Letter from political prisoner Dan Baker

Note: You can buy Dan a book or two at http://tiny.cc/psgpuz

Hello friends,

This is a group message to let everyone know that I ended my short vow of silence after a week. In other news the cops are still executing black men in the streets, and getting caught on camera doing it.

I am also happy to spread the word that our anarchist YPG comrade who was on a hunger strike in France has been released to the hospital after 37 days of refusing to eat in protest for their indefinite detention without charges. They are a YPG International combat veteran. This highlights the current campaigns of harassment that nation states are making against YPG and YPJ International Volunteers. This is happening in France, Italy and the U.$., all countries with grim histories of colonialism, fascism and slavery.  We are being rounded up worldwide and held on trumped up charges because we are freedom and democracy loving anarchists and friends of the noble Kurdish people. I admire our friends who go on hunger strike. Having fasted many times in my life I understand how difficult and dangerous a hunger strike is. Here in the United $tates of Amerikkka the cops will force a feeding tube down the throats of those on hunger strikes, which can itself lead to deadly injuries, as we have seen in the case of Irish political prisoners.

Right now anarchist political prisoner Eric King is facing further harassment after beating his charges of assaulting a lieutenant who trapped him in a closet and assaulted him, then tried to destroy the evidence. The jury dropped the charges (ED. note: they found him not guilty) but the prison staff retaliated by destroying his legal papers, personal pictures and books and then sent him to a higher security prison. He has been threatened by the staff at this prison and has been assaulted by prison staff and prison staff have locked him in areas with neo-nazis and fascists in order to have him attacked by racist skinheads. My situation and suffering is nothing compared to his. Please consider looking into his situation by reading the articles distributed online by the Anarchist Black Cross of New York City and then use the information provided to write to officials who can take action to protect Eric from white supremacist police and their gang allies. They are again restricting his ability to call and write to friends and family and he is not allowed to have books. Frankly, they are torturing him and trying to drive him insane.

I have experienced isolation in a similar special housing unit in Tallahassee, Florida, as well as “diesel therapy”, where they ship a prisoner around the country, bouncing them around to various prisons for months at a time instead of sending them to one prison for their sentence. In my experience it is psychologically more straining than war to be alone in a cell for months at a time, without being able to call friends, or read books besides the colonizers bibles, or talk to lawyers who can protect you, not being allowed outside for sunlight and fresh air, without music, colors, art or anything beautiful or pleasant. I still experience traumatic memories and emotional thought patterns as a result of my six months in isolation. What saved me from throwing my life away was the support of friends on the outside who sent me books, mail, and the Certain Days Political Prisoner Calendar, which is full of beautiful art and poetry and helps one keep track of the passage of time, the moon cycles and historical days and holidays. Guards have a policy of denying calendars to isolated prisoners, telling lies about the time and date and access to constitutionally protected resources and actively trying to drive people in captivity to violent acts by threatening them, assaulting them, humiliating them and depriving them of sleep by leaving lights on at night, making lots of noise by banging on the doors and opening cell doors in the middle of the night to make threats. They also tamper with peoples food and refuse religious and medical diets, causing easily avoidable medical conditions, hunger and despair. My lawsuits regarding this harassments was shot down by unscrupulous judges, so the only way to help people like Eric is to take direct actions yourself.

On a lighter note, and to provide contrast for my situation compared to Eric’s, I just received many books and letters last week as well as money on my account to supplement the poor diet they have been giving me here as a Buddhist and political vegan with lactose intolerance. The quality of my life has improved as a direct result of people organizing on the outside to give me support. Please provide even more support for Eric King. He needs it more than I do at this point. In fact I would appreciate it if my defense committee would send some of the money sent to me to Eric King.

Thanks again for everything, thanks for not forgetting us!

Write Dan at:
Daniel Baker, 25765-509
FCI Memphis 
P.O, Box 34550
Memphis, TN  38184