Prisoner Responds to Bear Witness Appeal:

Connections Between "State Prisons" and Guantánamo Torture Facilities

March 17, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


"An Appeal to the Brothers and Sisters Locked Down in this Society's Prisons: Bear Witness to Torture in U.S. Prisons and to All Law Enforcement Abuse" was issued in Revolution, February 3, 2013, by Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party who was imprisoned in the military for refusing to go to Vietnam; Clyde Young, a revolutionary communist who was imprisoned in his youth; and Gregory Koger, a revolutionary communist who was imprisoned as a youth and spent many years in solitary confinement. The following lightly edited response from a prisoner was received by the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund:

Dear Comrades:

Revolutionary greetings, and since I cannot offer any financial support I would offer you my thanks and appreciation for the Revolution and all the work that you do. I also want to comment on some of the articles from the paper and some of my observations as well.

First off I want to make the connection between "State prisons" and the torture facilities of Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and the like. State prisons are now torture centers as well perhaps to a lesser degree but the same methods of torture and terrorism are used i.e. psychological harassment, and intimidation, extra-punitive isolation and mass punishment, food and sensory deprivation... short of water-boarding and extreme isolation there is no significant difference between the state prisons and the Guantánamos.

The prisoners at the Pelican and Cocoran and all over the U.S. have got it right; "This is a system that uses its state power—its laws, police, courts, bureaucracy, and prisons—to repress and control the masses of people; to enforce the oppressive economic and social relations in this society, including the new ways Black people and other minorities are systematically oppressed." Revolution, July 17, 2011, p. 11.

Those prisoners also make the right call to "end all tensions and violence among prisoners of different nations and peoples." This is what is needed to form a basis for prisoner unity. Lets take away the oppressor's tactic and strategy of divide and conquer and deprive them of any justifiable means of attack.

I thought about it like this; I'm a naturalized person, born and bred right here on American lands. This is supposed to be my country so how can my government attack me like this? How can my government engage in a subtle internal war against its own citizens? How can my government commit torture, terrorism, destruction and death, so viciously against its own people, its own country?

These truths are self-evident and as I continue to look at it, it becomes all the more horrific and obscene. The public has been terribly duped into accepting this bogusness and now that we are becoming aware... again... we find ourselves in the clutches of the monster, surrounded by police, courts and prisons. Again I thank BA and the people of the Revolution who continue to struggle and give us the real truth of these matters.

I was attacked and beaten by the police in which I forced them to photograph me. Afterward the court railroaded me and the courts continue to deny and dismiss my case as if I got what I deserved. Here in this prison I have faced (SMU) Special Management Unit, akin to the (SHU) numerous times. I have suffered the ongoing and continuous psychological attacks and torture for more than a decade. I have obtained the pictures from my beating and with your permission I would like to send them to you with other materials from my file. I believe my case is proof and that it exemplifies the way the system uses its state power for repression as mentioned earlier. I received 25 years for 5.4 grams of crack cocaine and a separate sentence of 10 years for resisting arrest, both are non-violent charges and as stated before I have been incarcerated for more than 10 years.

In closing, I offer my most sincere appreciations once more and extend revolutionary thanks. Please respond to this letter as soon as is possible. I look forward to criticism and comment and permission to send you some of the materials from my case.

In Revolutionary Solidarity, XXXXXXX

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