US Prisons: Recent Writings from Eric King on Resistance Behind Prison Walls During a Pandemic

Received on 17.06.2020:

March 29 2020

They aren’t doing testing here, they aren’t doing shit really. No hand sanitizer, no mask, no ‘social distancing’, the tiers and showers aren’t being cleaned even semi-daily, we still only get 3 showers a week and only 1 hr outside a day, typically super early in the gloom or rain. Medical staff told me they can’t even order tests! They have to refer it to a doctor, who then refers it to Regional, who then reviews it and decides whether to test or not. Bureaucracy at its finest. They will let us die in the name of justice, blame it on the virus and move right along enslaving, business as usual.

Things here have been boiling a bit and almost went off today. There have been guards going out of their way to make things difficult, lying through their teeth, talking so reckless, small things that build and build. So today during our cell rotations (every 21 days we rotate cells) we just decided to slow burn them and not participate. It’s not much of a stand, but it gave us a chance to say “no” to these pig bastards and blow off a little steam. We ended up moving cells, they will move you one way or another, but it felt good to air our grievances and make the day cops look like clowns who can’t handle the basic task of cell rotating. Here soon it could have been something much worse, so letting the small aggro out now was a good stress relief.

May 13 2020

Big IRA and Irish history memorials this month. Bobby Sands death-iversary 2 weeks ago, and James Connolly yesterday. Fittingly, last Tuesday the mail police here rejected two IRA books from reaching me, calling them books that “advocate criminal activity”. I pointed out, what to me is obvious, when your country is occupied EVERY act of freedom is considered criminal activity. The USA considered MLK Jr and every civil rights activist to be criminal, the ANC was banned and forced into illegality and so forth. Naturally, my pleas fell on deaf ears, but I was told the S.I.S. Lieutenant would look into which books on Irish history would be acceptable… I’m expecting Cromwell and William of Orange biographies.

…It seems like absolutely no-one remembers [Sundiata Acoli]. Like he’s just a side-note in the Assata story, when in reality he sacrificed so much for the struggle, and is so brilliant and inspiring to this day. Before this assault robbed me of the chance, I was angling to get transferred to his spot in Maryland, just so I could meet with, learn from, and just respect and appreciate him. I did get to be cellies with Jaan [Laaman], multiple-time long-term political prisoner – easily the best prison experience of my life. His understanding of resistance, history, perspective, prison resistance: unparalleled. He taught me the old-timer expression of “Fight to Win”, which I write on the wall of every call I’m forced to occupy. It meant to him, choose your battles and go ALL-in, don’t waste struggle on frivolous bullshit. He may not be pleased with me, because at the moment I go in on EVERYTHING, big or small lol. Resistance is resistance, and something as small as a missing item on a food tray or a pig violating my space via shake-down is enough to go to war over.

We (my pals and I) have been working diligently to create a spirit of resistance back here, to make it a hostile environment for those who deserve it. Last night they bullshitted our dinner trays, and the entire SHU held their trays until a replacement was brought in. That wouldn’t have happened months ago, so that’s a win. The admin terrifies a lot of these dudes, like they are traumatized to both fear punishment and feel like they deserve it. That’s how battered partners feel, the trauma bonding. So I spend A LOT of time disabusing that spell they’re under. By dogging out staff, going hard on the range, standing up for THEM when staff disrespects them it builds confidence and convict loyalty. A lot of times it’s just me and one or two others, but it still inceptions others that these punk-ass Admins are not either 1) infallible, or 2) invincible.

It also shows spirit, that we aren’t here, either on Earth or in prison, to be fucking conquered. I set my limits of what behavior I’ll accept, then also accept the consequences when they come crashing down. All we have is our minds and our actions, and mine are always set on my dignity and freedom.

BTW, share everything! Lol, everything I’ve ever said or done is open game and I insist you share. Lol. All I said above, SHARE! That Warden Greilick refuses to let me call my family in the middle of a pandemic because two years ago A-News posted about my being beaten at Florence, SHARE! That S.I.S. Officer Barrera considers books about Irish history to be criminal and writes fraudulent shots about my poems “inciting riots”, SHARE. That Officer Barrera considers a spell I wrote to my pagan wife to be “assaulting staff”, SHARE. That pre-trial prisoners are only getting a 15-minute call a WEEK with their lawyers, despite pending trials – SHARE. That our showers are only cleaned once per week and we only get three of them a week, SHARE! That I had 26 letters rejected between March 8th and May 13th by Officer Gilley, who has a history of retaliatory action and weird sexual comments, SHARE! Ella’s article*, please share! That we have trial in August and still desperately need people to donate because legal action is expensive as fuck – SHARE! That daily newspapers are often held for weeks at a time – also by Officer Gilley – and his boss ISM Murray sees nothing wrong with it, SHARE!

Eric is currently unable to receive mail, but people can still send him books or magazines, or donate to help with his legal costs.

*I never got to see it. They rejected it six different times.

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