Keep the Struggle Up

We have been slammed down, oppressed and confined to these prisons, ghettos and graveyards. Our stories and our lessons are manicured by the epidemics of pain, poverty, discrimination and struggle. We get poorer and the rich get richer as the story goes. There’s no justice, no rehabilitation, no freedom. We are taken to court on trumped up, bogus shit, given 20 charges for one incident, bullied into taking a ‘deal’, and then we are appointed a public defender ‘cuz we don’t have the money to acquire a more sufficient attorney, and one year the person who is supposed to be representing us is a public defender, and then the next year that same person is a district attorney! So how could we really trust these people? How could we trust them with our lives? How could we be so willing to put our freedom in their hands?

It doesn’t make sense to repetitively place our lives and our freedom into the malefic hands of people who actually despise us. Will there ever come a time when we can start taking control of our own lives? When we can stop depending on the same people that oppress us, to help us? Is there any legitimate, respectable way to get ourselves out of the deleterious grips of this death machine? Is there any way to end these sentences of perpetual suffering? All the questions that come to me while I marinate in this lonely world of darkness, reflecting on the many sorrows I’ve seen. So many questions, but hardly enough answers.

The frustration leads me to sit up on my bunk and start strategizing on different ways that I can possibly try to encourage my comrades in here to start taking the initiative to study and learn the law. I have a Xerox copy of Mumia Abu Jamal’s new book, Jailhouse Lawyers and I pass it out to others, trying to use it as a tool to inspire prisoners to learn how to become attorneys for the poor and oppressed. I sit here and wonder, “What else can I do? What clever ways are there to inspire people to study, to get them to learn?”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could become our own attorneys, or would it even matter?

I’ve held study groups and had many one-on-one study sessions with comrades in here, where we’ve sat around for hours talking and debating, searching for tangible ways to represent ourselves and to learn how to bring ourselves out of this state of oppression, and to eliminate oppression and poverty altogether. To break through the barriers, to rise above the tragedies. Right now it’s just talk, but later who knows what it will be? Everything starts in the mind, one things leads to another.

In this graveyard, it’s so hard to get books sent in and literature, because the administration has deliberately set so many obstacles and put so many restrictions and limits on things when it comes to receiving books that so many people in here have become discouraged and ended up giving up on trying to get books sent in. But I’ve been on an adamant missions for years to acquire all the literature I can get sent in to me, and to pass it out to as many people as I can, trying to turn this graveyard into a revolutionary university, so people in here can take all this time they have on their hands and use it to elevate their minds, reaching for higher degrees of learning, finding liberation through books. I love to be involved in all of these various acts of raising consciousness, I feel it’s so necessary in these times and situations. Not to mention that I’ve seen the lengths these pigs will go to make sure they’re keeping us confined to ignorance and stagnation. Books and reading materials are so important for us here, we who dwell in this gloomy world of degeneration.

I pass out literature on philosophy, politics, psychology, science, spirituality and I’m always passing out revolutionary materials too, and whatever else I can get, having study sessions when I can, discussing things with my neighbors for long hours into the night, all the way until my breakfast tray arrives, and sometimes, if the conversation is really good, I’ll eat and talk at the same time, every once in a while setting the tray down to pick up a book, or an article, so that I can read a passage, sentence, or paragraph out loud to my neighbor, to reinforce the stance I’m taking on certain subjects, or to help get my point across more clearly. I love to learn, I love to teach and I love to engage others. I crave the intellectual stimulation, and I can tell they crave it too.

We are here, confined to these cells, but we’ve found ways to communicate and express ourselves, to soak up knowledge and pass it on to others who we’ve deemed worthy of receiving such valuable gems. It’s miserable and depressing in here, so much atrocity and deterioration, but we’ve found ways to make the best out of a bad situation. We understand that we should never just lay down and accept this. We understand that we have to keep the spirit of resistance going strong inside of us, seeking solutions, striving for freedom, making sacrifices when the situation requires us to do so, and never giving up, never breaking down. Everybody that I consider a comrade understands this, and with this understanding we try to reach those that don’t understand, but who really need to understand. With understanding things are made clear, and when that happens, change happens.

