A Caverna

Esta é a caverna, quando a caverna nos é negada/Estas páginas são as paredes da antiga caverna de novo entre nós/A nova antiga caverna/Antiga na sua primordialidade/no seu sentido essencial/ali onde nossos antepassados sentavam a volta da fogueira/Aqui os que passam se encontram nos versos de outros/os meus versos são teus/os teus meus/os eus meus teus /aqui somos todos outros/e sendo outros não somos sós/sendo outros somos nós/somos irmandade/humanidade/vamos passando/lendo os outros em nós mesmos/e cada um que passa se deixa/essa vontade de não morrer/de seguir/de tocar/de comunicar/estamos sós entre nós mesmos/a palavra é a busca de sentido/busca pelo outro/busca do irmão/busca de algo além/quiçá um deus/a busca do amor/busca do nada e do tudo/qualquer busca que seja ou apenas o caminho/ o que podemos oferecer uns aos outros a não ser nosso eu mesmo esmo de si?/o que oferecer além do nosso não saber?/nossa solidão?/somos sós no silêncio, mas não na caverna/ cada um que passa pinta a parede desta caverna com seus símbolos/como as portas de um banheiro metafísico/este blog é metáfora da caverna de novo entre nós/uma porta de banheiro/onde cada outro/na sua solidão multidão/inscreve pedaços de alma na forma de qualquer coisa/versos/desenhos/fotos/arte/literatura/anti-literatura/desregramento/inventando/inversando reversamento mundo afora dentro de versos reversos solitários de si mesmos/fotografias da alma/deixem suas almas por aqui/ao fim destas frases terei morrido um pouco/mas como diria o poeta, ninguém é pai de um poema sem morrer antes

Jean Louis Battre, 2010

28 de março de 2012

Sabado 31 de Março Cinelândia

Neste sábado próximo, o Debate Ocupa Rio aberto e horizontal na praça da Cinelândia começa às 15h com o tema Representação – “Não nos representa”. Outras formas de organização e produção para além do sistema representativo, para além da disputa partidária. Confira a programação completa! Tomemos a palavra e as ruas

13h – Lanche de Confraternização
15h – Debate Representação
17h – Debate Identidade
19h – Debate Propriedade
21h – Shows e Performances

Convidem todos os seus amigos para este mega-debate horizontal.
Compartilhem e se preparem!

23 de março de 2012


This is a Call to Action for a Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere

Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto on September 17th, 2012.

Step 1: Choose your target

Step 2: Form a plan

Step 3: Take action September 17th, 2012

14 de março de 2012

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs By GREG SMITH

Op-Ed Contributor

Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs
Published: March 14, 2012 New York Times

Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
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Victor Kerlow


Times Topic: Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
A Public Exit From Goldman Sachs Hits at a Wounded Wall Street (March 15, 2012)
Goldman Sachs Responds

Readers’ Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

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To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.

When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.

How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.

My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on March 14, 2012, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.

12 de março de 2012

Why Tents (Still) Matter for the Occupy Movement

Last week, I responded to a 4am text and went down to the Occupy Oakland site to support the encampment during yet another raid. I saw the sunrise over various police agencies dismantling Occupy Oakland tents. That evening, I marched back at sunset with other protesters to take back the plaza. The night before, Denver and Portland authorities moved in to take down local occupy encampments, and a swat team stormed an Occupy group’s takeover of an abandoned building in Chapel Hill. The next day, I watched a livestream of the destruction of Occupy Wall Street’s tents.

But protesters have not given up on tents. On the day of a strike at, the University of California-Berkeley in response to police brutality, the Occupy Cal and Occupy Oakland movements converged with a full-sized tent on a large stick as the symbol of the union, and the movement. Soon after, the joint (largest ever) General Assemblies voted to re-encamp the UC Berkeley campus. At this point, thousands of people were spilling out of Sproul plaza, and activists came in and ceremoniously placed five tents in the middle of the crowd to cheers. By this point, the crowd had swelled with a perimeter of people, many of whom were alumni of the famous 1964 free speech movement at the exact same spot, as the annual Mario Savio awards were about to be handed out. 10,000 people encircled, and in effect, revered a few camping tents. Why? Aside from their symbolism, tents matter.

read more.

