More Unity in Ely State Prison

Received in April of 2011:

By Christopher Gonzalez

I open in solidarity and with a quick shout out to all the men who participated in the March 14th show of resistance on unit one! Fist to heart with a warrior´s salute.

For all those who haven´t heard about – or have only received bits and pieces of the story – it´s like this… Unit 8 has been closed down “indefinitely,” because allegedly, the head culinary staff lacked proper manners and respect, so allegedly, a fellow prisoner got upset and hit the boss upside the head with a 25 lb mixer. Needless to say, the kitchen boss won´t be coming to work for a while. This being the case, those who hold us captive decided to make us all suffer the consequences. No school, no books, no law library, no showers, no laundry… A prison placed on “lockdown” when everyone in E.S.P. is already confined to their cells 23/24 hours a day!

The biggest crime acted against us (especially those of us on disciplinary segregation and who can´t order food) was how these sadists weren´t giving us proper proportions of food! For over a week all we received for breakfast was two small cups of cereal, and one hard-boiled egg (which was often still running inside). For lunch: “cold-cuts” with no fruit or desert. For dinner: we received “mystery food” (is it soup or pudding?) on paper trays which means smaller portions! We had to listen to the guards taunt us by saying how our food was being messed with because it was the caseworkers and maintenance people cooking it – and they were getting payback for all of the work we make them do! After a little more than a week of going to bed hungry and pissed off, some guys said aloud what everyone else was thinking: “This isn´t right. We´re all human beings regardless of race and affiliations. It´s time something´s done. Who´s ready? And with that, words of solidarity were spoken, and the next morning brought forth unleashed frustration.

A young soldier kicked it off by “capturing” his food slot, giving the unit senior a golded shower and starting a fire on the tier. Throughout the day more fires were lit. Both sides of unit one managed to flood out both wings and hallway. Fire “cocktails” and “donuts” were lobbed at the guards. But no cell extractions were attempted because the January 31st 2010 rebellion was still fresh in their minds and none of these cops are anxious to put themselves in that position again (c.o. Stubbs was stabbed on January 31st 2010 when he and a dozen other officers tried to assault another prisoner). In the end. There were no serious injuries (thankfully), but the guards were forced to do a lot of manual labor. And there was a decent amount of property damage. The best part was: the next day, we got our food back!!

But before everyone celebrates a victory, hear one more thing… there is rumor that because of budget cuts, we are going to start receiving two sack lunches a day and only one “hot” meal starting in June.

This should not be tolerated by any prisoner. If this rumor proves true, I encourage everyone to come together and show these people that there are still limits! Everyone on the outs, family, friends, comrades, there are no steel doors and concrete walls suppressing your voices, thus they can be heard louder than our own.

When you see these prisons burning – help fan the flames!!

In solidarity and in struggle,
Christopher Gonzalez