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(en) [AFIB] Rights Denied: Update on Conditions at SCI Greene

From Tom Burghardt <tburghardt@igc.apc.org>
Date Thu, 26 Mar 1998 18:15:37 -0800 (PST)


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                              *****
 
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|| * -- ALERT   -- *  -- March 26, 1998 --  * --  ALERT  -- * ||
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                           U R G E N T
                            A L E R T 
                              _____
_________________________________________________________________
 
        RIGHTS DENIED: UPDATE ON CONDITIONS AT SCI GREENE
_________________________________________________________________
 
     AFIB EDITOR'S NOTE: Last Sunday's Antifa Info-Bulletin
     (Supplement 156, March 22, 1998) relayed an early report
     that the death row prisoner's on hunger strike at
     Pennsylvania's infamous hell-hole, State Correctional
     Institution (SCI) Greene, had ended their strike and had
     secured a "victory." Unfortunately, this was an overly-
     enthusiastic assessment. "Facts on the ground" are the only
     facts worth reporting. While the prisoners have ended their
     strike, the State of Pennsylvania's Department of
     "Corrections" continue to enforce a series of punitive
     measures against prisoners. Write, fax and e-mail the DOC
     and demand that basic human rights (i.e., the dignity of
     each human being) are respected! AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN
     INJURY TO ALL!
 
                              * * *
 
     1.          PA Death Row Still Struggling for Return of
                 Property
 
     2. (MAJ)    MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: Message from Mumia Abu-Jamal
 
     3. (AFNS)   AFRIKAN FRONTLINE NEWS SERVICE: `A Very Cold
                 Place' -- Reginald Lewis Reports on SCI
                 Shakedown
 
     4. (MAJ)    Statement for the International Commission on
                 Human Rights
 
                              * * *
_________________________________________________________________
 
     PA DEATH ROW STILL STRUGGLING FOR RETURN OF PROPERTY
_________________________________________________________________
 
                  Source: Mumia, Mumia@aol.com
                    - Sunday, 22 March 1998 -
 
                                *
 
     As of today, March 22, 1998 Conditions on PA Death Row have
not gotten back to where they were before the DOC order of March
5th.
 
     Right now the men must wear the jumpsuits 24 hours a day
they eat, sleep and live in these awful suits.
 
     They can order commissary, but cannot keep personal property
that does not fit into two record boxes. One for personal
property and one for legal papers.
 
     Before Mumia makes any further statements he is waiting for
the DOC new orders to be received.
 
     We still need people to keep the pressure on the DOC.
 
     Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Prisons List
 
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge
225 Main Capitol Bldg.
Harrisburg, PA 17120
 
Tel: (717) 787-2500 
Fax: (717) 783-4429
 
Martin F. Horn, Secretary 
Commissioner, PA. Dept. of Corrections
Department of Corrections
2520 Lisburn Road
P.O. Box 598
Camp Hill, PA 17001-0598
 
Tel: (717) 975-4859 
Fax: (717) 787-1758 
 
World Wide Web Page:
http://www.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Corrections/overview.html
E-Mail to State of Pennsylvania:  webmaster@state.pa.us
 
SCI Greene
Benjamin Varner, Superintendent
SCI Greene
1030 East Roy Furman Hwy.
Waynesburg, PA  15370-8020
 
Tel: (412) 852-2902 
Fax: (412) 852-2909
 
                              *****
_________________________________________________________________
 
                      FROM MUMIA ABU-JAMAL
_________________________________________________________________
 
                  Source: Mumia, Mumia@aol.com
                   - Tuesday, 24 March 1998 -
 
                                *
 
3/22/98
 
     I've been trying to do some school work, but w/out school
books, how  can it be done?
 
     That reality forced me to find the enclosed article, which I
thought   was in LfDR [Live from Death Row]. I don't have a copy,
so I can't be sure. At any rate, I find, it's main points
chillingly accurate, and nothing the state has done has disabused
me of that notion. (Take a moment -- read it; you'll see it for
yourself).
 
     It's in that regard that I address the subject of our
earlier discussion -- re: victory. There's an old saying, I
think, from Mao Tse-Tung (China), which was used to educate the
guerrilla army -- "Tell no lies; claim no easy victories."
 
     I say that because to say we've gained any kind of "victory"
is to lie.  We were told some things by administrators that, if
applied, would be a step in the rite direction; but, it ain't
hardly a "victory". It's as if a man who was armed with a stick
tied you up, looted your apartment of almost all your property,
stole from your wallet to pay for it's shipment, or destroyed it,
and then returned 2 weeks later w/ a shoebox of some of your
stuff and said you could have it, if you paid for it!  "Victory?" 
Hardly.
 
     There is something obscene about a state crowing about men
"capitulating" to gov't repression. How do you "capitulate" to
lies? There is something sinister about the gov't agency that
calls itself "corrections" attacking the ability of men to learn,
to educate themselves, and to grow in the human pursuit of
knowledge. If there was any "victory," it was the gov't's: for
they succeeded in stripping men on Death Row of most of their
property; It was a "victory" for ignorance clothed in the rags of
state power over human enlightenment. It was a "victory" of
deadly political expedience over the forces of life-affirmance.
 
     It's for this reason that the words of the General-Secretary
of Amnesty International were all but ignored by the corporate
press; If he said similar things about Cuba, China, Nigeria or
Iraq the capitalist corporate/white majoritarian press would have
echoed his words from here to New Caledonia.  But no -- he
criticized the US, Pennsylvania and Greene County Gulag -- That,
apparently is not news "fit to print." 
  
