ABC Nevada Prison Chapter: Still No Victories

From: Coyote-Calling Blog:

First and foremost, my most sincere greetings of solidarity and respects are extended to the poor, imprisoned and oppressed. My name is Coyote, I’m a serious Anarchist radical, confined and isolated in the infirmary of Nevada’s most notorious maximum security lock-up: Ely State Prison.

In 2007, I started up my own prison chapter of Anarchist Black Cross. Because of my efforts – and another comrade’s efforts – and due to the exposure of the blatant medical neglect here at ESP through the Rikers vs. Gibbons / ACLU lawsuits, a solid support structure for NV prisoners has begun to be erected. This includes the Nevada Prison Watch website that provides oversight of the NDOC; Makethewallstransparent.com, which does the same; the Nevada Prison Newsletter, which I am now the co-editor of; and now the NV-CURE has been re-activated. Whereas before, NV prisoners had no outside resources to connect to, now we have these, so this is just the beginning of many things to come.

I have published zine after zine, all available from the S. Chicago ABC Zine Distro and also the Chicago ABC Zine Distro. Through my zines I have been able to reach many, many prisoners across the country, helping them to make the transformation from gangster to guerrilla, or from criminal to radical, and also showing them how to be active and organized while behind enemy lines. My zine “Starting Your Own ABC Prison Chapter” has been very influential to many prisoner activists who are trying to get themselves started. I have also been in collaboration (on the sly) with many prisoners in different states, helping them get organized where they’re at, showing them how to start up their own prison chapters, how to reach out to activists on the outs, how to reach out to prisoners where they’re at, etc.

Due to my efforts, and my resistance, here at ESP I have been able to flood this prison out with thousands of copies of all kinds of zines, radical literature and empowering reading materials. I have supplied hundreds of prisoners here with their own libraries and their own collections of literature, and they use these materials to not only raise their own consciousness, but also to raise the overall level of consciousness throughout this gulag. It has gotten to the point that there isn’t a tier/unit you can go to in this prison, where there aren’t at least 6 or 7 prisoners on each wing who have a good supply of zines and literature, most of which has come from me.

In January 2010, I started up a book drive for the ESP Library that lasted until May 2011, where people from all over the world had donated thousands of books to our library. When administration caught wind that an Anarchist radical was behind the whole thing, they hurried up and shut it down!!!

I have participated in mostly all of the riots, protests and demonstrations of resistance here at ESP, and have been accused by the pigs of being the main organizer of several of them. I have been placed on High Risk Potential status and labeled a ‘threat to the safety and security of the institution’, moved around from one hole to another every 30 days, which I have indeed used to my advantage to pass out literature, form alliances with other radicals, raise awareness, plant seeds and to organize.
Through my efforts I have been able to bring small numbers of enemy faction together, and unite prisoners across racial lines, to fight the true enemy. I have been a leader, a teacher, a comrade and a mentor to many of these youngsters here, regardless of their race, ethnicity, etc. Now there are many prisoners here at ESP who have become radicalized, and we now even have a handful of serious Anarchists here, all who have been taught and trained to be effective writers, propagandists, activists, leaders, teachers, and organizers, and some who are now in the process of starting their own collectives.

Because of my resistance to the stagnation and oppression of this everyday profane existence in this gulag, waking others up in the process, the warden has removed me from the rest of the prisoners, saying that I have “too much influence” over them, and placed me here in the infirmary to be isolated, until I am released. But even this has not stopped me.

Yes, I can proudly say that I’ve accomplished many things, have resisted all the way through, becoming a thorn in their side, but I claim no victories, because this prison still exists, we’re still locked down and treated like shit, still in the deathly hands of the enemy, and there are still many prisoners here who are unaware, asleep, afraid, or walking around ignorant and blind. There’s still much work to do, many battles still to be fought…

Still Striving for Real Victories
Coyote

To send letters of encouragement and support, please write me at this address:
Coyote Sheff #55671
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, Nevada 89301-1989

Coyote’s beautiful, inspiring writings can be viewed on either of these sites:
1) Coyote Calling
2) nevadaprisonwatch.org
3) Scribd.com/Prisonwatch

Coyote’s zines can be obtained at either of these addresses (free to prisoners):

Chicago ABC
1321 N. Milwaukee Ave.
P.M.B. 460
Chicago, Illinois 60622

S. Chicago ABC Zine Distro
P.O. Box 721
Homewood, Illinois 60430

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Thrown to the Wolves

From: Coyote-Calling

By: Coyote

“It is imperative to distinguish carefully between the rhythms of flourishing and the rhythms of decline in every single thing.”

– Myyamoto Musashi

Devastation sets deep in my aching heart as I continuously see all of these young faces coming through these decrepit doors of prison madness; 15- and 16-year-olds, and sometimes younger. With no true guidance and no true leadership, they are locked up and thrown to the wolves, learning quickly to fend for themselves, follow others, or fall off, and got lost in a dark, dreary world of misery, anguish and pain. They look for strength, knowledge and counsel in their older homeboys, but it doesn’t take long for them to realize that all of these years most of their older homeboys have been in these dungeons wasting away, deteriorating, on some straight nonsense, not really trying to do anything useful or productive with their time.
Many of these older cats have neglected to take true strides to better themselves, or to elevate their positions in life, let alone their thinking… And so, therefore they really don’t have nothing good to say, or to give these youngsters, and so a lot of these youngsters are coming through here, and they see this and many of these youngsters – the ones with any sense, that is – quickly begin to lose respect for these so-called O.G.’s and they start to look at them differently, and usually with a disdainful eye.

The ones that don’t have much sense, that’s a different story… They don’t know any better, and don’t have anyone to show them or to teach them, so they get caught up in all of the madness and degeneration, and usually they end up becoming degenerates themselves, and that’s all bad.

Yet, amazingly, I often come across many sharp youngsters in here, who have been eager to learn and to really take their thinking and their lives to a new level, and I’m always impressed at how sharp some of these youngsters are, and yet a bit saddened whenever they confide in me that they wish their older homeboys were more on point, sharper, brighter and more on top of their game when it comes to passing down strong, useful knowledge.

They talk about how they wish their older homeboys would take the time to give them literature or put a book in their hand, discussing real shit with them and trying to teach the, something new, or something with true significance and applicable value. I once asked one of these youngsters – whom I couldn’t help but notice was extremely sharp and really on top of his game for only being 21 years old – what does he look for when he needs someone with an “O.G.” Status? And this is what the little dude told me:

“When I meet someone with an “O.G.” status I look for someone who carries themselves in a manner that one can look up to, I feel he’s supposed to be able to teach you things and show you things you need to know of what’s to come in this lifestyle; he should give you the history of what you represent and why certain things are the way they are, he should encourage you to educate yourself and push you to want to be something better in life, and as a person, he should be a rider “still”, he should want to help you and not just use you, he should teach you about war and what’s worth and not worth going to war over; he should help build you up and make sure you stay the best you can be… I had an “O.G.” homie who once made me read a dictionary because he said I said “cuzz” too much and I needed to expand my vocabulary. An “O.G.” should always want to see you do something with yourself and not just always want to see you in some bullshit in the name of “da set”… “

These are words coming from a young warrior that I quickly became very fond of, and I assure you that his words are definitely a reflection of precisely how many of these youngsters feel, as they can’t help but notice the evident deterioration around here and the lack of true leadership from many of their so-called o.g.’s.

Me and this youngster had a couple of good sessions, I taught him the difference between Honor and Dignity, I passed him some good literature to read and we chopped it up about that, I helped him write an article about the psychological warfare tactics that these pigs use on us in here. His writing skills were already on point, and he wrote the whole article by himself, actually, I just gave him some advice on how to tighten it up a little and he took my advice and redrafted it and it came out hella good.

I told him what he said about what he looks for in someone with an “O.G.” status was definitely on point, but not to forget to look at things from both sides and also realize that there’s a lot of youngsters who come through here who think they know it all and who you just can’t tell ‘em shit. He said he knew what I was talking about and that he used to be like that too. The fact that he’s not like that anymore and that he’s eager to learn, tells me a lot about his character and his potential, and it’s youngsters like him that I’m eager to embrace, because I recognize that determination and that fire and strength and that passion that resides inside of them and burns so fiercely in their young warrior hearts. I only had a couple of weeks to kick it with this particular youngster before they moved me to another unit, but I hope the impact I had on him was as strong as the one he had on me.

I don’t look at people in regards of rank, status, or class, as long as they’re solid and they have something good to share, then I’m as much as their pupil as I am their teacher. We each grow and learn and get stronger from each other. This youngster taught me something and showed me lots of things that I’ll never forget, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s as much as a leader as those he refers to as “O.G.’s.”