10 de março de 2012

Ghetto Defendant

Poesia: Allen Ginsberg
Letra e Música: The Clash
Imagens: Rude Boy movie

Do the worm on the Acropolis
Slam dance the cosmopolis
Enlighten the populace

Hungry darkness of living
Who will thirst in the pit?
Hooked in metropolis
She spent a lifetime deciding
How to run from it
Addicts of metropolis
Once fate had a witness
And the years seemed like friends
Her babies can dream
But dreams begin like the end
Shot into eternity
Methadone kitty
Iron serenity

Ghetto defendant
It is heroin pity
Not tear gas nor baton charge
That stops you taking the city

Strung out committee
Walled out of the city
Clubbed down from uptown
Sprayed pest from the nest
Run out to barrio town
The guards are itchy
Forced to watch at the feast
Then sweep up the night
Flipped pieces of coin
Broken bottles
Exchanged for birthright
Grafted in a jiffy

Strung out committee
Sitting pretty
Graphed in a jiffy
No pity, pretty

The ghetto prince of gutter poets
Was bounced out of the room
Jean Arthur Rimbaud
By the bodyguards of greed
For disturbing the tomb
His words like flamethrowers
Paris commune
Burnt the ghettos in their chests
His face was painted whiter
And he was laid to rest
Died in Marseilles
Buried in Charleville
Shut up

Soap floods oil in water
All churn in the wake
On the great ship of progress
The crew can't find the brake
Klaxons are blaring
The admiral snores command
Submarines boil in oceans
While the armies fight with suns

6 de março de 2012

O patrão nosso de cada dia

Eu quero o amor da flor de cactus
Ela não quis
Eu dei-lhe a flor de minha vida
Vivo agitado

Eu já não sei se sei
De tudo ou quase tudo
Eu só sei de mim, de nós
De todo mundo

Eu vivo preso à sua senha
Sou enganado
Eu solto o ar no fim do dia
Perdi a vida

Eu já não sei se sei
De nada ou quase nada
Eu só sei de mim
Só sei de mim
Só sei de mim

O patrão nosso de cada dia
Dia após dia

Uma estação no Inferno

Oh! A ciência! Tudo se repete. Para o corpo e para a alma, - o
viático - temos a medicina e a filosofia, - os remédios das boas
mulheres e as canções populares apropriadas. E as distrações dos
príncipes e os jogos que eles interditam! Geografia, cosmografia,
mecânica, química ...
A ciência, a nova nobreza! O progresso. O mundo marcha. Por que
não havia de girar?
É a visão dos números. Vamos pata o Espírito. É certíssimo, este
oráculo, que eu faço. Compreendo, e não sabendo explicar-me sem
palavras pagãs, preferiria silenciar.
Retorna o sangue pagão! O Espírito está próximo; por que Cristo
não me ajuda, dando à minha alma nobreza e liberdade? Ai, o
Evangelho morreu. O Evangelho! O Evangelho.
Espero Deus avidamente. Sou de raça inferior por toda a eternidade.
Estou na praia armoricana. Que as cidades se iluminem à noite.
Minha jornada está realizada; abandono a Europa. A aragem
marinha queimar-me-á os pulmões; os climas perdidos tostar-me-ão.
Nadar, mordiscar ervas, caçar, fumar, sobretudo; beber licores fortes
como chumbo derretido, - qual faziam esses queridos antepassados
em volta do fogo
Retornarei com membros de aço, negra a epiderme, as pupilas
acesas: por minha máscara julgar-me-ão de um raça forte. Possuirei
ouro: serei ocioso e brutal. As mulheres cuidam destes ferozes
enfermos que regressam dos países quentes. Participarei dos
negócios políticos. Salvo.
Agora estou amaldiçoado, horroriza-me a pátria. O melhor é um
sono, completamente bêbado, na praia.

Trecho de uma Estação no Inferno Rimbaud

1 de março de 2012

Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The U.K

Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The U.K from Caesar-rim on Vimeo.

