Revolution newspaper reported last May that Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) was barring the May 1, 2013 issue (#302) of its paper from a number of subscribers at PBSP. This was reported by prisoners to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF), which raises the funds to provide prisoners with subscriptions to Revolution newspaper.
PBSP officials violated California prison rules by not informing the publisher within 15 days of this act of censorship. Now, three months later, in what appears to be a response to a letter from the PRLF’s lawyers demanding that PBSP stop its censorship of Revolution newspaper, the authorities finally sent the required official notification. The notice includes the following reason for censoring issue #302: “Allowing inmates to retain materials inciting participation in a mass disturbance is a serious threat to the safety and security of this institution.”
Revolution newspaper was covering, and continues to cover the courageous and inspiring stand prisoners in solitary confinement in California are taking in calling for a hunger strike to end the inhumane conditions they face. Moreover, it does so from the larger context of exposing a whole system of exploitation and oppression.
These official letters about the censorship of Revolution from PBSP authorities are further evidence that this censorship is an effort to isolate, demoralize and further torture inmates by denying them revolutionary sustenance, including news of growing support beyond the prison walls for their efforts to oppose the state prison’s policy of long-term solitary confinement.
Source: Bob Avakian, “California Prison Authorities Issue Bogus Justification for Censorship of Revolution Newspaper,” Revolution Newspaper, August 18, 2013, http://www.revcom.us/a/313/california-prison-authorities-issue-bogus-justification-for-censorship-of-Revolution-newspaper-en.html.
Student Name: Brenda Montanez (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)