You’ll find some of the most brilliant, most creative, most intelligent, most resourceful and most innovative individuals right here, confined to these hellholes. That’s what happens when we have all this time on our hands, with the fire of resistance burning in our hearts. We’ve been discarded by society and caged like animals, left to rot and decay, to deteriorate and fade away into a black abyss, to disintegrate into tiny fragments of nothingness. But we are here, alive and fighting to maintain our existence, going strong, with love beating in our chests. Revolutionary love. We keep that warrior spirit alive, and these pigs fear it, they hate it, and they envy it and that’s why they’re always trying everything they can to try to crush it, break it, tame it and destroy it, but no matter how hard they try, or what they do, there’s not much they can do to take that away from us.

Books and knowledge give us breath, it pumps life into our veins and activate our brains. With knowledge we are invigorated, rejuvenated and made worthy. Knowledge gets us going, knowledge is what sets us free. We use these books to quench our thirst and to feed our hunger.

Through these trials and painful situations I’ve come to learn the lessons of struggle and the importance of a revolutionary, underground education. I’ve learned how vital it is to my survival to be able to keep the fire of resistance burning in my heart. I’ve come to learn about sacrifice, solidarity and fortitude. I’ve got little baby cousins, nephews and nieces that I haven’t even met yet, I’ve fucked off my release date many times already, catching more time on my prison sentence for taking stands against these pigs and their injustices done to us. It’s hard for me to turn my back on the struggle. I’ve recently participated in a brutal riot here on my unit and I’ve got 2 years left before I go home, and now I’ve getting letters from my moms and my brother, asking me what the hell am I doing, don’t I want to come home? They’ve made sacrifices for me, to help get me out of here, spending money on attorneys for me and everything, and yet I’m still in here caught up in the struggle and I’m conflicted, I want to go home, but I just can’t sit back as my fellow comrades stand up and make sacrifices to make important changes for everybody else. My family doesn’t understand my commitment to the struggle and it breaks my heart just as I know it breaks their heart to watch me do things that will jeopardize my release date.

But now I realize that the struggle is going to continue whether I’m in here or out there, and after all that I’ve been through and all that I’ve done, I am so lucky to still have the chance to get out of here. And now it’s time to go home. It’s for me to get out of here and do this from the other side of the razor wire.

I’m gonna do what I can to plant seeds and raise awareness while I´m still here because it´s impossible to overlook all the atrocity that’s going on around me every day. I see all these youngsters coming to prison now, little dudes as young as 14 years old! There’s no true leadership or anything meaningful in here for them to latch onto and it kills me. I see all the fakeness and foulness around here, and I’m always railing against it, trying to raise consciousness to these real issues we’re faced with. The mentality of some of these cats around here is hard for me to grasp and seems “suspect” in my eyes. The way they think, the way they act, I’m not feeling it. If you’re not striving for change or seeking solutions, or trying to elevate yourself,. then what are you doing?

All I can say is that I got love for the real cats in here, I feel for them, especially the ones that have to stay here, I feel for them and will always keep them in my heart, recognizing them as kindred spirits.

I’ve done all can to stock up all the comrades in here with good literature and to raise consciousness around here. I’ve been going at it so hard that I ended up losing 2. good friends out there who acted as my main benefactors: Gina and Katy. They couldn’t do it anymore, couldn’t afford to keep making copies of books and literature for me, they couldn’t afford to keep buying books for my comrades in here, and it got to the point where they would dread getting a letter from me because I was always asking them to support me with this project or that project, on a mission to try to flood this prison with as much literature and educational materials as I can. They just couldn’t do it anymore. I feel bad that I won´t be receiving letters from these beautiful, compassionate warrioresses anymore, I feel bad that I’ve become so obsessed with my mission to raise awareness that I failed to take into consideration their needs and limitations. I really miss them.