Anarchy In The U.K.
I'm an antichrist, I'm an anarchist
Don't know what I want
But I know how to get it
I wanna destroy the passerby

'Cause I want to be anarchy
No dog's body

Anarchy for the U.K.
It's coming sometime and maybe
I give a wrong time, stop a traffic line
Your future dream is a shopping scheme

'Cause I wanna be anarchy
In the city

How many ways
To get what you want
I use the best, I use the rest
I use the enemy, I use anarchy

'Cause I want to be anarchy
It's the only way to be

Is this the M.P.L.A. or
Is this the U.D.A. or
Is this the I.R.A.?
I thought it was the U.K.
Or just another country
Another council tenacy

I wanna be anarchy
And I wanna be anarchy
Oh, what a name
And I wanna be an anarchist
I get pissed, destroy

Death of Hunger-Striking California Prisoner Sparks New Outrage over Inmates’ Suffering (Outro prisioneiro morto durante greve de fome)

Questions are mounting over the state of California’s prison system following the death of a hunger-striking inmate protesting conditions behind bars. Christian Gomez, 27, died at Corcoran State Prison, just six days after he and about 30 fellow prisoners began refusing food. Gomez was one of thousands of California inmates who have staged hunger strikes in 12 prisons since July after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California prison overcrowding was causing "needless suffering and death" and ordered the state to reduce its number of prisoners. We speak with Gomez’s sister Yajaira Lopez and to attorney Carol Strickland of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. "When he did get [to Corcoran State Prison], he did explain to us that he was participating in a hunger strike," Lopez says. "They were fighting for just fair treatment.


JUAN GONZALEZ: We begin today’s show in California, where family members of a prisoner who died while he was on hunger strike are calling for an investigation. Christian Gomez was 27 years old. He died February 2nd at the Corcoran State Prison, just six days after he and about 30 fellow prisoners began refusing food. They were protesting limited access to legal services, telephones, laundry, nutritious food, health services, and educational opportunities.

This is California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

TERRY THORNTON: On February 2nd, inmate Gomez was found unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at an outside hospital at 12:22 p.m. on February 2nd. I’d like to point out that he was receiving medical treatment prior to his participation in this hunger strike. And additionally, he, as well as all the other inmates, were being medically monitored daily during the hunger strike. The Kings County coroner—that’s the county where Corcoran State Prison is located—conducted an autopsy, but we have not received a cause of death. We are still waiting for that. It is up to the county coroner to make that determination. They have not yet made that determination. And so, we’re very anxiously awaiting that, as well.

JUAN GONZALEZ: That was California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

Christian Gomez’s family members say they were told he died of health complications, and only later learned he was on a hunger strike. He was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and attempted murder and was being held in the prison’s Administrative Segregation Unit.

AMY GOODMAN: Christian Gomez was one of thousands of California prisoners who have staged hunger strikes in 12 prisons since July, starting with protests against isolation units at Pelican Bay, California’s first super-maximum security prison. The strikes began after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that California prison overcrowding is causing, quote, "needless suffering and death" and ordered the state to reduce its number of prisoners.

On Monday, Occupy demonstrators held a nationwide day of action against the U.S. prison system. Protests were held at prisons in California, Chicago, Denver and New York. Outside San Quentin prison in California, the American hikers, who were recently released from prison in Iran—Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer—spoke about how public pressure led to their release. This is Shane Bauer.

SHANE BAUER: The biggest victories came when there was pressure from the outside. Prisons function on the ability to completely control a small, self-contained world. But when that world stops being self-contained, when people inside are coordinated with people outside, that system of control falls apart. When our families and Sarah publicly hunger struck on the outside in solidarity with us on the inside, we started receiving all of our letters. We got a phone call, and books from our families came without delay. And then we got freed. This movement, this Occupy movement, needs to permeate the prisons.

AMY GOODMAN: Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were recently released from an Iranian prison after more than two-and-a-half years there.

Well, for more on the death of hunger striker Christian Gomez and the state of prisons in California and beyond, we turn now to two guests. In Los Angeles, we’re joined by Christian’s older sister, Yajaira Lopez. And in Berkeley, California, we’re joined by Carol Strickman, staff attorney at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and a member of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

Yajaira and Carol, we welcome you both to Democracy Now! Yajaira, what do you understand happened to your brother, to Christian?

YAJAIRA LOPEZ: From what the county—from what the coroner told us, he told us that he was participating in the hunger strike and that there—he told us there could be various causes. It could have been a chemical imbalance due to the hunger strike. It could have been another medical condition. But he couldn’t pinpoint the cause of death until further investigation is conducted.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And you say the corner told you he was participating in a hunger strike. What did prison authorities tell you?

