The fervor of Resistance is in the air… It seems Warden Hirsch and his cohorts have devised several new overtly oppressive policies. The most serious and audacious of these new policies concerns visitation and will effect everyone who gets “Special Visits.” (Special Visits are visits in which the person visiting has traveled over 300 miles).
Previously, we were allowed one special visit a month, which would amount to 2, 4 hour visits on consecutive days. So, for example, a person could schedule special visits for August 30th & 31st and September 1st and 2nd. This is no longer allowed. Now, we’re unable to receive special visits in consecutive months. I’ve talked to guys who have been locked up for over 20 years and they said that this is the first time they remember such a drastic change in visitation rules. The Hirschites have effectively cut special visits in half.
The other new policy, which is less “official,” concerns shakedowns (ie: cell searches). In addition to dramatically increasing the number of daily shakedowns, staff members have greatly increased the amount of time spent on each shakedown. It seems that they are especially focusing on E-pod, the disciplinary pod, where I’m housed. (3 sections are reserved for death row inmates on disciplinary status, 2 sections are for death row inmates that are on non-disciplinary status and 1 section is filled with administrative
segregation general population inmates).
When I found out about the new visitation policy, something George Jackson said immediately came to mind:
“The only effective challenge to power is one that is broad enough to make isolation impossible, and intensive enough to affect the normal lifestyle of as many members of the society as possible.”
Has Warden Hirsch become a prisoner rights activist, or, perhaps, even a dedicated Revolutionary? The new visitation rule effects everyone in this small society that is death row. It is already impossible to isolate death row inmates because we are all housed in a single building, 12 building of the Polunsky unit. The majority of guys here receive special visits so their “normal lifestyle” has definitely been affected.
As history has shown us, when a group of marginalized and oppressed people – though indoctrinated they may be – become tyrannized to an unbearable degree, uprisings occur. Visitation is the #1 control mechanism that keeps 95% of guys here from fighting for change. I’ve debated with countless people a countless number of times about protesting. The #1 reason (or excuse) people give is “Special Visits.” Although, if a person truly believes in something, then he or she will be willing to suffer and sacrifice for that belief. That’s the excuse they give. Well, Hirsch has maliciously sliced special visits in half with a gleaming fascist grin on his face and a Nazi SS dagger clenched tight in his fist. Paradoxically and obviously unbeknownst to him, Comrade Hirsch has inspired an air of Resistance within the death row community that is unprecedented.
Really, it’s rather amazing, people are getting together like never before. Thank you Warden Hirsch!! Everyone on the outside needs to make an official complaint with the TDCJ Ombudsman’s office. I don’t have the address on hand, but go to the DRIVE website and you can find it there. It’s always best to make an e-mail, telephone and letter complaint. Remember to be persistent, firm and respectful. We cannot simply sit by and remain inactive while the Hirschites continuously devise new oppressive and sadistic policies!! (Update: the rule has just been amended back to its old form, so please don’t act on it right now)
On another note, being the terribly relentless intercommunalist that I am, I always promote Solidarity amongst all prisoners. Park of that is helping people on the outside know about the existence of other prisoners regardless if their viewpoints coincide with mind. Every voice on death row needs to be heard. Therefore, here’s an interesting article by Rogelio Reyes Cannady entitled “The Last Sequence:”
“Sodium Thiopental. Pancuronium Bromide. Potassium Chloride. I admit quickly enough that those words twist my tongue into knots but fortunately am sharper of wit than of tongue. Believe me when I say that those alphabetical soup type words are just as lethal as a bowl of poisonous soup. Few people look those over as I do these days.
Those tongue twisting words are the names of lethal chemicals administered to anybody executed in Texas. Likely these poisonous chemicals are death to me as soon as the State of Texas has its way. What can be done once my fate is certain but to know indeed. With curiosity then I look those words over to uncover what they truly mean. I would rather the truth and to be informed of the method and sequence to the final moments of life. I wonder how it will feel and what words will escape my lips. Not sure what thoughts will dominate the moment, however, right now Sodium Thiopental comes to mind.