Since then, I’ve come across many other youngsters like him who wanted to learn and who were looking for realness and truth in their lives, and who also had things to show me, and who have taught me things I’ll never forget… I came across one young, twenty-year-old cat who came up with an acronym to describe some of these older cats around here who just lie around like dead weight. He calls them “Dead P.O.S.S.O.M.S.,” which is an acronym for: Pile of Shit Sorry Old Man. When I look at things through these youngsters’ eyes, I’m surprised at how clearly I can see where they’re coming from, and how right they are about so many things.

I can’t help but to acknowledge the fact that there are a lot of piece of shit individuals in here; I’m talking about people who are foul in character and deed, and who loathe change and despise growth and all they know is to be foul. I avoid people like that, because there’s not much you can do for them, and really nothing they can do for you! It’s the youngsters with the potential, the eagerness to learn and the ones who refuse to stay at the same stage in their lives that I’m always trying to reach. I want them to really be able to see and recognize that the state has thrown them in prison and given them this time, not to help them but to destroy them, and that’s exactly why they have to be strong and wise, and use this as an opportunity for growth and prominent change. I want these youngsters to see and sincerely understand that there’s more to life than “the set;” than to be gangsters, a predator, thug, criminal, etc.

They can still be strong, and they can still be warriors, but I want to encourage them to be strong, sharp warriors so that they can fight the right fights, not the wrong ones.

I tell them that when I came to prison I was 19 years old, I came in with a hardcore gangbang mentality, maxed out on all of my sentences, caught more time in here, and now I’m 33 years old, close to the gate. What the fuck do I look like, 33 years old, getting out of here and going back to the same shit I was doing when I was 18 years old?? That would make absolutely no sense at all… and when I tell them this, they feel me, and they begin to look at their own lives and they start to think about it a little more, and once they begin to understand this, and the true, beastly nature of the State, and once they become aware of the truth behind poverty, oppression and racism and see that the true design of these prisons is to crush us as a classless people, then that’s when they begin to take serious strides to build themselves up as a man and a human being in life, so that they can do good things, make a positive impact and help the youngsters that come after them. And with all of this, I’ve noticed that once these youngsters truly begin to understand that being on some bullshit is only going to lead to more bullshit, they begin to reevaluate their priorities and the course of action that they’re going to take in life, and once they see that the bullshit does not really lead them anywhere good in life, then “change” starts to look like the best thing going!

I’ve noticed that a lot of older cats, especially some of the ones who have been doing time for a long time, think that because they’re older and that they’ve done time longer, that that automatically gives them the right to assume some type of position of seniority over you where they think they can just freely meddle in your affairs, telling you what you should and should not do, talking about “how back in the old days…” and always talking about racial separation and shit like that… and yet, some of the advice these cats try to give, instinctively I know that if I were to follow their advice, I’d have been dead a long time ago! If not in the physical sense, well then, I’d be one of these walking-dead zombies that you see so much of around here, because all of the things that are true to me now, and that I know are right and real, the things that make me who I am, all of these things would fade away, and I’d be nothing, man, I’d be dead inside…

I was living next to some older dude who has been doing time – in and out of prison – since 1983. This is a cat who got out and supposedly robbed all kinds of taxi cabs so that he could use the money to score dope and get high. He got caught and they sentenced him to 50 years! He was willing to trade 50 years of his life just to go out and get high for a couple of months, and now he’s living next to me, and his whole life now consists solely of how he’s going to score his next shot of mud, he does not read, he hasn’t even tried to strive for any real change in the whole 14 years that he’s been down, all he does is gamble, drink coffee, work-out, talk shit and watch the “idiot-box” – all day… and so when he tries to give me all of his advice about “prison life” and all that shit, I kindly tell him, “look man, I’m close to the house, my mind ain’t on none of this bullshit that goes on around here.” So then he switches up his tact and tries to give me advice about the streets, so I had to break it to him as gently as I could, and I told him, “Look, with all due respect, I appreciate what you’re trying to say and all that, but look at you man, you’re somebody who exchanged 50 years of your freedom for a few months of getting high, and now I’m supposed to be listening to you? Don’t you see the irony in that?” Now, maybe if I hadn’t immediately peeped out that he only had ulterior motives for associating with me in the first place, then I might’ve taken more time to pay attention to what he had to say… But I doubt it. Thinking about cats like these reminds me of what my young comrade said about “dead possums”… But the thing to consider is all of the many younger and naïve cats who have come through these doors and have fallen prey to the designs and manipulations of these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

In my opinion, there are indeed a few things from the past that are definitely still worth preserving and handing down to the next generation of “convicts”, but I think there’s also a lot of things from the past that need to be put to rest once and for all. The enforcement of these silly racist policies and ideas of racial separatism, the senseless ongoing gang warfare; the disunity that comes with all of these things, in my opinion, are amongst some of the things that need to go…

Also, another thing I want to point out, just because someone is older, or they’ve been doing time longer, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re worthy of being leaders or teachers. It wouldn’t hurt to actually sit back and listen to some of these youngsters and listen to their ideas, and what they have to say, and to invite change into their lives, let evolution take its course, because those who hold on to the past are only holding on to old, ineffective, outmoded ways, that can’t and shouldn’t be applied in these times, under these circumstances… Not only that, but when it comes to being a leader and being someone who passes down knowledge it is sad to say, but the truth is, I’ve only come across a select few in this foul ass system, who actually have the pedigree to lead and teach, on an effective level. That’s just something to think about…

If you call yourself an “O.G.”, a leader, etc., and yet you don’t have anything good, or real, or meaningful to give to these youngsters, something that they can go through life with – even if it’s just one thing – then maybe you might want to reevaluate your position and “status” in life. Anybody can preach and talk and make their words sound real colorful and pretty and glorified, but talk has always been cheap, and it’s getting even cheaper by the day. I think you really have to ask yourself, as a leader, why would someone want to follow you? What would really make someone want to listen to you? Look at yourself, listen to how you sound when you talk, your character, your conduct, your actions, the way you present yourself, if all of that doesn’t match what you say, then ain’t nobody gonna think twice about anything you’re talking about, and in effect, all you’re doing is making noise. The change you want to see elsewhere has to start within you first.

Once consciousness has been raised, then things start to move in a different direction. The thing that I’m trying to convey here is that there’s flourishing and decline in everything in life, things can’t always stay the same forever, and they shouldn’t! Especially when you look at the way things are right now; ain’t none of this shit real, ain’t none of this shit right. It’s time to reevaluate, it’s time to raise the stakes. These youngsters are beginning to see what we’ve failed to see long ago. They know that if a little bit of freedom is a good thing, then a lot of freedom is a great thing. If a little bit of pleasure is nice, then a lot of pleasure is glorious. They are not content to settle for whatever left-over scraps of self-determination and joy come their way under the system that subscribes their lives today, and I do not blame them!

I feel that if you don’t have nothing good to give, or to share, then you need to move over, get out of the way, ‘cuz all you’re doing is muddying this shit up. I’ve seen a lot of these so-called shot-callers who have let that shit go to their head, they demand all kinds of respect that they don’t even deserve, they rule through fear and not through love; they’re all about themselves, not about their people, they’ll go to war over some bullshit and are putting their people at risk over some bullshit, but won’t stand up to the real enemy over some real shit. These type of people don’t impress me, and I have no respect for that shit.

That’s why I’m about what I’m about and do what I do, and I’m starting to look at all this shit differently. I see that a lot of people are motivated by their own jealousies and hate, and their own personal feelings, but I’ve come to find that wisdom lies in being able to see things objectively, not subjectively. I have nothing but respect for warriors of all types, and I respect the old warriors of this system (Nevada) who have been putting it down way before I even came to this disgusting place; (15 years ago) when I came to prison, those old warriors were my mentors. I’ve learned many good things from them, and I’ve learned a lot of good things from my own experiences too. I don’t waste my time trying to explain myself – my ideas, my standards, views, etc. – to people who I know aren’t going to understand. Nor do I have time to entertain other people’s old, tired-out, detestable ways and ideas. Indeed, it is good to learn from others, but if all they’re trying to teach me is how to become obedient and complacent, then they can’t really teach me nothing. Obedience is what got us in this situation we’re in now, and complacency is what’s keeping us here. When there’s nothing to respect, there’s nothing to obey, and if you take a good, square look around you, and if you’re honest with yourself, then you can see that there ain’t nothing respectable around here! Not a damn thing. So there’s no lesson for me in obedience, no lesson for me in complacency, so please miss me with all that; thank you very much, but no thanks!

While I’m still here, I’m going to keep trying to help others, no matter their age or race, and I’m going to keep reaching out to these youngsters, teaching them how to become leaders, so that they can do the shit that needs to be done and keep the good shit going, when there ain’t no one else around to teach them or to show them. I’m here to pass the torch and to keep this fire of resistance burning strong until it ignites everybody, and then we will come together and use that fire to burn this shit down!!! These pigs and this administration can keep trying to come down on me, they can try to suppress me all they want, I don’t give a fuck! Because I know what I’m doing is right and I know it’s what needs to be done. They can put me in the infirmary, behind double doors, isolate me, or whatever they want to do – they’re always trying to present some weak shit to strong individuals – but it doesn’t matter, ‘cuz I’m still going to find a way to do what I do!

