gregory_a_k

“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.”—Karl Marx

Confronting Torture in the United States: An Analysis of Solitary Confinement

Confronting Torture in the United States:
An Analysis of Solitary Confinement

Thursday, February 23, 2017
6:00 – 7:30 PM

Spanish Community Center
Joliet, IL

Panelists:

 

Posted in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the Record

We’ve had two different groups of pigs stop us on two occasions today, both times searching through the car & tearing shit up with no probabale cause whatsoever.

The first dude, after saying he was going to give us a “warning” for going 85 in a 70 mph zone, goes back to his car, runs our records (both of us had multiple felonies – none drug related), talks to some mofos on the radio & then comes back and tells us he has to have K9 search the car, and searched me personally by pat down and then went into my pocket. I had, and we had, nothing illegal on our persons or in the car. We go sit in the other pigs car while he searches ours for quite a while, then he comes back, asks my homie if he can give him his Miranda warning & ask him some questions – which he agrees to. Asks about an axe in the back of the car the we use for camping. And then he lets us go, with a written “warning.”

We make it to Springfield for the IDOC hearing about 15 mins late due to this bullshit stop and search, find out they played games on that hearing again and canceled it for the second time in a row with no prior notice – and both times we had several carloads of peeps who traveled from Chicago to Springfield to make sure they didn’t pull some slick shit and to make sure they know and see that significant and growing groups of people are opposed to the state of Illinois’ use of the torture practice of long-term solitary confinement in the IDOC, along with some other more minor issues with the rule changes. 

Later on, as we are leaving Springfield, right after we get on the road some undercover pigs pull us over in an unmarked Toyota truck. We have an almost identical repeat of the prior stop, except we had done no traffic violations at all when they stopped us. They tear up the car again, with no probable cause search us both and the car, find nothing again and let us go – after asking several questions that had no relevance to the stop whatsoever. Not even a pretense of giving us a traffic “warning” on paper. 

Something very weird about both of those stops – the second one in particular. In the 10 years I’ve been out of prison, these are the first times I’ve been stopped & harassed by the police while driving in Illinois.  Just need to document this shit – for the record. 

We’ve got a lot of shit we’ve been working on coming together now, and these political predators want to snake our ass… Who could possibly spend a whole career based on lying and fucking with people – and with the intention of sending people to prison for years & decades for bullshit, many times completely fabricated?  Sick fucking people. And the fucking “war on drugs” is such an unprecedented human rights disaster – how many lives ruined, lost? How many billions of dollars that could have been used to actually do something of social value? 

Posted in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donate to the Prison Liberation Collective

We’re in motion – you can donate to the Prison Liberation Collective here

Prison Liberation Collective

www.ucimc.org/plc

PLC flyer

 

Posted in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

six months ago in Tokyo

Six

Months

Ago

 

In

Tokyo

 

The 

Last

Time

 

That

I

Kicked

It

 

Kabukicho

Karaoke

Cocaine

Hostess

Bar

 

A

Hero

In

Hospice

 

With

Her

I’m

In

 

A

Wonder

Land

 

Where

You

Regurgitate

 

The

Bile-Covered

Eternities

 

Of

Solitude

 

In

Technicolor

Japanese

 

Neon

Shinjuku

Streets

Aglow

 

Allnight

I

Wander

 

Through

Alleys

Of

Pimps

 

Schoolgirls

Couples

Prostitutes

 

Colliding

Across

Asphalt

 

Across

The

Globe

 

From

Those

Cells

 

Within

Which

I

Was

Raised

 

City

Ancient

Yet

Most

Modern

 

The

Only

Home

I

Know

 

Every

Chemical

Combined

 

Erases

Each

Moment

 

Each

Breath

Reliving

 

Every

Eternity

Alone

 

 

Posted in Thoughts

In Motion

I’ve got a number of things in motion that are coming together. Our nonprofit project – the Prison Liberation Collective – has received fiscal sponsorship from the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center, and we’re working to get several of the main components in operation within the next few months. We met with and will be receiving a small grant from the Crossroads Fund to concretize some of our operations. More details on all of this soon, but here’s an overview of some of our initial projects.

We anticipate starting our solitary confinement group program within the next few months, with Dr. Antonio Martinez, one of the founders of the Kovler Center for the Treatment for Survivors of Torture. This program will begin an unprecedented investigation into the effects of solitary confinement, led by survivors of solitary in conjunction with world-renowned psychologists who have treated torture survivors worldwide, with the hope and expectation that we will be able to learn and share important insights into collectively overcoming the effects of the torture we faced at the hands of the United States government. 

And as the torture practice of solitary confinement continues to be imposed upon an estimated 80,000 – 100,000 men, women and children in the United States, the Prison Liberation Collective will be focused politically and organizationally on fighting to stop solitary confinement and mass incarceration in the US. One major component of this will be the implementation of the nationwide prison journal that I’ve been planning, to connect up those behind the walls with each other and family members, loved ones, supporters and the movements for liberation and justice on this side of the walls, as well as to showcase prison writers. This will entail an online media component as well, building upon some of the work we started with the Torture Survivors Against Solitary website, and anticipating including podcasts and video interviews & discussions regarding solitary confinement and mass incarceration.

We’ll continue to have speaking events, including one coming up on February 10th in Champaign, IL. The bill we fought for last year to drastically limit solitary in Illinois (which was not passed because of the backroom machinations of a phoney prison “watchdog” group whose long-term agenda is to collaborate with the Illinois Department of “Corrections”) is being reintroduced, though because of the pitiful organizational experience of the previous attempt – and the lack of consideration for the effects that reliving solitary has on us as survivors –  the bill will likely not be something that I intend to spend much time on. There’s a public art exposure campaign featuring photos of solitary survivors and those currently locked in solitary that will be coming soon. And a major article on solitary confinement featuring survivors in Illinois in a major magazine will be coming soon. 

