Sunday, January 31, 2010
Here’s a list of 25 tactics being used on us daily:
1) Physical removal of prisoners to areas sufficiently isolated to effectively break or seriously weaken close emotional ties.
2) Segregation of all natural leaders.
3) Use of cooperative prisoners as leaders.
4) Prohibition of group activities not in line with brainwashing objectives.
5) Spying on prisoners and reporting back private materials.
6) Ticking men into written statements which are then shown to others.
7) Exploitation of opportunities and informants.
8) Convincing prisoners that they can trust no one.
9) Treating those who are willing to collaborate in far more lenient ways than those who are not.
10) Punishing those who show uncooperative attitudes.
11) Systematic withholding of mail.
12) Preventing contact with anyone non-sympathetic to the method of treatment and regimen of the captive populace.
13) Disorganization of all group standards among prisoners.
14) Building a group conviction among the prisoners that they have been abandoned by and totally isolated from their social order.
15) Undermining of all emotional supports.
16) Preventing prisoners from writing home or to friends in the community regarding the conditions of their confinement.
17) Making available and permitting access to only those publications and books that contain materials which are neutral to or supportive of the desired new attitudes. While making it hard or impossible to gain access to radical, political, educational or empowering literature and books.
18) Placing individuals into new and ambiguous situations for which the standards are kept deliberately unclear and then putting pressure on him to conform to what is desired in order to win favour and a reprieve from the pressure.
19) Placing individuals whose willpower has been severely weakened, or eroded, into a living situation with several others who are more advanced in their thought-reform, whose job is to further undermine the individual emotional supports.
20) Using techniques of character invalidation, i.e. humiliations, revilement, shouting, to induce feelings of guilt, fear and suggestibility; coupled with sleeplessness and exacting prison regimen and periodic interrogational interviews.
21) Meeting all insincere attempts to comply with cellmates’ pressures with renewed hostility.
22) Rewarding of submission and subservience to the attitudes encompassing the brainwashing objective with a lifting of pressure and acceptance as a human being.
23) Providing social and emotional supports which reinforce the new attitudes.
24) Divide and conquer techniques to quell riots and disruptions. When one prisoner is acting out or causing disruption on the tier over an injustice being done to him, guards will go to other inmates’ door laughing, joking, slandering and defacing the character of the disruptive inmate, trying to turn the other prisoners against him. Those who go along with this and take the bait by laughing and joking with the guards, are in turn ostracized and looked down upon by the other prisoners.
25) Using food as a control method, “doggy treat” tactics”. “If you comply we will give you extra food that we would otherwise throw away.” Those who are extremely non-compliant, or who write grievances, might not get fed at all.
Those are just 25 of the brainwashing techniques being used on us daily. There are more though. But now that we know what is being done to us, it is up to us to figure out ways to defend ourselves against these tactics. The best weapon for anyone to have is knowledge. Knowledge of yourself, knowledge of your enemy, knowledge of your surroundings, knowledge of your culture, your history, knowledge of your purpose in life. Knowledge is a weapon. Arm yourself with knowledge.
My love goes out to all of those who keep the fire of resistance burning in their hearts! Peace.
Solidarity and Respects,
January 25th, 2010
ABC Nevada Prison Chapter
Ely State Prison
Monday, January 25, 2010
Voices from Solitary: Coyote Calling.
January 24, 2010
by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
One of the aims of Solitary Watch News is to build an online archive of literature, drawings, and reportage by people who are, or have been, in solitary confinement. These will be compiled in the Voices from Solitary section of the site, and sometimes featured in blog posts. Readers are encouraged to send in their suggestions.
A reader from Nevada Prison Watch recently told us about the writings of Coyote Sheff, which are now being published by his friends on the outside on a blog, Coyote Calling. Coyote has been in Nevada’s Ely State Prison for about a decade, much of it in Discliplinary Segregation. In fact, of the eight units at Ely, seven are in some form of permanent lockdown, where prisoners are held in their cells 23 hours a day, either alone or with a cellmate.