These youngsters get snatched up and thrown into these cesspools of inhumanity before they can even learn how to think for themselves, and the ones who do the thinking for them, rarely have their best interests at heart. That’s why I use the expression of them being “thrown to the wolves.” The nature and the design of these prisons and these cells is to annihilate our youth, to break and destroy them, just like you see all if these older cats who have been broken and destroyed, with no fight in them, no life, no passion, no determination, and nothing good to hand down to the next generation of the young, free-spirited men that unwillingly get shoved through these unrefined doors of misery and hopelessness. So many times have I seen these youngsters come into this scandalous world of deprivation and perversion, and when they have become subjected to all of this foulness that has been laid out in front of them, they quickly absorb this shit and assume these foul, degenerate ways themselves, and that really ain’t cool.

It’s on us to start taking the time to elevate ourselves and re-educate our youngsters around real concepts of struggle and unity and growth, and we have to organize around the issues we are faced with in life, every day – the things that are right in our faces – rather than what race we are, or what region we come from. That shit hardly matters when we’re all going through the same shit. Oppression, poverty, capitalism, racism, gangsterism, this shit has an ill-effect on us all. We should take it upon ourselves to start igniting the flames of revolution in these youngsters’ hearts and in their minds, giving them something better to strive for and something real. We should find ways to give them real-life lessons that they will learn and gain from, taking these young minds filled with fantasies of gangsterism and helping them transform their thinking into guerilla warfare strategies to hopefully one day be used on any and all establishments of oppression. Because, from what I’ve seen, all of these bullshit racial policies that prisoners are forced to live by – by other prisoners, nonetheless – and all of the madness we see now, doesn’t do anything other than keep us all divided – and therefore conquered.

Those of us in this situation are all an oppressed people and we are all under the same gun. We have to stop emulating the ways of the pig – the oppressor – and start finding ways to uplift ourselves until we have the power we need to control our own lives.

We want change, we want truth, we want freedom, we want everything. We want complete control over every aspect of our lives; we want to taste the sweetest happiness and the most exhilarating liberty this existence has to offer. We don’t want to be slaves no more, we don’t want to be robots; we want to lead lives that are as adventurous, as magnificent as any we could read about in books. We want high stakes: we don’t want to just let our lives pass us by, mediocre and tiresome, stale and stagnant, as so many others have before us.

We see these cats who don’t have no life in them, no spark in their eyes, grouchy and miserable, no fire, no soul, and we don’t want to be like that. We want to live lives that mean something. For this, we are willing to risk anything; for this, we are willing to fight.

Things are changing and moving in a new direction now, more people are waking up, and soon enough we will start to see radical and revolutionary prison groups, chapters, movements and collectives sprouting up in Nevada, and in prisons everywhere. These collectives will be designed to give prisoners strength, solidarity, and will show them how to rise above oppression, not to mimic the ways of the oppressor, not to stay stagnant and stuck in a perpetual state of misery and despair and domination, but to challenge it, fight it, and to defeat it all together! Things are changing, we can look at what’s been going on in prisons in other states these last few years, not only for examples, but also for evidence that the prison struggle continues. A prison was burnt down in Kentucky a few years ago, then we’ve seen the biggest American prison strike in Georgia, followed by a successful hunger strike in Ohio – which was, in fact, kicked off by 3 of the Lucasville 5 – and now we have just seen the largest hunger strike ever, in California.

When we see these things we see the power of Unity in full effect. More prisoners are resisting, more people are coming together to challenge the injustices and to seek solutions. These are definite signs that change is about to come. It’s time for us to start making new history.

Until then, the devastation in my heart remains as I continue to bear witness to these young men being shuffled inside of this perpetual death-trap. But while I’m here, I will do all I can to try to bring forth greatness in every youngster that I come across, and one day, rather than desperately trying to seek knowledge and strength in their older comrades, they will begin to look for these things within themselves.

Resistance, Solidarity and Strength

Comrade Coyote
Anarchist Black Cross – Nevada Prison Chapter
Black August 2011
Ely State Prison, Nevada

Note: At the time of this writing, these pigs have snatched me up and moved me to the infirmary to try to isolate me and keep me separated from comrades and peers; they said that I was trying to organize. And [ass. warden] Brooks (no longer here! Hooray!) had to come in to 4-A, along with Lt. peck to feed us our dinner; ‘cuz the pigs were too scared to come onto the tier to feed us! Later that night, they came and got me and took me to the infirmary. I stayed there for a month, then they moved me to 3-B, where I’m at now.

This is an ad.-seg. [administrative segregation] unit, but I’m on D.S. [disciplinary segregation]. I got kicked out of the hole! (the first person in ESP history to ever get kicked out of the hole!). I’m doing my D.S. time on this unit now, because there’s no youngsters on this tier, no comrades. They’ve got me here not only to isolate me, but also to pacify me. The atmosphere on this unit is way different and more mellow, the mentality of the prisoners here is nothing like what I’m used to seeing in the hole, everything’s quiet and still and the pigs don’t go out of their way to fuck with none of us over here.

The conditions on the unit are a little better than the deplorable conditions you see in the hole… I guess they don’t like it when someone goes from tier to tier bringing all of the youngsters and all of the convicts together to stand up and resist the disdainful conditions of the hole. They see that unity and they fear it, so they try to do everything they can to keep us stymied and separated, everything that is, but what they’re supposed to do!

For a more immense and more intense version of this article, send a stamp to:

S. Chicago ABC Zine Distro
P.O. Box 721,
Homewood, IL 60430
And ask them to send you a copy of “Thrown to the wolves”- by Coyote

A Message to the Young Soldiers


A message to the young soldiers trying to maintain their existence in these dungeons:

Keep it real, not because the realness in you and the realness in all that you do will certainly shine through and will be embraced, felt and recognized by all that’s true and will come back and shine on you in a good light – which is all true – but be real, because that’s who and what you are and because that’s the only way to be!

Be true to yourself and to all those who are true to you. Keep your head on straight, listen and learn. Soak up knowledge, try to apply it when you can, and
always strive to heighten your awareness on all things significant. Keep that love for life beating strongly in your unbreakable heart and always strive to reach greater heights.

Purge fear and embrace experience, because it’s through our experiences in life that we gain insight. Learn from your mistakes, and most importantly, from the mistakes of others. Cultivate yourself by recognizing your flaws and striving to turn them into strengths, and by rooting out your insecurities. Stay sharp like the razor-wire that contains you; like a samurai’s sword. Remember that everything isn’t always what it appears to be (actions speak louder than words), so be an avid seeker of truth and consciousness. Be open, but reserved. Be ready, but restrained. Be observant, but silent (loose lips sink ships). Don’t whine, cry or complain about your unfortunate situations, but have fortitude instead. Be considerate. Be mindful. Always be respectful of the comrades who have been putting it down way before you ever came on to the scene.

Stay focused, goal orientated and be bold (but not stupid). Keep your heart set on trueness, and your mind on things that are realistic and on things that matter. Use this time as an opportunity to grow and learn. Come to know yourself, your enemy, pain, struggle, love and hate and learn from all these things.
Life is real, never forget that!

But the most important message I want to tell you is this:
When you can find self-gratification and satisfaction in your own achievements and within yourself, you don’t need to look for it in others. You don’t need other people to assure you that you’re hard, or that you’re real, or any of that. You have
to set standards for yourself and try to achieve them (whether you fail or succeed, the only person who needs to know, is you), never being satisfied, always raising the bar higher and higher. That’s how you grow, excel and become stronger and more self-aware. If you’re just doing shit to show others what you’re made of, then you’re not real homie.

Until it’s time to step onto “the battlefield’, the only person who needs to know that you’re a “H.C.M.F.” (Hard Core Mutha Fucka!) is you!!!

Solidarity and respects,
Coyote

From Coyote´s latest Zine: High Risk Potential (2010)

In this Wretched World


In this wretched world of darkness and despair it’s the codes that we live by that separate the real from the fake, and it’s the actions we carry out and the good deeds we do that define us and solidify our respect to that code.

Those who work against us and against the solidarity of what we believe, especially when working in cooperation with those who keep us captive and oppressed, are not only considered to be fakes, but are also counter-productive to the survival of our comradery and are therefore unworthy of our recognition.

