Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hunger Strike Updates Days 3-6

Hunger Strike Update Day 3
May 23, 2011

Gandhi tried to bring attention to matters through hunger strikes, peaceful protest, which is exactly what I’m trying to do.  I’m trying to bring attention to issues that need to be changed.  Trying to bring attention to retaliatory action and stop it.  As Gandhi said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  I’m trying to protest and bring change in a positive, peaceful manner.  Thank you for your support.
Please view this Disciplinary Report (DR) (coming soon), reported by Luther S. Henkly who retired hours after this report was made.  Lt. Adkins, who I’ve filed numerous grievances against, wrote this DR for Violation 9-35 which is a very serious offense.  Violation 9-35 is attempting to establish a business with staff members or volunteers.  I wrote to a Christian organization not a staff member or volunteer.
Thank you for your time and help.  Please continue to send letters, e-mails and phone calls protesting this retaliatory action. 

Hunger Strike Update Day 4
May 24, 2011

Today I’m a little weak from lack of water.  Lips are cracking.  My weight has dropped from 227 lbs on Friday to 210 lbs today.  I’m more thirsty than hungry.  Going without food is one thing, denying yourself water is a whole nother ballgame.  I hope to live through this to drink water again. 

I’m actually on a status called Administrative Confinement (A/C) which is listed under 33 602.220 (FAC) instead of Disciplinary Confinement.  This is not supposed to be a punishment, just a status. 

If you are on A/C, you might be required to take a drug test.  If you have been refusing all food and water and you are unable to produce urine, you will immediately receive a Disciplinary Report (DR). 

If you receive a DR you are placed on a DC wing.  Under A/C status you’re denied recreation but even worse, you’re denied visitation.  Even is a family member or friend planned a trip well in advance and has spent money on tickets and travel, they will be turned away when they arrive at the prison.  There is no compassion for the visitors.  This is what is on my mind today.

Hunger Strike Update Day 5
May 25, 2011

I’m a lot weaker today.  Yesterday they put me in R Dorm (medical) for about three hours, and then they brought me back to my cell.  Last night I had the dry heaves.  It was gut wrenching heaves that feel like they’re tearing your insides out.  When you’re not drinking water, you have nothing inside you to throw up.  I’m not doing well at all.  Cramps and on top of that I blacked out yesterday.  It actually felt pretty good; probably what death would feel like.  All of my problems seemed to fade away and although it was only for seconds, it felt longer.

I’m not sure I’ll be giving you any more updates.  My vision is really shaky today. I know this is only going to get worse.  Soto all my supporters: thank you and take care.

Later:  I’ve been moved to R Dorm (medical) where I will be until I start eating.

Hunger Strike Update Day 6
May 26, 2011

I’m still going strong. I had to start drinking water so I can last longer.  The longer I go, the more likely I am to bring about necessary changes to my conditions.

I’m here to fight this battle and I really need your help and support.  Please consider leaving comments here. I thank all of you who are supporting me.  And those who don’t, I still love you too Luke 6:32-38. In life sometimes we must make difficult decisions and stand up for ourselves.   That’s all I’m doing through this peaceful protest – saying enough is enough!

Thank you for your time and concern.

In peace and love,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hunger Strike

On Friday, May 20, 2011, Ronnie was placed on DC (Disciplinary Confinement) for allegedly running a business, which is against FDOC policy for inmates.  As some of you may know, Ronnie draws beautiful cards by hand as gifts for loved ones on special occasions.  He has never sold a single card and no such business exists.  Ronnie believes that these false charges have been brought against him in retaliation for an essay he wrote and planned to post here. 

To protest his disciplinary confinement, Ronnie began a hunger strike on Friday, May 20, 2011.  He is refusing all food and water.  In a letter dated Sunday May 22, 2011, he stated that he expected to be under medical care by the end of this week.  The following is a short excerpt from his letter:

“Today is Sunday, May 22, 2011.  I’ve now been 50 plus hours without food or water.  My weight on Friday May 20 was 227 lbs.  I’m now at 220 pounds.  Most of it’s water loss.”

