gregory_a_k

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

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

 

 

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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

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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

 

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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

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Solitary Confinement Torture Survivors Bring Truth To IDOC Hearing

Stop Solitary Coalition at Springfield IDOC Hearing - October 19, 2016

Brian Nelson and Gregory Koger of Torture Survivors Against Solitary attended an IDOC Hearing in Springfield, IL on October 19, 2016, along with other solitary survivors, formerly incarcerated and comrades with the Stop Solitary Coalition.

Our purpose in attending this hearing was to oppose changes to the IDOC rules that could make retaliation against jailhouse lawyers easier, and to continue to oppose the IDOC & State of Illinois’ use of torture in the form of solitary confinement.

Brian spoke at the hearing, video below.

Solitary confinement in excess of 15 days is torture under international law. Brian spent 23 years in solitary. I spent about seven and a half years out of the 11 years I was locked up in solitary and various forms of segregation, including being placed into administrative detention solitary confinement in the county jail before I had even been convicted. I went to trial at 17 years old from solitary confinement in an adult county jail. In prison, as conditions became more repressive, I became more politically conscious. After getting in a fight with some C/O’s in Stateville I was given indeterminate segregation and spent over 6 years straight in solitary confinement in Pontiac.

Even though the IDOC hearing dealt mainly with rewrites to the IDOC “disciplinary” and grievance rules and procedures, the IDOC went out of their way to claim they are “so concerned” (to look like they are doing something about) solitary confinement.

One simple step they must take: stop torturing people in solitary confinement. Period.


Above: Africa of Black & Pink and the Stop Solitary Coalition speaks at IDOC Hearing.

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The Attica Rebellion: Its Legacy & the Prison Struggle Today

My friend Brian Nelson of Torture Survivors Against Solitary was part of a great panel last night at Loyola put together by Loyola NLG, the Uptown People’s Law Center, and the People’s Law Office –
The Attica Rebellion: Its Legacy & the Prison Struggle Today

The Attica Rebellion: Its Legacy & the Prison Struggle Today

Moderated by Michael Deutsch, Attica Brothers Lawyer

Heather Ann Thompson – author of “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971 and its Legacy”

Albert Jackson – Pontiac Brother

Alan Mills – Uptown People’s Law Center

Brian Nelson – Solitary Survivor and community organizer with Torture Survivors Against Solitary

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September 9th National Prison Strike Chicago & Solitary Film Screening at the Capitol

September 9th National Prison Strike Chicago

On September 9th we stood with the National Prison Strike called on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprising (which itself was in part a response to the assassination of Comrade George Jackson by the State). This action was organized by formerly incarcerated convicts in conjunction with comrades in Black & Pink Chicago and the Anarchist Black Cross Chicago.

Word continues to come in about ongoing actions that are part of and in support of the Sept 9th National Prison Strike. Our comrade James Kilgore has an important piece on September 9th that you should check out:

“We’re Freedom Fighters”:
The Story of the Nationwide Prison Labor Strike

September 9th National Prison Strike Chicago

Photos from Chicago’s march from the State of Illinois Building to the MCC federal prison. Thanks to Alan, Alex and Monica for the pics.

-Gregory

September 9th National Prison Strike Chicago MCC


On September 12 we attended a Congressional viewing of the documentary film Solitary directed by Kristi Jacobson. The film was shown in the Orientation Theater in the Capitol.

Numerous people that viewed the movie have been directly involved in the fighting to abolish this barbaric torture in the United States. Family members that presently have loved ones being tortured were also present and they suffered heart-breaking reality as they watched the horrific conditions their loved ones have suffered in every day for years.

gregory_a_k, Five Mualimm-ak, Silvia Mendez, Juan Mendez - UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Brian Nelson

gregory_a_k, Five Mualimm-ak, Silvia Mendez, Juan Mendez – UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Brian Nelson

Several men that endured this barbaric torture were also present but could not watch the film, doing so would have devastated them mentally because everyone one of them suffers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as survivor’s guilt. Just being present took a lot out of the men that endure this torture and their loved ones.

Jon Dambacher, Brian Nelson, Five Mualimm-ak, gregory_a_k

Jon Dambacher, Brian Nelson, Five Mualimm-ak, gregory_a_k

I do not call myself a survivor because I haven’t survived it. Each day is a struggle, each day the gray box attacks me and there is no way to stop it even after six (6) years.