Ely State Prison, located in a remote town in Eastern Nevada, is currently being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project for ”grossly inadequate medical care” to its 1,000 prisoners. The ACLU filed suit after state officials failed to act on the findings of an expert, Dr. William Noel, who was sent in to investigate medical conditions at Ely. According to the ACLU:
In his report, Noel wrote that medical care at ESP shows “the most shocking and callous disregard for human life and human suffering that I have ever encountered in the medical profession in my 35 years of practice.” According to the report…there is a horrific pattern of neglect, misguided health care policies, and little accountability for frequently under-qualified staff. Noel also noted numerous instances where important medical records were missing from prisoners’ medical files. Finally, Noel and the ACLU have raised serious concerns about prisoners who died and were cremated before autopsies were completed and their families notified.
This piece by Coyote Sheff is called “Solitary Enslavement.”
We sit in these cells like dead bodies sit in cemeteries. Death fills our lungs, fills our minds, fills our hearts and fills our souls as it lurks and lingers and seeps through the concrete. Our minds go numb and our spirits fade into inactivity. We sit here waiting to waste away, erode, dissolve, and disappear into the cracks of the cement.
Solitary confinement. What an evil concept, what a wicked notion, what a clever way to destroy a man without even laying a finger on him. Solitary confinement — the murderer of minds, hearts, and souls. The person who designed such an evil conception must’ve had murder on his mind and hate in his heart.
We die alone in these cold cells, as our hands stretch out to clutch concrete, but fail miserably to hold anything in their grasp other than the death-stenched air. We die alone — a lonely, miserable, suffering death. We die alone….
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This is the place where demons drool
over petty rule
leaving you all alone
while your mind fades and erodes between the thickness of steel and stone.
This is the place where sadness stains
the looks on our faces
and where madness remains
in the hearts and minds of the opposite races.
This is the place
of misery and despair
locked down in a cell with nothing to lose
and without a single care.
This is the place where we are all here
'cuz we are not all there.
Ely State Prison
Saturday, January 23, 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. NOT ALL THERE (INSIDE COVER)
14. BUT UNTIL THEN
21. FREE YOUR MIND
22. ON HEART
24. BURIED ALIVE
28. LIFE IS GOOD
"Greetings from the Graveyard" is a 3-part zine I want to use as a tool to raise awareness about the oppressive struggles that prisoners here in Nevada's maximum security prison (Ely State Prison) have to endure. Hopefully in so doing, it will also shed light on the struggles of prisoners all over America. I want to use this 3-part zine, not only to raise awareness, but also to gain support from sincere, dedicated people and activists on the outs.
It is important that people on both sides of the razor-wire understand the struggles, atrocities, injustices, and oppression that people in prison face. In all honesty, this is a crooked, corrupt, and inhumane system where we are being warehoused. There is no rehabilitation in these prisons, no programs, no health care, no love, no support. This entire American Judicial System is foul and corrupt. It is designed to oppress the poor and people of color. It’s just a cruel, merciless system where racism, violence, and sadism take place everyday.
I wanted to break this zine down to 3 sections, to shed light on 3 different aspects of the prison struggle. This first section is made up entirely of my latest writings. I write these pieces to give people a clear understanding of how barbaric and primitive this system on the inside is, and how most prisoners assume violent mentalities and predatory ways just to endure. Violence is glorified, respected, honored, and bragged about in this psychopathic environment. There's really no healthy, productive way for us to be reformed while living in this sadistic, oppressive environment.
I try to shine the spotlight on this type of violent predatory mentality in a couple of these essays, such as "Central PopuLockdown", and "Madness". I wrote those not as an imprisoned radical intellectual, but from the perspective of a convict who once took up the means of violence as a survival mechanism. I want people to see all different sides and different types of mentalities that we take up as the everyday "norm" in these dungeons.
Also, some of these writings were written as "Release Therapy" for me. These were instances where I was using the paper and pen as an avenue to release my frustrations, anger, and stress. This can be seen in essays like "Writings on the Wall", and "Dear Mr. Correctional Officer", just to name a couple.
I want people to understand that it’s hard for us to rise above this madness and to overcome these violent, predatory mentalities. It’s hard, but its necessary if we are to hold on to a sense of what's left of our humanity. It’s necessary for our communities, society and humanity. We truly and sincerely need outside support. We need people to get involved in our lives and in our struggles. We need people to give us genuine love and support. These warm rays of life are what keep us sane in here; keep us going in here; and keep us alive and human in here.