Ronnie also reported that most of his property has been taken, including his art supplies, and he was told that he is facing multiple disciplinary reports.  Anyone who writes to Ronnie and would like a response is asked to include a self-addressed stamped envelop along with their letter, as he doesn’t know when he will have access to his writing supplies again. 

Ronnie needs support now more than ever.  Please consider reaching out and letting him know that he matters.  All comments left here will be forwarded to him.  Leave a note or send him a letter to let him know you are aware of what’s happening and that you care. Please lend your support.

On behalf of Ronnie, thank you for reading this.  Updates will be posted as they are received.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Between A Rock And A Hard Place Hebrews 13.3

People in this place are not allowed a job and even if we were, we would not be paid for our work.  We are not allowed to run a business per Chapter 33-602.207 (F.A.C) or get any type of compensation through writings, art, etc...

We are prohibited from running ads seeking financial assistance from anyone on the street who is willing to assist us per 33-210.101 (9), so our hands are tied.  In order to take care of ourselves financially which means being able to order deodorant, soap, shampoo, stamps, writing materials, batteries and very overpriced food items by a price gouging company “Keefe Corporation,”  we have to either break the rules … or just sit back hoping and praying that some one is kind enough to send us some money.

The F.D.O.C. and Keefe are running a canteen.  We are allowed to spend up to $100.00 a week.  That's $5,200 a year with no way to financially support ourselves.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  Most of us don't have family and friends.  We've been in here two and three decades.  Most everyone in our lives have moved on and the ones who do come into our lives usually stay around a year or two and then move on.  Once again we are left between a rock and a hard place...break the rules …or go without.

Why can't I write and say, "I need financial assistance. Anyone who would like to help me out or correspond with me, I'd be truly grateful to hear from you"?  Who is that hurting?  These Administrators claim to be Christians and yet they do not live by the word.  Does not Hebrews 13.3 read “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Yet they want us to suffer and go without....and they call themselves Christians.  Did not Jesus teach “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.  Also see Luke 10:27.  Paul was teaching the same thing in Romans 13:9, Gal. 5:14 and James taught it in James 2:8... Do you think they would want themselves to suffer as we suffer in this cage under the sentence of death?  I think not!  If they were in here, they would take care of their own financial needs.  They would make sure they had deodorant, shampoo, etc...  They would make sure they had money to eat with.  They would make sure they received mail at mail call.

But it's one thing to love yourself...it's a whole nother ball game to show someone else equal love.  I don't understand that hypocritical mentality and I never will.

One thing is fur sure --- the F.D.O.C. enjoys seeing us suffer and go without our needs and wants.

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.


Ronald W. Clark, Jr.  #812974

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Life On San Quentin's Death Row

Willie Johnson, who has been imprisoned on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison in California for more than 20 years, wrote the following essay.  An Actual Innocence hearing for his case is scheduled this fall. 

San Quentin State Prison in located in prime real estate overlooking the San Francisco bay.  Designed to house five thousand inmates, it currently holds twice that number.  Of these ten thousand or so inmates, seven hundred are on death row.  Isolated from the majority of the general population, death row inmates are divided into three groups. 

The main group is located in East Block and they are considered Grade A inmates.  But they have their own exercise yard so they never come into contact with other inmates, while the rest of the East Block inmates are divided into five other groups and these groups share five yards.  These inmates are divided for various reasons.  Some because of conflict and others because if the nature of their cases.  This is also done so that the prison staff can manipulate the situation.  By having prisoners separated in this fashion, prison staff can maintain control by creating an environment of mistrust among the prisoners, which keeps the heat off of them. 

On the yard, there are four card tables, a dip bar, pull up bar and single basketball court, which are shared by sixty to seventy inmates.  Because of the racial factor, inmates have worked out a schedule so that each group gets a chance to use the dip and pull up bars, but anyone can play basketball.  Each group has a card table. 

