Wow! This past week I’ve received a bunch of mail, mainly from people and or organization sending wishes of strength and solidarity. Very cool.
I even got one letter from a death penalty activist offering support for our protest. Very inspiring! Some of the mail I received was 3 weeks old. As everyone knows, tampering with the mail is one of their favorite tactics. Speaking of oppressive tactics – sometimes I’m amazed by how well these simple-minded officers play “prison politic” games . . .
Being that me and Tony Ford are housed on A-pod and everyone eels participating in the protest is housed on E-pod, it is very hard for us to communicate with each other. The staff knows this, so they attempt to divide and conquer by spreading false information. This, of course, doesn’t work with us, but I still want to give some examples.
First, because there isn’t a large number of us protesting, it’s impossible to conduct demonstrations on a daily basis. The Administration has us isolated – with most of us in management cells – so it is easy for them to lock us down. Plus, officers have been pulling their preemptive strike moves – locking us down because they anticipate that we might do something. If staff members don’t pull us out for recreation or shower, then we can’t conduct demonstrations. (Though I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that I’ve been saving for the most opportune time!)A few days ago, I refused to give back the handcuffs when I came back from the shower. I did this just so I could have a conversation with a particular officer. Last week we got word that this officer went down to E-pod and told our comrades protesting down there that Tony worked a deal with the Warden behind our backs to stop protesting in exchange for extra privileges. This officer said that a particular inmate prone to gossip told him this.
It’s always beneficial to gain a good perspective on your adversary’s intentions. So I told him I was keeping the cuffs until rank (a sergeant or lieutenant) came because – and I was playing the ignorant, erratic inmate role – “I’m tired of all this bullshit!” These officers are absolutely terrified of rank so I knew the officer would want to try to resolve the situation himself.
Long story short: the officer spewed a huge tangled web of propaganda. I understand the divide and conquer games, but many people don’t so they’re susceptible to the games. Things like that happen all day, everyday. This is a sick environment, a prison version of “Brave New World” or “1984” or something.
Another thing everyone should know is that a lot of stuff that goes on around here I can’t write about. It would be counter-productive. For example, if I’m able to resolve a certain issue with a ranking officer that another ranking officer doesn’t want to resolve, then I’m not going to “give up the game” as the saying goes in prison. Know what I mean?