Monday, July 25, 2011

From Hunger Striker at CCI Tehachapi

Letter from CCI dated July 21st: Help still needed!

by Kim Albanese on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 9:32pm

Hunger Striker’s at Tehachapi still need our help!
CCI Tehachapi; July 21, 2011

Dear Brooke,

(Regarding this hunger strike) I am glad the word is out, I'm just
saddened that I don't see anything on the news of our struggle. As far
as we last heard it’s been like 12 prisons that are involved. Here
there are a lot of people on strike - all races, Pelican Bay and
Corcoran for sure.

As far as commissary, that's a negative. It is CDC policy to search
our cells and remove all store when hunger strikes begin, and they did
so here.

All they do is weigh us and take our vitals (blood pressure, temp.,
and heart rate), but of course they weigh us in chains to weigh us
down and they allow the c/o's to operate the scale. I am at 171 on my
last weigh-in, down from 185. They attempt to take my blood, which I
refuse; I'm weak as it is, if I do that I’ll fall out.

They truly don't care and they are perfectly content in watching us
pass rather than admit fault and make changes to a policy that is
brutal and baseless. I can’t take my medication anymore because I have
to take it with food… I asked for help and they just ignored me.

They also took my shoes when I got here and my feet hurt. (*He had
only been at CCI 2 weeks before the strike started, and he was never
given any shoes!)

Help get the truth out there. I pray some attorneys get involved. Let
them know the CDC is without truth and will lie to keep this issue
from ever getting coverage. I am here validated for no actual action.
This policy of validating people for no reason robs us of our lives,
so we are on a hunger strike in which we could pass because in this
environment we've already passed. This is not a life.

I have no food and no meds (that I can take). All they do is weigh me.
They don't treat us (example; Ensure, Gatorade, nutrients of some
sort). Nothing.

So I remain strong in the hopes that change will come. I get sad when
I watch the news and they talk about stuff with no meaning and ignore
us. I am an American citizen and when enemy combatants in Guantanamo
Bay had a strike they covered it, all networks, beginning to end, but
we are just forgotten.

Contact all media networks and let them know this is a peaceful
protest and we have been given no other option for relief rather than
to hunger strike in the hopes that someone, ANYONE, will care enough
to step in and help us.

One might think that us as prisoners must be held under duress and
extreme conditions in order to refuse the most basic necessity; food.
I choose to remain on strike for I have been robbed of my life, my
ability to be a father to my son, a son to my parents, a lover to my
love, a friend to friends, and to experience life in the minimum of
its meaning.

I was sentenced to life in prison at 18 for an action I committed, but
now I am validated for no actual action committed by me. And I’ll be
held here in the SHU until I die or debrief. Just imagine if anyone
out there could be put in jail just for someone’s accusation. It’s
unheard of. But in here its common practice for we are forgotten. We
are the tragic aftermath of an angry committee.

Some believe we don't deserve common decency or compassion because we
didn't show any when we committed our crime. To those people I say, in
life wrongs are committed. I don't justify anything. But this country
was founded on mass genocide and yet that is forgotten.

Now that civil rights have passed the oppression that must be has
moved behind these walls of the new “concrete slave ship".

I am only a man who prays that I will be judged by my actions and my
disciplinary file, not by the words of faceless informants and a
confidential file that I can’t see. We must defend ourselves against
the unknown. It’s literally impossible.

My feet still walk the trail of tears. I am in my soul still a
believer in justice and the good in people. I believe if society
really knew what happened in here they'd be appalled.

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