To the extent that it is possible, we have been following the legislative hearings and we are hopeful – cautiously optimistic – that something meaningful and permanent will result from them.
We are all mindful of the promises made by some legislators in 2000 that efforts would be made to change the inhumanities that are inherent in the SHUs and exacerbated by the state, the pitting of prisoners against one another, isolating prisoners away from their families and loved ones and housing us in areas that are hostile to us (the complete illness). But we are also mindful that this time the legislative hearings are being held as a result of struggle and sacrifice.
It is what Frederick Douglass meant by “If there is no struggle there is no progress … Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” He also said, “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.”
And it was magnificent [during the hunger strike] to see inside the walls, to actually struggle together, people from different cultures and spaces. (The hospital here was overwhelmed nightly.)
And it’s really important that we separate ourselves from the state-created gang narrative that has been responsible for so much discourse [and discord] amongst us for so long.
This coming together to reclaim our humanity required political maturity on everyone’s part, young and old alike, throughout the system and the organizing efforts of the many, many progressives out there were and are equally magnificent. It serves as a basis for our hope.
And more than anything I wanted to write to say, from all of us here, thank you (and that is such an understatement) to you, the Bay View and everyone throughout the nation and globe for your courage, leadership, faith and friendship, support and inspiration and love.
There is still so much work to do and freedom to win and we look forward to the struggle ahead with you all. Until we win or don’t lose.
Send our brother some love and light: Michael Zaharibu Dorrough, D-83611, Cor SHU, 4B-1L-43, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran, CA 93212.