Saturday, January 23, 2010

Greetings from the Graveyard - Introduction to Part One

"Greetings from the Graveyard" is a 3-part zine I want to use as a tool to raise awareness about the oppressive struggles that prisoners here in Nevada's maximum security prison (Ely State Prison) have to endure. Hopefully in so doing, it will also shed light on the struggles of prisoners all over America. I want to use this 3-part zine, not only to raise awareness, but also to gain support from sincere, dedicated people and activists on the outs.

It is important that people on both sides of the razor-wire understand the struggles, atrocities, injustices, and oppression that people in prison face. In all honesty, this is a crooked, corrupt, and inhumane system where we are being warehoused. There is no rehabilitation in these prisons, no programs, no health care, no love, no support. This entire American Judicial System is foul and corrupt. It is designed to oppress the poor and people of color. It’s just a cruel, merciless system where racism, violence, and sadism take place everyday.

I wanted to break this zine down to 3 sections, to shed light on 3 different aspects of the prison struggle. This first section is made up entirely of my latest writings. I write these pieces to give people a clear understanding of how barbaric and primitive this system on the inside is, and how most prisoners assume violent mentalities and predatory ways just to endure. Violence is glorified, respected, honored, and bragged about in this psychopathic environment. There's really no healthy, productive way for us to be reformed while living in this sadistic, oppressive environment.

I try to shine the spotlight on this type of violent predatory mentality in a couple of these essays, such as "Central PopuLockdown", and "Madness". I wrote those not as an imprisoned radical intellectual, but from the perspective of a convict who once took up the means of violence as a survival mechanism. I want people to see all different sides and different types of mentalities that we take up as the everyday "norm" in these dungeons.

Also, some of these writings were written as "Release Therapy" for me. These were instances where I was using the paper and pen as an avenue to release my frustrations, anger, and stress. This can be seen in essays like "Writings on the Wall", and "Dear Mr. Correctional Officer", just to name a couple.

I want people to understand that it’s hard for us to rise above this madness and to overcome these violent, predatory mentalities. It’s hard, but its necessary if we are to hold on to a sense of what's left of our humanity. It’s necessary for our communities, society and humanity. We truly and sincerely need outside support. We need people to get involved in our lives and in our struggles. We need people to give us genuine love and support. These warm rays of life are what keep us sane in here; keep us going in here; and keep us alive and human in here.

We need people to send us letters, accept our phone calls, come visit us, and most importantly, send us books so that we can use this time to educate/ re-educate ourselves and liberate our minds. It is through books, literature, education, and study that we become conscious. Consciousness is a saviour. It's what enables us to rise above this madness and change our ways of thinking from violent, criminalistic, predatory and unproductive thoughts to a more healthy, honest, wise, productive, and truthful outlook on life. With this outlook and a conscious level of thinking, we begin to understand on a more clear, truthful and active level. Conscious people don't do stupid things. Conscious people have a true appreciation and respect for life and humanity. This is why I'm always passing out zines and literature and giving books away to other prisoners in here. This is why I'm always writing zines and literature of my own: to raise consciousness in the hearts and minds of my fellow prisoners.

So, I sincerely want for this first zine to help people on the outs to understand what we are going through in these graveyards called prisons. I need people to understand why we need help from the outs and what kind of help we need. Love can conquer hate. Love can help and love can heal. And that's what we need: love, healing, and support.

I want this zine to inspire people to start getting involved in our lives and our struggles in real and meaningful ways. Help us help ourselves, because we cannot expect the people who imprison us to help us. If you are an activist, get involved in a real struggle. If you are not an activist, now is your chance to become one. We need sincere, dedicated, compassionate people to get involved in our plight.

As always, my writings are for people on both sides of the walls.

In solidarity and with respect, Coyote

ABC- Nevada Prison Chapter