“Solidarity”, not only the word, but also the idea is nothing but a dwindling memory of something that used to be, once upon a time, long ago. And we who hold on so tightly to the integrity of what once was, are of a dying breed. In this wretched world of foulness and deterioration we will surely find ourselves outnumbered and surrounded and persecuted by the foul and the fake, and because we hold on so vigorously to what we believe, taking direct action against all that is counterproductive and detrimental to the realness of our lives, we will do most of our time on “lock down”, enduring all kinds of torment, suffer and psychological oppression, striving daily to be strong enough to prevail and overcome these potentially drastic circumstances. Because we hold on so firmly to the codes we live by and to what we feel and know to be real to us, we will have to learn the ways of fortitude in order to survive loneliness and long hours of isolation and solitary confinement.

And it is in these hours of confinement that we must use this time to study, learn, cultivate and know ourselves. True soldiers, under these circumstances, always find ways to take this time in solitary and treat it as an opportunity to educate and elevate themselves, and to keep their bodies combat-ready and their minds as sharp as hatori hanzo swords. It is known, without saying, that this time on “lock down”, is the time and place to get our minds right and our game tight.

And that’s exactly why you will always find me reaching out to a real soldier, passing him literature of his desire, which without a doubt beholds real gems of truth and knowledge so that he can use it to cultivate himself and take his growth and development to higher realms of thought and action. This is one of the many things that I do to keep the level of consciousness raised around here, because conscious people are real people, and do real things, and because I’ve found in my own life and experiences that consciousness is a savior. And passing out literature to all these different comrades also preserves the integrity and the realness of the codes and the principles we live by.

It’s deeper than that though; it’s an act of love and an act of solidarity. We are being buried alive in these graveyards, drowning in pools of stagnation and filth. Minds are wasting away in these hellholes, our lives are considered to be worthless to the majority of the people in society. Nobody cares about us, and so sometimes we find it hard to even care about ourselves.

So therefore, I will do what I can to improve the quality of life amongst my peers. We are basically all in the same situation. But some of us are surviving, and others are breaking weak and falling off and have gotten to the point of no return. So I’ve definitely got some good literature to pass out and some real conversation for a person in here who keeps the joy for life beating strongly inside of their determined hearts.

With the help of a couple of beautiful and compassionate friends on the outs, I have been able to accumulate boxes and boxes of good, insightful and empowering literature on almost all and any subject, and for all kinds of different people in here. My good, loyal friends on the outs have made copies for me of all these different materials and mailed them back in to me so that I can pass copies of all this literature out to all who crave this knowledge and to those who appreciate these gems being handed to them. When I see that someone appreciates the love I’ve dropped on them, I’ll recognize it for what it’s. worth and I’ll keep dropping love on them.

In this wretched world of perversion and predation we’ve got to rise above the madness, look out for each other and be real with each other, working together to overcome the daily destruction and oppression. These are real struggles and we’ve got to stick together through hard times, real recognizing real and steel sharpening steel. We’ve got to become more organized and dedicated to taking control of our own lives and finding positive solutions to deal with the negative aspects of our everyday realities. We’ve got to strive for bigger and better things. It’s about solidarity. It’s about love. It’s about respect for the integrity of what’s real, in regards to the survival of our existence, in this cold, lonely, wretched world…

With revolutionary love,
Coyote ABC-Nevada Prison Chapter
Sept. 15th, 2009

quote: “The radical, committed to human liberation, does not become the prisoner of a “circle of certainty” within which reality is imprisoned. On the contrary, the more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can better transform it.

This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”

Paulo Freire, from his book: “The pedagogy of the oppressed

From Coyote´s new Zine High Risk Potential. Also published on his site.

It Ain’t Real No More, Homie


From: Coyote Calling, and published in his new Zine: High Risk Potential.

Nothing will change without bloodshed and sacrifices. We sit here wasting away in this wasteland, wondering how things got so bad, but nobody thinks about what we can do to make things better. It’s easy to put all the blame on the system and the pigs, but nobody wants to recognize their own role in this struggle, nobody wants to acknowledge that they are actually participating in this destruction, nobody wants to admit that they are actually contributing to the daily deterioration. I don’t see nobody standing up for what they have coming (their rights to be treated as a human being, with dignity, respect, fairness, justice, etc.), I don’t see anybody standing up for anything on a conscious or collective level. But I hear everybody always complaining about all the foulness that constantly goes on around here.

There are no George Jacksons around here, no Che Guevaras, no Bobby Sands around here. Everything I see out here in Nevada is fake, sorry and weak. Nobody wants to ride for a real cause, nobody wants to put their lives on the line or risk catching more time for this fakeness around here. Everybody wants to be a “gangster” but nobody wants to live by those codes, everybody wants to be “real” but they let fake and foul cats kick it, embracing these dudes knowing they’re no good and that they’re counter~productive to all that we are supposed to consider righteous and real.

Nobody wants to clean nothing up, taking care of the biz that needs to be taken care of. Nobody wants to fight the real fight, come together and take it to the real enemy. Everybody has all the excuses in the world, all the justifications for doing what they know in their hearts they ain’t supposed to be doing and then they want to go around trying to convince everybody that they’re real. Come on, man. Ain’t nothing real about none of this crap around here. Ain’t nobody dying for this, ain’t nobody in here killing for this, catching cases, making sacrifices, trying to push the envelope to make this better for “you and yours”, to preserve what’s real and reject all that’s not; the things that are hurting us and destroying us every day.

Things are foul ‘cuz we let it be foul. So if you let it get like this – or if you let it stay like this – then don’t complain about it, nobody respects that. The only thing people respect is action and the only thing that’s gonna change this is struggle and sacrifice, and people have to be wholeheartedly committed to seeking realistic solutions, going all the way, until we’ve got it right!
And so, until all of the so~called “real mothafuckas” start learning what “real” reallymeans, without trying to justify the bullshit, this is always gonna be sorry and weak, and all that you see, and everything you say you stand for is gonna be fake, until you start getting real for reals. Things won’t change if we sit back and do nothing. The oppression is real, the deterioration is real, the destruction and suffering and the atrocity are all real, but our response to it isn’t, our dedication and determination to changing it, is not real!!

Everybody needs to get their heads out their asses and get their priorities straight before we can do anything about this. We need to organize ourselves and our people (and each other) under real principles and do all that we can to uphold those principles to the fullest and with integrity. We need to uplift ourselves and others, school our younger comrades on some real concepts, educate our comrades, give them a revolutionary understanding too.

Show then how this is supposed to be, how things are supposed to be, how things are supposed to go down, lead by example and teach through actions, strive for real changes to make the quality of life better for “you and yours”, try to change the conditions of our confinement, bring our people out of their self, destructive and counter-productive mentalities and work to replace that with knowledge, understanding and amelioration. We need to stand up for what we have coming, for what’s right, respectable and real, not setting for no bullshit, and not letting our comrades get away with no bullshit, we have to be seriously committed in breaking them out of those weak, counter-productive mentalities, and we have to do what we can to help them help themselves.

Until we are ready to make real sacrifices, this will continue to be foul and it will keep getting worse. How can we call ourselves real when we’re allowing ourselves to live under all of this fakeness, accepting this foulness, man? There’s nothing real about this. That’s why I’m writing this piece, this is a wake’ up call! We need to wake up and get real.

Let’s strive for consciousness and truthful understanding, let’s take action and be committed to bringing significance and meaning to our lives. Let’s destroy all this old, watered down, weak stuff that we’ve been holding on to for so long, and that we thought was real and let’s build on top of a solid foundation and let’s organize around the fundamentals and principles of truth and betterment, full speed ahead with a revolutionary understanding, and let’s not falter from what we know is right. It’s gonna take a real level of struggle and sacrifice, doing whatever it takes as we strive for freedom, justice, respect and to be treated like we actually matter. This is about taking control of our own lives!

If you’re reading this and you’re feeling this, then get with the program. Don’t just sit back and say “Yeah, that’s real talk man, I feel that.” If you feel it, do it! Take direct action, take up this cause, start up your own cause, take up the struggle and organize people around this realness. Get it cracking, don’t wait for others to do it, but you must be the force that’s needed, the spark that ignites the fire as you try to burn this mothafucka down! Get it cracking, don’t wait comrade, do it now!!!

I’m just touching the surface, but everybody knows what I’m talking about. Everybody knows this ain’t real no more. So now it’s time to get real, it’s time to get it cracking on a serious note!

Coyote, 2010 Anarchist Black Cross Nevada Prison Chapter

Quote: “Organizing and teaching are the same. They both involve the question of how people learn things. They both involved dialogue. They both involve long-term commitment and perspective. They both involve people in changing their lives. And the teacher/organizer is always learning.” Mark Rudd, from his interview in Z Magazine, by Bill Nevins, entitled: “Fortunate Rebel Son”

Spartacus Project reflects on Keep the Struggle Up by Coyote

Reflecting on Keep the Struggle Up

NPW:

I think you’ve got the point. That was me years ago. The prison disgust never goes away. However, it only reflects the face of our government. They are one in the same. They represent the rich, and only make laws to protect themselves. Unfortunately, too many of us buy into their philosophy believing it works for us, too. It does not and we stay fractured and without leadership for true freedom for the good life.

