Bryan's 9-12-11 letter reflecting on the past and upcoming hunger strikes
Dear Julie, Mon. 9-12-11
Hello my friend it’s me again. As always I send you my utmost love and respect and hope that these words find you well and strong. This will be rather brief because I’m unfortunately in scramble mode. Not sure with your recent job hunt if you’ve had time to stay informed of the recent events or not. In brief, CPF came back up and did a round of interviews and took stock of what everyone thought of CDC's concessions as far as the small property gains and more importantly the proposed step-down program.
The only complaints on the property have been that the prison never notified the vendors about the sweats and therefore they won't process the orders and that CDC has put the one year clean restriction on the photo and art supplies. You and I both know and understand that CDC was going to use these concessions as behavior based incentives. The majority view these items like canteen, as things we have coming period. I personally view it all as small in the overall picture.
As for the step-down program we here in my area viewed it as a very positive step forward that it was even being worked on in a serious way. I immediately voiced our opposition to the length and the "catch" excluding certain prisoners even if they complete it...us. Well, it's been voiced that the way the entire program has been drafted that its viewed notas a way to get out of the SHU but an actual escalationof locking guys (more guys) up into this new four year program because it vastly broadens the scope in which they can label people. Therefore, it has been roundly rejected and many men have decided to go back on strike as of the 26th this month.
Undersecretary Kernan kept his word on most of the material gains to improve our conditions but we are STILL here with NO end in sight. It would be ludicrous to give up our fight of freeing ourselves of these conditions for a few material gains. What you and I initially viewed as getting sold out during the stoppage of the strike was indeed an honest good faith effort to work with the Undersecretary and Tom Ammiano... regardless of the fact that it was clearly a tacticalerror and regardless of how a few may have conducted themselves during the strike. I'm told the new strike will have zero mediation with CDC (Kernan) and will only be mediated through the chosen mediation team on the streets directly with the governor's office. All have been warned that this will be a long protracted strike that will inevitably lead to great risk due to the lack of mediation this time around. I have great fear in the pit of my stomach because I know all too well the misery that is about to be confronted by those who choose the path. Starvation does not lieand I've stressed that to all of those within hearing distance.
You know my stepmother and Pops were supposed to send me a package. It still has not shown up. Not sure what is going on but can you do me a favor and call them and tell them not to send it if they have yet to do it as you get this? I will send them a postcard as well. I do not want to receive a package at such a time of uncertainty. I’m also including a postcard for you so you can let me know you received this. I fear I may be too late on the package...hope I don’t end up having to return it.
I’ve received everything you’ve sent except the 9-5 short letter with 4 cards. And to answer your question, I did write Fritz back along with all who are kind enough to write. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the two cut-out groups of flowers and short 9-3 letter. :-) You’re crazy ! Glad to hear your guy is out of the hospital as well. And THANK YOU for sending the visiting forms to Pops and Debbie.
I know this is short and not very personal but you will have to forgive me, my friend. I send you allof my love Julie. You take care up there in the big city. November is going to be interesting to say the least.
Love always, Bryan
Later.... Just received the 5 cards and short letter along with the great picture of the crows. Thank you! :-) Also, as far as being an honest friend, you know I’d never make you cry. So don’t worry, I know how to relay the message of one’s being a jackass without hurting their feelings! :-)