With the Prison Liberation Collective receiving fiscal sponsorship, we will be able to do a lot of work collectively on many issues related to ending solitary confinement and mass incarceration, with a directly built-in psychological support system. I will be able to let you know more soon about how you can contribute to our work.

-Gregory

Posted in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Touch of Solitude

Icy

Fingers

 

 

Pierce

 

 

My 

Skull

 

 

As

l

Hear

 

 

A

Water

Droplet

 

 

Explode

Upon

Concrete

 

 

Reverberating

Solitude

Across 

 

 

My

Solipsistic

Universe

 

 

My

Cell

 

One

Of

Many

Cells

 

Cannibalistic

Crypts

Which

 

 

Feed

 

 

Upon

Youth’s

Life

Essence

 

 

Animating

The

Monstrosity

 

 

Fed

 

 

Upon

The

Flesh

 

 

My

Flesh

Impervious

 

 

Necrotic

Burning

Charred

From

 

 

The

Touch

Of

Solitude

 

 

Posted in Thoughts

Acid Bath

Chemicals

Corrode

Countless

Circuits

 

My

Brain

Emerging

Anew

 

Each

Moment

Dissolved

Resolved

 

Alchemically

Transmuted

Time

Unending

 

Days

On 

End

Alone

 

Rewired

As

Time

Rewinds

 

Neurons

Embrace

Entangled

Intertwined

 

Betwixt 

Your

Thighs

Arms

 

Erasing

Every

Empty

Lifetime

 

 

Posted in Thoughts

Dead End

Dead

End

Unfit

For

Society

Posterity

 

Me?

I’ve

Been

Judged

Unworthy

Of

Humanity

 

Usually

Solitary

Entombed

Among

The

Convicted

 

Boys

Clashing

Representing

Counterfeit

Constellations

 

Where

Does

One

Find

Love

 

Among

The

Convicted

 

Nowhere

But

I

Wander

The

Globe

 

Searching

For

My

Future

 

My

Salvation

From

Confinement

Solitary

 

Discarded

After

My

First

Breath

 

Gasp

For

Breath

Icy

Fingers

Constricting

 

Asphyxiated

Isolated

Stone

Concrete

Razor

Wire

My

Tomb

Evermore

 

Body

Decomposing

Gnawed

By

Solitude

 

Skeleton

Animated

Only

By

Drugs

 

Obliterating

Neurons

Decades

Cells

Moment

By

Moment

 

Clouds

Inhaled

Numbing

The

Rot

 

As 

I

Stumble

Through

Another

Year

Continent

Country

City

 

Funeral

Pyres

Lighting

My

Path

Dimly

 

As

I

Reach

Out

For

Your

Embrace

Posted in Thoughts

Treating US Solitary Confinement Torture Survivors & Nationwide Prison Journal

Next to zero research has been done on the effects of – and how to treat survivors of – long-term solitary confinement. As a survivor of over six years straight in solitary in the US, nearly ten years after my release the effects of solitary confinement still dominate my life.

In addition to all of the other organizing work against solitary confinement and mass incarceration I’m working on, one major project that I am beginning to work on is a center for the treatment of survivors of torture in the form of solitary confinement in the United States. My doctor and dear friend Dr. Antonio Martinez, one of the founders of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, is working very closely with me and Brian Nelson, another dear friend of mine who spent 23 years in solitary confinement, to form a non-profit organization dedicated to treating survivors of solitary confinement in the US.

In addition to treating torture survivors, we intend to be able to do more of our work against solitary confinement and mass incarceration within this organization. For example, one other major project that I have conceptualized but not implemented yet because of the need to deal with more of my own issues as a survivor first is a nationwide prison journal that connects prisoners across the nation, showcases writing of prisoners, connects up the family members of those incarcerated and brings some connections between the prison movement and the movements for Black liberation and against police murder on this side of the walls. This is long overdue in my opinion.

But I wanted to fill people in on some of the longer-term projects that I have been working on and will in the near future be putting significantly more energy into. We will have more concrete ways that people can contribute to these projects soon.

 

Gregory A.K.

Co-Founder of Torture Survivors Against Solitary

 

Posted in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stop Solitary Confinement! A Teach-in and Call to Action – November 1, 2016

Brian Nelson & Gregory Koger, founders of Torture Survivors Against Solitary, will be speaking at University of Chicago on November 1, 2016:

Stop Solitary Confinement! A Teach-in and Call to Action 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – 6pm – 8pm

University of Chicago
The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
5733 S University Ave.
Chicago, IL

Why is solitary confinement torture? What makes it a racial justice and queer issue? What is the history of solitary confinement in IL? What are the ramifications of recent IL solitary confinement policy changes? The Stop Solitary Coalition of Illinois will lead this teach-in answering these questions and more. Then they will talk about how students can join the current fight to end solitary confinement. We will also write letters in support of prisoners who are currently hunger striking against solitary confinement in CA and WI.

Dinner will be served.

Our teachers will include:
Alan Mills, Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center, an attorney that has litigated against solitary confinement since 1982
Gregory Koger, a solitary confinement survivor
Brian Nelson, Prisoners’ Rights Coordinator at Uptown People’s Law Center
Afrika, a member of Black and Pink: Chicago

Also be on the look out for our installation of a box the size of a solitary confinement cell, starting Thursday October 27th.

All are welcome!

Funded in part by Student Government

University of Chicago Students Working Against Prisons

Posted in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,