I am no bleeding heart liberal. Prisons were built to keep the dangerous people out of circulation until such time as they learned to played by the rules of fairness. Upon reaching American Prisons, almost all reasonable thoughts are eliminated by gross and harsh treatment by arrogant & mindless prison administrators–thinking of only how to increase their pay envelope and retirement. All the while using the selfish and stupid peons/guards in green and blue uniforms, to do there dirty work–all in the name of justice. You know how the story goes from there. More courts to feed the filthy system, more police to feed the courts, more prisons to feed the corrupt government agencies, and the complete farce that any public defender is capable of avoiding the wishes of his government paid boss. Why do we buy into this bullshit? We all know better–don’t we?

One of these days, and I’m hoping it doesn’t happen, because I don’t want to be in one of the meetings that this may take place, a ex-prisoner may walk into a room of government abusers and leave a package and walk out. I am totally surprised it hasn’t as of yet. I am told almost everyday of the instilled hatred beaten into the men & women of American Prisons, by foolish job security seeking administrators and guards, by prisoners currently serving their sentences in America.

Maybe I could understand it better if the “spin” wasn’t laid on so heavy by our press and government about how “fair & good” we treat our citizens–as a nation of free thinkers and doers. I can’t help but recognize the billions & billions of American dollars being sent to other countries to help enslave their citizens, and only the dictators becoming richer and richer by our hard earned tax money, yet we have veterans and past tax-payer–homeless, and without medical care. In America we should take care of our own FIRST.

But as Americans, we have the responsibility of treating our neighbors with dignity and respect. That doesn’t happen too often in America and the abuse must stop. Murdering our young over wearing a color, or walking down a certain street, or just thinking a different way–is not the way of a true American. I don’t like it, nor do I buy into it. I think you have the right idea. Education is our way out of prison and a better life once released. I encourage you to continue your studies and the educational help you are trying to bring to your fellow prisoners.

What can I do to help better your life and others´?

Good luck.

Donald Hinton, Sr.
Spartacus Project

Amelioration

From: Coyote-Calling

As I sit back, reflect and let my thoughts flow, many things percolate to my mind’s cortical surface, keeping me attentively entertained and intellectually stimulated. In these locked down situations, it’s absolutely imperative for me to take the necessary measures to keep my mind right, because I’ve learned – through trial and error – that when I’m unable to stay focused on positive and productive activities, I’m most likely to get caught up in negative and unproductive and sometimes even counterproductive activities. When that happens, I’m not surviving, but rather I’m slipping, letting myself get took under by the merciless current of self~destruction.

So, I’m just sitting here thinking, letting my thoughts be fluent and making sure to stay acutely focused on the things that pertain to my day~to~day survival, trying to get through this daily psychological Vietnam, trying to ameliorate myself. Some people like to still their minds, but me, I like to keep my mind active and constantly flowing.

One of the things that grabbed a “kung fu death grip” hold on my attention today was a quote that I read by Napoleon Bonaparte that goes like this: “DEATH IS NOTHING, BUT TO LIVE DEFEATED IS TO DIE EVERYDAY”.

Those are words that I resonate with. Tome, that means that once you die, that’s it, it’s over, ya estuvo, your life becomes nothing. You’re gone, you’ve faded to black. So while you’re alive, you might as well take care of what you need to take care of, be real with your comrades and loved ones and try to enjoy life and appreciate the time you have.

But if you’re living like a defeated person, then you’re not living; you’re already dead and every day that you wake up, you die again.

I would rather die once than to die every day. I’d rather die now, than to live the rest of my life waking up already dead. I would rather die than live as a defeated man.

Death is nothing, we all die, in fact, the only thing promised to us in life is death. So we might as well accept it, face it, embrace it and know that we can’t cheat it. I believe that with this acceptance and understanding, we are able to live our lives out more fully, having no fear and illusions.

So I try to live with the understanding that as long as my tenable and tenacious heart thumps passionately with furious resistance and undying love, then I haven’t been defeated. Because as long as I can find one thing in this world that I can love and appreciate, and as long as I have something that my heart beats for, while I remain unwilling to allow myself to be consumed by hate, then I’ve remained unconquerable.

I’m trying to keep life and love flowing through my arteries, I’m trying to appreciate the time I have, the breath I breathe and the life I live, and I’m trying to enjoy it. As long as I’m living by the principles that I’m willing to die for, without compromise or sacrifice, then I haven’t been defeated. I believe that when you value your way of life and the friendships you’ve made, so much, that you feel those things are worth dying for; you’re living your life to the fullest! Because I believe that having nothing to die for is having nothing to live for.

Even under these inhumane conditions I’m able to recognize, acknowledge and find beauty in life, making it a penetrating point to keep a strong sense of self and of life flowing through my veins. These are the things that keep me grounded, and these are the things that I keep in my heart, vibrating, pulsating, thumping to the rhythmic beat of life, while having to overcome struggles and heartbreaks only to come out stronger, wiser and more refined, and then trying to use that same strength and wisdom to assist others in their times of hardship, pain and struggle.

And of course there are many things about this life and this place that I hate, but I allow my hate to exist and to live, because sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s necessary, and because all of my emotions are an extension of me, but I make sure to keep it minimized.

Lately, I’ve been doing a couple of things to try to better myself and to stay active. One of the things I do is something that I call “PUSH~ UPS AND PARAGRAPHS”, and the other thing that I’m constantly doing are logic puzzles.

Push~ups and paragraphs: Basically, what I do is I’ll find an article to read (something educational), and after I finish reading a paragraph I’ll get down and do (10) ten push~ups. And I will continue to do (10) ten push~ups after each and every paragraph I read, until I’ve finished reading the entire article. When I’m done, the count usually comes out to about a total of 500~600 push~ups. I’ll do this every day, sometimes reading the same articles over and over again each day, which helps me to retain knowledge, and sometimes reading a different article each day. It’s just a way for me to cultivate myself by exercising both my mind and my body at the same time, and it’s also a way for me to be productive and appreciative of the time I have in this world, not letting myself be defeated by my circumstances.

As far as the logic puzzles go, Dell puts out a magazine that you can subscribe to called: “Logic Lover’s Logic Problems” (have your people subscribe you to these logic puzzle magazines: “pennydellpuzzles.com”). There are over 100 puzzles in each magazine, so if you do (1) one puzzle every day, then you’re exercising your brain every day for 100 days. I have to do at least one every day, mandatory, but I usually do 2 or 3 a day. It’s one of the best ways that someone in solitary can strengthen their brain! It’s like playing chess with yourself, but better! Your brain is like a muscle, and the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Logic puzzles are like bench presses for the brain. It causes you to think and to figure things out, using deductive reasoning, and most of all it open the floodgates of your brain, allowing you to be more logical and sharp in all areas of your life. It’s definitely an LQ. booster and it allows your mind to be active and to flow! It’s definitely a healthy way to spend an hour or two of your day while locked down in a cell, because not only does it keep you from deteriorating mentally, but it keeps you sharp, like a razor’s edge! And if you’re staying sharp under these dull circumstances, then you’re definitely winning, not allowing yourself to be taken under or defeated! So those are just 2 of the things I’ve been doing lately to stay afloat and to keep my sword sharpened.

Here’s another Napoleon quote that I resonate with: “A TREE WITH NO BRANCHES BEARS NO FRUIT”

I like that because I’m definitely trying to branch out and be fruitful. That’s what life’s about to me: branching out, bearing fruit, making meaningful connections and truthful connections, never having superficial friendships, each one teach one, steel sharpening steel, being real and staying true while getting involved in various endeavors that are sure to produce good results.

The more branches on your tree, the more fruit, and everybody can come to my tree and eat from it, we can have picnics under my tree, people can sit under my tree and duck down in the shade for a while, relaxing and letting their minds be fluent and free. They can climb up my tree, swing from the branches, all that. My tree is the tree of knowledge, the tree of life.

Currently, I might be locked down, in supermaximum custody, and all strained up on HIGH RISK POTENTIAL status, going through all kinds of harassment and all that, but it doesn’t even matter, because in the far reaches of my minds imagination, I’m sitting under a tree, somewhere near the sea, smoking on a fat one, some of that good, top shelf, “Pineapple Trainwreck” bud, munching on a juicy nectarine that I just pulled off of one of my branches, sitting in the relaxing shade, with the cool ocean breeze blowing on my face, just getting high on life!

In my heart and in my mind, I know I’ve got to stay productive, I’ve got to stay active, letting the liquid thoughts of my mind forever flow and always striving to better myself and others, spreading my dexterous branches, participating in fruit~bearing activities, not fearing death, but loving life, and living it. It’s all about amelioration! Look that word up in your dictionary, add it to your vocabulary and apply it in your everyday life: amelioration. It’s a beautiful word when applied.