     He was right then -- he's more right now.
 
 
                              *****
 
               * AFRIKAN FRONTLINE NEWS SERVICE *
                      Web: http://afrikan.net
                 E-mail: nattyreb@ix.netcom.com
                  - Wednesday, 25 March 1998 -
 
                              -----
_________________________________________________________________
 
                        A VERY COLD PLACE
_________________________________________________________________
 
                       By Reginald S. Lewis
 
Reginald S. Lewis
#AY2902
1040 East Roy Furman Highway
Waynesburg PA 15370-8090
 
                                *
 
     With no warning the internal memo came first. A cold, crude,
hastily written document announcing the changes to take effect
March 5, 1998: 'starting with a general shakedown of all death
row inmates at SCI-Greene, in upstate Pennsylvania, all
privileges were being revoked, (though they were few), visiting
time cut in length, personal property seized'--an invocation that
sent an icy chill through the dark, hallow corridors of death
row. One hour later, the confraternity of "shakedown boys' swept
into the unit, converging portentously into every pod, into every
cell, pillaging, destroying, rummaging through our personal
possesions with the frenzy of vultures gutting the carcass of
some dead animal.
 
     They deliberately seized photographs, letters, the inmates'
artwork, art supplies, clothings, books, watches, pens,
magazines, legal, religious and educational materials --
violating the constraints of their own mandate.
 
     They took everything I had. _Everyhthing_. Even my plays,
manuscripts, and works-in-process. I watched helplessly as they
raided my cabinet and bookshelf stocked with books on Islam,
Buddhism, and Christianity. Clammy white fingers carelessly
tossed about books by some of my favorite black authors: Maya
Angelou, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison,
Dorothy West, Walter Mosley, among others. I had just purchased
Toni Morrison's new novel, _Paradise_.
 
     It was so cold. Cruel. Inhumane. It was imperceptible to me,
that in this information age with computer disks capable of
storing vast libraries and the electronic windows open to new
worlds -- why they were slamming shut _my_ small, dusky window to
all those worlds my books provided. I Balked. But I was dealing
with the clones of Hitler's ghost -- gestapo-like guards
corralled from nearby counties with the highest adult illiteracy
rate in the entire state.
 
     My protestations drew a cadre of tobacco chewing henchmen
who quickly surrounded me. Their cruel, serpentine eyes
advertised their murderous intent. I returned a fearless, cool-
eyed gaze. I felt the presence of unseen angels, flanking my
left, and my right. And after a fusillade of threates and
brow-beatings, they left me alone. The next day, numerous death
row prisoners went on a hunger strike in protest of the punitive
measures constantly being enforce upon them. One of the recent
changes was the CO-PAY for medical services policy, requiring
inmates to pay for medications and prescriptions -- a measure
that increased the likelihood of death for poor inmates inflicted
with some injury or life-threatening diseases.
 
     In this cold place, death looms. An order went out for body
bags.
 
     Copyright 1998 Reginald S. Lewis. All Rights Reserved.
 
     Source: rayala@bruderhof.com
 
 
                              *****
_________________________________________________________________
 
   STATEMENT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
_________________________________________________________________
 
                         By Mumia Abu-Jamal
                         (dictated 3/25/98)
                    Source: Mumia, Mumia@aol.com
                    - Thursday, 26 March 1998 -
 
                                *
 
     Brothers, sisters, honored delegates:
 
     It has been fifty years since the UN published its universal 
declaration on Human Rights. Since then, various international
covenants have been released, published and projected into the
annals of international law.
 
     However, while the volume of paper increases, so too does
the frequency of State repression, legalized murders and
political persecutions. I write you from a state with one of the
largest death rows in America; a state that has just savagely
restricted the meager property rights of men on death row. The
state rushes to cull the human herd with its destiny of certain
death by eliminating Habeas Corpus, slashing resources for
appeals, and isolating those to die in living tombs of glass and
steel. What is needed here are not more noble proclamations or
covenants or protocols, but actions advanced on behalf of Life
and the living. Here, where we are regarded as less than human,
there are no rights.  
 
     It is time for your august body to make those rights that
are claimed in covenants and documents and declarations a
reality.
 
     I thank you all.
 
                              Ona Move
                                   MAJ
 
                              * * *
 
                    ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN (AFIB)
                        750 La Playa # 730
                  San Francisco, California 94121
                     E-Mail: tburghardt@igc.org
 
                                *
 
     On PeaceNet visit ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN on pol.right.antifa
     or by gopher --> gopher://gopher.igc.apc.org:7021/11/europe
     Via the Web  --> http://burn.ucsd.edu/~aff/afib.html
 
                                *
 
                     ANTI-FASCIST FORUM (AFF)
     Antifa Info-Bulletin is a member of the Anti-Fascist Forum
     network. AFF is an info-group which collects and
     disseminates information, research and analysis on fascist
     activity and anti-fascist resistance. More info: 
                    E-mail: aff@burn.ucsd.edu 
                  Web: http://burn.ucsd.edu/~aff
 
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     +:        A N T I F A   I N F O - B U L L E T I N        +:
     :+                                                       :+
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          ++++ stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ++++
   ++++ if you agree copy these 3 sentences in your own sig ++++
  ++++ see: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm ++++


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