“May all beings look at me with a friendly eye. May I do likewise, and may we all look on each other with the eyes of a friend.” —Yajur Veda: 3.6.18
Approx 1:30 a.m.
Old crazy B finally stopped screaming. Well, he actually didn’t stop but he’s retreated to the back of his cell ranting about “…the-Italians-got-the-grievance-they-drop-in-the-stomach-got-the-beef-ham! They-holding-me-paralyzed-motherfuckers! D-A-N-A-I-A…”, so his schizophrenic screaming isn’t too oppressively overwhelming. For 19 solid hours this place has been an absolute insane madhouse. (More than usual that is.) Around 6 a.m. a guy was pushed to the point where he felt the only option to contest the dramatic rise of oppression around here was violence: he shot several darts at a mailroom clerk and one hit her in the neck. He, just as anyone here, could kill an officer if they wanted to—he was just trying to make the point that people are tired of having their mail attacked.
She wasn’t really hurt; the injury she suffered was about the equivalent of doing some sewing needlework and accidentally poking yourself with a medium-sized needle. I don’t support any form of violence from both a moral and strategic psycho-sociopolitical perspective, but I always do look for understanding. (Old B is back at the door again screaming about people coming into his cell while he’s sleeping and trying to paralyze him and something about, “Women-have-the-ribs-sideways-in-they-stomachs-caviar-conniseurs-cost-one-hundred-fifty-dollars”—damn it’s hard to concentrate. Everyone here has been having major problems with mail pick up and delivery — the mailroom staff have been knowingly and willingly and intentionally violating policy concerning mail and doing so with extreme malice. Some have said the security staff has been part of this as well and really, they’re just as culpable for being aware of it and not stopping it.
Mail is the main connection guys have with the outside world. When there are mail problems guys’ friends and family suffer because of this—attacking mail is essentially attacking people’s friends and family members by causing them extreme emotional and psychological pain. Many people conduct much legal work through regular mail—attacking mail is essentially threatening a person’s Life. They consistently deny books, magazines, pictures and every other damned thing for absolutely arbitrary and unjustified reasons. This viciously attacks a person’s psyche and they do this simply out of malice.
I know all this and I experience attacks by the mailroom staff often—even though I am very cordial to all of them—but today’s situation makes me sad. Can you believe that anger is an emotion that I just don’t feel anymore? This is something I wouldn’t have believed possible years back. Long ago when I first read about absolutely solid scientific brain studies conducted by neuroscientists proving that the brains of those who regularly practice Yoga/Meditation are actually physically different, I thought it was absolutely fascinating. But, never would I have thought that I would come to such a deep state of understanding. I feel strong outrage at injustice but it’s not a form of anger, it’s more like a type of sadness but also a feeling of being challenged and a deep compulsion to be active and fight.
Do you think complete negation of the Ego is possible? I don’t know, but I do know through my studies of psychology and practice of the science of Yoga and Shaolin Qi Gong—and study and practice of many, many other things!—I’m able to analyze phenomena in an extremely detached, rational and all-encompassing manner. (And the psycho-sociopolitical therapy I practice shows others how to do this). Today’s situation is very sad. The mailroom women have caused myself and my family and friends—and many, many others—so very much pain, but when I heard what happened my mind immediately went into “analysis and understanding” mode: Why did this happen?
Answering why the guy shot a dart at the mail chick is an easily answerable question (which I’ve already answered), but thinking of why mailroom personnel routinely attack us and our friends and family is more complicated. What type of sad person would steal mail from someone’s elderly, handicapped mother? What type of pitiful person would hold mail for outrageously long periods of time and in doing so cause extreme pain and suffering to others? What kind of petty individual seemingly denies anything and everything possible with an almost fanatical zeal? And what type of society breeds these types of people? And what can be said of a system that changes people into such hateful automatons?
I’m reminded of an instance when a mail officer was deep into a screaming shit-talking match with my neighbor at the same time. They were cursing each other out and she came to my door to give me an evil little denial form while still cursing and yelling at him. “Here’s your fucking form, hurry the fuck up and sign it” was the first thing she said to me. My response was, “You know, when you first started working here you had a very nice disposition. You should take some time to really think about how much working in prison has changed you.” She doesn’t work here anymore and I can’t help but wonder if she ever regained her nice disposition…
After the guy shot the dart the emergency staff-assault code red went out and insanity ensued. The Riot Team and a horde of other officers stormed the pod. People were screaming and beating on doors. They stripped the guy of everything and left him in a cell with nothing. (This happened on the pod next section over, about 20 feet from where I’m at.) One of his neighbors is one of the few here who isn’t scared to write and speak out about what goes on back here, and we assume that is why they came back and took all of his neighbor’s property as well. Officers stomping around full of anxiety, inmates screaming—this has been going on all damned day for 19 straight hours.
Just yesterday the shakedown team was terrorizing on this pod. The day before, on Monday, the SWAT team gassed two people on E pod. On Saturday, in the very early hours an emergency response call was issued for 10 building, the medical building. (This means something very bad, a suicide, stabbing, beating or some life-threatening incident occurred.) On Friday, all hell broke loose on 8 building when a riot jumped off and two SWAT teams were deployed and they fired off tear gas grenades and put the unit on temporary lockdown. Absolute madness, yes, but what is really insane is that the events of the last 6 days aren’t much of a rarity in this environment.
And here I am confined in this little Orwellian Hell, condemned to die for a crime I didn’t commit. A few days ago for the first time in 11 years I put out a call for Solidarity in raising funds. This was actually an extremely hard thing for me to do. (I’ve never been one to ask people for things.) But I’m so very in tune with the Oneness of Humanity, the interconnectedness of all human kind, that I think people will really feel me and understand that my struggle is part of the overall Struggle and feel compelled to act. I need to be out there, away from this madness and fighting with you against what allows this madness to exist. I’ll sign off with an embrace of Love and Solidarity for all of my comrades and friends and those who I know will join our struggle soon!