Hey all this is the statement on Oso Blanco Call-In action, circulate it to
anyone who may be interested.
Yesterday I received word from Yona Unaga (Oso Blanco) in usual fashion,
several letters with lots of info, love, and an undying spirit for the
self-determination of indigenous people. It brings me great joy to write
this overview regarding the Oso Blanco National Call-In and Letter Writing
Campaign that was carried out on October 5th, 2009.
Most of you reading this may already know about Oso Blanco aka Byron
Chubbuck, but for those of you who do not, he is a member of the Cherokee
Nation (Wolf Clan) who was sentenced to 80 years for expropriating funds to
send to the
Zapatistas in Chiapas, with the intent of
funding their actions
and especially, feeding Mayan children. Oso has been transferred, harassed,
denied religious items, beaten, gassed, subjected to other types of
psychological and physical abuse, and still to this day, his Indian
ethnicity absent from the prison database.
The campaign was initially started by Citizens In Action, and made public on
*www.osoblanco.org*. The ABCF (U.S./Canada) , Jericho Movement, and
), and many Autonomous ABC’s in the
US and immediately got involved and a joint action was coordinated
for October 5th 2009.
The October 5th action was planned by those of us on the outside as a
nation-wide day of calling in to the warden of USP Lewisberg, which as Oso
Blanco describes is “another Marion” with its 23 hours lockdowns,
conditions, and so forth. The call-in time was to be between
7-9am although anytime on October 5th would be fine
In the days leading up to October 5th Oso Blanco released a statement and
encouraged everyone to get involved, and soon after Oso Blanco's support
group and ourselves here at the ABCF reported getting wind of the event
through other groups and people we had no ties with. Joaquin from CWLA
informed me that a compañero of his had called in to the prison and was
redirected to the out of town manager of “Z” unit instead of the warden,
throwing many of us off.
On October 5th I called in at approximately 9:04 am, and was greeted by a
staff member who cut me off when I mentioned Byron Chubbuck's name, angrily
asking me “Did you just call!?” I replied that I had not and continued
speaking to her as she muttered several comments under her breath before
hanging up on
me. I got in
contact with my comrade Lane and a few others
immediately after who noted similar experiences of having staff mention
previous calls, transferring them to other unrelated phone lines or to the
manager of Z Unit who was on vacation on the 5th and would be returning the
What this did however was create a buckshot of support through the prison
phone lines where one caller was being transferred 3-4 times and leaving 3-4
messages to 3-4 different people. While there is no way for us to find out
an accurate estimate of how many callers there were, our suspicions were
confirmed when Lane called the manager of Z Unit the next day (October 6th)
to continue the support for Oso Blanco. He reported that the Z unit manager
had just returned from vacation that day and that there was a “flood of
calls, letters, and other correspondence regarding Mr. Chubbuck” on the 5th.
After this, I sent Oso
letters letting asking him how his
conditions were. I let him know that if we did not hear back from him we
would assume that he was being punished for the 5th and would be organizing
another action. I received word from Oso Blanco yesterday, here wrote a
statement in which he references two cases of beatings, one in response to a
false accusation that he “threw feces at guards”:
Sumner Gray who has been doing support for Oso Blanco for years has reported
receiving 3 letters from him in the days following the action. While no
correspondence has been received from Oso Blanco by the support group since
the 5th it would appear that his mail is flowing again.
I also received a letter from a Native brother who will remain unnamed who
sent his thanks for the Oso Blanco action as well as detailing some of the
torture he and other indigenous prisoners have undergone, I will see if I
can get permission
type some of this up and relay it out. This is beyond
prisoner abuse and clearly racial as the Native brothers are struggling for
spiritual reasons and being denied religious items, instead being shackled
and beaten (72 hours for this brother).
*First*: This action and the end results are clear indicators that our
Native American brothers in the struggle are being singled out and there
needs to be more work done to support Indigenous political prisoners, and
Indigenous prisoners in the belly of the beast.
*Second:* Oso Blanco needs support, and lots of it. Write him and more
importantly he requests that we send him any zines or publications that can
be used to pass around to the brothers inside. Contact me if you are
interested in helping.(*MapachinABC@ gmail.com*)
*Third:* At the moment
Oso is pleased and has
received no abuse, which is
all good news. But we cannot be naive enough to assume that we have “won.”
While we cannot expect the prison system to give Oso a hug and an apology,
we also cannot let the support for ANY political prisoners dwindle. We did
not think up the politics of these movements we consider ourselves a part
of, the older generations paved the way so we could carry out their ideals.
They are in there FOR us, we are out here FOR them.
Let us never forget that!
Statement from Oso Blanco:
“Everything seems to be the same- No harassment yet. Its what they did June
23 and June 24 that ticks me off. IF I did that to them- I'd get 15 years
for assault. But they can do that crap to us and it's no big deal- they hide
our complaint- they lie- what ever, and return our complaint so it will be
considered late and rejected.
I think the captain and housing unit
manager are acting odd-
they ran like
two crazy people to my door today to stop me from getting a newspaper under
my door. Like he and the captain just made a military action...”
Good Work People!
I ain't been hurt.
But time will tell.
Stay Strong Everyone,
Support Yona Unaga!
BYRON SHANE CHUBBUCK
P.O. Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837