We need people to send us letters, accept our phone calls, come visit us, and most importantly, send us books so that we can use this time to educate/ re-educate ourselves and liberate our minds. It is through books, literature, education, and study that we become conscious. Consciousness is a saviour. It's what enables us to rise above this madness and change our ways of thinking from violent, criminalistic, predatory and unproductive thoughts to a more healthy, honest, wise, productive, and truthful outlook on life. With this outlook and a conscious level of thinking, we begin to understand on a more clear, truthful and active level. Conscious people don't do stupid things. Conscious people have a true appreciation and respect for life and humanity. This is why I'm always passing out zines and literature and giving books away to other prisoners in here. This is why I'm always writing zines and literature of my own: to raise consciousness in the hearts and minds of my fellow prisoners.
So, I sincerely want for this first zine to help people on the outs to understand what we are going through in these graveyards called prisons. I need people to understand why we need help from the outs and what kind of help we need. Love can conquer hate. Love can help and love can heal. And that's what we need: love, healing, and support.
I want this zine to inspire people to start getting involved in our lives and our struggles in real and meaningful ways. Help us help ourselves, because we cannot expect the people who imprison us to help us. If you are an activist, get involved in a real struggle. If you are not an activist, now is your chance to become one. We need sincere, dedicated, compassionate people to get involved in our plight.
As always, my writings are for people on both sides of the walls.
In solidarity and with respect, Coyote
ABC- Nevada Prison Chapter
Friday, January 22, 2010
To become aware of these atrocities, one must first become introduced to the 3 W's: World, War, and Warehouses. Once one becomes familiarized with these three, you'll then find that we are all prisoners with like struggles. Therefore, we are all subjected to the same institution and its forced mentalities of insane thinking. The relevance of this institution is it needs for us to become reliant upon its mechanisms. Like a clock ticking away and we're the sprockets turning its gears. It needs us to keep in tune to its tock. For without us, it cannot function. The clock takes extreme measures against all resistance.
These prison warehouses, for some, is the beginning of its extreme measures; and for others, it is the end. Those on the outs are subjected to wars and fighting for the continuous reign of capitalism. And some are just plainly confined to the world and its oppression, living as puppets till death, finding that in the end, it costs way too much to die. Lives pay dearly for war bullets, while the institution hails on and on. The warehouses destroy human nature with no compassion towards our wellbeing. And the institution hails on and on, biting its own tail for nourishment. And we come straight from its ass as its substance.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Man, I've been through so much, up here in E.S.P. for 10 years and I've been through it all. All the ups and downs, all the riots, conflicts and struggles, I've got the mail room officers hating on me, fucking with my mail and trying to make my life a living hell because of the zines that I create, zines like this one right here ("Greetings from the Graveyard"). I've got the officers appealing to the assistant warden trying to get me thrown on H.R.P. status (High Risk Prisoner) for my latest "assault" on an officer and for everything else I've been through in the past 10 years.
I try to do good, but when they see me trying to do good they try to make it harder for me; when they see I'm doing good they always try to find some petty offense to write me up for. So it's hard to maintain, after all the shit I've been through, and go through.
There's been many times when I wanted to do right and was making an effort to do good and then something would go wrong and I'd slip up and just like that I'd be back in the hole for another assault. It's easy for my family and friends to tell me, "just do good, just ignore them, just don't feed into it," but they could never understand the struggles that I go through in here. When you're living amongst all this foulness and misery sometimes it's hard to maintain your focus. It's hard to care about things when you're living in a world where no body cares. It's hard to care when nobody around you cares about you and when some of these people don't even care about themselves. It's a struggle to do right when everything's going wrong. And it's even harder to get your people to understand it when you call them and tell them, Man, I just slipped up again."
