[NY Prison Act] DB/Oscar Lopez Rivera/ADOPT-A-RISONER 2007
prolibertad at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 24 19:31:03 EST 2007
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
ProLibertad at hotmail.com and ProLibertad.Campaign at gmail.com
ProLibertad Hotline: 718-601-4751
DOWNLOAD THE JANUARY 2007 EDITION OF THE PROLIBERTAD NEWSLETTER EL COQUI
View this amazing 7 minute video prodcued by by Greg Bozell and the National
Boricua Human Rights Network on the Puerto Rican Political prisoners:
Despierta Boricua Segment for Friday January 26th, 2007 at 6:45am on WBAI
radio 99.5fm or live webstreaming/archived on http://www.wbai.org
This Week's segment features an interview with poet, author, lecturer and
activist Bobby Gonzalez. We'll be discussing Bobby's new poetry book, his
new open mic series called, "Words without Borders" and his Native american
The Bureau of Prisons Twisted Holiday Gift to Oscar López Rivera
By Laura Ruth Johnson
January 17, 2007
Having been involved with the issue of Puerto Rican political prisoners for
nearly 15 years, I have learned to expect, and be prepared for, just about
every type of injustice and maltreatment. But what happened on Saturday
December 29, when I attempted to take Karina López to visit her grandfather,
Oscar López Rivera, who is incarcerated at USP Terre Haute, reached a new
level of abuse. We were denied visitation because I failed an ion scan, used
to determine any contact with trace narcotic elements. I tested positive for
THC, or marijuana. Although Karina was not tested (the tests are performed
randomly) she was essentially barred from visiting because she is a minor
and cannot visit unaccompanied. This was an annual holiday visit and Karina
had traveled from Puerto Rico to Chicago, IL; we had driven almost 4 hours
from Chicago to Terre Haute, leaving at 4:30 am, only to immediately return
home, our mission of spending time with buelo Oscar unfulfilled.
It should be noted that the ion scans have been cited for producing false
positives, and do not test your use of drugs but your contact with narcotic
elements. The guards themselves acknowledge that use of cold medicine,
cleaning solution, or cigarettes can result in a positive reading. Karina
remembered a time when, after I tested positive 2 years ago, the guard
mentioned that cat fur can trigger a positive reading.
On the way back Karina and I discussed our experiences off visiting. She has
by far had to endure much more hardship associated with visiting than I
have, as her paternal grandmother was incarcerated for 19 years and her
maternal grandfather has now been imprisoned for over 25 years, and in some
of the most punitive prisons in the country, such as Marion and Florence,
where visits occur through glass. Each prison has its own rules, and they
seem to be constantly changing, and sometimes arbitrarily enforced.
At Terre Haute, as in most prisons, there are rules for how you should
dressno open toed shoes, tank tops, hooded sweaters, short skirts, or khaki
pants. You cannot bring in more than $20 and it should be in a plastic bag.
You cannot bring in any pictures or personal items. You are assigned seating
in uncomfortable plastic chairs in a row, so that you have to crane your
neck to have a conversation. There can be no excessive touching, and
prisoners have been disciplined for kissing their wives.
The ion scan has been instituted more recently than some of the other
procedures, and has made the already difficult process of visiting prisons
even more arduous. The night before you must select and wash your
clothessome even forgo using soap for fear of the chemicals. On the drive
down, you are anxious regarding whether you will be allowed to visit. While
in the waiting room, you watch others endure the testessentially a vacuum
used on the pockets of your clothes, your shoes, and your handsand wonder
if you will be selected randomly. You witness others fail the test and
become upset, holding back tears, as I did a few days ago, and walk away.
You leave feeling as if you have done something wrong or illicit and ask
your self irrational questions: Did I not wash my shoes thoroughly? Did I
wear this outfit after washing it? Could someone I know have contaminated
my clothing or belongings? Nearly everyone I know has failed the ion scan at
least once, and some twice. After the first positive in a one year period,
you are unable to visit for 48 hours; the second positive has a 30 day
penalty. A fourth positive would ban a person from visiting for 6 months.
Karina, whose experience and maturity far outnumbers her 15 years, put it
this way in describing the rationale of the scans: Its their way of telling
us that you are part of THIS now, meaning that because of your
relationship with a prisoner, you too will be criminalized. While its an
effective means of reducing the numbers of visitors, it also works to make
visitors feels as if they have committed a crime. Essentially its an
additional form of oppression against prisoners and those who visit them.
Such a procedure is all the more unjust when viewed in the context of the
holidays, a time when most people on the outside spend time with friends
and family, and visits are especially significant and meaningful.
Laura Ruth Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at
Northern Illinois University. She has been a member of the National
Committee to Free Puerto Rican Political Prisoners/National Boricua Human
Rights Network since 1994.
¡¡FELIZ AñO NUEVO!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign wishes everyone a wonderful, just and
powerful New Year!! In these times of war, repression and RESISITANCE, we in
the ProLibertad Freedom Campaign are calling on all our allies, supporters
and friends to remember our brothers and sisters behind the walls!! Those
amazing and inspiration compañer at s that were incarcerated by the US
government for their brave actions and commitment to the liberation of
Puerto Rico; a colony of the United States for 108 years!
As the year 2007 begins, we are urging all of you to join ProLibertad's
This is an easy project. There are only 5 easy steps to support this
Step 1: Go to http://www.prolibertadweb.com/page4.html and read about one of
Step 2: Choose one of them or all of them and make the commitment to write
to him/her/them once or twice a month.
Step 3: If you can, send them a commissary donation (small financial
donation $5-whatever; every little bit counts)!! These small donations allow
them to pay for phone calls to family/LEGAL COUNSEL/friends and also for
over priced materials behind the walls. To learn more about how to donate go
Step 4: Email us Prolibertad at hotmail.com and let us know who you've adopted.
We want to keep track of this campaign and see how many of you are able to
commit to supporting our prisoners.
Step 5: Motivate all of your friends to ADOPT-TO-A-PRISONER!! Be creative!!
Invite ProLibertad to speak to your friends or organize a card/letter
writing party. Let us know how we can support!
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE FREEDOM HAPPEN!! TOGETHER WE CAN SUPPORT OUR HEROES
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