Kevin "Rashid" Johnson has been blowing the whistle on abuse and torture in U.S. prisons. These actions would take courage even if Rashid were a guard, but Rashid is a prisoner. He describes the abuses and names the names:
"As I sit writing this a lieutenant Deward Demoss passes my cell making segregation rounds. Further down the tier he exchanges words with another prisoner, then yells down to two unit guards, 'make sure cell 118 doesn’t eat today.' 'Yessir,' they both chime in. Such is the abusive impunity here in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) Estelle 2 Unit (E2U). In fact, guards' summarily denying prisoners' meals in this manner is so routine, there's a nickname for it here. It's called 'jacking trays'. And that's the least of it."
Click here to add your voice to Rashid's in demanding an end to prison abuse.
Rashid has been documenting widespread and routine food deprivation, sleep deprivation, physical torture, denial of medical care, extended solitary confinement, death threats, the instigation of racial divisions, unsanitary conditions, destruction of property, interference with letters, denial of legal rights, and retribution against those who expose, protest, or organize.
The least we can do is send an email on his behalf.
Rashid is a Virginia prisoner, transferred first to Oregon and now to Texas, facing new abuses at each stop in apparent retaliation for his writing.
If Rashid's story were found in a nation that ours wanted to bomb, it would become war propaganda. But Rashid's story is all-American. And it's a similar story to those of the Angola 3, of Russell Maroon Shoatz, and of the men at Pelican Bay State Prison who recently sparked a prolonged hunger strike among prisoners throughout California. Prisoners are punished for exposing crimes and organizing to protest them.
It's up to us to hear the cries of one prisoner speaking for many others, and to raise our voices with theirs for basic human rights.
Please click here to email the Virginia and Texas prison authorities.
Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.
-- The RootsAction.org team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.
P.P.S. This work is only possible with your financial support. Please donate.
Truthout: Beatings and Threats: Odyssey of a Prisoner-Advocate, From Virginia to Texas
CommonDreams: On Soul-Killing Solitary
Kevin "Rashid" Johnson: Audio essay "We Are All Doing Time"