I’m from SCI-Smithfield in Pennsylvania and I’m in search of a voice to help me bring light to the struggles that the inmates in this facility face. Now I’ve been on my hunger strike since June 11, 2014, and the reason for my hunger strike is policies being overlooked, harassment from COs (correctional officers), very poor calories on daily trays, refusal of proper medical treatment and denial of the equal protection of the laws and due process as guaranteed by the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution along with other personal reasons I shall explain.
Though Addameer, the source of this graphic, supports prisoners in Palestine, solidarity among hunger strikers around the world is becoming a strong tradition.
Now, I’ve been in the RHU (Restricted Housing Unit, i.e. solitary confinement) since May 2, 2014, and I’ve witnessed beatings and people being denied food and medical treatment due to a verbal disagreement between inmates and COs which is not only excessive force but a violation of many rights and policies. And I’ve been trying to stand up for my rights, but there’s no unity in the prison and a weak support system on the street, so my last hunger strike lasted for 13 days but went unnoticed, which in turn has made COs and administration representatives take biased acts against me.
For instance, during my last hunger strike medical failed to follow the procedures of Pennsylvania Policy 131.1, Section 8-9 and 8-14. After me finally eating, they didn’t offer me any medical attention or examination to see how the hunger strike had affected me; it started on May 10 and ended on May 22, 2014.
Now in the course of me being mistreated I’ve put in several requests until this day and have yet to receive any response, which violates my due process according to DC-ADM 804, which states I should receive a response within 15 business days. My first three grievances were put in on May 19; going on 30 days later, there’s still no response.
Another issue is I came to the RHU on May 2, 2014, on AC (Administrative Custody) status. Now on May 5, 2014, I received a falsified misconduct for introducing contraband, which I appealed, and it was dismissed on May 21, 2014. Now according to RHU policy, you are eligible for a phone call in 30 days, but I was denied this phone call because of the above misconduct which was dismissed.
So my time in the RHU should count toward my AC, and to this day I haven’t gotten a call. I’ve written several requests and a grievance to try and fix this but was denied. Not only did I get verbal approval but I also have written approval, yet my grievance was denied on biased grounds, saying it was a misunderstanding – yet I still didn’t get a call.
I’m from SCI-Smithfield in Pennsylvania and I’m in search of a voice to help me bring light to the struggles that the inmates in this facility face.
Last, I was put in a cell with no storage space for my personal property, a broken shower and two sewage drains. I have to put up with the smell of feces and urine all day, plus gnats, ants, bugs and more bugs keep appearing in my cell through these drains. Now I’ve spoken to COs, sergeants, lieutenants and a captain, and all they keep saying is they’ll look into it but never have. I even wrote a request, but still nothing changed.
Now I’ve reached out to my family but haven’t heard anything back. I even sent them proof of my call issue and things about my medical rights being violated. I’m in the process of getting copies of my misconduct and grievances that were denied when facts showed they were wrong.
So I ask that you assist me by bringing some light to this situation and/or point me in the right direction to get some help or outside representation. I would like to thank you listening to my story and let you know I’m thankful for any help you can offer.
Send our brother some love and light: Andrew Stevenson, LE-1859, SCI Smithfield, 1120 Pike St., P.O. Box 999, Huntington, PA 16652.
The people of Black Wall Street, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, look around at the devastation of the entire 1 square mile neighborhood after the smoke cleared. Many of their neighbors had died; estimates range from 300 to 3,000, proponents of the larger number citing stories of a mass grave. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society
Some financial observers attribute the Black community’s economic woes to our unwillingness to financially support Black businesses. Well, back in 1921, in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, community named Black Wall Street, a dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the community.
That was before a white mob destroyed the town. Given the ferocity of the attack and the complicity of Oklahoma police, one would think that by now survivors would’ve been compensated for what they endured, but they haven’t been.
As BreakingBrown previously reported, Black Wall Street had its own theaters, grocery stores, independent newspapers and professional Black class before being demolished by an irate white mob angry over a Black teen’s alleged assault of a white female. (The Bay View’s main Black Wall Street story is one of the most popular on our website. – ed.)
Women taken prisoner ride in a paddy wagon, an armed white guard – probably a police officer – riding on the running board. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society
In the 1921 riot, whites attacked Blacks who were living in the Greenwood area, also known as Black Wall Street. The Tulsa police were not only indifferent, but they also took part in the destruction of the wealthiest Black city in America, with officers helping to set fire to the property of Blacks who had lived and thrived in that area.
As a result of white supremacist terrorism, an estimated 10,000 Blacks were left homeless and 35 city blocks were burned to the ground. Blacks who had been injured during the assault could not even seek medical care because the Black hospital was one of the buildings torched by white mobs.
Even white attorneys in the area didn’t buy the story that the Black teen had attacked the white teenager, one reportedly having said: “Why, I know that boy, and have known him a good while. That’s not in him.”
As a result of white supremacist terrorism, an estimated 10,000 Blacks were left homeless and 35 city blocks were burned to the ground.
Black Wall Street survivor Olivia Hooker, now 99, has never given up hope for restitution. She was 6 years old when her father’s department store was destroyed. – Photo: Dexter Mullins
After the riot, Mayor T.D. Evans told a commission that what happened was “inevitable,” adding, “Let us immediately get to the outside fact that everything is quiet in our city, that this menace has been fully conquered, and that we are going on in a normal condition.”
And the city moved on and the people who lost everything, like Olivia Hooker, who is 99 now, have never been compensated for their loss.
Hooker, who was only a child during the riot, described to Al Jazeera how it impacted her. “After she witnessed white Tulsans loot her town, her perceptions of race were dramatically altered,” writes Dexter Mullins in “Survivors of infamous 1921 Tulsa race riot still hope for justice.”
