“I was moved out of SHU after nine years of torture”


Andy Lopez, 13 years old, was killed by a Santa Rosa, California, sheriff while walking through a vacant lot with a toy gun. The federal government agreed with the local decision to not file charges, stating, “no civil rights were violated.” DRAWING/JOSE VILLARREAL


Editor’s note: The People’s Tribune received this letter from Jose Villarreal who had been locked up for nine years in a SHU solitary confinement unit where prisoners are isolated from human contact. The drawing on this page is his.

Revolutionary greetings to the People’s Tribune!

I hope this letter reaches you all in the best of health and spirits. As you all probably heard, we SHU prisoners have reached a legal agreement with our captors, and as a direct result of this and our collective efforts in struggle, I have been released from SHU!

I was moved out of SHU after nine years of torture. It has been such a beautiful thing to finally feel the sun touch my skin. To shake hands with other human beings and to converse without being accused of “gang activity.” Socializing is a human necessity.

As great as it is to be let out of the torture chamber I know that many more continue to be tortured. So the struggle against this dehumanization continues. We will continue to fight solitary confinement until it has finally been abolished.

Your paper continues to nourish me and I thank you for it. I want all to learn from your refreshing articles. I don’t want to miss an issue of the People’s Tribune.

Editor’s note: The People’s Tribune thanks the readers and prisoners who have donated to the People’s Tribune Prisoner Fund that helps with mailing costs. Send donations to PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654.

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