Political Prisoners, Jaan Laaman and Alvaro Luna Hernandez on the life and death of Hugo ” Yogi Bear” Pinell

From Sacramento Prisoner Support:

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http://thejerichomovement.com/blog/death-and-life-hugo-pinell

Death and Life of Hugo Pinell

August 20, 2015
It was with true sadness that, on August 13th, I received the news that legendary California prison activist Hugo Pinell, was killed in a California prison. This is Jaan Laaman, your political prisoner voice and let me share a few thoughts about the life and death of this extraordinary man.

I never personally knew Hugo Pinell. The simple reason for that is because Hugo Pinell was locked up in California state prisons for 50 years! That is insane. It is hard to wrap you mind around the reality of someone being held captive for 50 years. Even more insane, for most of those years he was held in isolation-segregation cells.

Hugo was just released from segregation and it is being reported that he was killed by two white prisoners. There was a serious uprising or riot that also took place at this time.

Hugo Pinell spent decades teaching, advocating and struggling for Human Rights, justice and dignity for prisoners. He taught and fought for racial and revolutionary unity among all prisoners. Locked up in 1965, like many other prisoners at that time, Hugo became politicized inside the California prison system. In addition to exploring his Nicaraguan heritage, Hugo was influenced by activists like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, as well as his comrades inside, including George Jackson. His leadership in combating the racism and brutality of prison officials made him a prime target for retribution and Hugo soon found himself in the notorious San Quentin Adjustment Center.

While in San Quentin, Hugo and five other politically conscious prisoners were charged with participating in the August 21, 1971 rebellion, which resulted in the assassination of George Jackson by prison guards on that day. Hugo Pinell, Willie Tate, Johnny Spain, David Johnson, Fleeta Drumgo and Luis Talamantez became known as the San Quentin Six. They had a very public 16 month trial. The San Quentin Six became a global symbol of unyielding resistance against the prison system and its violent, racist design. Hugo spent decades in segregation, but continued to work for racial unity and human rights for prisoners.

Personally, I am of course upset that a brother like Hugo was killed, by what I have to assume were some reactionary fascist minded prisoners. But truly what I mainly feel is sadness, profound sadness at this news.

Hugo Pinell is gone. His bid, his sentence is now ended. After 50 years of captivity, that is not a bad thing. Even as an elderly person, in his 70’s, Hugo Pinell died in the struggle. The hands that struck him down, it is reported, were prisoners, but the actual force that killed him was the capitalist police state prison system that holds 2.2 million men, women and children in captivity.

Hugo Pinell, we will remember you brother and your strong life long example of resistance. We will continue this resistance and this struggle for Freedom.

This is Jaan Laaman.” 10372-016 USP Tucson, AZ 85734

alvaro-luna-hernandez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVOLUTIONARY EULOGY by TEXAS CHICANO

POW, POLITICAL PRISONER ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ

For COMRADE BROTHER HUGO “YOGI BEAR” PINELL

 

POWER TO THE PEOPLE! POWER TO OUR FALLEN COMRADE BROTHER HUGO “YOGI BEAR” PINELL! We were saddened with the news that Yogi had been murdered last Wednesday, August 12, during an alleged “prison riot” at a Sacramento maximum security prison, after Yogi’s recent release from decades in solitary confinement in the California prison system. Our prison movement, as well as our outside social movement grieves at the loss of one of its most respected and beloved foot soldiers, within the belly of this fascist beast, in our mutual struggles against the common enemy of the human species — the systems of colonialism, neo-colonialism, capitalism, imperialism and fascism. Although I never personally met Comrade Yogi, through his letters, writings, and actual deeds, as one of the SAN QUENTIN-SIX and close confidant of Comrade GEORGE JACKSON, also murdered by the State of California on AUGUST 21, 1971, during the takeover and “liberation” of the Adjustment Center’s control unit in San Quentin prison. I met Yogi in revolutionary spirit as we were then, and are now, continuing to build our national prison movement to educate, re-educate, the entire prisoner class that we are all victims of social injustice, of the racist, criminal injustice system, and to expose the true nature of prisons under capitalism.

Commitment to our human transformation through social awareness in struggle for the defense of our human dignity and our human rights, to build the unity of prisoners across all racial lines, as advocates for national and international revolution, will bring down against us the entire totalitarian power and brutalities of the fascist capitalist state, from prison guard beatings, to horrible food, parole denial, denial of adequate medical attention, false prison disciplinary and criminal charges, to retaliation for exercise of rights, to decades in isolation in solitary confinement’s torture supermax control unit prisons, to being set-up by prison guards for murder either by prison pigs themselves, and/or allowing other racist, violent criminal elements from within to commit these heinous criminal acts, so the prison system can then attempt  to wash its bloody hands of its murderous deeds. The fact that hours after Comrade Yogi’s death, California prison guards and other racist, reactionary elements got  on  “social media”  to rejoice  at the murder of Yogi, vicious nature of the  State and its  stoogies.