We sit here locked down in these cells, letting our minds go numb as every man is pent up within the limits of his own frustration and rage. I always speak on the importance of resistance, and I always speak on the importance of making real connections with people on the outs. I feel that when you try to elevate and educate yourself while living amongst all this stagnation and deterioration, you are engaging in a true act of resistance. Resistance isn't always about clashing with the authorities, or physically fighting the system, because under these circumstances you're only burying yourself deeper in a hole every time you get violent. I've been violent the whole time I've been incarcerated and sometimes it was necessary for me to be violent, but even though it's kept my head glued on to my shoulders it has prolonged my sentence.
So, when you take true strides to educate and elevate yourself while living under these dreary and gloomy circumstances, I'd say you are participating in a healthier act of resistance, because by doing this you're resisting intellectual death and you're also resisting spiritual famine. You are becoming conscious while dwelling in a contemptuous, disdainful, ugly nebula of ignorance and hatred. You are taking true strides to rise above it all.
It is important for us to try to make meaningful connections with people on the outs too, because nobody in here cares about you one way or the other. There's no love here. The love here is earned, not a given. Love shouldn't be earned, that's not true love. That's prison love. It's not the good kind of love. Prison love is artificial, it comes and it goes and then has to be earned all over again, it isn't given freely, there is no compassion in the type of love you'll find in prison. But we can get that from people on the outs, they can help us, they can heal us, they can show us love, friendship and compassion. That's they type of love we need, that's the type of love that's going to help us endure and grow and develop and blossom and those are the type of people who are going to get us through this and beyond this miserable, lonely existence of prison life. We need love from the people on the outs, 'cuz that's true love, not like this artificial, condensed stuff you get in here. We need real love and real support.
Maybe the people who keep us here 'want to keep our minds stagnant, maybe they just don't care one way or the other. But the fact of the matter is we, ourselves have to take true and healthy strides to rise above the madness and stagnation that we live and suffer through every day. I feel that having our minds stagnant while in prison is not only an injustice to ourselves, but an injustice to society (after we get out of prison) and an injustice to humanity. It definitely makes you question the role of prisons in America and it makes you question the intentions of those who are intent on locking us up and building more prisons. It is c1ear that they don't care about us. It is c1ear that we have to take it upon ourselves to rise above this madness.
I sit here in this cell trying to cultivate my mind and trying to encourage others to do the same. We use this time to get our minds right and our game tight, trying to rise above all of this mental and spiritual oppression. We try to make the best out of a bad situation, taking the good with the bad, making sure we get back on our feet after each time we stumble and fall, still striving to move forward, towards the imaginary light at the end of the imaginary tunnel, because it's all about perseverance and survival. And yes, you can learn something new everyday if you have the desire to do so. Just because they want us to stay stagnant in here, doesn't mean we have to. Staying sharp and staving strong is what we should aim to do. Don't lose your mind, use your mind! Apply yourself.
Just in here trying to stay on the sharp side!
Ely State Prison, Ely, Nevada
October 27th, 2008
"Your way begins on the other side. Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall, escape
Walk out like somebody born into color.
Do it now"
- Rumi, 800 years ago
Please write to me and send me letters of solidarity and encouragement:
Coyote Sheff #55671
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, Nevada 89301-1989
As I sit here in this cell or whatever it is, I find myself wishing that they would come and get me and take me to prison. I say that, because all of this weirdness around here and all of the foulness I see, I don't know where I'm at anymore.
Lately, I haven't been talking on the tier anymore. I know that there are at least 20 protective custody inmates locked down on this tier right now, sitting in the hole with me. What I don't know is how many of them are informing for the pigs or how many of them are sitting back and listening to everything we say. So, lately, I've chosen to stay quiet and alone. It would be nice if there were a couple conscious prisoners close to me, there would be plenty to discuss. But, they've got me stranded and strained up right now and I don't have nothing to prove, therefore, I have nothing to say.
The prisoners are so friendly with the police around here, it scares me.
The foulness disgusts me, disturbs me, makes me sick. I hate this place. this place used to be my stomping grounds. I've sent many pigs away, either bleeding or covered with feces, and yes, they had it coming! I've done deeds that could be bragged about for years in this setting, this place. But I know if I had a reason to lash out and do something to these pigs right now, the prisoners around here would look at me like I'm crazy. they wouldn't understand the concept of standing up to the man, no, not on this tier.
