GOOD MEN, NOT WORST OF THE WORST

Johnny Aguilar

From Prison Focus Issue 47
Fall 2015

We are coming up on three years since the End of All Hostilities with all races has been implement-ed. I am feeling mighty proud for this historic mark in history that has no doubt seized the moment and put an end to more than 20-30 years of hostilities between different groups.

Had the honor to be amongst the prestigious class of good men of all walks of life during the historic hunger strike in 2013. In August of 2013, after being released from the ASU (hole), I arrived at Pelican Bay B-yard and collectively we all submitted 602s (administrative appeals, or complaints) on behalf of people of each race wrongly being given 115s (notices of serious rules violation, write-ups) by Pelican Bay staff when they were handing them out like sweepstakes tickets.

I was placed on an add list to Calipatria State Prison. I arrived at Calipatria on Oct. 28, 2013, only for the prison to go on lockdown in December 2013 and again in February 2014. Then when he came off lockdown, a collective of good people came together and started to really push the Agreement to End Hostilities at Calipatria.

Setting aside the few hick-ups, all in all we started to see the positive results and the major positive effects that were evolving. We also started to see that despite CDC’s tactics, their ASUs (Administrative Segregation Units) were no longer being flooded. For 11 months we diligently kept the peace and honored the collective agreement that was set in stone for the betterment of all people, all classes, all groups and all parties.

Now I’ve been sent to a 180 design maximum prison here at High Desert State Prison’s D upper yard in general population. High Desert opened up the upper yard, which was previously Ad-Seg overflow. Currently Blocks 5, 6 and 7 are mainline and we’re awaiting Block 8 to be opened for a mainline program. So the general population yards can be filled with plenty of those still in the SHUs in Pelican Bay, Tehachapi and Corcoran.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been seeing people from all walks of life and groups observing the Agreement to End Hostilities. Walking together, going to school together, working together, going to visiting together, carrying on conversations, respecting one another. It is really good to see such peace and such positive actions.

These are human beings, human lives, yet CDC chooses to ignore the psychological trauma involved. They continue to house them in suffering, inhumane, deplorable conditions.

We will continue to stand up for human lives because these brave men in the class action lawsuit, locked away in all the SHUs and ASUs across the state, every man and woman in solitary confinement – all of us are created equal. We will continue resisting the bad policies and guard terrorism that are only meant to hurt us. This is real lives we are talking about, human retaliation issues, human rights, as well as racial profiling issues under false pretense with their STG (Security Threat Group) policy that is only widening the net for more abusive gang validations (being labeled a gang member or associate – a ticket to solitary confinement).

We will stand up and defend ideas of positive social re-form that will be beneficial to us all as a whole class. The irony here is good men are creating better environments for us. Stop labeling these good men “worst of the worst”!

What CDC could not do in 20-30 years, these brave men in the Short Corridor prison collectives accomplished in just a short period of three years. Yet CDC continues to label them “worst of the worst.” That’s complete bullshit!

The Agreement to End Hostilities means no more group conflict. That and many more ideas and policies CDC needs to try and learn from the Short Corridor Collectives at Pelican Bay, Tehachapi and Corcoran SHUs. This is a movement I will continue to be in ‘til death.