These cowardly vipers, rats and snakes came all out of their viper holes to rejoice at the murder of Yogi, showing how these racist, reactionary, fascist and vicious forces, inside and outside of prison walls, recognized Comrade Yogi as a living, historical SYMBOL OF RESISTANCE, and a “threat” to this same capitalist system that breeds crime, poverty, racism, class and racial divisions, mass incarceration of the poor especially people of color who are disproportionately represented in this “NEW JIM CROW SYSTEM,” borrowing Michelle Alexander’s phrase from her book, a genocidal, murderous, plantation slavery system under capitalism, sanctioned by the 13th Amendment, U.S. Constitution, that must be abolished. YOGI was a “threat” to this criminal system, for he feared not to stand up and fight against the fascist state despite  these  brutal  conditions, as being “BURIED ALIVE,” YOGI’s common expression in his many letters to others. His political revolutionary transformation and development, from a misguided, confused youth who was sent to prison at his early age, to his status as a “giant” of our prison movement, under the tutor of COMRADE GEORGE JACKSON, and the BLACK PANTHER PARTY, demonstrating a lifetime commitment to our resistance struggles, no matter the odds behind these racist, brutal, fascist walls in this steel –enclosed concrete tombs and concentration camps for the poor.

These state-actor criminals, and other accomplices in crime, that murdered Comrade Yogi are fools for they didn’t kill him, for Yogi lives on in our hearts, for they will never, ever, be able to kill our revolutionary ideas, and our aspirations to free ourselves, and the rest of humanity, from these chains of bondage and slavery that is this WAGE-THEFT socioeconomic system under bourgeoisie capitalism, a paradise for the rich, and a living hell for the poor, the workers who must sell their labor power to the slave-masters who not only trample on our social and humanity dignity, but are the same capitalist barbarians who are destroying the environment, our ecological systems, wildlife, and MOTHER EARTH for private, corporate profit. ANOTHER FOOT SOLDIER HAS ALREADY STEPPED UP TO FILL THE VOID LEFT BY THE TRAGIC LOSS OF OUR COMRADE BROTHER HUGO “YOGI BEAR” PINELL. I AM HONORED TO BE FEATURED IN THE MOST RECENT POW, POLITICAL PRISONER POSTER PUT OUT BY THE JERICHO MOVEMENT, NEXT TO COMRADE YOGI.

TO ALL PROGRESSIVE, SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARY FORCES IN THE UNITED STATES AND INTERNATIONALLY, I SAY TO YOU, DO NOT ALLOW THIS LOSS, LIFE, TO GO IN VAIN, WE MUST RE-DOUBLE OUR EFFORTS AT MASS MOBILIZATION, OF THE OPPRESSED, INSIDE AND OUTSIDE PRISON WALLS, AND WORK DILIGENTLY TO INFUSE OUR MOVEMENTS WITH REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY AND DETERMINISM, TO HOLD EACH OTHER BY OUR HANDS, AND OUR HEARTS, AND LINK ALL OF OUR INTER-COMMUNAL STRUGGLES IN OUR OPPRESSED BARRIOS, FAVELAS, GHETTOS, COMMUNITIES, IN PRISONS, IN OUR UNIVERSITIES, AND AROUND THE WORLD, FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS YOUR STRUGGLE.

LET US NOT FORGET THAT THE VICIOUS, CRIMINAL, FASCIST MURDER OF COMRADE YOGI IS THE SAME CAPITALIST PRISON DESIGN OF FASCIST, RACIST VIOLENCE AGAINST THE POOR, AS SOCIAL CONTROL MECHANISMS TO ELIMINATE OUR FOOT SOLDIERS AND TO DESTROY OUR “PRISON MOVEMENT” AND SUPPRESS OUR SOCIAL JUSTICE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS, IN THE BELLY OF THE NERVE CENTER OF FASCIST IMPERIALISM. WE ARE THE REVOLUTIONARY VANGUARD AND WE MUST ACT LIKE ONE.