The next group of Death Row is located in North Seg.  North Seg is located on top of North Block.  And it’s where the original death row was housed.  It has sixty-four cells and all the prisoners are considered model prisoners.  Although they are also considered to be Grade A inmates, North Seg inmates are considered to be “above’ East Block inmates.

All inmates are housed in single man cells.  But North Seg inmates get more yard time than the others.  Other than that privilege, their status is the same.  Privileges consist of contact visits, phone calls and quarterly food packages.  Inmates are also allowed a certain number of books in their cells.  As for appliances, Grade A inmates are allowed a television, radio, electric fan, type writer and electric razor.  If an inmate loses his Grade A status due to a rule violation, then all these items are subjected to being sent home.  Commissary is another privilege given to death row inmates.  Grade A inmates are allowed to spend up to two hundred dollars on commissary and Grade B inmates are allowed to spend fifty five dollars.  Canteen consists of everything from writing materials to food items.  As for Grade b inmates, they are considered program failures and most of them are housed in the adjustment center.  There are also some housed in East Block. 

The ones in the adjustment center are assigned to walk alone in small cages on the yard.  Each cage has a sink and toilet.  Lined up in three rows of nine cages, these inmates go outside every other day for four hours.  Most of the inmates there are labeled gang bangers by the prison administration. Some of them have been there for over 20 years.  The only way out is to snitch on their friends.  While on Grade B, inmates are not allowed contact visits, phone calls, fans, electric razors or quarterly food packages, so most inmates try to avoid Grade B, which is really hard.  Not only because of some asshole police, but also because of some knucklehead inmates.  Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between guard and inmate.  That’s because some guards are infatuated with the criminal lifestyle and are known to mimic criminal behavior.  Not to mention that many of them come from the same environment as the prisoners.  What a lot of people don’t know about California prisons is that there’s a major rift between inmates from the north and inmates from the south.  And this crosses all racial lines.  The only way he different groups come together is when there’s a racial issue.  Other than that, it’s a north/south thing.

There is another group worth mentioning.  They are the mentally ill.  Some were disturbed before coming to prison and others became ill while incarcerated.  They are known to cause havoc with other inmates and guards alike.  Some nights they bang on their bunks and scream at the tops of their lungs all night long.  It’s not unusual to hear about them gassing (throwing a concoction of urine and feces on) police, or about guards setting one of the perpetrators up to be harmed.  Although there’s a large number of psychologists assigned to death row, the mentally ill population on death row is continually growing.  The number of suicides continues to increase as well. 

The other thing that is killing prisoners at an alarming rate is the food.  There have been more inmate deaths from the food than form execution.  But the prison staff writes them off as natural causes.  You would think the medical staff would speak out on this issue, but they continue to allow it to happen which peaks volumes about the level of health care that inmates are receiving on death row.  Undernourishment and psychological deterioration are the natural causes for premature death on death row.  So let it be known that the California Prison System is in violation of its citizens’ human rights.  And no matter what a person has done to be sent to death row, they are still entitled to the right to be treated humanely.

Willie Johnson
C-35635 5EY55
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin CA 94974

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Compassion, Mercy and Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden… finally dead.  I heard the news on the radio this morning when I woke up.  And when I heard it I smiled and said, “Finally.”

But I heard a preacher later that day say, “I hope he’s now burning in hell.” And that my friends, goes against everything that Christianity stands for.  What that preacher should have said is, “I’m glad bin Laden can do no more harm to the world.   But I encourage you Christian brothers and sisters that God may have mercy and compassion on the soul of this confused individual.”  For did Jesus not say each to love your enemies and pray for them?  Obviously, this preacher was not following the teaching of his savior.  He was hoping God would show no mercy, no compassion, for a misguided soul and condemn him to hell.  But what did Jesus say about that?  See Luke 6:37:

Do not judge and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Where are the teachings of Christ in that preacher’s statement?  Because it sure isn’t there in Luke 6:37.

