Thursday, October 20, 2011

A letter from Bryan - written 10/13 thru 10/16

The hunger strike ended on Thursday, 10/13.  I just got a letter from Bryan today written 10/13 thru 10/16 and mailed Monday.  Delivered in 4 days!

He has this message for everyone:

Please let it be known out there how deeply appreciative everyone is.
   Without all the pressure y'all put on Sacramento and the overwhelming way in which everyone very publicly rejected CDCr's propaganda of "worst of the worst" and demanded that we were/are much more than the crimes we've been convicted of or prison gang labels, this never would've been achieved.

I think
that's even fundamentally changed the way even many of us in here see ourselves now.  We've all collectively shattered 30-35 years of CDCr status quo in 3 months.  We should be proud of that.  Not necessarily with the material gains (though it/they definitely make SHU life better) but proud of truly exposing the inherently wrong and unjust policies of how gang validation is implemented, maintained and ultimately abused by way of keeping men forever housed in solitary confinement.

Other things Bryan shared in the letter:

He lost 35 lbs and was 145 lbs at the lowest.

He is doing well, he said one man he knew of was actually hospitalized "due to his labs being so out of whack." (blood tests)

As of the 16th, they 
are all medically released so he said they will take the bus back to PB together.  He expects to be at PB this week, by the time I got this letter.

From the sounds of his letter,  PB SHU guys think the ASU (administrative segregation unit) at Corcoran was like a vacation (relatively).  One must remember that Bryan has been in solitary confinement for 16 years, only leaving the windowless cement cell to go to a slightly larger cement room with a cover over it to "exercise".  Always alone, never experiencing the grass, birds, or the sun directly.  16 years!

While at Corcoran ASU for medical supervision and treatment, Bryan and the men from the Pelican Bay SHU had a chance to experience things they haven't for decades.  For instance, rather than a cement space to exercise, they went to "yard" in wire cages similar to dog kennels.  They each had their own cage (with a toilet in it!) and each cage was separated by 2-3 feet so they could SEE each other.. to quote Bryan...

"Going out there was pure BLISS, Julie.  Three straight hours of sun in 85 to 90 degree clear Central Valley farm land weather.  My buddy was out there a few cages down and I don't think we stopped smiling one time.  I have no doubt that as we stood there in our boxers soaking up the sun chatting about how fantastic it was and how cool it would be to do our time here, that ALL of our neighbors in the other cages think we're zip damn nuts."

Geesh, you think he was writing from Acapulco.  I guess it's all relative.

He said he wished he could stay at Corcoran... "They run this ASU with a lot of professionalism and don't seem to carry that weird disdainful attitude that seems ever present at PBSP.  Everyone just seems like they're simply doing their job... minus that "you're an animal" edge.

Anyway, that's the Bryan report


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