kill prisoners on death row.
• Restore voting rights as a basic human right to all, not a privilege, regardless of criminal convictions.

Operation PUSH
Every Institution must prepare to lay down for at least one month or longer: No prisoners will go to their job assignments.

Our goal is to make the Governor realize that it will cost the state of Florida millions of dollars daily to contract outside companies to come and cook, clean, and handle the maintenance. This will cause a total BREAK DOWN.

In order to become very effective we must use everything we have to show that we mean business. This is our chance to establish UNITY and SOLIDARITY. This is the strategy of Operation PUSH! A voice locked up is not a voice unheard!

Slave labor
We are encouraging prisoners throughout the DOC to band together in an effort to demand payment for work performances.

One of the main reasons why we’re demanding payment as opposed to gain time is because the DOC is bent on taking something we’ve earned away and using it against us to restructure new release dates.

Another reason is that $50 and a bus ticket to parts unknown is not working for us, especially if we have conditions that require us to pay out of pocket cost.

The system knows that the odds are heavily stacked against us when we reenter into mainstream society, so they make it look like they’re helping us by giving us $50, but the reality is it’s not enough to do anything with!

With even a modest amount of payment we will be able to save up something to survive outside with; for those with lengthy sentences, they would be able to support themselves inside.

At any event, once we win establishment of payment, this would be the one thing the system won’t be able to take away from us.
While this will be the strongest “Push,” our next concern will be on price-gouging us with items we buy out of canteen.

Price Gouging
We can no longer allow the state to take advantage of our families’ hard earned money by over-charging us, they’re taking food out our mouths! All prisoners and their family members are getting pimped with these outrageous canteen prices. We want regular market value.

Take for example: one case of soup on the street cost $4.00. It costs us $17.00 on the inside. This is highway robbery without a gun. It’s not just us that they’re taking from. It’s our families who struggle to make ends meet and send us money—they are the real victims that the state of Florida is taking advantage of. We got to put a stop to this!

Parole
The federal government has given every state in the country a choice as to how they wish to use incentives to reward their prisoners. Florida decided to offer gain time as an incentive, however, those who have life sentences and Buck Rogers dates don’t have any incentives.

We are now demanding that the State of Florida bring back parole and come up with a payment for prisoners work performances, as the law required.

Let us demonstrate why these two issues are so important. Take for example someone who has done a ten year bid. In the process he loses all family support and money stops, the letters stop. He finds himself supporting himself the best way he can. In short, the system robbed him of ten years of labor.

He has nothing to show for it so now even if he does his ten year bid with no probation or parole, he’s still a convicted felon, and finding a job is very difficult.

These are the things we’re protesting, and we are currently trying to mentally prepare Florida inmates throughout the DOC for January 15.

WE HAVE TO STRIKE BACK AND STAND FOR WHAT IS RIGHT!

What do you do when there’s no body giving you jack shit and you’re hungry? Add to this you wearing hand-me-downs, looking like you can’t be trusted? This is enough to drive you off the edge and try your hand at stealing, robbing, or selling drugs to make a dollar.

This is not a joke! In fact it’s our reality and for those who do have strong family support, we salute you, but please understand you are the few that are blessed with the foot hold that you have. This is not the case for the over-all majority, and this is the cause of high recidivism rates.

It’s time we reverse the psychology and STAND together. The way to strike back is not with violence as this is what they want! If we show them violence they will have a legitimate excuse to use brute force against us and explain to the public that they had to use brute force in order to contain the situation. However, their weakness is their wallet.

By sitting down and doing nothing, each institution will have the responsibility of feeding, cleaning, and all the maintenance. DO THE MATH.

The more institutions that have to employ outside contractors, the sooner we will see results.

Welcome to Operation PUSH.

For a greater understanding of the need for this peaceful work stoppage, please review previous posts with the hashtag #DeadInmates. Thank you.

Posted in #BeatenToDeath, #ColorOfLaw, #CruelAndUnusualPunishment, #DeadInmates, #DeathPenalty, #ExcessiveForce, #GassedToDeath, #LoveFL, #ScaldedToDeath, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Christmas wish was for dishonest reporters to quit their day jobs, Part 1

When Prosecutors Are ‘Innocence Deniers’ : NPR

… they [prosecutors] don’t simply oppose a wrongful conviction claim – because some claims are bogus or murky and they have to be investigated. Instead, when confronted with overwhelming evidence that the person is innocent, they refuse to let go of the conviction, and they will fight for years through the appellate courts. They will publicly declare their belief that the person is guilty.