We can be glad that it’s over with, without celebrating death and hoping or condemnation.  For there’s no mercy and compassion in celebrating and hoping that someone is condemned.  And isn’t it written in Exodus 33:19 that God said, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy compassion on who I have compassion”?  And Paul reiterates this in Romans 9:15-16, which reads:

I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion n whom I have compassion.  It does not therefore depend on man’s desire or effort but on God’s mercy.

The scripture clearly teaches against condemning others.  It teaches us not to try to snatch compassion and mercy out of the hands of God.  For this is the same compassion and mercy that you yourself may one day be seeking to save your own soul.  Why not do the right thing and pray that God shows mercy and compassion on bin Laden and those who harm us in their misguided ways.  For these men were a product of their environment.  They were mislead by others and for that reason you should pray for them not condemn them.

Peace and love to you all.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Mothers Day Surprise

This weekend I received a visit from my mother, who is hands down the most wonderful woman in this world!  We had a nice visit on May 7th and 8th.  I hugged her towards the end of the visit and just thought of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful mother, one who without a doubt loves me.  I love my mother with all my heart and all my soul and all my being. Spending time with her makes life worthwhile.

We enjoyed eating and talking, playing cards and just walking around, being together.  We wish we could see each other more often than once or twice a year.  Unfortunately finances just don’t permit it.  But the time we do get to spend together is absolutely priceless.  I realize that everybody does not have their mother and knowing that makes me all that much more thankful for mine.  The one thing I truly hope for in this life is that she outlives me because I can’t imagine living without her.  Mothers are the greatest gift of all.  So if you have your mother in your life, be thankful!

It was a wonderful Mother’s Day surprise to spend the day with the one person who has my unconditional love and who will always be my true hero.

I love you Mom!  And I wanted the world to know that I love you with all my heart.

Love, Ronnie

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nothing At All

A drive by…. No not what you are thinking.  No violence involved.  This is a mail drive by when the mailman passes your cell and does not stop.  It’s a sickening feeling that I experience quite regularly these days.  No woman to love, very few friends, and family….. oh boy!  Let’s leave it at that.  Back in the day, mail used to be abundant.  The mailman would stop and say, “Dam Clark, you got a bundle”.  But back then I had ads in every magazine from the sun to play girl.  I would write sexual fantasies for financial help.  And some of it…… well it was truly interesting.  But it was something to do to pass time.  And it was away of being able to afford to eat out of the canteen.  But I met some very interesting people from all over the world.  I got a visitor back then from England, Australia and the Netherlands.  Nowadays visits are like mail call, few and far between.  One or two visit’s a year from my mother and a visit or two from my cousin.  My mother lives too far away and it cost an arm and a leg to come visit.

All in all, I never imagined being here this long.  Here I am working on 21 years in this hell hole…. Half my life has been spent in this cage.  But I know other guys who have been here since the mid 70’s, so how am I to complain about 21 years?? I often sit…. Reflecting back on each year, and remembering the cells I was in and events that were taking place.  For instance, on that devastating day of September 11, 2001, I was in cell G-2209 at F.S.P.  Danny Rollins had occupied that cell earlier that year before being moved back here to U.C.I.  When Princess Diana died in that car crash on August 30, 1997, I was here at U.C.I in P-Dorm, Wing 2, top right side cell 20.  Why do we always have to reflect back on tragic events??  The human mind….. will we ever understand it?  I currently don’t have a television, so I’ve been occupying my mind reading James Patterson and Stuart Woods, who are my favorite authors, as well as Stephen J. Canell, can’t forget the master storyteller.  I just try to fill in empty space and occupy my time, as I’m doing right.  Now with this short essay about  everything and nothing at all.  It’s a cool spring morning, pouring rain outside and sit here lost in time.  Nothing to do….. nothing to see……
And I guess nothing else to say at the moment, so with that I will close.  I wish you the best in love life and happiness.  And I hope you will continue to follow my blog and tell others about it.  Peace out.