YAJAIRA LOPEZ: Oh, we couldn’t get through to them. That day that they called my mother and told them that he was deceased, they told her that he died of medical conditions. They couldn’t tell her anything further. But that was pretty much it.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us about your brother? Where was he born? Talk about how he ended up in prison.

YAJAIRA LOPEZ: He was born in Los Angeles, California. We were born and raised by our two parents. We grew up in Echo Park. You know, it’s not such a great neighborhood, but we grew up there. You know, we both went to school. He started hanging out with the wrong crowd, but, you know, he was always close with his family, always, you know, dedicated. And, you know, he loved sports. He just—you know, he got accused of murder. You know, the system failed him, and he ended up where he was at.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, had you been in much contact with him? Had he been talking to you or other members of your family about the conditions in the prison?

YAJAIRA LOPEZ: We would always go visit him. We went at least, you know, twice a month since he was there. He had been in prison for seven years. He was arrested when he was 20, a week before he turned 21. We would go see him at the jails. We went to see him when he was at High Desert State Prison. He was there for about three to four years, and then he was moved to Corcoran for six months, where he lasted six months.

He would—he would tell us, you know, they—fair treatment at High Desert State Prison. When he got moved to Corcoran, he did tell us that it was different. The medical treatment he was receiving at High Desert wasn’t the same. You know, even by us just visiting, we could tell the conditions were different. The prison wasn’t as clean as the other one. The way families were treated, it was a lot different. The environment was different. But yeah, when he did get there, he did explain to us that he was participating in a hunger strike. You know, they were fighting for just fair treatment, basically. You know, they wanted their medical treatment, basically.

AMY GOODMAN: California Department of Corrections spokesperson Terry Thornton said Christian Gomez was put in administrative segregation, also known as "ad-seg," because he was dangerous. This is what she told Democracy Now!

TERRY THORNTON: Inmate Gomez was 27 years old, as I said, and he was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder since February 22nd of 2008. And that conviction was from Los Angeles County. He had been housed in Corcoran State Prison’s Administrative Segregation Unit since January. He was awaiting a disciplinary decision for a January 14th battery on an inmate with a deadly weapon with serious bodily injury.

AMY GOODMAN: Yajaira Gomez, your response?

YAJAIRA LOPEZ: When I heard this, when I read this, I was very—you know, my family was enraged, because my mom actually went to visit him on January 14th. We got a call afterwards letting us know that he was put there, along with other inmates, because of what occurred. A lot of inmates were taken because they had either blood splatter or they were near the scene. But they confirmed with us, other family members, also his cellmate, and, you know, he wrote us letters letting us know, "You know what? I should be out. You know, I didn’t do anything." And according to Cisneros, which is also another person that works at the prison, which I spoke to not too long ago, she did confirm that they were under investigation, him along with other inmates. So he didn’t do what they—what she’s saying that he did.

And I just think that, you know, they’re saying—she’s coming out and saying that, you know, it was—and making it seem like he was the only one that was put in there, in segregation, for that, just to make it seem like, oh, he’s a bad person, let’s just—let’s just brush it under the rug. And I don’t think it’s fair. I think everything should come out. And just like I—when I spoke to Cisneros, she told me, you know, "It was under investigation. We didn’t say that your brother was the one that actually committed this." But, you know, the media likes to twist things around.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Carol Strickman, you’re an attorney who’s been working with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Can you talk to us about the—what you know about this particular hunger strike at Corcoran? And also, obviously, we’ve been covering on Democracy Now! for months the various protests across the California prison system.

CAROL STRICKMAN: Yes. What we know about this hunger strike is that there was an initial one at the end of December for about three days. About 60 prisoners participated in that. And I heard at that time that the prison authorities met with the prisoners and agreed to make changes. And I’ve even seen some documentation about changes would happen promptly. And the prisoners, as I understand it, gave the prison three weeks to start delivering on these promises, and nothing happened. And as a result, they resumed their hunger strike on January 27th. And I think it continued through about February 8th. And Christian Gomez died on February 2nd.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get your reaction to another comment from the California Department of Corrections spokesperson Terry Thornton, who told Democracy Now! the prisoners ended their hunger strike February 13th.

TERRY THORNTON: According to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation policy, an inmate is considered to be on a hunger strike when that inmate has missed nine consecutive meals. So, on January 27th, 32 inmates, including inmate Christian Alexander Gomez, who was 27 years old, started refusing to eat state-issued food. All of the inmates had resumed eating by February 13th, most of them by February 9th, all of them by February 13th.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the prisons spokesperson. Carol Strickman, do you agree the hunger strike has ended?