So as one- door closes, I guess it´s time to look on to new things and start focusing on my release date. I have to figure what I’m gonna do when I get out of here, how can I keep the struggle up from the other side of the fence, and things like that. I don’t have no plans on getting rich or anything like that, I don’t care about none of that. I´ve been in solitary long enough to know that I don’t need lots of money to survive, so that’s one lesson I´ll be taking to the streets. I just want to be real and live right, helping when I can. I have a lot to figure out and a lot to think about, 2 years to go, so close, yet so far away…

Until then, I will continue writing these essays, articles and zines, and things like that. This is my contribution to the struggle., I’m gonna let people know what’s going on, what we´re going through in these hellholes, I’m gonna keep spreading the truth whether these pigs like it or not, because the truth is dangerous! The truth is revolutionary! The revolution starts in our minds, so let’s get free, one mind at a time! My love goes out to all the people out there who have committed themselves to our struggles in here. Keep doing what you do, keep the struggle alive, keep it up.

If you want to be hard, you gotta go hard!

Coyote, 2010

Quote: “Our expressive powers were strong and vibrant. if this could be nurtured, if the language skills could be developed on top of this, we could learn to break through any communication barrier. We needed to obtain victories in language built on infrastructure of self-worth.”
Luis Rodriguez (from his book: Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.) Good book, read it!

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The Tiger’s Song

The Tiger’s Song

I’m a tiger, I pace my cage
Never forgetting who I am
An apex predator filled with rage
On solid ground I stand

My heart is hardened, I am steel
There’s no emotion that I feel
My essence has been recognized;
And I am real

I am patient and I’m wise
Always biding my time
I can’t be tamed, I remain uncivilized
Never changing my heart or mind
Through my actions I am defined

You can put me in the tiniest cage
And take all my things away
Surround me with screamers and bangers
Doing everything you can to invoke my anger
And to make me feel pain
You can strip me naked, cold and bare
And starve me if you dare
You can whip me until I bleed
And my bones are broken
I really don’t care

You can try as hard as you like
Using all your might
But it doesn’t matter what you do
You can’t change me
You can’t tame or break me
I’m a tiger, I will fight
I’m a tiger, I will strike
You can’t break me I’m alright!!!

Coyote
ABC-Nevada Prison Chapter
December 7th, 2009
Ely State Prison, Nevada

One officer stabbed, many prisoners wounded, two employees fired

Solidarity and Struggle: more on the E.S.P. Jan. 31st Riot From Coyote-Calling
Published in SF Bay View, March 21 2010

Yes, it was a battle. My first report on this riot gave people an ugly look into the violence and bloodshed. I´ve reported it the way it happened, but nothing is to be glorified or celebrated here. It felt good to be a part of struggle and change, to see solidarity in action. You don´t see unity and struggle in these Nevada prisons, not in these days. Only under the most extreme situations will you catch a glimpse of it. It should not have ever gotten this far, or taken to such extremes, our grievances should´ve been looked into and taken seriously, and officers should have never provoked or assaulted any of the prisoners on unit 4. But that didn´t happen, our pleas were ignored, our grievances denied and prisoners were unnecessarily assaulted. So in desperation after every other remedy had been futilely sought, all we had left was violence and frustration. I was wrong to call it a victory though. There´s no victory here.

I´m sure people on the outs who read my report were shocked at my cold and heartless attempt at describing the details of the incident. And probably took umbrage. I can understand how people out there could feel that way. Fortunately, they didn´t live in a world of predation, despair, violence, corruption, oppression and madness. They don´t know about the effects of long-term isolation and confinement, or about sensory deprivation and the effects that psychological warfare has on our minds in this warped environment. They don´t understand the wicked nature of prison and punishment and what it can do to a person. And they don´t want to believe what this place has been known to do to these guards, how it has the capabilities of turning the guards into spiteful and uncaring animals. How they become vindictive and petty, mean and aggressive, fearful and disrespectful. They didn´t see how after each cell extraction the guards would gather in the unit hallway, high-fiving each other as they would physically display how they punched, stomped or beat the inmate into submission.

So, no offense to anyone, but if you haven´t lived in this foul-ass world of darkness and deterioration, then it´s not fair to judge it by your standards. Your standards don´t apply here in this concrete and steel jungle. We play by jungle rules in here, the guards and prisoners alike, and it´s called “the survival of the fittest.” We maintain an “us against them”-mentality sometimes. I´m not glorifying it, I´m not praising it, I´m just trying to shed light on it, so people can be aware of the cruel and unloving nature of life in a graveyard.

