We Demand: Overturn the Ban of Revolution Newspaper at Pelican Bay and Chuckawalla Prisons in California and All Prisons
SIGN this petition, and join these signatories:
Charles J. Alexander, Director, Academic Advancement Program, UCLA*; Michelle Alexander, Professor, Ohio State University*; Ed Asner; Jared Ball, Assistant Professor, Morgan State University*; Jason Bell, Project Rebound, San Francisco State University*; Gene Bernardi, Outraged citizen; Richard R. Bunce, Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace (ICUJP); Solomon Comissiong, Hip Hop Historian, Educator and Community Activist; John C. Forney, Progressive Christians United; Mickey Huff, Project Censored/Media Freedom Foundation; Phyllis J. Jackson, Assoc. Prof. of Art History and African Studies, Pomona College*, Claremont, CA; Erin Aubry Kaplan, the first regular (weekly) Black columnist for the LA Times* op-ed page; Emily Kunstler; Sarah Kunstler; PJ LaFever, Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) Advocate; Michael Lange, Actor, Director; Harry J. Lennix, Actor/educator; Carol Frances Likins, United Teachers of LA/NEA*; Margaret Ann Fuller Lindgren, Immaculate Heart Community - Social Justice Group; Dennis Loo, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor of Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona*; Rita Lowenthal, Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace (ICUJP); Anthony Manousos, Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace (ICUJP); Cynthia McKinney; R. Tomas Olmos, Joseph A. Partansky, Advocate For Persons With Disabilities and Frail Elderly; Peter Phillips, Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored, Mary Radcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View; Willie Radcliff, Publisher, San Francisco Bay View; George F. Regas, Episcopal Priest; Dylan Rodriguez, Professor; Stephen Rohde, Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace (ICUJP); Andie Smith, Incite! Women of Color Against Violence; Robert C. Smith, Professor, San Francisco State University*; Bato Talamantez, CPF (California Prison Focus), from 70s former political prisoner; Leonard I. Weinglass, Attorney; Paul Wright, Editor, Prison Legal News; Clyde Young, Revolutionary Communist Party, Former Prisoner; David Zeiger, Displaced Films
(*organizations listed for identification purposes only)
In February 2010, Revolution
newspaper was banned at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison and Chuckawalla State Prison. Announcing this ban, prison authorities stated, “The Publication Revolution is ban (sic) from all institutions within the state of California. Please remove all inmates from your mailing list”, and further alleged that, “your periodical newspaper has been determined to be contraband because it ‘promotes disruption and overthrow of the government and incites violence to do so’… ”, and further, that the newspaper “incites racial violence and promotes governmental anarchy."
The banning of any newspaper, especially alternative voices that challenge and expose the status quo, is chilling and intolerable. It is even more so when censorship is done by officials and agencies of the government. We see the banning of Revolution
newspaper from California’s prisons (or any other prison) as an immediate and serious threat to freedom of speech and of the press. We strongly oppose the attempt by prison authorities to enforce “mind control” and conformity with officially-approved thinking.
newspaper, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, is subscribed to by 800 prisoners nationwide and over 45 at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. It is provided through the educational non-profit Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF).
Claims by the prison authorities are not supported with examples connecting the newspaper to acts of violence and disorder at the prison. In fact through reading and debating Revolution
newspaper, “racial” barriers between prisoners come down. The Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund reports receiving letters from men living in dungeons dominated by pornography and fundamentalist religion who have come to understand and oppose the oppression of women, inmates with 7th grade education who debate philosophy, prisoners who are exploring revolutionary solutions to the plight of people and the planet. And prisoners who learn to understand the world and the possibilities to radically change it. (see www.PRLF.org)
For 20 years, subscriptions to Revolution
newspaper, which numerous prisoners call their “lifeline” to the outside world, have been provided by donations to the PRLF, a non-profit educational literature fund that fills requests from U.S. prisoners for revolutionary literature. We strongly oppose the denial of freedom of information for prisoners, including the right to educate and transform themselves while in prison. Any infringement on this right for California prisoners cannot be allowed to stand. It is a precedent that has ominous implications throughout the prison system in the US and for broader society at large.
Prisoners are human beings! And as human beings they have the right to develop as critical thinkers and explore alternative solutions to the plight of the people and of the planet itself.We, in signing this statement, may not agree with all or any of the content of Revolution
newspaper. But we stand united on opposing this ban of this newspaper at any prison and on the belief that prisoners, like the rest of us, should have the right to explore alternative analysis and solutions.
WE DEMAND: OVERTURN THE BAN OF REVOLUTION NEWSPAPER AT PELICAN BAY AND CHUCKAWALLA PRISONS IN CALIFORNIA AND ALL PRISONS