We got a letter from Mutope Duguma (James Crawford), Sitawa’s (Dewberry’s) cellmate, yesterday dated July 28, saying he’s lost over 40 pounds “and getting smaller by the day” — all fat gone, body eating muscle now. “There are several who already fell out from effects of the HS and we have some who have been placed in the hospital and the prison specialty clinic. But there are many of us who will see this out to the end. We are still strong. “They moved all of us on HS in the Short Corridor to D2 Building, so my cell number is D2-104 lower,” he says.
But would you believe, from his letter and the letter from Yafeu Iyapo-I (Leonard Alexander) also dated July 28 that I quoted from earlier (with that memorable line, “staff here finally regained a teaspoon of their senses”), we learn that PBSP is dredging up the back papers — they’re actually looking for the places they stashed them — and distributing them, so the guys have something to read. I don’t know what prompted that or how many people it affects; they think it’s everybody. Mutope says they’re getting all their periodicals: Bay View, PHSS, Rock and Prison Focus.
Abdul Shakur (James Harvey) writes in a postcard dated July 29: “I have been moved to administrative segregation under the fraudulent allegation that I am one of the reps. As you know, they moved 14 of the reps to Administrative Segregation to further isolate them. The top brass ordered that I also be placed in Administrative Segregation. I was requested to attend two meetings, on July 2nd and the 24th, by the top brass out of Sacramento. They know I was not a rep for the hunger strikers and I made it clear I was not a rep, but after the July 24th meeting with the top brass I was placed in further isolation along with the 14 reps. But nothing changed, my sista. We are now on our 21st day and maintaining our course.”
A postcard came from Zaharibu (Michael Dorrough), Heshima’s cellmate in Corcoran, saying, “There has been retaliation within the Health Care Department where policymakers have apparently decided to subordinate what’s in the best medical interest of prisoners to Custody.” Unlike Pelican Bay, Corcoran must be holding mail. The postcard is dated July 21 but not postmarked until July 30.
Everyone’s writing reflects the strain the hunger strikers are under and the increasing weakness, both in what they say and how they write it down. I’m very familiar with their handwriting and writing style and can see the effects of the struggle. Mutope says, “Let me say this next week we will be having major complications from the HS.”