Sodium Thiopental is the first chemical used in the actual sequence of execution. Once this chemical is administered, I will lose conscious. This lethal chemical, Sodium Thiopental, is an ultra short acting barbituate. Medically it is used to induce rather than maintain anesthesia during surgery. Unless the Sodium Thiopental fails to be effective for some reason, I will be unaware of my surroundings. I will be unconscious.
Pancuronium Bromide, the second lethal chemical to enter my bloodstream is meant to paralyze my muscles entirely and to collapse my respiratory system. Internally, my body will sense the flood of chemicals and struggle vainly to fight it off. Gasping several times my lungs will collapse. I will be in the process of dying.
Potassium Chloride will the final and fatal lethal chemical administered. It’s purpose is to cause cardiac arrest, a massive heart attack. On average, it takes 9 minutes for these fatal chemicals to produce the expected results. I will then be pronounced dead.
I have sat and thought about the sequence of events that will lead to the end of me, physically. I have also considered equally what I could possibly experience during every stage of the execution. What I know, in fact, is that on my appointed day of execution, I will be strapped to the gurney in Texas’ death chamber. The sequence will begin and truly what thoughts will race through my mind. My thoughts should slowly fade as the first chemicals take effect and I lose conscious.
If you could see me, I would appear to be peacefully asleep. Looks, however, can be very deceiving. Recently I read a sworn statement by Dr. Mark Heath, an anesthesiologist, concerning the chemicals used in an execution. He states that the anesthesia used, Sodium Thiopental, will crystallize once it comes in contact with another chemical such as Pancuronium Bromide. What that means is that I would suddenly wake as the paralyzing chemical takes effect. Awake, I will be fully aware yet unable to express the agony which my body must surely feel.
Suffocation is a horrible feeling if you can imagine yourself desperately trying to breath while unable to even budge. It would seem to most that I am peacefully asleep but the moment that I gasp my body will be frantically fighting for survival. For me, time will take on the appearance of non-existing. A slow torturous execution will be unfolding before your unknowing eyes if you can still see me peacefully asleep. Lastly, and not uncruelly, the third chemical activates all the nerve fibers in the veins delivering the maximum amount of pain possible as it firmly takes hld of my heart and stops it completely. These are the final sequence of events to a condemned man’s life. When the time comes this is the truth of it.” Rogelio Reyes Cannady, Death Row #999245
Also, Carlton Turner has a blog at…well, I can’t find the address but it’s something like carltonturnerblogspot.com. He also has an ALIVE webpage. I’ll get the addresses and list them later. Mr. Turner does this interesting thing called “Rants and Raves.” I really can’t even describe his writing…
Well, he sent me his first 3 or 4 entries and asked me what I though. Mirroring the vibe I got from reading his “Rants and Raves,” I sent him the following response back:
Mr. Turner: Quite interesting. I’m not sure how one would classify your “Rants and Raves”: philosophical inquiry, self-reflective thought, Jungian depth psychology from the corners of your mind, Freudian dynamisms manifested on paper, Dualistic religious debate, the battle of your immortal soul to reconcile the feelings of “good vs. evil” in your psyche, Anthroposophical or Anthropomorphic dialectical materialism… Or, possible your objective is making one try to classify your “rants and Raves” thus making them more interested! In “Life’s school of war” those that relinquish themselves- their inner Essence- their surmounting conscience- to abysmal and depraved oppressors in hopes of grabbing, clutching to a grain of pauper’s paradise, feed themselves to parasites! Lowest species of vermin I deem you- wretched swine are your Gods. Abundance is unnecessary for your soul is tainted and will accept trifles! Blasphemy to the Lords! Blasphemy to the Volk! Ill-fated men creep through the rot of pseudo-Righteousness with a cross as knee pads and a cloak of “morality” to hide their leprosy of Heart. Remove the cloak with a swift blow from the Sceptre! Crush the knee-pads with a swing of the mighty Mjollnir! Invoke “Sol Invictus” to cleanse your depravity through the Fire of Truth. Have you ever sang a sweet song to the Devil? Did God answer your tune with a curse? Then sing your song again, but know this one sublime Truth: “Thou art the murderer of God!” So only death can be worse!
Everyone please be sure to file a complaint about the new visitation policy. Unity and Solidarity is essential!
From The TX Prison Industrial Complex: Genocide Division,
With Strength and Love