I sit up in this cell and I read, I study, I write, I keep myself busy and I apply my knowledge as often as I can. fuck this place, these people, fuck what they think, fuck what they do, I gotta shake it off and continue to be who I am. I can't explaln how much this place fills me with disgust. It has become sickening to be here. I need to get out of here, I need to cleanse my soul, or get high, or something, cuz it is becoming very very difficult to deal with this madness.
If there's someone out there who's reading this, someone who cares, pick up a pen and write to one of the prisoners who has placed an article in this zine. Show us some love, give us some encouragement, send us some books, help us rise above this madness. We need your support. we need to have real contact, communication, and truthful relationships-meaningful connections with people on the outside. We've been cut of from love, society, life, community, family, and friends, and been confined to a corner of coldness and darkness. We need your support. We need your compassion.
From the depths of these dregs, Coyote
Ely state prison, Nevada 2008
If you would like to write me, I can be contacted at this address:
Coyote Sheff #55671,
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301-1989
Your heart turns into stone, your soul turns into ice, and your mind turns into jelly. That's what happens when you sit and sit and sit in one of these cells, that's what happens when love leaves you, its what happens when you stop trying. It’s a constant cycle of torture. Lt’s a constant battle, a never-ending struggle. One day you feel good, the next day you feel bad. You go through so much conflict and turmoil with yourself, it nearly kills you. You can feel a deep sense of mental anguish and a deep sense of spiritual torment. It hurts so bad, it tears you up into little pieces, it scars you, and it destroys you inside.
You're filled with hate, rage, and vengeance.
You want to kick the pig’s head in, the same way they kick on your door. You become suspicious of others, and paranoid. You begin to think they're talking about you, you think they're out to get you, out to rob, steal, or cheat you. You're losing your fucken mind.
That's what happens when you sit and fester and marinate in one of these cells for hours at a time, days at a time, months at a time, years at a time. That's what happens when your heart stops finding a real reason to beat, that's what happens when you quit resisting. Your heart breaks a thousand times, you lose your cool. You lose your mind, your soul freezes and you die inside, you fucken die.
My name is Coyote and my heart still beats with love and resistance. But there's been times when it would skip a beat or two, or three ...
January 22, 2008
The caseworkers here at Ely State Prison have become so good at lying that it scares me. They're always out to give us the classic run around, just to see us running in circles like dogs chasing their tails. I've trained myself not to believe anything they say and never get my hopes up. I am able to live with the understanding that there isn't very much I have coming from them. I know these people don't care about me, they don't care about my problems in life or what the hell I'm going through. They're not going to help me, they're not here for that. These lying caseworkers are so full of shit, they can keep on walking past my cell to the next one. I'm cool right here. Fuck 'em.
EI Coyote 2008
Those who live in fear of authority, live in slavery. Mental slavery, psychological slavery, and even physical slavery. Those who live in fear of authority are in a prison all of their own. A prison of their own making.
I am a prisoner to concrete and steel, but I am not imprisoned by fear. I do not conduct myself with those who are in fear of authority. We who live in prison are sure to not allow the walls to chip away at our existence; but with our spirit and attitude of resistance we chip away the walls and barriers that presume to behold us.
The thoughts that seep to the strengthened center of our well-being were created from the sheer will to survive under drastic circumstances. We are refined by hardships when befriended by darkness and we come out strengthened in the center and sharp around the edges, ready to cut through our bonds with a diligent ease.
It is will power that guides us through these sloppy situations. It is the spirit of resistance that keeps us alive and well. We are not imprisoned by our fears, we are determined to perservere.
ABC - Nevada Prison Chapter June 7th, 2008
At the time of this writing, I've been here at Ely State prison for a solid 10 years. I've been through all the motions, all the ups and downs, all the trials and tribulations. I've been in fights, I've sent officers to the hospital, I've been sent to the hole for alleged stabbings, I've fought with the goon squad on cell extractions, I've participated in riots and I've demonstrated all kinds of acts of real resistance. I've been shot, gassed, tazered--you name it, I've been through it all.
Wherever I go in this prison, I am locked down. There's only one unit in this prison that isn't locked down and the caseworkers and wardens say that I am not eligible for that unit because of my history of institutional violence. All of my visits have been behind glass for almost 9 years now. They won't let me have contact visits with my family or friends because of my history of institutional violence.