CAROL STRICKMAN: Well, I can’t contradict her facts there, but I did hear—we received a letter that some—at least one person may be resuming it. And it’s very difficult to get information out of the prison, and it takes time for letters to get to us. So I can’t say really what’s going on right now.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what are California state authorities doing? They’re supposedly under a court order to reduce the prison population, yet, with their three-strikes law, they’re almost guaranteed to continue to increase the long-term prison population.

CAROL STRICKMAN: That’s right. That’s right. They are reducing population, but there will remain the issue of far too many people under extremely long sentences. That’s a whole other campaign that has to be fought.

AMY GOODMAN: How unusual is it for a prisoner to die on hunger strike? And Carol Strickman, can you talk about why the word did not get out, what had happened, for days?

CAROL STRICKMAN: OK, as this is the first direct death of a prisoner who was currently on hunger strike that I’m aware of in California in the recent period, word—it’s very difficult for us to get information about serious incidents like this. There was this death. There have been a few suicides also, or alleged suicides, that we have heard about. Typically, it takes—we hear about this through a letter, through a visit. Someone, a family member or a legal person, will visit, and then the word will go around. And I did hear about this death a few days after it happened. And, you know, it basically was "mum’s the word." I went up to Sacramento and talked to some legislators and said what I had heard, but I—and I think they had heard, too, but there was no public announcement. And I think CDCR would just as soon no one know.

And that’s one of the big problems with this whole area of prison rights work, which is that the information is very difficult to come by, and it’s controlled in large degree by the prison system. So one thing we’re calling for is increased access to prisoners by not only advocates, family members, the legislature and the media. Right now there’s—it’s impossible for media to go speak to the person that they want to speak to, or even a hunter striker, in general. CDCR can prevent that, by law. And there is currently a bill in the legislature, AB 1270, that would change that. And we’re hopeful that that will pass and be signed into law so that you and other media sources can get quicker, more accurate information about what’s going on.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And the particular demands of the inmates at Corcoran who launched this hunger strike?

CAROL STRICKMAN: You’re asking me about the particular demands?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Right, if you—

CAROL STRICKMAN: Yes. Well, these prisoners were in administrative segregation, as you said, which is shorthand as "ad-seg." That’s a kind of a gateway or a waiting room sometimes to the secured housing unit, where long-term solitary confinement happens. So their demands were focused on the fact that they are often found automatically guilty by untrained hearing officers. And once they’re found guilty, they’re going to be serving, of course, a harsher time inside. When they finish that time, they’re held in—unnecessarily even longer. So they were protesting excess punishment. And that punishment, that excess punishment or extended periods, unauthorized extended periods, are—has been investigated by the attorney general’s office and identified as a problem here.

They’re concerned about medical care, as was mentioned. And I will say that, despite what Terry Thornton stated to you earlier, we were hearing that people were not getting medical care who were on hunger strike and that that’s been something that we saw previously, as well, that the medical care is withdrawn, in many ways. Medications are stopped, and people are not being cared for adequately. And one has to ask, how can this man basically drop dead, you know, after only a few days of a hunger strike, when he’s under medical care? If he was seriously ill, he shouldn’t have been in ad-seg; he should have been in a medical facility. So, I really challenge that.

They also need access to a law library. They have legal cases going on, whether it’s their criminal conviction or something having to do with child custody or visitation issues or any other number of things. They have—very difficult to get access. They have, I understand, one computer that has the law library on it, but to be shared by 200 prisoners. There’s no copy machine in the law library.

So, they need access to phone. There’s no phone calls are allowed in either ad-seg or in the secured housing units, the SHU, where the hunger strike last year occurred. These people are highly isolated. They need to be able to contact their families and legal assistance.

AMY GOODMAN: Carol Strickman, we want to thank you for being with us. We will certainly continue to follow this case, as well as the Occupy movement around the country that is involved with these protests. Carol Strickman, staff attorney at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Yajaira [Lopez], sister of Christian Gomez, the 27-year-old prisoner who died while on hunger strike at Corcoran State Prison in California.

This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, Occupy the SEC and a, hmm, a very joyous Occupy story. You’ll find out why. Stay with us.