For years, myself and others have been trying to bring positive changes to this prison, we´ve been trying to get people on the outs involved, attempting to bring a solid level of outside support to Nevada prisoners. I´ve also been actively educating, politicizing and organizing other prisoners, in Nevada, Texas, Ohio and other states. I´ve been passing out literature, supplying the prison with books and educational materials, teaching prisoners to read, teaching them to write, showing them how to be resourceful and self-sufficient. I´ve been doing all I can to raise consciousness and I´ve been trying to turn every tier that I land on into a learning center, and doing everything I can to help prisoners. Whites, Blacks, Natives and Latinos. I´ve reached out to them all in real ways, striving to make real efforts at change, elevation and empowerment. Myself and other prisoners in here have been known to organize study groups, having study sessions, engaging each other, quizzing each other, and testing each other intellectually, utilizing this time on lockdown as an opportunity to grow, learn and cultivate ourselves while living under such extreme conditions.

Other prisoners in here have been doing similar things. Like for example, a prisoner here at E.S.P. just recently organized a stamp drive on his tier to donate to the victims of the Haiti earthquake, and he even donated $40 of his own money to the people of Haiti. So there are indeed many positive and productive things that do go on in this hellhole as well. It´s not all negative and violent. Unfortunately though, anything good that we try to get going in here, we have to do it ourselves. We don´t expect any help or support from the guards or prison administration.
I´ll be the first to say that violence isn´t always the best option. Usually it´s the last resort, or the result of desperation and what usually happens under the most extreme conditions. All our attempts to grieve, kite, or complain about our injustices through the proper channels have been futile, and left us feeling hopelessly outraged. If you take a look at the history of all the American riots and uprisings – in prisons and on the streets – like the L.A. riots, the Watts riot, Lucasville, Attica, New Mexico, and the Cubans in the federal prisons, and even the recent one in Oakland, where an Oakland police officer, Johannes Mesehrle, fatally shot a civilian, Oscar Grant, in the back, while he lay face down on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him. You will see that these riots have either happened in areas where people were living under extreme conditions. While sick and tired of the injustices and police brutality, or in places and conditions where people were frustrated and desperate, and in these situations it seemed that riots and uprisings were the only available course of action they had to express their hopelessness and outrage.
Here in unit 4, at Ely State Prison, many tensions were increasingly building up. A lot of retaliation against prisoners by the guards and many other injustices created a potentially hostile situation. This riot did not happen solely because our appliances were unjustly taken from us. Some of these guards in here were deliberately refusing to feed certain prisoners in retaliation of grievances they wrote and because the guards realized that these particular inmates were shunned by the rest of the convicts for internal reasons: these guards were also going out of their way to provoke and instigate prisoners, rudely jumping into our conversations with disrespectful remarks, “losing” or throwing away phone kites, passing our mail out to the wrong cells, (some of these cells which housed sex offenders and “undesirables”), refusing to answer our kites, not taking over grievances seriously. In some cases, guards have even assaulted and injured certain inmates while in cuffs, because of grievances they wrote, and again, because these guards realized that these prisoners were shunned by the rest of the convicts for being informants, or sex offenders, “undesirables,” etc. Our appliances were unjustly taken for violations that occurred before the new rule change was in effect, or for minor or general violations, and even prisoners who were found “not guilty” had their appliances confiscated as well. Leaving us in our cells with basically nothing, while surrounding us by mentally ill prisoners and informants and protective custody inmates, who deliberately go out of their way to terrorize us through the means of noise, verbal abuse and psychological warfare. We were deprived of the opportunity to buy food, coffee and other necessary supplies off of the canteen, while being left with no choice but to eat the foul-smelling / foul-tasting “mystery meat” and rotten vegetables that we are served for lunch every day, just to keep ourselves from starving in here.
They´ve put unnecessary limits and restrictions on our phone calls, and on our visits, allowing us only one non-contact visit a month, with family only, causing a painful strain on our relations and communications with our family, friends and loved ones. This prison is located out in the middle of nowhere as it is, 4 hours away from the nearest big city, what´s the point of having our people drive all the way up here and back (you know how much gas costs these days?) just to talk to your loved one through a plexi-glass window for half a day? There´s only like 7 rooms that facilitate these non-contact visits, so if 10 people get visits in one day, the remaining 3 are burnt, and their families will drive all the way back home for nothing! We need all the love and support we can get from our own people on the outs, these are very important social ties to have and to stay connected to our families, and with the outside world. They´ve even went as far as illegally denying our right to receive books sent in from the outside, even dictionaries! And there´s so much more, everything just added up.