So I am stuck, whether I am in the hole, or in "General populockdown", it doesn't matter, they will not give me any type of breathing room.
So, other than the fact that I will one day be released from prison, I have no incentive to do good, or follow their petty rules. I have no hope, nothing to look forward to. I’ll be here in Ely State prison until I go home, stuck in a cell, on 23 hour lock down, trying to maintain and keep from losing my cool. It's hard, sometimes it's a real struggle when you're confined to these cells for long periods of time, your thinking gets a bit distorted and it can take one little thing to set you off. when rage and aggression set in, you go flying off the handle before even thinking twice about it. It’s a psychological struggle and we are up against great odds.
This place has the ability and the tendency to do great amounts of damage to our psyche and our minds. We are living in a real-live man-made hell.
We need people on the outs to show their concern and get involved in our lives and struggles. We need people to send us letters and books and give us hope and something to look forward to. We need people on the outs to accept our calls and give us good, healthy, productive conversations to get our minds off of this sick, demented place for a little while. We need people to care about us and about what we're going through in here. We need support from people on the outside.
The psychological torment that takes place in this prison can be unbearable at times. If our souls are out of tune and our minds aren't strong and if our hearts are in the wrong place, then we are lost to this cold, desolate darkness. It takes a lot of strength and a good amount of resistance to get through this.
Listen up! There's nothing cool about this place, there's nothing cool about being here. This place sucks.
Ely State Prison
When we rise we fight, all day, all night, we fight. We fight to overcome, we fight to live, we fight to survive, we fight to win, we fight to prevail. Every day is a fight, a struggle, a challenge, every day is a battle. We fight and fight and fight. Struggle, and strive and thrive to survive. We fight with one another, we fight against our captors, we fight the system, we fight oppression, we fight hunger, we fight agony, we fight depression. We train, spar and prepare. There's no breaks, no time-outs, no tapping out, no quitting, no giving up. Fight, fight, fight. We fight to change, we fight to rise above the madness, we fight to make it through. Man-up, handle-up, face up to every challenge and to every challenger. It's a mental kumite, it's a spiritual kumite, it's an emotional kumite, it's a physical kumite. We fight with God, we fight with the Devil, we fight with our own restless souls, we create enemies and fight them too. We fight with all our hearts and we fight with all our might. Strength, endurance, speed. We fight one battle after the next, we feel no pain, we have no fear, we just keep fighting to persevere. Focus, we need to focus, we must stay focused, can't lose our focus. like an eagle we swoop, like a tiger we strike. We strike back when struck, we swing when swung upon, we initiate and engage and we combat the battles we lose only to inspire us to comeback and fight harder and harder and harder. Punch, kick, strike. We fight and we struggle and we resist.
Everyday is a kumite, step into the arena, step into the ring, step into the dojo, step onto the mat. Come out to the yard, step onto the battlefield. Gladiator, samurai, soldier, kyokushin, warrior, guerrilla, prisoner. Fight! Fight! Fight!
The mindless minds in these endless times do not want to think, because thinking is too real. The heartless hearts in these lonely, miserable times, do not want to think. We do not want to have to feel or deal with reality or face life, because it's all too much, it's all too real.
So we nullify, dull, deteriorate, and dumb ourselves down with television, magazines, gangsterism, fantasies and day dreams. We let our minds fade away with our lives, silently hoping and watching for something to come along and shake us, awaken us and snap us back into reality, causing us to take charge of our situation before it's too late, causing us to take control of our lives, with that long, forgotten fire burning and raging in our hearts and minds once again. We sit and we pray and we hope and we wish that one day, some day, we may reawaken to the passion of life and be able to deal with reality, once again.
But until then, we turn our minds off and our televisions on. We put our books down and pick up magazines full of fakeness and materialism and we sit here and fade away, until a rainy day, fuck the world, we say.
"Fuck the Police". These 3 words can be found everywhere in these madhouses. Fuck the police, scribed on the walls, fuck the police, scratched into the desks, fuck the police, carved into the bunks, fuck the police, etched into the doors, etched into our minds. Fuck those slimy, greasy bastards, fuck them pigs.
