Hunger strike in 8th week: Don’t let them die
SF BayView, September 1, 2013 by Ikemba Mutulu (Marritte Funches)
Off top, salute to my rilla ones out in them streets and the prisons, comrades unknown but most appreciated. Your recognition of our human and civil rights has been beautiful to see. We are truly grateful. The work you are doing for prison and judicial reform is vital to the future generations and promises of what this world can be.
The genius being repressed inside some of these cells, the humanity often hanging by a thread, but still alive, is worth it. It’s worth standing in the cold to protest this torture; it’s worth leaving your comfort zone to voice your opinion, educate your friends and the strangers you meet.
The men and women participating in this hunger strike, risking death, are in the last years of continued torture. Some are in prison because they fought on the front lines for you – your freedom, your right to vote, your civil rights and equality – now labeled criminals, written out of history, locked in a dungeon for decades. They sacrificed for you.
Without their contributions, there would be no Black president, Black billionaires or any of these so-called symbols of progress. And there are thousands of others – like myself – rescued from our designed ignorance through the teachings and love of these brilliant men and women, all of us suffering the same tortures. Not because we were gangsters or thugs. Our punishment is for picking up the torch, so those who make it out can join you, shoulder to shoulder in the struggle.
The state relies on its prisons to shut us up, keep the poor politically inept, breed racial hatred and dismay, keep the middle class in check and fund this fundamentally flawed and increasingly militarized system of corruption, where not only their killer cops can murder us with impunity. Now it seems so can any so-called law-abiding middle class citizen with a gun.
The state will not “give” us anything. It’s important people understand prisons are the ultimate symbol of oppression. The state tries to discredit the organizers of this hunger strike with all manner of lies and defamatory comments.
But the very fact these men and women refuse to surrender their beliefs or to inform on their friends is a direct contradiction of the state’s mischaracterizations. These are men and women of principle who have given everything to the struggle.
True, some of us are reformed gangsters, thugs etc., but whatever the state says, we are all human beings and without your full support these men WILL die because these pork chop state officials will not make any meaningful changes until several of the men and women starve to death – or until YOU make such a showing that it can’t be ignored.
So get on your computers, saturate those government leaders with letters and emails demanding an immediate end to the political crucifixion and torture, the indefinite isolation, denial of meaningful programs and the criminalization of our own efforts to educate and organize ourselves on a positive path inside the prisons.
Demand an end to the legalized slavery of prisoners. How slavery, in any shape or form, can still be on the books in America, I don’t know. But there it is, in the 13th Amendment. The concessions of Abraham Lincoln to the Confederate slave masters, allowing them to keep a workforce of slaves – free labor through incarceration – is still being enforced until this day and taking good jobs away from you.
Pull out your picket signs and bullhorns, protest in front of the TV stations, government offices, city jails and county lock-ups. Keep it in the new and on the minds of the people every day.
Prisons do not stop crime. An equal distribution of wealth, resources, education, housing and medical care, solving the real social ills of a profit-driven society – that is what stops crime.
We all know someone affected by this corrupt judicial prison system. Support hunger strikers. DON’T LET THEM DIE.
Send our brother some love and light: Marritte Funches, 155850, 3C/2-15, P.O. Box 6000, Sterling, CO 80751.