A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
In Defense of Russell Maroon Shoatz, 30 years in solitary confinement in the American Gulag
807 Silva Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
April 30, 2013
Mr. John Wetzel, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanisburg, PA 17050
Dear Secretary Wetzel,
I am writing to demand that Russell Shoatz AF-3855 be immediately removed from solitary confinement and returned to the general prison population.
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the imposition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”
In 1969, I attended a conference in Oakland sponsored by the Black Panther Party, called “The United Front Against Fascism.” The Panthers could see signs of emerging fascism 43 years ago. I am now 71 years old. I once thought that my father’s generation defeated fascism in 1945, when I was three years old. Now I am certain that was not the case.
The ghost of Adolph Hitler still roams the United States in the form of those who hold public office but never take the time to read and understand the legal basis for their employment. You are a public servant, paid by the people of Pennsylvania, the state known as the birth place of the Constitution. Yet you are condoning, and perhaps even ordering, a practice forbidden by the Law of the Land. In my view, that makes YOU a criminal. You are endangering the Rule of Law. Whatever Russell Shoatz may have done, I know he didn’t do that!
If you are, or anyone in your family is, a veteran of military service, you, or they, took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath is not revoked when one leaves military service.
Our Constitution is under attack from many quarters within the United States, and it appears that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is one of those quarters.
I urge you to read the Constitution today, and to give serious thought to what it means that you and the Department of Corrections are violating that precious Law.
In the meantime, release this man from solitary. I’m ashamed to be an American, at a time when torture has become an everyday practice. Whether it happens in Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, or the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, torture is WRONG! And the Founders knew that and forbade it in 1776!