Every time we´ve tried to address the issues through the proper channels, they would retaliate on us, and even fabricate things to justify what they were doing, and they would completely ignore us. Weeks would go by before they´d supply the unit with kites and law library request forms, or first level grievances. Neither these guards nor the administration wanted to do anything to even try to fix these problems, and they were basically letting us know that they were gonna do whatever they wanted, regardless, making our situation see, desperate.
Then, it all jumped off when they came to take away a prisoner´s appliances for a write up he received. The prisoner refused to cuff-up because he wanted to speak with the lieutenant to try to resolve this issue. The Lt. showed up with a squad of officers dressed in riot gear and helmets. The prisoner tried to comply and wanted to cuff-up, but this is someone the guards have been wanting to get their hands on for a while, none of the other prisoners really spoke to this guy, so I guess the guards had assumed he was shunned by the rest of the convicts, so they figured they had no reason to fear retaliation. They cracked his door open in spite of his attempt and willingness to comply, and ran in on him, he put his hands up in the air, refusing to resist or fight back and they tore his ass up! They beat him so bad that they ended up dragging him to the infirmary as he was leaking blood everywhere.
Many of us were already exasperated about the hopelessness of our situation and all the foul treatment we´ve been receiving and we used this drastic situation as an opportunity to exert desperate measures. Two minutes of talking amongst ourselves led to two days of rioting. It´s all we had left. We felt the need to stand up for ourselves and for our rights to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect. We were frustrated and needed to get these frustrations out, and we didn´t see any other available option.
Whites and several Latinos kicked it off on the first day, flooding, burning, capturing foul slots, popping sprinkler heads, forcing them to come in our cells and extract us, so we could fight them. And we fought hard, and they were even more brutal towards us! Until, allegedly an officer on the extraction team got stabbed. They didn´t want to fight no more after that. The Blacks agreed to riot on the second day, but by then, we all felt that we got our point across, the guards showed defeat, so we called it off. This could have went on for days, or even weeks, but we felt that this was enough for now, every guard on the extraction team received injuries, and one was even stabbed from what I hear, every prisoner involved was brutally beat by the officers, which led to the Lt and another officer getting fired!
So we figured enough had been done already, no need to go on.
Year after year it´s been take, take, take. The administration is always taking something away from us, without giving anything in return: no programs, no real educational or vocational opportunities, no incentive, nothing. They take a little here, take a little there, slowly but surely stripping us of everything. They know better to take it all at once, so instead they´ll take one thing now, and then, a few months later they´ll take away something else, and when they see that none of us are coming together to try to stop them from taking away our privileges and necessities, they´ll take more. It´s the game of “take-away.” Subtraction is their favorite math subject. They don´t know how to add, divide, or multiply, except for when they´re adding more rules and more restrictions, dividing us so that we can be conquered, or multiplying the number of beds, other than that, it´s all a game of take-away.
Everybody has been hearing about Ely State Prison in the news, and websites have sprung up because of all the things that have been going on here in this graveyard. All of the many injustices and everything else that has been going on here clearly displays how deplorable the situation is here at E.S.P. The ACLU´s class action lawsuit because of the atrocious lack of medical care, the declaration of Lorraine Memory, the Noel Report, the situation with Ikemba, the situation with Kevin Lisle, not to mention the numerous accounts of all the staff working here being arrested and charged with various crimes, also the federal indictment and trial of the Aryan Warriors, who the government has labelled “domestic terrorists”! The mysterious death of Timothy Redman, and other deathrow inmates before him. The suicides, the indeterminate lockdown of the entire prison (except for one unit), the forcing of cellmates upon us, the riots and work stoppages, and not to mention that in the span of one year over 75 officers have either quit working here, transferred to other prisons, or were arrested, or fired… 75 Officers in a year, now if that doesn´t speak volumes on how deplorable the situation here at E.S.P. is, then I don´t know what does. There has been many deaths in this graveyard, and other things, Ely State Prison has continuously been in the news.