The city moved on and the people who lost everything, like Olivia Hooker, who is 99 now, have never been compensated for their loss.
Like Black business districts in many cities before desegregation, Tulsa’s Black Wall Street supplied all the Black community’s needs, with all sorts of Black businesses, like this movie theater, and Black professionals. A dollar circulated 19 times before leaving the neighborhood. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society
“I was 6 years and 3 months old when it occurred and the reason it was so devastating to me was that I had never been made aware of discrimination and hatred,” Hooker told Mullins.
“The only people that I saw who were not of my hue were people who were trying to sell something to my father for his department store and so they behaved as salesmen do. They brought things, they listened to my sister play Bach and they tried to engage the children so my father would buy their products.
“That was my image of people of another hue, and so when this terrible thing happened, it really destroyed my faith in humanity. It took a good long while for me to get over it.”
Blacks valiantly fought the fires that terrible day, June 1, 1921, to no avail. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society
Mullins writes: “As the mob spread through Greenwood and the National Guard arrived to evacuate Black residents from their homes, Hooker’s mother saw crowds of people standing on a nearby hillside watching the disaster – with their children in tow. Hooker describes the speech her mother gave to the onlookers of the destruction”:
“She decided that all families who had brought their children to watch the destruction of the African American people – she thought she’d better tell them something. So she stood up there and gave an oration on the fact that what they were doing, bringing children to watch this, was going to be visited upon them unto the third and fourth generation,” said Hooker.
“So the children started crying and the people who brought their children to see the destruction said: ‘Make that woman shut up. She’s scaring our children.’
“And a man came from the group. I presume he was a veteran, because he limped. And he said to my mother, ‘If you’ll finish your oration, I can’t go in your house while the monsters are still in there, but I promise you when they leave I’ll go down and try to snuff out all the little blazes that they set.”
Ku Klux Klan membership grew after the destruction of Black Wall Street. Here they gather in Drumright, Okla., in 1922, the following year. And in 2001, 80 years later, when the Tulsa Race Riot Commission recommended in a 178-page report that survivors be paid reparations, calling it a “moral obligation,” hate calls flooded into the Greenwood Cultural Center, where a plaque lists the financial claims of the over 200 who’ve sued, adding up to $2,719,745.61. – Photo: Tulsa Historical Society
“After 93 years of fighting for restitution,” Mullins writes, “Hooker admits it is not likely she’ll ever receive anything”:
“We thought we might live long enough to see something happen,” Hooker told him, “but even though I’ve lived 99 years, nothing of that sort has actually happened. You keep hope alive, so to speak, and just keep right on trying – never giving up, never, never giving up.”
Real reparations, however, come in dollars and cents, not words.
There are fewer than a dozen survivors of the riot, and they will all probably die without being compensated. All city officials have offered them thus far are empty apologies.
“I cannot apologize for the actions, inaction and dereliction that those individual officers and their chief exhibited during that dark time,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan in 2013. “But as your chief today, I can apologize for our police department. I am sorry and distressed that the Tulsa Police Department did not protect its citizens during those tragic days in 1921.”
Real reparations, however, come in dollars and cents, not words.
Yvette Carnell writes about politics, international and cultural issues on Your Black World and is the founder ofBreakingBrown, where this story first appeared. She can be reached at email@example.com or viahttp://about.me/yvettecarnell. Bay View staff contributed to this story.
- Campbell says players are only out to protect themselves
- Campbell claimed he would've captained England for 10 years if he was white
- Paul Ince rejected Campbell's views in interview with Sportsmail
Former England defender Sol Campbell believes his fellow black players are 'too scared' to speak out about racism.
The 39-year-old, who retired two years ago after playing for Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Notts County and Newcastle, claimed in March he could have been England captain for 10 years had he been white.
Campbell admits he has been disappointed by the reaction of several black ex-professionals, accusing them of being 'too scared to own up' to the fact they have been victims of - or witnessed - racial abuse.
Hitting out: Sol Campbell captains England against the USA during an international in 2005
Experienced: Sol Campbell played for Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham and England during his career
'They are seeing what is happening around them and they don't do anything about it. They love the status quo. They just want to toe the line,' he told the Daily Mirror.
'It's a case of, "I'm all right, I don't care who is coming up behind me. I'm too scared to own up". Well, I'm not like that and I am never going to be like that, I'm just going to be me.
'People could have said what they did in a different way. John Barnes had bananas thrown at him. He is almost acting like nothing happened to him. People like him could have said, "Maybe not 10 years, but I could see where he was coming from. Articulate it in a different way".'
Ex-Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince, who captained England seven times during the 1990s, was one such prominent former international team-mate of Campbell's who rejected his claims, saying the defender 'wouldn't have been England captain for 10 years - nobody is'.
Fighting talk: Paul Ince (right, in action against Italy at the 1998 World Cup) rejected Campbell's claims
Difference of opinion: Campbell and Ince (left and second left) disagree over the racism issue
Glory days (from left): Alan Shearer, Sol Campbell, David Beckham and Paul Ince train with England
Referring to the newspaper interview in question, Campbell added: 'Then you've got Paul Ince in the Daily Mail. It's like "Really?". What position are you protecting when your position can so easily be taken away?
'I know some of the political people are trying to kind of move the FA in certain ways.
'But you just get to the stage where, if I've got black ex-players going against me then you start to think, "What is going on here?". I'll just let people drift and carry on doing my own thing.'
Written by newafrikan77
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 01:50
| Support parole for Dr Mutulu Shakur August 12 , 2014