Glimpses of Resilience

Rodolfo A. Lopez

Prison Focus Issue 53
Fall 2017

"Resilience is defined, and often found through the hands of time, my peers and the masses seek answers through the divine, hope for change through the lies that bind, and better days in another life, only through strength and unity can we set changes to the drifting tides, find freedom for the ones that try, and brighter sunshine for the rest to rise - as we rise together"

Resilience is when you find yourself at the end of your rope, cut the line and keep on pushing, when all else seems hopeless. Often times the resilient know and understand the rough path we choose comes with many sacrifices, minimal acknowledgements or appreciation and unfortunately, very often wasted time and effort. Often times you are stuck helping dizzy individuals who show little effort to help themselves and fail to realize these walls and prison cells ain't just affecting them but the ones beyond these walls that love them the most, and for them we must remain resilient.

As always we send our love, strength and solidarity to all the resilient people we always find solid by our sides and by their sides we rise and stand tall. Our special thanks to California Families Against Solitary Confinement, the lovely Ms. Jamie Weinstein and Ms. Dolores Canales (our strength and solid rocks), Mr. Scott Budnick, Ms. Taeva Shefler, PHSS, PAN, ARC, CURB, the fine establishment and staff of California Prison Focus, San Francisco The Bay View, Changing Tides and the many other strong resilient men and women who through it all, remain unshakable as we rise.

In addition I’d like to extend a great appreciation to all the class collective who participated and contributed to our group appeal to Proposition 57 regulations which initially seemed focussed on dismantling any and all significant changes set forth by the inmate class and California voters. Here on C yard over 400 signatures were gathered. Our special appreciation to the strong members of the Brown Movement Coalition (BMC) for their instrumental organization and contributions circulating our petition, more specifically our secretary Mr. Geronimo Polina, legal specialist, Mr. Marcus Perez, chief organizer, Mr. Luis Martinez, as well as Mr. Santiago Baltazar, and all other contributors to our struggle. Feel free to contact any of us in the Brown Movement Coalition, as together we can create real, lasting change and equality.

Along with this article, I've enclosed the Brown Movement Coalition Proposition 57 Proposal Platform. If it is not available for viewing, please note the following:. Prop. 57 was set forth by the inmate class collective, resilient advocates and strong-willed state representatives who wished to right the many unconstitutional, racially- based policies, discriminatory sentences and years of abuses by drawing back and “excluding the imposition of an enhancement, consecutive sentence or alternative sentences”( sec 32(a)(1)(A). Mr. Scott Kernan wishes to blatantly exclude and disregard from the regulation changes, make it nearly impossible to attain the benefits and/ or completely exclude whole sections of the policies overwhelmingly passed by California voters - such as gun enhancements or whole groups of inmates such as lifers and LWOP.

The Brown Movement Coalition remains confident in CPF’s exceptional abilities to inform all our resilient advocates. With our expanded opposition we will focus our efforts on our platform to impose change and our efforts going forward to assure the many sacrifices we made will not be in vain. The BMC Prop. 57 Proposal is a composition of insight with contributions from all races and class members to explain important issues affecting us all, as well as to realign CDCr with the original intent of Prop. 57. This proposal was drafted by the BMC, distributed to all blocks for review and signature, if in agreement. In this way we could direct a unified response. Together we will rise and stand tall in opposition to this oppressive institution.

Unfortunately, we live in a time and place where the barely- concealed racism, discrimination and instruments of oppression utilized by the ruling class to control and keep the minority lower- class citizens dependent are not confined to perverted circles of like-minded individuals, but more than ever amplified and accepted on the world’s biggest stage. As brown natives, born to a hostile occupation in a land stolen through rape, pillage, plunder and bondage, we remain unfortunately accustomed to the many forms of abuse and oppression.

We, the brown- skinned and strong- minded are not a mass of “rapists, drug dealers and bad people,” despite the many ways we are portrayed by a moronic, xenophobic “president” and the members of society who wish to demonize the noble brown race. In a world and country where racist outbursts by top level officials is the norm, immigration and violent crackdowns on protesters is not effectively addressed, often by an all-white panel, who lack insight or understanding of the Mexican@*. , and often talk of inclusion or racial equity seems to exclude our brown people, it's no wonder we have to be resilient.

As strong, intelligent, unique, hard-working, family- oriented, trustworthy, unshatterable brown men and women, no longer will we accept the mass discrimination and abuses targeted at members of our community or any other race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. We stand strong for all of the members of the minority lower- class communities who have endured centuries of abuse and discrimination. The effort it took to pass propositions, including 57, was due to the collective efforts of the strong- willed, inimitable character of our resilient families, friends and supporters from across the world, who looked beyond the cold walls and chains ( that can never contain us) to stand up for what is just. As a dear friend outside the walls has shown me, despite the fact that she could do many other things with her life, she chose to stand in solidarity with us - and walk together step by step - we are not alone and together we fight for a cause much greater than ourselves.

To all the resilient, strong- minded individuals who remain undeterred by the many obstacles and odds and wish to live and fight for true change, you are not alone. We speak from the voices, cries and echoes of a resilient unconquered people and together we will rise.

*Mexican@ - denotes Mexicano and Mexicana as equals.

The Brown Movement Coalition: A strong, resilient human and civil rights organization fighting for social, economic and cultural equality for brown sisters and brothers, minorities, lower- class citizens and all disenfranchised people suffering under the heels of oppression. All who wish to make a change, - please contact us.

Rodolfo A. Lopez, Calipatria CA 92233