There are 8 units in this prison and all but one of them are locked down and have been locked down for over 6 years, with no solutions or remedies in sight, no programs and no incentives to do good. This prison has been under federal investigation, and under serious public scrutiny, budget cuts have stripped us of everything from food to education, exposing how much they don´t care about our health, or our rehabilitation and re-entry back into society. Anytime you cut into our education, you are cutting into our rehabilitation, limiting our chances to make a successful return back into society. These people are heartless, they don´t care about us. They´re here to punish us, warehouse us, condemn us, and that´s it.
Not only that, but it has apparently been the agenda and the desire of the prison administration and the system, to keep us stagnant and stuck on stupid so that we can surely deteriorate while living in these degenerate conditions. They know that “knowledge is power” and that “truth is revolutionary” and so they deliberately try to make it as difficult as they can for us to get books and literature sent in, trying to use this new A.R. (regulation) to justify the denial of books, which is illegal and violates our first amendment rights, and not to mention all the other obstacles and restrictions and limits they´re always putting on us when it comes to receiving books and reading materials, even making it against the rules to share a book with another prisoner.
It seems like they would rather see us pacified and complacent, locked down in general population, reading pop culture magazines and horror novels, or watching the “idiot box” all day, than to see us reading a book on history, economics, or politics, or learning the law so that we can figure out productive ways to get off of permanent lockdown. They would rather see us stuck on stupid, anti-social, with gangbang mentalities, going against each other all the time, than to see us utilizing this time as an opportunity to build social bonds with our families and friends, and as an opportunity to cultivate, uplift and educate ourselves. Rather than see us grow and get better, everything they do is to bring us down and break us down, they want to break our spirit, decimate our wills and keep us ignorant. That is what these rules are for, that´s what these restrictions are for, and that´s what these cells are for.
It appears that these new administrative regulations (A.R. 733) are designed for those exact purposes as well! This new A.R. affects prisoners who are serving time in disciplinary segregation, taking everything away in a guise to create an “incentive to do good.” But they fail to realize that when they confine all of the prisoners with records of serious disciplinary problems in one area and then take everything away, with years and years of disciplinary segregation (D.S.) time to serve, all they´re doing is creating a situation where we have nothing to lose. This entire prison is locked down except for one unit, so the measures they have taken are impracticable and make no sense. Why implement such measures without a level system or steps program that allows us to advance through the means of good behavior, or get out of lockdown? Some of these prisoners have been suffering this already for years, with no end in sight, These measures taken by the NV Dept. of Corrections (NDOC) are senseless and unreasonable, and (as this recent riot displays) thee only thing these rules are good for is creating anger and frustration that has led to prisoners and officers getting hurt and fired! It doesn´t make sense.
We need people “on the outs” to get involved in these struggles, to help us make changes and modifications that will be effective and beneficial to all. We need people to call and write letters to the head of the NDOC, and to the governor of Nevada and ask them to make modifications to A.R. 733. Be sure to remind him of the January 31st riot and of the officer who got stabbed (c.o. Stubbs) so that they can understand the seriousness of this situation.
Here´s what we need the people to push for:
1) Allow us to purchase these items from the canteen: Vitamins, coffee soups, peanut-butter, laundry supplies, batteries for our electronic shavers, beanies, thermals and shoes.
2) Allow us one thirty (30) minute call a week, as the policy says.
3) Allow us our first amendment right: receive books sent in from the outside while serving time in disciplinary segregation.
4) Allow us to have a dip bar over our rec yards, for recreational purposes and exercise.
5) Allow us a “contact” visit once a month for family or friends.
6) We would like for all mentally ill and psycho-tropically medicated inmates to be housed separately, preferably on a unit where they can receive the treatment they need.
7) No appliance loss for minor/general rule infractions, no loss of appliances for prisoners found “not guilty”; and only 60 days total for major violations, before all are returned.
8) Allow us to buy Mexico/Canada stamps so we can write our families and friends there.
9) Allow us to be approved to purchase appliances and c.d.´s after 90 days without any rule violations.
10) Provide a level system or steps program to allow prisoners to advance through the means of good behavior, and to get out of lockdown.
A.R. 733 needs to be modified and a level system needs to be put in place, all mentally ill inmates need to be housed separately, on a unit where they can receive the treatment they need. These (10) things are all we ask for.
Please call and send letters to the Director of the NDOC at this address:
Howard Skolnik
Nevada Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 7011
Carson City, Nevada 89702

