Prisoner Letter:

From Pelican Bay SHU to Guantánamo: “we share the same torturer”

June 9, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

Today torture is no longer a secret that is talked about within the sterile halls of some non-descript building one needs a security clearance to enter. The vast majority of the U.S. population is realizing that torture is as American as apple pie.

Torture is a barbaric method, practiced by the most immoral and depraved, it is a heinous crime against the people, it is the evidence that a society is no longer valid and needs to be replaced, it is essentially a red line that a government crosses when it resorts to torture.

The 166 men who are being tortured in Guantánamo Bay are doing the world a solid, what they are doing by sacrificing their bodies in the hunger strike are re-educating the world. These brave men are holding a study group and the world is the audience, the topic is “what is American torture”! We are learning how depraved U.S. Imperialism is and what methods it employs on Third World peoples, we are learning how at least one hundred have been tortured to death in the name of the “war on terror.” We know over half the men have been cleared for release having not been tied to any crime but still they are tortured living in chains, hooded and deprived of everything that makes one human. But for over 100 days these brave men have had the world stage to educate the people on the vileness of U.S. Imperialism, they have been so effective during these 100 days that many of us even here in this torture center known as Pelican Bay SHU have learned more about the torture going on at Guantánamo. We sit here in windowless cells and held in solitary but we have begun to learn more about what is taking place and a couple of men have even begun to hunger strike in solidarity with Guantánamo because what we have realized is that the thing that links Pelican Bay SHU with Guantánamo is we share the same torturer.

When people think about torture, one often thinks of physical torture but it goes more deeper than this. America’s torture program is much more sophisticated than mere beatings with phone books, it has long passed the threshold of what the world has defined as human rights. Those of us here in California’s SHU’s have begun to learn and study the history of American torture so that we not only learn what is behind our own torture but more importantly so we can find our natural allies in order to resist and combat this torture. In our studies we have found that what was once taught in the U.S. military “School of the Americas” so that U.S. lackey dictators can go back to their countries and employ this torture is now being employed in U.S. prisons whether these prisons are here on U.S. soil or in U.S. ran prisons around the world.

These methods are used to break ones resistance, in this way the prisoner is forced via this torture to do anything in order to make the torture stop, including lying and implicating others for activities they did not do. Some take this easy way out and the torture is just too much, while others like the brave prisoners at Guantánamo are choosing to rip the shroud off of U.S. Imperialism in order to show the world its depravity and shine the light on all its disgusting parts and we commend them for this and we stand in solidarity with them.

We will also rise up in resistance to torture on July 8th of this year in order to do our part to expose our torturers, only complete exposure will stop this torture! Many of us have like our counterparts in Guantánamo, have been in this torture center for years but we continue ever onward in our struggle against injustice and we continue to learn because of this torture. We are finding common ground with other torture survivors and finding ways to resist together against our common torturer. To resist is to live, to surrender to injustice is to die!

From Guantánamo Bay to Pelican Bay end the crimes against humanity! Stop the torture!


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GTMO has been open:

U.S. Hunger Strikers

Hunger Striker's Blog

 U.S. Faster in Solidarity w/Gitmo & Pelican Bay Prisoners


Foreground: EMT prepares the tool for the nasal intubation.       Background: U.S. Embassy, Buenos Aires, Argentina Middleground:...agony awaits. 

The feeding demo is extremely painful, yet it is done with consent. The long-term solidarity fast continues with nasogastric nourishment in front of U.S. governmental symbols of power. The twice-daily force-feeding of Gitmo hunger strikers is nonconsensual and therefore real torture by the standards sponsored by U.S. taxpayers and authorized by members of Congress who just raised the debt ceiling to nearly $17 trillion. President Obama's actions continue to belie his empty words "Close Guantánamo."  As Commander-in-Chief, he could easily order an end to what the Pentagon refuses to call "forced-feeding."   The force-feeding is premeditated  relentless forced penetration of plastic into their innermost sacred cavities !

Andrés Thomas Conteris - fasted on water and coconut water with vitamin and electrolyte supplements. Solidarity fast began July 8, 2013 with 30,000 hunger striking California prisoners urging fulfillment of 5 Core Demands of the Pelican Bay supermax prisoners.  Force-feeding protests began Sept. 6 & Sept. 25 in front of the White House & later in front of the Oakland Office of CA Dept of Corrections and Rehab (CDCR) to depict how prisoners in Guantánamo are tortured with force-feeding twice-daily and how CA prisoners as future hunger strikers have been threatened with a court order authorizing force-feeding.  On Oct 4 and Oct 8 he was tube-fed in front of the U.S. Embassies in Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. On Oct 15 a similar protest took place in Santiago, Chile.  On Friday, Oct 18 the feeding protest returns to Washington, DC outside a Federal Court hearing on the lawsuit challenging force-feeding in Guantánamo.  He is now on a maintenance fast losing about 1 pound per week, unlike the 5 pounds/week the first 11 weeks.  In January 2014 with the anniversary of Guantánamo on Jan. 11, the force feeding protests will recommence.  Please spread the word. 

Join a Rolling Fast

U.S. Hunger Strikers who have suspended their fast






Diane Wilson - Water only 58 days (lost 48 lbs). Diane, co-founder of CodePink and member of Veterans for Peace, suspended her hunger strike on June 27, 2013 after detention following her arrest for scaling the White House fence the day before. She faced a jury trial in DC District Court on Sept. 5th, 2013.


S. Brian Willson - Suspended Hunger Strike on June 10, 2013 after 31 days on 300cal/day, when a car accidentally hit him. Supporters continue a vigil with a rolling fast, in Portland, OR.



Elliott Adams - Went 80 days on 300 cal/day from May 18, to August 4, 2013 losing 45 lbs.   He is past President of Veterans for Peace.







Tarak Kauff - Ended fast on August 4, 2013 after 58 days on 300 cal/day since June 7.  He lost 29 lbs. On Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace.


Cynthia Papermaster - After 84 days on 300 cal/day, Cynthia suspended her  hunger strike on Sep. 6 which began June 15, 2013. Code Pink member,  lost 35 lbs. The transfer of two Algerian prisoners on Aug. 29, 2013, inspired her to suspend her fast. 

Collaborative of Organizations

Arlington West Santa Monica

- Campaign for Alternatives to

   Isolated Confinement - NY

Close Guantá

Code Pink

Global Exchange

- Fast for the Earth

- The Jericho Movement

The Justice Campaign

The London Guantánamo


Meta Peace Team: "Pursuing peace

   through active nonviolence"

- Metta Center for Nonviolence


No more Guantánamos

Nonviolence International

Nuremberg Actions

Office of the Americas

Peaceworkers USA

Save Shaker

Stop Mass Incarceration

Witness Against Torture

The World Can't Wait

Veterans for Peace

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike

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