THIS BLACK AUGUST, WE SALUTE AND HONOR AND MEMORIALIZE ALL OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS, WHO PAID THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE WITH THEIR BLOOD, , LIKE MALCOLM X, JONATHAN, GEORGE JACKSON, THE ATTICA BROTHERS, RUBEN SALAZAR, DIAZ, WARD, HUEY NEWTON, MARILYN BUCK, SACCO AND VENZETTI, HUGO “YOGI BEAR” PINELL, AND MANY, MANY MORE SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU! SEIZE THE TIME! DEATH OF U.S. FASCISM! ABOLISH ALL PRISONS! BUILD THE UNITED FRONT AGAINST FASCISM! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

HUGO “YOGI BEAR” PINELL, PRESENTE!!!

 

– By, ALVARO LUNA HERNANDEZ, #255735,

CHICANO POW, POLITICAL PRISONER

IN MEMORY OF GEORGE JACKSON, ALL BLACK AUGUST MARTYRS

AUGUST 21, 19

http://www.freealvaro.net/

Alvaro Luna Hernandez
#255735, James V Allred Unit
2101 FM 369 North
Iowa Park TX 76367

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Some Reflections on Comrades, The Spirit of Resistance, Struggle and Death

Sacramento Prisoner Support:

jaan

by Jaan Laaman – 4sm editor

January 27, 2015

2015 is almost a month old and my overall outlook has been optimistic and energized.  With a months long new movement in the streets, fighting against government repression and police killings of unarmed men, boys and women too, mostly of color, for me it has been a time of gathering information and supporting and contributing to this new movement.

It is within this context, that I just received somber and hard information about two comrades of mine, two very good human beings, steadfast brothers and courageous fighters in the Freedom Struggle.  I am talking about two friends of mine, both long held political prisoners — Phil Africa and Bill Dunne.

William Phillips Africa died on January 10, 2015, in the Pennsylvania state prison system, at SCI Dallas.

Phil Africa was one of the Move 9, all of whom have been in captivity since August 8, 1978.  On that day, the Philadelphia police and other government forces launched an unprovoked assault on the Move home.  The Move 9 are completely innocent women and men who were thrown into prison for 30 to 100 year sentences.  They are all still in prison, except for Merle Africa who died in 1998, and now Phil.

Phil Africa never stopped struggling for justice and freedom, not only for the Move Family and his co-defendants, but for poor and oppressed people of all colors, across this country  and around the world.  Phil was a good man, intelligent and brave, thoughtful and caring.  He could make you laugh and he was self disciplined and worked to stay in shape.  He was a father figure, as well as a boxing teacher and sports coach to many younger men.

Phil’s death in the Pennsylvania state correctional institution at Dallas, came under very questionable and suspicious circumstances.  See a more detailed posting on Phil’s death at www.4strugglemag.org.

My political prisoner brother and friend, Phil Africa, died in that Pennsylvania prison cell in his 37th year of captivity.  Phil’s hardships and deprivations are now over.  Phil was never a man who bemoaned the harsh, inhumane and injust realities he and other prisoners were forced to endure.  Dying in prison is always a sad reality.  Phil’s hardships are now over and that is a good thing, even while we mourn his passing.  We should also question the circumstances surrounding his death and demand answers from Pennsylvania prison officials.

Continuing in this journey of hard news and harsh realities, let me share some information on another friend and fellow political prisoner, Bill Dunne.  Bill is alive and I’m pretty sure in decent health.  Like other political prisoners, Bill stays fit, in fighting shape, because it doesn’t matter how old you are or how many decades you have been imprisoned, the government and its agents never cease in their efforts to defeat you, break you and stop you in your/our struggle for justice, freedom and a revolutionary future of peace, equality and protection of our planet.  So Bill, like all political prisoners, try’s to keep the Spirit of Resistance firm and his body and mind fit.

Bill has been in captivity since 1979, that is for 36 years.  He has been held in maximum security penitentiaries and special lock-down control units for all these years.  In 2000, when he already had spent 21 years in prison, the United States parole board gave Bill a 15 year hit!  That is, he was ordered to spend 15 more years in prison.  Two months ago, Bill again appeared before the parole board and in a vicious act of inhumanity and hatred for the Freedom Struggle and Freedom Fighters, the U.S. parole board hit Bill with another 15 year set off!  He is not eligible to see the parole board again until 2029.  See www.4strugglemag.org, for a more detailed report on Bill Dunne’s parole hearing.

The ugly reality is that there are political prisoners, courageous and noble leaders like Sundiata Acoli and Leonard Peltier, who have been locked up even longer; Sundiata has been in captivity for 43 years, Leonard for 39 years, and there are others like them.