That is the first commandment that we live by in here, the golden rule, as we live in these volatile situations, hostility towards our captors is the fuel that keeps us going. The correctional officers are the police, they work for the system, the government, so they're pigs too. The rats, the snitches, the informants and the inmates on protective custody, they are the police too. They work for the man, cooperating and operating against other prisoners, though they are prisoners themselves. In this world, that makes them the biggest pieces of shit around these shit-filled sewers. Not even the pigs respect them, they're cowards, and they are the police too, so fuck them.
This is prison, this isn't Disneyland. People aren't playing, not everybody is friendly around here, there are some people around here who would stick some steel in your neck, without blinking an eye, then go walk back to the table, sit down and eat their meal, or your meal, like nothing happened. This is prison.
Fuck the system, that's what we say when we pray, cuz that's what we feel in our hearts. We know this ain't right, we know it's foul, we know we're being screwed, cheated, manipulated and deceived. We know it in our hearts. Fuck the system.
We live with so much hostility in our hearts, it's what motivates us to stay alive, but it's a double-edged sword as we continue on the path of SELF-DESTRUCTION cuz we do not truly understand how we can actually rise above this madness, we do not truly comprehend how we can escape these chains and live truthfully.
All we know is piracy, banditry, hoodlumism, thuggery, and gangsterism, that's all we know as we sit here and say fuck the system. We don't ask ourselves, or each other, how can we organize ourselves in here? We don't ask ourselves, or each other, how can we elevate ourselves in here? We don't ask ourselves, or each other, how can we live truthfully, how can we get free and rise above this oppression? We don't think about these things, because we don't see the possibility of these things, as we are blinded by our own ignorance and blinded by our own violence towards one another, we can't see past our own futile situations, all we know is that we have to survive, so we don't get cheated or shorted or knocked off by the next motherfucker.
But the writings on the wall, for those who want to read it, it's right there, etched, sketched, scratched, scribed, carved or written, it's right there. Three words, fuck the police, it's right there, written on the wall, desk, bunk, ceiling, floor, it's right there.
An eagle built a nest on a tree, and hatched out some eaglets, and a wild sow brought her litter under the tree, and the sow rooted around the tree and hunted in the woods, and when night came she would bring her young something to eat. And the eagle and the sow lived in neighborly fashion.
And a grimalkin laid her plans to destroy the eaglets and the little sucking pigs. She went to the eagle and said: "Eagle you had better not fly very far away. Beware of the sow, she is planning an evil design. She is going to undermine the roots of the tree. You see she is rooting all the time."
Then the grimalkin went to the sow and said: "Sow, you have not a good neighbor. Last evening I heard the eagle saying to her eaglets: "My dear little eaglets, I am going to treat you to a nice little pig. Just as the sow is gone, I will bring you a little young sucking pig!"
From that time the eagle ceased to fly out after prey, and the sow did not go any more into the forest. The eaglets and the young pigs perished of starvation, and the grimalkin feasted on them.
Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910
True seekers of knowledge would probably appreciate the fact that there is a lot of' wisdom and knowledge to be found in fables. Practically every culture has their own fables, there is so much that can be learned from fables, things like strategy, wisdom, practical ways of living, counsel and instructions on various themes of life. How could one not appreciate a good fable every now and then right? So, I wanted to share this particular fable with you, because there's a lot of truth in it, truth that applies to our everyday situation as prisoners.
The strategy of the grimalkin in this fable is very similar to that of the "Divide and Conquer" strategy that our oppressors use on us today. When we become mistrustful of each other, when we fight each other and kill each other, we are giving our oppressor (the grimalkin) - our true enemy - absolute power over us. As long as we are going at it with each other, they don't have to worry about us trying to rise up against them.
How can we be each other’s enemy when we are in the same communities, prisons and in the trenches together, going through the same shit, suffering from the same type of poverty and the same afflictions together? No, brothers and sisters, we are not each other’s enemies, we need to stop hating each other and come to realize that it's the grimalkin who is profiting off of our self-destructive behavior, the grimalkin is our true enemy.