Source: When Prosecutors Are ‘Innocence Deniers’ : NPR


Despite the quoted kernel of truth that begins to explain the mindset of the majority of prosecutors nationwide – a mindset apparently fully endorsed by national, state and local Bar associations – this NPR interview is too deeply dishonest to be worth listening to: now that the young and vulnerable Davontae Sanford has been freed, Detroit hit man Vincent Smothers has made another credible confession in an attempt to free yet another innocent serving some of his time … which neither the NPR interviewer nor the Slate contributor/University of San Francisco School of Law professor interviewee spoke of.

The most thorough reporting of  Vincent’s efforts to free Thelonious Searcy has been from Voice of Detroit. I blogged about that coverage in July of last year, adding details that real reporters would have dug into the minute they first learned that Vincent Smothers was trying to free Davontae Sanford, including these:

Davontae didn’t want to plead guilty in court; he did so because his mother asked him to, on the advise of incredibly sleazy attorney Robert Slameka.

Over the years of his incarceration and during his exoneration, Davontae’s story was covered by the Detroit media and by the national media. Not one reporter mentioned that an Amy Slameka worked in the prosecutors office, and that she had pull with the Bar.

Robert Slameka should have been long gone many times over via permanent disbarment by the Bar for behaviors like publicly declaring that his Eddie Joe Lloyd – whom Slameka was representing on appeal – was guilty, which didn’t happen to be true. Eddie was subsequently DNA-exonerated of the rape-homicide he was convicted of.

Innocence has morphed from an industry to an industrial complex … hordes of professional organizations are now making serious money – often in the form of Bar or federal grants – from pretending to pull out all the stops in an effort to make sure only criminals serve time.

This isn’t how our justice system is supposed to work.

When officers, prosecutors, judges and justices act under Color of Law rather than by Rule of Law, the FBI is supposed to investigate and seek indictments of every last one of them from the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is supposed to indict and prosecute each and every offender.

In short, according to the laws of our land, not even one Innocence non-profit organization is necessary to rid us of the likes of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has the gall to use her inexcusably belated interest in untested rape kits to cover for her greater interest in keeping innocents framed.

All that is required for justice to be readily available – no non-profit required – is for the FBI and the Department of Justice not to cherry pick which responsibilities they wish to embrace.

Innocence attorneys made a boatload of money from Eddie Joe Lloyd’s exoneration, a Kym Worthy/Amy Slameka/Robert Slameka/coerced confession circus. I don’t know if attorneys are cashing in on Davontae Sanford’s much more modest recent settlement of his Kym Worthy/Amy Slameka/Robert Slameka/coerced confession circus … I sincerely hope they’re too afraid to.

Afraid of the Voice of Detroit, afraid of me, and particularly afraid of all of you.

Thelonious Searcy

Thelonious Searcy

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Policy of the Cruel and Absurd: Sleep Deprivation in California’s Prisons

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

By Charlie Hinton, Verbena Lea, and Willow Katz

In prison isolation units throughout California, guards wake prisoners up every 30 minutes under the guise of suicide prevention. These “security/welfare checks” cause ongoing sleep deprivation. The United Nations and many sleep and mental health experts have long defined sleep deprivationas a form of torture, and sleep deprivation often is used as a torture technique for prisoners of war. So California tortures its prisoners to prevent them from killing themselves.

Dr. Jamie Zeitzer, Ph.D., an expert in sleep and circadian rhythms, concluded in a 2015 report:

“The current practice of 30 minute … checks of inmates housed in the [Security Housing Units] is likely a cause of severe sleep disruption … The mandated purpose of these … checks (i.e. suicide prevention) is, in fact, likely to have the opposite effect and inadvertently increase suicidality in these individuals … There have…

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The Internet’s Own Boy … listen, learn, #believe

Evan Carmichael
Published on Nov 3, 2015

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I give you power [2016], I can take it away [2018]


The Best & Worst of 2017: The Year of Resistance | JoAnn Chateau

Here’s a roundup of “2017’s Best & Worst” — for those who follow and support the Progressive Movement. While the list is in no particular order, resist

Source: The Best & Worst of 2017: The Year of Resistance | JoAnn Chateau

Posted in #ColorOfLaw, #DarkMoney, #EndlessWar, #EnvironmentalJustice, #FailureToKeepFromHarm, #Islamophobia, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

It’s too dark for pessimism …

NRDC
Published December 11, 2017

The world changed in 2017. Donald Trump became president and went right to work dismantling some of our most critical environmental and public health protections. NRDC has been fighting back relentlessly, taking the administration to court again and again to enforce the laws and defend our wildlife, wildlands, and environment. See how you can join these fights and help make NRDC an unstoppable force for nature in 2018.

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