Just to put into perspective why it is important to continue to fight against the pervasive injustice in this country…
On, June 1, 2020, a memorandum addressing the prisoners at FCC-Beaumont, from the Warden, asserted that because “there were areas of the country experiencing civil unrest in the form of protest…” and because “some of these protest having turn violent in nature…” that “as a precaution… the BOP [was] initiating national lockdown
On June 2, 2020, a second memorandum was sent out to the prisoners assuring that “this lockdown [was] not punitive.” The warden reemphasized that the reason for the lockdown was due to “our nation facing difficult time[s]…” And as “emotions run high, and peaceful protest have turned violently,” then this lockdown was warranted.
It is important to note that the Federal Bureau of Prison’s actions were unprovoked by prisoners confined within this institution. At no point were prisoners showing signs aggression that would cause prison officials to result in locking this institution down to ensure safety for staff or the prison population. This institution has been on what is considered a modified lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prisoners were coming out of their cells ONLY ten at a time for an hour to shower, and communicate with family via the prison payphone and electronic mail service, Corrlink.
It was virtually impossible that any violent act by prisoners would not have been confined to a single unit within the institution, or that it would include more than the ten inmates that were allowed out of their cells at any given time.
What this shows, is that prisoners were being targeted and penalized throughout the BOP, due to free citizens of this nation exercising their constitutional right to protest against an unjust criminal justice system, perpetuated by laws and policies that are discriminatory and oppressive.
In the seven days of this lock down, prisoners only allowed to shower twice, and were served a hot meal only once. Communication to the outside world was suspended. Mail to family was intercepted and or destroyed – detaching any way prisoners can communication to family of their well being. Access to the law library, commissary, and recreational activates were all suspended; all of which constitutes a punitive lockdown. Frustrating the matter even more, is that as temperature climbed into the mid 90’s, the air conditioning within the cells mysteriously stopped working; making it unbearable to sleep at night.
To prisoners this is nothing new. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has its history of unfair treatment towards prisoners. It is not new that food is used as punishment to yield prisoners into “conformity” when it feels the need to communicate their authority to the prison population (inmates were given two hotdog buns, a slice of bologna, 2oz. packet of peanut butter, and an overly ripe banana for both lunch and dinner). Its not new that the BOP has a history of obstructing communication from prisoners to the outside world in order to keep hidden the malfeasance by prison officials; when they violate laws and policies that strip the prisoner’s of their hope, faith, and dignity. Its not new that the BOP has a history of impeding access to the law library, indicative of their intent to keep one trapped behind these walls. None of this new, to me, at least.
But what is new, is that the entire nation – no! The entire world has awaken, and has accepted the challenge to change this abusive and unfair system that has misplaced its purpose in amongst it’s citizens, and has forgotten the reasoning for its existence – to govern based on the will of the people. This country was founded on nihilism. Founded on the ideal that it was prudent to rebel against an oppressive monarch that took away the citizen’s power to demand their justice; demand their equality and liberties, than to accept it as an inherited way of life.
And if suffering through another one of these lock downs means having your freedom exercised, then it was a lock down well worth it…. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!