-Brian Nelson

NB – The following photo can only be appropriately viewed while listening to 2Pac’s Picture Me Rollin’ Roll Call – gregory_a_k

 

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More Meaningless Words?

More meaningless words?

I’ve survived minutes and hours and days and months and years on end where words were my only salvation

Words foreign and bewitching, frustrating and incomplete

Where

nothing

exists

but

concrete

steel

razor wire

and rifles

pointed at

my

head

as I walked

in boxers

and shackles

and chains

Past cell upon cell of men reduced to corpses

One fifteen minute shower per week

many times that’s just an excuse

for them to come in

and throw your shit in the trash

books especially

Wouldn’t want these dangerous elements to get some book ideas and word learnin’ would we?

Might think of rebellion.

Or worse.

They might Think.

Collude and conspire instead of collide and bicker

Words wielded in vengeance Words bled in life-blood on pages scrawled in agony

Words and symbols inscribed upon the dying flesh of Warriors caged

Children

sentenced

to

become

corpses

in

cages

Too many names to recount gunned down by modern-day slave patrols

I met him

in a prison cell

and he’s still there

losing

his

mind

in

solitary

confinement

A few hours from the third largest city in this country.

But you’d never drive past there unless you parasitically lived life upon his flesh

The dying flesh & decomposing minds of superpredators too dangerous to walk the streets of Clinton-Bush-Obama-Clinton Capitalism-Imperialism

Not gangsta enough to out-gangsta the OGs in the game. Genocide, slavery, massacres of civilians – bro you ain’t as gangsta as Uncle Sam

That Predator drone ordered from the White House will shit on your whole family.

That torture cell in Guantanamo Abu Rikers Florence Cook County Stateville Pontiac Tamms Pelican Bay will be your grave

But yeah just keep telling yourself that it’s all good. Disregard the daily murders being committed by the United States government

The torture that “keeps you safe”

The

Lies

that

allow

you

to

Netflix

and

chill

Don’t worry about the family wedding in Peshawar obliterated by a drone.

The concentration camps and death camps are not for you or your family.

Don’t stop believing.

That piece of shit flag really does represent freedom and democracy and valor and courage.

They Told Me.

I Was Given Orders.

I’ve looked into the eyes of those who will pull the trigger on us

Who

will

bury

women

and

children

in

mass

graves

Who will drive SWAT APCs over the skulls of children

To Protect And Serve.

Shit there’s motherfuckers who probably want me locked up or bumped off for just writing this shit.

And I ain’t nobody.

Logged. Recorded. Time-stamped. GPS positioned.

See me in the streets motherfuckers. I be there.

More times than I even want to be there.

If no one else is gonna stand up I will with whoever else will.

I’m tired man.

I’m running myself to death doing this shit.

And I have fallen way back already.

I’m tired of talking. I don’t want to organize a march or demo or panel or any other goddamn thing. They still killing 3 people every day

Locking mofos up like they hunting runaway slaves…. for standing on our own blocks and porches and shit

Anyhow fuck all these meaningless words.

But I’m gonna say what I gotta say wherever the fuck I am. If shit is bogus it’s bogus whoever doing it.

Not like it fucking matters what I say anyway.

I’m just electrons in the wind…

But I’ll be in the streets.

I’ll support the resistance.

If I have to I’ll organize what needs to be organized.

But I don’t want to.

I’m tired.

Ain’t no glory in this shit.

Not looking for none.

 

I

still

sit

as

alone

as

I

was

every

day

in

those

prison

cells.

 

Shit I had more comrades then.

In other cells.

Still do.

You’ll hear from them soon enough.

If you listen.

Because

they

are

studying

those

texts.

Biding their time.

Feeding their rage on the blows of solitude and pepper spray.

But with love.

Because at one important particular point in my life, in those cells, I decided I would never be like the people who run this system. Ever.

But yeah whatever. More meaningless words.

Tokyo I like. Even though I don’t speak the language I had a great time there.

I don’t even go to fucking clubs but had a great time up in the club on Sunday – technically Monday…

Halfway around the globe from those cells…

With women who probably weren’t even born when they locked me up.

No disrespect to them at all. By any means.

But they don’t know where Stateville is

or who is locked up in ADX

Or who George Jackson is.

