Statement to the Streets and All Youth Lock-ups
Last summer, people held in the SHU - Security Housing Unit - at Pelican Bay State Prison declared a hunger strike to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions inside. The hunger strikespread to more than 7,000 people locked up in California prisons. People from all "sides" - blacks,whites, Asians, Surenos and Nortenos put all politics behind and came together to demand their human rights.
On this day, October 10, 2012, the men in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay are againleading all of us. They have called for "an end to all hostilities" within our state's prisons and jails. After doing so much time, the men in the Pelican Bay SHU have realized that they are being recycled over and over through the same dead-end system. For all of us, there must be a cut off point - a time at which we stop participating in our own destruction.
As young people who have experienced bloodshed on the streets of Los Angeles, and the violence and humiliation within juvenile halls, Probation camps and Division of Juvenile Justice Youth Prisons, we are also calling for an end to the war between the youth.
We are challenging all youth in the streets, schools and lock-ups throughout California, to do the following:
1. End all the killing and drama between hoods, crews and races. Declare a temporary cease fire and work toward building lasting truces.
2. Take the same mentality and skills we have used to hustle drugs, bang our hoods and promote our crews to unite in a powerful movement to demand dignity, respect and equality for all our people.
3. We must also demand an end to police and sheriff violence, an end to the mass incarceration of youth -especially Black and Brown youth, an end to ICE detention and deportation, living wage jobs, and a quality education that prepares all youth for college and a career.
4. Demand an end to the War on Gangs - including the CalGang Database that labels people (as young as ten) as gang members without their knowledge or right to appeal; gang injunctions that incarcerate people for non-criminal acts; and gang enhancements that turn courtrooms into death chambers.
5. Do not fall victim to traps set by a wicked system that seeks to make us permanent members of the prison industrial complex.
6. Spread the word to unite all hoods, all barrios, all crews and all cliques, all cells, all dorms and all units - from the Nickerson Gardens to Estrada Courts, from the PJs to the Y.A., from TJ to Pelican Bay, to the Bay Area and back down to Sac Town - let everyone know, as youth of California we are NOT DOWN WITH THE LOCK DOWN!!!
Signed by the following youth (so far*): Anthony Smith, Jose Gallegos and Rickia Collins. If you are under the age of 25, please sign on.