The sooner we realize this the sooner we will be able to reach some type of middle-ground between us and eventually we can try to come together and run the grimalkin down. There's a couple lessons that can be learned from this fable of the "Eagle and the Sow." But one of the most important one is one of the oldest, "Know your Enemy."
Ely State Prison
AII I want is what I got coming and for you to leave me alone. There's no need to stop at my cell and ask me how am I doing today, you don't care how I'm doing, you don't really want to know how I'm doing, you only ask to see what kind of state of mind I'm in, if I'm on some "fuck the police shit", or if I'm safe for you to be around, that's the only reason you ask how I'm doing today, to make sure you're safe, not cuz you actually care, so don't even ask. No need to stand at my door smiling, being nice, trying to hold a fake ass conversation with me about this, that or the other, if I need something I’ll let you know, if not just give me my meal, or my mail or whatever and move on.
I don't want your little extras, the last thing I want is to be spoiled by the pigs, so you can keep your little extra this and your little extra that, take it and give it to one of your little rats. I don't want it, I don't need it, just give me my full issue of what I'm supposed to get and roll on to the next cell. Just leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone, but if you go out of your way to mess with me, then I'm going to go out of my way to mess with you. And this is going to be an unsafe environment for both of us.
Thank you. Have a nice day.
Though I am loved, I am alone, left to sit and suffer in a cold, desolate cell of confinement. On the other side of these prison gates I have many people who love and care about me, who are touched by my courage and compassion, and who are moved by my love for them and by my love for life, freedom, and justice. The sad reality, though, is that they're out there and I'm in here, alone ....
I am surrounded by people who like to think that they're my enemies, surrounded by foulness and perversion, and blanketed by sheer coldness. I have no friends, just a few people that I talk to from time to time, people who share no true feelings of connectedness with me; their conversations might be good sometimes, and comforting, but there's no camaraderie between us. People in here will talk to you one day and then decide that they don't want to talk to you ever again; that's just the way it goes in here. It's something that a prisoner has to deal with, knowing that the only person in here that you can truly depend on is yourself.
We have to find ways to deal with this loneliness so it doesn't take us under.
Overcoming loneliness is a huge part of survival in prison. Loneliness is painful. It's agonizing to my soul. To know that I could be in here, in this world, with other people around me, in cells next to me, above or below me, and still feel unconnected to anyone, and still feel like I don't really know someone, or that nobody really understands me, and to feel like I cannot truly trust another man in here - it defines the feeling of suffering. To be alone is to suffer.
In solitude I suffer. My heart dies, my blood turns cold and the spark of life leaves my eyes; when you look into them now all you can see is anger, pain, loneliness, and suffering, and all I can do is sit here and ask myself, what have I done to deserve this? What did I do to have to be forced to live in such torment?
For I know in my heart of hearts that I'm a good man. I know in my heart that I live by the principles of righteousness, respect, honor, integrity, fairness, equality; and I know that I am a man who has stood up for my beliefs and who has stood up for my rights, and who has also been beaten down for standing up for them. But still I am left to live in solitude, like I am some kind of piece of shit or something.
In prison that' s the price we have to pay for being a man who stands up for himself and for what he believes is good and right. We have to pay for that by sitting and suffering in solitary confinement until the authorities feel that they have broken you down. They try to break your will, break your spirit and your determination, and they try to destroy you. The things that we see as good and the things that we see as being right are the things that we are being punished for.
I sit here in solitude, feeling so alone. Tormented by my loneliness, and even though another man lives in the cell to my right, and another man lives in the cell to my left, and a man lives in the cell right above me, I feel no connection with any of them; there's no trust between us and absolutely no sense of camaraderie, and it kills me inside.
I understand that all of this is by design, and I want to be strong, I want to resist, I want to overcome, because I know I can't give in, I know I can't surrender, I know I can't let my oppressors break me; but deep down inside I know that no matter what I do, I cannot win, for either way they are slowly destroying me; whether I fight or surrender, they have already won. But I just can't give them the satisfaction in letting them know that they've destroyed me with loneliness, so I continue to fight and I continue to resist, because anything less would be suicidal ....
From the depths of my restless soul,
Ely State Prison, Nevada October 25, 2007