And they had no clue that I was in solitary confinement

when September 11 happened

or Abu Ghraib.

And had been in prison

for years

before.

That I grew up in the shadow of prison walls and gun towers.

In “America”

That I turned 18

in a maximum security prison

built during the time of the Civil War.

 

And it didn’t matter.

In that moment.

In that club.

Halfway around the world.

In

a

city

that

was

terror-bombed

by

the

same

government

that

imprisoned

me.

 

“But let’s not talk about that”

has never been

my strong suit

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untitled

I’m writing in solitary confinement.

Alone.

With constant noise.

And walls.

Just walls.

Remembering.

Being beaten.

With leather belts.

As a child.

By people who were supposed to be your “parents.”

Whatever the fuck those are.

Whoever the fuck those are.

But nothing matters.

In those moments.

Strung out across seconds and minutes and days and weeks and years on end.

In the Cell.

Alone.

Again.

Forever.

 

And here I sit again.

Trying to write.

Trying to Remember.

Or Forget.

Those Cells.

Those Days.

In flashing Technicolor glow across the Grey.

White walls.

Glass one-way mirrors on prison gun towers.

With a bullet with your number and hour and minute inscribed upon each particle

Careening at light speed towards oblivion.

Remembering and Forgetting Countless Lives

Each

Time

You

Breathe

And your heart beats.

A name.

Forgotten.

Because none of it mattered.

And nothing does or ever will in your eyes

Aflame for each other but always apart.

No one ever is.

And the world ends every time you leave and reconfigures itself anew again in this fucked up position every time

 

Aloft on wings of Flame and Fire

Burns All of the Memories out of your Mind.

Because

In Remembering

you are forgetting

what you wanted to be

And does that life exist?

Somewhere?

Unbeknownst to you is another life

full of laughter

and longing

and joy

that erases

the years

With every touch of your fingertip upon my cheek.

But who would touch me?

Without shackles

and chains

and cuffs

constraining

my dying body

So certain you could lock the door and throw away the key…

But what becomes of boys and girls unwanted and unloved?

Ashamed of imaginary sins.

Of retribution

from figments

of your own

twisted imagination?

 

Sold.

By peddlers

of lies

and trash.

Rubbish.

Strewn across a dirty Chicago alley

full of piss

and vomit

from the regurgitated filth

That forms

In “Those Places”

That you created.

From your own

petty fears

and vainglorious

necessity

for everything

to be

“perfect”

In Whose Eyes?

Motherfuckers.

At whose benefit?

For whose posterity?

From what other

lofty sounding

pile of shit

politician

who lives

cannibalistically

upon

Those People

 

I was telling people about the day I was released from prison. Directly from having spent over six years straight in solitary confinement.

I was shackled and chained & handcuffed pushing a cart with the remnants of 11 years spent in the “custody” of the Department of Corrections

Went to trial from solitary confinement when I was seventeen. Spent about seven and a half years in various forms of solitary confinement

But here I am.

Among the so-called living.

Doing something resembling trying to live a life.

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Chicago Supports the September 9th National Prison Strike

September 9th National Prison Strike

From within the tombs and dungeons of the United States’ historically unprecedented system of mass incarceration comes a Call from prisoners to rise up together on September 9th 2016 – the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison Rebellion. As their Call states:

On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.

At a time when US police are killing three people every day, and a national movement for Black Liberation is being forged in the streets, men and women being held in horrendous conditions of imprisonment will be putting their lives on the line to stand against the state-sanctioned slavery of the New Jim Crow police state that farcically calls itself “the greatest country in the world.”

As someone who personally knows the living death of the US prison system – and who spent many years in solitary confinement in that system – I find it incumbent upon me to stand in solidarity with those brothers and sisters still locked down in those hellholes.

We will be marching in support of the September 9th National Prison Strike. On September 9th we will meet at the State of Illinois Thompson Center at 1pm and march to the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC). The Illinois Department of Corrections has administrative offices in the Thompson Center, and the MCC is a United States federal prison in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Other actions will be planned as well. If you or your organization is planning anything, please let us know so we can support it. I will post any further details here, as well as on the Torture Survivors Against Solitary website.

September  9th National Prison Strike flyer

Please join and spread the FaceBook event for the demo

 

 

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