And please call and send letters to the Governor at this address:
Governor Jim Gibbons
State Capitol
101 N. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
I´m proud to see so many prisoners of different races and / or different factions coming together and standing up for the injustices being done to us in here. I´m proud to be a part of something that strives to bring real changes for the people in here. It feels food to be involved and to get caught up in the spirit of revolt. Violence isn´t always the best option and I hope that we can come together like this more often, without having to take it to the extreme.
Solidarity and Struggle,
Coyote
For more info on the Jan. 31st riot, for letters of encouragement and support you can contact Coyote at this address:
Coyote Sheff
#55671
P.O. Box 1989,
Ely, NV 89301
Or you can view his writings and his reports on either if these websites:

Greetings from The Graveyard, Part II


This is the second zine of a 3 part series. This zine is designed to display articles and memos about some of the things going on in Ely State Prison in NV.

I hope that readers will pay attention to what Lorraine Memory has to say in her declaration because more people really need to understand the atrocities that we face in these prisons at the hands of our oppressors.

This zine is designed to raise awareness and to seek support from people on the outside. We can’t get anything good going on for ourselves without support from the comrades and friends on the outs. We need people to get involved in our struggles, to help us build a support group on the outside that will network on our behalf. We need people to send us literature and books so that we can study, educate and elevate ourselves while living under these stagnant conditions. We need people to get in touch with us, to give meaning and purpose to our lives, to help us grow and cultivate ourselves and to give us something positive to look forward to. We need help to become assets to our communities when we are released.

Ely State Prison is a cold, desolate place where lives are destroyed and where we are left to suffer; with no love, no light, just isolation and injustice. There are a lot of foul things going on in this graveyard but my other comrades and I are constantly at work trying to turn that around. We are trying to get good things going for the prisoners here; trying to turn this place into a place of education and growth while planting the seeds of resistance and liberation.

Please help us; please get involved. You can contact me at;

Coyote Sheff # 55671
PO Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301-1989

Brainwashing Techniques Used by the Oppressor

By Coyote, Coyote Calling

My greetings of solidarity and respects are extended to all comrades on both sides of the razorwire. I just wanted to take this time to reproduce this list of CIA brainwashing techniques that are being used against the imprisoned and the oppressors. This is going on in all prisons across the nation, but especially here at Ely State Prison, Nevada’s notorious maximum security lock-up. I’ve been here for over 11 years and I’ve seen all of these tactics being used against us; and so I felt compelled to make a reproduction of this list so that awareness can be raised!

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,

Coyote
January 25th, 2010
ABC Nevada Prison Chapter
Ely State Prison

Brainwashing Techniques Used by the Oppressor


from: Coyote’s Weblog

My greetings of solidarity and respects are extended to all comrades on both sides of the razorwire. I just wanted to take this time to reproduce this list of CIA brainwashing techniques that are being used against the imprisoned and the oppressors. This is going on in all prisons across the nation, but especially here at Ely State Prison, Nevada’s notorious maximum security lock-up. I’ve been here for over 11 years and I’ve seen all of these tactics being used against us; and so I felt compelled to make a reproduction of this list so that awareness can be raised!

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,

Coyote
January 25th, 2010
ABC Nevada Prison Chapter
Ely State Prison

Voices from Solitary: Coyote Calling

From: Solitary Watch Blog:

http://solitarywatch.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/voices-from-solitary-coyote-calling/

2010 January 24

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….