And these words are written, from the pain that turned to love, and it’s that same love that I now give to you as a gift from my heart. I close as I opened: with all my love!

Coyote, Ely State Prison November 5th, 2009

Drop me a line or two, show me some love, give me some words of encouragement. I’m not allowed to receive letters from other prisoners, but I’d like to hear from everybody, everywhere. You can reach me at this address: Coyote Sheff #55671 P.O. Box 1989 Ely, Nevada 89301-1989

Keep the Struggle Up

We have been slammed down, oppressed and confined to these prisons, ghettos and graveyards. Our stories and our lessons are manicured by the epidemics of pain, poverty, discrimination and struggle. We get poorer and the rich get richer as the story goes. There’s no justice, no rehabilitation, no freedom. We are taken to court on trumped up, bogus shit, given 20 charges for one incident, bullied into taking a ‘deal’, and then we are appointed a public defender ‘cuz we don’t have the money to acquire a more sufficient attorney, and one year the person who is supposed to be representing us is a public defender, and then the next year that same person is a district attorney! So how could we really trust these people? How could we trust them with our lives? How could we be so willing to put our freedom in their hands?

It doesn’t make sense to repetitively place our lives and our freedom into the malefic hands of people who actually despise us. Will there ever come a time when we can start taking control of our own lives? When we can stop depending on the same people that oppress us, to help us? Is there any legitimate, respectable way to get ourselves out of the deleterious grips of this death machine? Is there any way to end these sentences of perpetual suffering? All the questions that come to me while I marinate in this lonely world of darkness, reflecting on the many sorrows I’ve seen. So many questions, but hardly enough answers.

The frustration leads me to sit up on my bunk and start strategizing on different ways that I can possibly try to encourage my comrades in here to start taking the initiative to study and learn the law. I have a Xerox copy of Mumia Abu Jamal’s new book, Jailhouse Lawyers and I pass it out to others, trying to use it as a tool to inspire prisoners to learn how to become attorneys for the poor and oppressed. I sit here and wonder, “What else can I do? What clever ways are there to inspire people to study, to get them to learn?”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could become our own attorneys, or would it even matter?

I’ve held study groups and had many one-on-one study sessions with comrades in here, where we’ve sat around for hours talking and debating, searching for tangible ways to represent ourselves and to learn how to bring ourselves out of this state of oppression, and to eliminate oppression and poverty altogether. To break through the barriers, to rise above the tragedies. Right now it’s just talk, but later who knows what it will be? Everything starts in the mind, one things leads to another.

In this graveyard, it’s so hard to get books sent in and literature, because the administration has deliberately set so many obstacles and put so many restrictions and limits on things when it comes to receiving books that so many people in here have become discouraged and ended up giving up on trying to get books sent in. But I’ve been on an adamant missions for years to acquire all the literature I can get sent in to me, and to pass it out to as many people as I can, trying to turn this graveyard into a revolutionary university, so people in here can take all this time they have on their hands and use it to elevate their minds, reaching for higher degrees of learning, finding liberation through books. I love to be involved in all of these various acts of raising consciousness, I feel it’s so necessary in these times and situations. Not to mention that I’ve seen the lengths these pigs will go to make sure they’re keeping us confined to ignorance and stagnation. Books and reading materials are so important for us here, we who dwell in this gloomy world of degeneration.

I pass out literature on philosophy, politics, psychology, science, spirituality and I’m always passing out revolutionary materials too, and whatever else I can get, having study sessions when I can, discussing things with my neighbors for long hours into the night, all the way until my breakfast tray arrives, and sometimes, if the conversation is really good, I’ll eat and talk at the same time, every once in a while setting the tray down to pick up a book, or an article, so that I can read a passage, sentence, or paragraph out loud to my neighbor, to reinforce the stance I’m taking on certain subjects, or to help get my point across more clearly. I love to learn, I love to teach and I love to engage others. I crave the intellectual stimulation, and I can tell they crave it too.

We are here, confined to these cells, but we’ve found ways to communicate and express ourselves, to soak up knowledge and pass it on to others who we’ve deemed worthy of receiving such valuable gems. It’s miserable and depressing in here, so much atrocity and deterioration, but we’ve found ways to make the best out of a bad situation. We understand that we should never just lay down and accept this. We understand that we have to keep the spirit of resistance going strong inside of us, seeking solutions, striving for freedom, making sacrifices when the situation requires us to do so, and never giving up, never breaking down. Everybody that I consider a comrade understands this, and with this understanding we try to reach those that don’t understand, but who really need to understand. With understanding things are made clear, and when that happens, change happens.

You’ll find some of the most brilliant, most creative, most intelligent, most resourceful and most innovative individuals right here, confined to these hellholes. That’s what happens when we have all this time on our hands, with the fire of resistance burning in our hearts. We’ve been discarded by society and caged like animals, left to rot and decay, to deteriorate and fade away into a black abyss, to disintegrate into tiny fragments of nothingness. But we are here, alive and fighting to maintain our existence, going strong, with love beating in our chests. Revolutionary love. We keep that warrior spirit alive, and these pigs fear it, they hate it, and they envy it and that’s why they’re always trying everything they can to try to crush it, break it, tame it and destroy it, but no matter how hard they try, or what they do, there’s not much they can do to take that away from us.

Books and knowledge give us breath, it pumps life into our veins and activate our brains. With knowledge we are invigorated, rejuvenated and made worthy. Knowledge gets us going, knowledge is what sets us free. We use these books to quench our thirst and to feed our hunger.

Through these trials and painful situations I’ve come to learn the lessons of struggle and the importance of a revolutionary, underground education. I’ve learned how vital it is to my survival to be able to keep the fire of resistance burning in my heart. I’ve come to learn about sacrifice, solidarity and fortitude. I’ve got little baby cousins, nephews and nieces that I haven’t even met yet, I’ve fucked off my release date many times already, catching more time on my prison sentence for taking stands against these pigs and their injustices done to us. It’s hard for me to turn my back on the struggle. I’ve recently participated in a brutal riot here on my unit and I’ve got 2 years left before I go home, and now I’ve getting letters from my moms and my brother, asking me what the hell am I doing, don’t I want to come home? They’ve made sacrifices for me, to help get me out of here, spending money on attorneys for me and everything, and yet I’m still in here caught up in the struggle and I’m conflicted, I want to go home, but I just can’t sit back as my fellow comrades stand up and make sacrifices to make important changes for everybody else. My family doesn’t understand my commitment to the struggle and it breaks my heart just as I know it breaks their heart to watch me do things that will jeopardize my release date.

But now I realize that the struggle is going to continue whether I’m in here or out there, and after all that I’ve been through and all that I’ve done, I am so lucky to still have the chance to get out of here. And now it’s time to go home. It’s for me to get out of here and do this from the other side of the razor wire.

I’m gonna do what I can to plant seeds and raise awareness while I´m still here because it´s impossible to overlook all the atrocity that’s going on around me every day. I see all these youngsters coming to prison now, little dudes as young as 14 years old! There’s no true leadership or anything meaningful in here for them to latch onto and it kills me. I see all the fakeness and foulness around here, and I’m always railing against it, trying to raise consciousness to these real issues we’re faced with. The mentality of some of these cats around here is hard for me to grasp and seems “suspect” in my eyes. The way they think, the way they act, I’m not feeling it. If you’re not striving for change or seeking solutions, or trying to elevate yourself,. then what are you doing?

All I can say is that I got love for the real cats in here, I feel for them, especially the ones that have to stay here, I feel for them and will always keep them in my heart, recognizing them as kindred spirits.

I’ve done all can to stock up all the comrades in here with good literature and to raise consciousness around here. I’ve been going at it so hard that I ended up losing 2. good friends out there who acted as my main benefactors: Gina and Katy. They couldn’t do it anymore, couldn’t afford to keep making copies of books and literature for me, they couldn’t afford to keep buying books for my comrades in here, and it got to the point where they would dread getting a letter from me because I was always asking them to support me with this project or that project, on a mission to try to flood this prison with as much literature and educational materials as I can. They just couldn’t do it anymore. I feel bad that I won´t be receiving letters from these beautiful, compassionate warrioresses anymore, I feel bad that I’ve become so obsessed with my mission to raise awareness that I failed to take into consideration their needs and limitations. I really miss them.