The parole board’s primary questions, as well as its ‘justifications’ for ordering Bill to, quite likely, spend the rest of his life in prison, was his “continuing association and affiliation with anarchist organizations”, which was, “evidence you still harbor anti-authoritarian views…”

The U.S. government, through its parole board, made very clear that Bill’s real offense, like the so called crimes of all U.S. held political prisoners, was his political beliefs and associations.  The activities Bill and other political prisoners may have taken in support of liberation and justice based political views is not the main “crime” in the eyes of the United States government.  The ultimate “crime” is Freedom and Justice based revolutionary thinking and beliefs.  Anarchist; socialist; communist, National Liberation for Puerto Rico, the Black Nation in the usa, the Native/Indigenous Nations; the Green ecological ideology of protecting our Earth and all its life against imperialist plunder, these are the “crimes” of political prisoners.

I am certain Bill Dunne will challenge and litigate this unprecedented second 15 year hit.  I am also sure Bill will continue to work with the ABC collectives and other outside groups the parole board listed; the groups they so hated and feared.

I wanted to express my complete solidarity and support for Bill in his harsh ongoing struggle for justice, life and freedom.  And I wanted to convey my heartfelt solidarity and revolutionary love to all the Move Family and Phil Africa’s closest people.  We will always remember and be inspired by Phil Africa.

Sharing this information and reflecting on the types of realities that all political prisoners confront and have to deal with, I hope, gives you people outside, a little more understanding of revolutionary struggle and life behind prison walls.  I do have some  concern that perhaps some of you activists and people of conscience, may be overly intimidated by these realities of prison life.  Engaging in the Freedom Struggle always has the potential of confrontation with the state and its abusive police power.  This can include being thrown into prison.  People should be clear about this.  You should also be clear though, that even in extreme examples, like the heroic lives and struggle of Phil Africa and Bill Dunne, imprisoned Freedom Fighters can and do maintain their principles, their dignity and their will and ability to struggle.  The more that people and the media, including the non-corporate media, are aware of and supportive of political prisoners and prison struggle generally, the more protection this provides us.

In the Spirit of Phil Africa —

let us remember,

Freedom Is A Constant Struggle!

Jaan Laaman
#10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

Jaan Laaman’s reportback from Running Down the Walls in USP Tucson

jaanHello everybody – hope this has been/is being a good running day for all of you. About 30 of us in here – young and old, Black, white and Latino, did a real nice RDTW this morning. We got together before taking off, had some words about the meaning of Running Down the Walls and it’s origin and ongoing reality. Then we took off and got a real decent 5k – some walked some laps, but most ran all the miles. Afterwards we all drank a cold soda and talked about people running in other cities and towns, in other kamps too, some at that very moment. So it was a positive morning and a good run and we hope and expect that all of you and many many others, even in Switzerland ! ha- had a good run today too. Now lets hope Obama does NOT launch a new war in the mid-east, in Syria and of course, I know we will all do what we can — Freedom Is A Constant Struggle !

Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
PO Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

February 20th! Hit the streets for our brothers and sisters held captive across the U.S.!

Political Prisoner Jaan Laaman has taken the time to release the following statement to encourage participation in the mass actions happening across the country on Monday, February 20th.

Participants in the Occupy Movement across the country have called for a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners,” with actions happening in (as of now) a dozen locales from coast to coast. Join us in Denver at 6:30pm at 30th and Peoria (outside the GEO/ICE Detention Center) as we join folks from Occupy Denver and the greater community to show our solidarity with our imprisoned brothers, sisters, and siblings.

Jaan’s statement available here.

The text of Occupy Denver’s call to action can be read here.
The original text of Occupy Oakland’s proposal can be read here.
More information can be found at occupy4prisoners.org

Anti-Imperialist Prisoner of War Jaan Laaman’s RDTW Reportback

Jaan LaamanHere in USP Tucson, we had a morning run — 33 brothers , Black, white, Latino (Cubano,Boricua, Mexicano, Nica), one wheelchair Boston and a few old heads who walked some and ran some, rolled, walked and Ran Down the Walls here in the Sonoran desert. We had a few words before we took off as one large group, reminding everyone that as we ran many many others behind other walls were running, as well as people in 12 cities across the country – separated by miles and walls, but united in our efforts for Justice and Freedom. WE also said a few words about this being Leonard (Peltier’s) birthday and the 15 year hit the parole board recently gave him – we ran for him and for all of us. Everyone took some inspiration in this unity and solidarity and everyone felt positive after finishing the 13 laps we ran, which was just over 5k.