So as one- door closes, I guess it´s time to look on to new things and start focusing on my release date. I have to figure what I’m gonna do when I get out of here, how can I keep the struggle up from the other side of the fence, and things like that. I don’t have no plans on getting rich or anything like that, I don’t care about none of that. I´ve been in solitary long enough to know that I don’t need lots of money to survive, so that’s one lesson I´ll be taking to the streets. I just want to be real and live right, helping when I can. I have a lot to figure out and a lot to think about, 2 years to go, so close, yet so far away…

Until then, I will continue writing these essays, articles and zines, and things like that. This is my contribution to the struggle., I’m gonna let people know what’s going on, what we´re going through in these hellholes, I’m gonna keep spreading the truth whether these pigs like it or not, because the truth is dangerous! The truth is revolutionary! The revolution starts in our minds, so let’s get free, one mind at a time! My love goes out to all the people out there who have committed themselves to our struggles in here. Keep doing what you do, keep the struggle alive, keep it up.

If you want to be hard, you gotta go hard!

Coyote, 2010

Quote: “Our expressive powers were strong and vibrant. if this could be nurtured, if the language skills could be developed on top of this, we could learn to break through any communication barrier. We needed to obtain victories in language built on infrastructure of self-worth.”
Luis Rodriguez (from his book: Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.) Good book, read it!

The Tiger’s Song

The Tiger’s Song

I’m a tiger, I pace my cage
Never forgetting who I am
An apex predator filled with rage
On solid ground I stand

My heart is hardened, I am steel
There’s no emotion that I feel
My essence has been recognized;
And I am real

I am patient and I’m wise
Always biding my time
I can’t be tamed, I remain uncivilized
Never changing my heart or mind
Through my actions I am defined

You can put me in the tiniest cage
And take all my things away
Surround me with screamers and bangers
Doing everything you can to invoke my anger
And to make me feel pain
You can strip me naked, cold and bare
And starve me if you dare
You can whip me until I bleed
And my bones are broken
I really don’t care

You can try as hard as you like
Using all your might
But it doesn’t matter what you do
You can’t change me
You can’t tame or break me
I’m a tiger, I will fight
I’m a tiger, I will strike
You can’t break me I’m alright!!!

Coyote
ABC-Nevada Prison Chapter
December 7th, 2009
Ely State Prison, Nevada

One officer stabbed, many prisoners wounded, two employees fired

Solidarity and Struggle: more on the E.S.P. Jan. 31st Riot From Coyote-Calling
Published in SF Bay View, March 21 2010

Yes, it was a battle. My first report on this riot gave people an ugly look into the violence and bloodshed. I´ve reported it the way it happened, but nothing is to be glorified or celebrated here. It felt good to be a part of struggle and change, to see solidarity in action. You don´t see unity and struggle in these Nevada prisons, not in these days. Only under the most extreme situations will you catch a glimpse of it. It should not have ever gotten this far, or taken to such extremes, our grievances should´ve been looked into and taken seriously, and officers should have never provoked or assaulted any of the prisoners on unit 4. But that didn´t happen, our pleas were ignored, our grievances denied and prisoners were unnecessarily assaulted. So in desperation after every other remedy had been futilely sought, all we had left was violence and frustration. I was wrong to call it a victory though. There´s no victory here.

I´m sure people on the outs who read my report were shocked at my cold and heartless attempt at describing the details of the incident. And probably took umbrage. I can understand how people out there could feel that way. Fortunately, they didn´t live in a world of predation, despair, violence, corruption, oppression and madness. They don´t know about the effects of long-term isolation and confinement, or about sensory deprivation and the effects that psychological warfare has on our minds in this warped environment. They don´t understand the wicked nature of prison and punishment and what it can do to a person. And they don´t want to believe what this place has been known to do to these guards, how it has the capabilities of turning the guards into spiteful and uncaring animals. How they become vindictive and petty, mean and aggressive, fearful and disrespectful. They didn´t see how after each cell extraction the guards would gather in the unit hallway, high-fiving each other as they would physically display how they punched, stomped or beat the inmate into submission.

So, no offense to anyone, but if you haven´t lived in this foul-ass world of darkness and deterioration, then it´s not fair to judge it by your standards. Your standards don´t apply here in this concrete and steel jungle. We play by jungle rules in here, the guards and prisoners alike, and it´s called “the survival of the fittest.” We maintain an “us against them”-mentality sometimes. I´m not glorifying it, I´m not praising it, I´m just trying to shed light on it, so people can be aware of the cruel and unloving nature of life in a graveyard.

For years, myself and others have been trying to bring positive changes to this prison, we´ve been trying to get people on the outs involved, attempting to bring a solid level of outside support to Nevada prisoners. I´ve also been actively educating, politicizing and organizing other prisoners, in Nevada, Texas, Ohio and other states. I´ve been passing out literature, supplying the prison with books and educational materials, teaching prisoners to read, teaching them to write, showing them how to be resourceful and self-sufficient. I´ve been doing all I can to raise consciousness and I´ve been trying to turn every tier that I land on into a learning center, and doing everything I can to help prisoners. Whites, Blacks, Natives and Latinos. I´ve reached out to them all in real ways, striving to make real efforts at change, elevation and empowerment. Myself and other prisoners in here have been known to organize study groups, having study sessions, engaging each other, quizzing each other, and testing each other intellectually, utilizing this time on lockdown as an opportunity to grow, learn and cultivate ourselves while living under such extreme conditions.

Other prisoners in here have been doing similar things. Like for example, a prisoner here at E.S.P. just recently organized a stamp drive on his tier to donate to the victims of the Haiti earthquake, and he even donated $40 of his own money to the people of Haiti. So there are indeed many positive and productive things that do go on in this hellhole as well. It´s not all negative and violent. Unfortunately though, anything good that we try to get going in here, we have to do it ourselves. We don´t expect any help or support from the guards or prison administration.
I´ll be the first to say that violence isn´t always the best option. Usually it´s the last resort, or the result of desperation and what usually happens under the most extreme conditions. All our attempts to grieve, kite, or complain about our injustices through the proper channels have been futile, and left us feeling hopelessly outraged. If you take a look at the history of all the American riots and uprisings – in prisons and on the streets – like the L.A. riots, the Watts riot, Lucasville, Attica, New Mexico, and the Cubans in the federal prisons, and even the recent one in Oakland, where an Oakland police officer, Johannes Mesehrle, fatally shot a civilian, Oscar Grant, in the back, while he lay face down on the ground with his hands cuffed behind him. You will see that these riots have either happened in areas where people were living under extreme conditions. While sick and tired of the injustices and police brutality, or in places and conditions where people were frustrated and desperate, and in these situations it seemed that riots and uprisings were the only available course of action they had to express their hopelessness and outrage.
Here in unit 4, at Ely State Prison, many tensions were increasingly building up. A lot of retaliation against prisoners by the guards and many other injustices created a potentially hostile situation. This riot did not happen solely because our appliances were unjustly taken from us. Some of these guards in here were deliberately refusing to feed certain prisoners in retaliation of grievances they wrote and because the guards realized that these particular inmates were shunned by the rest of the convicts for internal reasons: these guards were also going out of their way to provoke and instigate prisoners, rudely jumping into our conversations with disrespectful remarks, “losing” or throwing away phone kites, passing our mail out to the wrong cells, (some of these cells which housed sex offenders and “undesirables”), refusing to answer our kites, not taking over grievances seriously. In some cases, guards have even assaulted and injured certain inmates while in cuffs, because of grievances they wrote, and again, because these guards realized that these prisoners were shunned by the rest of the convicts for being informants, or sex offenders, “undesirables,” etc. Our appliances were unjustly taken for violations that occurred before the new rule change was in effect, or for minor or general violations, and even prisoners who were found “not guilty” had their appliances confiscated as well. Leaving us in our cells with basically nothing, while surrounding us by mentally ill prisoners and informants and protective custody inmates, who deliberately go out of their way to terrorize us through the means of noise, verbal abuse and psychological warfare. We were deprived of the opportunity to buy food, coffee and other necessary supplies off of the canteen, while being left with no choice but to eat the foul-smelling / foul-tasting “mystery meat” and rotten vegetables that we are served for lunch every day, just to keep ourselves from starving in here.
They´ve put unnecessary limits and restrictions on our phone calls, and on our visits, allowing us only one non-contact visit a month, with family only, causing a painful strain on our relations and communications with our family, friends and loved ones. This prison is located out in the middle of nowhere as it is, 4 hours away from the nearest big city, what´s the point of having our people drive all the way up here and back (you know how much gas costs these days?) just to talk to your loved one through a plexi-glass window for half a day? There´s only like 7 rooms that facilitate these non-contact visits, so if 10 people get visits in one day, the remaining 3 are burnt, and their families will drive all the way back home for nothing! We need all the love and support we can get from our own people on the outs, these are very important social ties to have and to stay connected to our families, and with the outside world. They´ve even went as far as illegally denying our right to receive books sent in from the outside, even dictionaries! And there´s so much more, everything just added up.
Every time we´ve tried to address the issues through the proper channels, they would retaliate on us, and even fabricate things to justify what they were doing, and they would completely ignore us. Weeks would go by before they´d supply the unit with kites and law library request forms, or first level grievances. Neither these guards nor the administration wanted to do anything to even try to fix these problems, and they were basically letting us know that they were gonna do whatever they wanted, regardless, making our situation see, desperate.
Then, it all jumped off when they came to take away a prisoner´s appliances for a write up he received. The prisoner refused to cuff-up because he wanted to speak with the lieutenant to try to resolve this issue. The Lt. showed up with a squad of officers dressed in riot gear and helmets. The prisoner tried to comply and wanted to cuff-up, but this is someone the guards have been wanting to get their hands on for a while, none of the other prisoners really spoke to this guy, so I guess the guards had assumed he was shunned by the rest of the convicts, so they figured they had no reason to fear retaliation. They cracked his door open in spite of his attempt and willingness to comply, and ran in on him, he put his hands up in the air, refusing to resist or fight back and they tore his ass up! They beat him so bad that they ended up dragging him to the infirmary as he was leaking blood everywhere.
Many of us were already exasperated about the hopelessness of our situation and all the foul treatment we´ve been receiving and we used this drastic situation as an opportunity to exert desperate measures. Two minutes of talking amongst ourselves led to two days of rioting. It´s all we had left. We felt the need to stand up for ourselves and for our rights to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect. We were frustrated and needed to get these frustrations out, and we didn´t see any other available option.
Whites and several Latinos kicked it off on the first day, flooding, burning, capturing foul slots, popping sprinkler heads, forcing them to come in our cells and extract us, so we could fight them. And we fought hard, and they were even more brutal towards us! Until, allegedly an officer on the extraction team got stabbed. They didn´t want to fight no more after that. The Blacks agreed to riot on the second day, but by then, we all felt that we got our point across, the guards showed defeat, so we called it off. This could have went on for days, or even weeks, but we felt that this was enough for now, every guard on the extraction team received injuries, and one was even stabbed from what I hear, every prisoner involved was brutally beat by the officers, which led to the Lt and another officer getting fired!
So we figured enough had been done already, no need to go on.
Year after year it´s been take, take, take. The administration is always taking something away from us, without giving anything in return: no programs, no real educational or vocational opportunities, no incentive, nothing. They take a little here, take a little there, slowly but surely stripping us of everything. They know better to take it all at once, so instead they´ll take one thing now, and then, a few months later they´ll take away something else, and when they see that none of us are coming together to try to stop them from taking away our privileges and necessities, they´ll take more. It´s the game of “take-away.” Subtraction is their favorite math subject. They don´t know how to add, divide, or multiply, except for when they´re adding more rules and more restrictions, dividing us so that we can be conquered, or multiplying the number of beds, other than that, it´s all a game of take-away.
Everybody has been hearing about Ely State Prison in the news, and websites have sprung up because of all the things that have been going on here in this graveyard. All of the many injustices and everything else that has been going on here clearly displays how deplorable the situation is here at E.S.P. The ACLU´s class action lawsuit because of the atrocious lack of medical care, the declaration of Lorraine Memory, the Noel Report, the situation with Ikemba, the situation with Kevin Lisle, not to mention the numerous accounts of all the staff working here being arrested and charged with various crimes, also the federal indictment and trial of the Aryan Warriors, who the government has labelled “domestic terrorists”! The mysterious death of Timothy Redman, and other deathrow inmates before him. The suicides, the indeterminate lockdown of the entire prison (except for one unit), the forcing of cellmates upon us, the riots and work stoppages, and not to mention that in the span of one year over 75 officers have either quit working here, transferred to other prisons, or were arrested, or fired… 75 Officers in a year, now if that doesn´t speak volumes on how deplorable the situation here at E.S.P. is, then I don´t know what does. There has been many deaths in this graveyard, and other things, Ely State Prison has continuously been in the news.
There are 8 units in this prison and all but one of them are locked down and have been locked down for over 6 years, with no solutions or remedies in sight, no programs and no incentives to do good. This prison has been under federal investigation, and under serious public scrutiny, budget cuts have stripped us of everything from food to education, exposing how much they don´t care about our health, or our rehabilitation and re-entry back into society. Anytime you cut into our education, you are cutting into our rehabilitation, limiting our chances to make a successful return back into society. These people are heartless, they don´t care about us. They´re here to punish us, warehouse us, condemn us, and that´s it.
Not only that, but it has apparently been the agenda and the desire of the prison administration and the system, to keep us stagnant and stuck on stupid so that we can surely deteriorate while living in these degenerate conditions. They know that “knowledge is power” and that “truth is revolutionary” and so they deliberately try to make it as difficult as they can for us to get books and literature sent in, trying to use this new A.R. (regulation) to justify the denial of books, which is illegal and violates our first amendment rights, and not to mention all the other obstacles and restrictions and limits they´re always putting on us when it comes to receiving books and reading materials, even making it against the rules to share a book with another prisoner.
It seems like they would rather see us pacified and complacent, locked down in general population, reading pop culture magazines and horror novels, or watching the “idiot box” all day, than to see us reading a book on history, economics, or politics, or learning the law so that we can figure out productive ways to get off of permanent lockdown. They would rather see us stuck on stupid, anti-social, with gangbang mentalities, going against each other all the time, than to see us utilizing this time as an opportunity to build social bonds with our families and friends, and as an opportunity to cultivate, uplift and educate ourselves. Rather than see us grow and get better, everything they do is to bring us down and break us down, they want to break our spirit, decimate our wills and keep us ignorant. That is what these rules are for, that´s what these restrictions are for, and that´s what these cells are for.
It appears that these new administrative regulations (A.R. 733) are designed for those exact purposes as well! This new A.R. affects prisoners who are serving time in disciplinary segregation, taking everything away in a guise to create an “incentive to do good.” But they fail to realize that when they confine all of the prisoners with records of serious disciplinary problems in one area and then take everything away, with years and years of disciplinary segregation (D.S.) time to serve, all they´re doing is creating a situation where we have nothing to lose. This entire prison is locked down except for one unit, so the measures they have taken are impracticable and make no sense. Why implement such measures without a level system or steps program that allows us to advance through the means of good behavior, or get out of lockdown? Some of these prisoners have been suffering this already for years, with no end in sight, These measures taken by the NV Dept. of Corrections (NDOC) are senseless and unreasonable, and (as this recent riot displays) thee only thing these rules are good for is creating anger and frustration that has led to prisoners and officers getting hurt and fired! It doesn´t make sense.
We need people “on the outs” to get involved in these struggles, to help us make changes and modifications that will be effective and beneficial to all. We need people to call and write letters to the head of the NDOC, and to the governor of Nevada and ask them to make modifications to A.R. 733. Be sure to remind him of the January 31st riot and of the officer who got stabbed (c.o. Stubbs) so that they can understand the seriousness of this situation.
Here´s what we need the people to push for:
1) Allow us to purchase these items from the canteen: Vitamins, coffee soups, peanut-butter, laundry supplies, batteries for our electronic shavers, beanies, thermals and shoes.
2) Allow us one thirty (30) minute call a week, as the policy says.
3) Allow us our first amendment right: receive books sent in from the outside while serving time in disciplinary segregation.
4) Allow us to have a dip bar over our rec yards, for recreational purposes and exercise.
5) Allow us a “contact” visit once a month for family or friends.
6) We would like for all mentally ill and psycho-tropically medicated inmates to be housed separately, preferably on a unit where they can receive the treatment they need.
7) No appliance loss for minor/general rule infractions, no loss of appliances for prisoners found “not guilty”; and only 60 days total for major violations, before all are returned.
8) Allow us to buy Mexico/Canada stamps so we can write our families and friends there.
9) Allow us to be approved to purchase appliances and c.d.´s after 90 days without any rule violations.
10) Provide a level system or steps program to allow prisoners to advance through the means of good behavior, and to get out of lockdown.
A.R. 733 needs to be modified and a level system needs to be put in place, all mentally ill inmates need to be housed separately, on a unit where they can receive the treatment they need. These (10) things are all we ask for.
Please call and send letters to the Director of the NDOC at this address:
Howard Skolnik
Nevada Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 7011
Carson City, Nevada 89702

And please call and send letters to the Governor at this address:
Governor Jim Gibbons
State Capitol
101 N. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
I´m proud to see so many prisoners of different races and / or different factions coming together and standing up for the injustices being done to us in here. I´m proud to be a part of something that strives to bring real changes for the people in here. It feels food to be involved and to get caught up in the spirit of revolt. Violence isn´t always the best option and I hope that we can come together like this more often, without having to take it to the extreme.
Solidarity and Struggle,
Coyote
For more info on the Jan. 31st riot, for letters of encouragement and support you can contact Coyote at this address:
Coyote Sheff
#55671
P.O. Box 1989,
Ely, NV 89301
Or you can view his writings and his reports on either if these websites: