Sunday, 13 September 2015

Jaan Laaman on the life and death of Hugo Pinell

It was with true sadness that , on August 13th, I received the news
that legendary California prison activist Hugo Pinell, was killed in
a California prison.  This is Jaan Laaman, your political prisoner
voice and let me share a few thoughts about the life and death of
this extraordinary man.

I never personally knew Hugo Pinell.  The simple reason for that is
because Hugo Pinell was locked up in California state prisons for 50
years!  That is insane.  It is hard to wrap you mind around the
reality of someone being held captive for 50 years.  Even more
insane, for most of those years he was held in isolation-segregation

Hugo was just released from segregation and it is being reported that
he was killed by two white prisoners.  There was a serious uprising
or riot that also took place at this time.

Hugo Pinell spent decades teaching, advocating and struggling for
Human Rights, justice and dignity for prisoners.  He taught and
fought for racial and revolutionary unity among all prisoners.
Locked up in 1965, like many other prisoners at that time, Hugo
became politicized inside the California prison system.  In addition
to exploring his Nicaraguan heritage, Hugo was influenced by
activists like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, as well as his comrades
inside, including George Jackson.  His leadership in combating the
racism and brutality of prison officials made him a prime target for
retribution and Hugo soon found himself in the notorious San Quentin
Adjustment Center.

While in San Quentin, Hugo and five other politically conscious
prisoners were charged with participating in the August 21, 1971
rebellion, which resulted in the assassination of George Jackson by
prison guards on that day.  Hugo Pinell, Willie Tate, Johnny Spain,
David Johnson, Fleeta Drumgo and Luis Talamantez became known as the
San Quentin Six.  They had a very public 16 month trial.  The San
Quentin Six became a global symbol of unyielding resistance against
the prison system and its violent, racist design.  Hugo spent decades
in segregation, but continued to work for racial unity and human
rights for prisoners.

Personally, I am of course upset that a brother like Hugo was killed,
by what I have to assume were some reactionary fascist minded
prisoners.  But truly what I mainly feel is sadness, profound sadness
at this news.

Hugo Pinell is gone.  His bid, his sentence is now ended.  After 50
years of captivity, that is not a bad thing.  Even as an elderly
person, in his 70's, Hugo Pinell died in the struggle. The hands that
struck him down, it is reported, were prisoners, but the actual force
that killed him was the capitalist police state prison system that
holds 2.2 million men, women and children in captivity.

Hugo Pinell, we will remember you brother and your strong life long
example of resistance.  We will continue this resistance and this
struggle for Freedom.

This is Jaan Laaman.

4struggle | August 24, 2015

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Some more quotes from Yogi, by Charlie Hinton:

Some more quotes from Yogi, by Charlie Hinton:

It’s been a long journey, one that will last for a lifetime and, altho it’s been really hard and trying, I’ve kept growing and growing. No matter how hard the times and experiences, I always remember that it is 10 or 20 times harder for billions out there. Heck, it’s much harder for the poor, the workers and the average person (citizen or not) in this country. It doesn’t minimize my situation or make it easier for me, but it keeps me grounded to not be complaining, bothering, or burdening anyone for much of anything. Living within my self reliant principles and constantly building the New Man has allowed me to stay humble, considerate, and I’ve found a personal freedom which cannot be deterred or taken away. I hope you can understand me, but we can always keep conversating, exchanging and being good company, providing you want to stay around.

I know what you mean about what it would take for so many people to change for the purpose of building a great beautiful world, but we have to encourage people to do so. That, no matter what else they are doing, they must be working internally, growing and evolving. You know as well as I do that beautiful people will make the beautiful world society we all want to live in. It will take time, generations, but we have to be transforming from within ourselves or else these terrible imbalances will continue to prevail in which a few million have the most while bilions suffer and die without a chance to live.

Of course, you might not be able to get others to really self change, but you can keep on growing, right along with me, and you can be creating your own personal freedom and peaceful place. Dying is too easy. We are all gonna die, sooner or later, one way or another, so it’s all about living and how well we live the living ways we’ve chosen, control and are accountable for.

From a statement sent by Hugo Pinell to the California Coalition for Women Prisoners in 2013:

"In 1967 when I joined the liberation movement in San Quentin, one of the goals was to build a new man, the way Brother Malcolm X showed we could. We don't know how long it will take to create that new, beautiful world. It might take generations. But if we continually work at it and try to create the new man in ourselves, we can achieve a personal freedom. I go through different changes to stay human for I will never get used to isolation and deprivation."

Hugo L. A. Pinell (Yogi Bear) tribute from Political Prisoner Veronza Bowers (Georgia)

Hugo L. A. Pinell (Yogi Bear) tribute from Political Prisoner Veronza Bowers (Georgia)

I received a phone call from Veronza last night (his dime) who expressed his warm condolences to me and gave me permission to spread this message with his name. Veronza has done 40 years in prison now, repeatedly denied parole despite being a “model prisoner” and “mentor” to other young prisoners.

Hi...This is what a Comrade had to say to Hugo:

Hugo...although we never met in the flesh, for over four decades i've known who YOU are:The fearless and tireless Warrior... one who dedicated and gave his ALL in the struggle for a better life for our People---a better world. i've always envisioned you as an unmovable Mountain.

Sooo, the State, in its impotent arrogance, *gave* you two life sentences...and an ignorant and depraved assassin *took* your life. But, what neither wicked and doomed force can never ever understand is that YOU were the Captain of your own ship...YOU had already given YOUR LIFE to the People.

Rest in Peace, my Comrade, knowing that the trick is on them. YOU can never die...for in death you have gained true immortality. YOU will always be remembered wherever people gather who love and fight for Freedom.

Hugh Pinell, Hugo Pinell, Hugo Pinell, Hugo Pinell...i will always remember to whisper your name upon the WIND.

YOU fought the good fight ! We thank YOU ! Comrade

Monday, 17 August 2015

Statement by the San Quentin Six

Statement by the San Quentin 6:
Also published in the SF Bay View.

Hugo Pinell was assassinated at new Folsom State Prison, August 12, 2015. This is another example of the racism people of color inside those prisons are confronted with on a daily basis.  Like Comrade George, Hugo has been in the cross hairs of the system for years. His assassination exemplifies how racists working in conjunction with prison authorities commit murderous acts like this. We saw it on the yard at Soledad in 1970 and we see it again on the yard at Folsom in 2015.       

Hugo's life was a living hell. We witness the brutality inflicted on him by prison guards as they made every effort to break him.  He endured more than fifty years of sensory deprivation; for decades,  he was denied being able to touch his family or another human being,  as well as attempts on his life. This is cruel and unusual punishment! Hugo is not the monster that is being portrayed in social media / news media. The CDC is the real monster. 

During the SQ Six trial we really got to know Hugo. He was as we all were under a lot of stress. His stress was heavier than mine because he had the additional load of being beaten on regular occasions. We saw the strength of his spirit, and through it all he managed to smile.

We mourn the loss of our comrade brother, Yogi. We have been hit with a crushing blow that will take some time to recover from. We must expose those who under the cover of law orchestrated and allowed this murderous act to take place. The prisoners who did it acted as agents of the state. It comes at a time when prisoners  are collectively trying to end decades of internal strife. Those who took his life  have done a disservice to our movement, their actions served the cause of the same oppressor we fought against!  

No longer do you have to endure the hatred of people who didn’t even know you and never dared to love you. You have represented George & Che well, and we  salute you!

David General Giap Johnson
Luis Bato Talamantez 
Willie Sundiata

Hugo Lyon Antonio Pinell, "Yogi Bear"
This is the most recent picture of Yogi taken in the visiting room shortly after he was released to general population at Folsom State Prison.  If there is one word that could describe Yogi Bear, it would be LOVE.
"I hold that it is bad as far as we’re concerned if a person, a political party, an army or a school is not attacked by the enemy, for in that case it would definitely mean that we have sunk to the level of the enemy. 
It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a lear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves.  It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly evil and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work." Mao TseTung - the Red Book

Friday, 14 August 2015

Tributes to Hugo L.A. Pinell

From SF Bay View

by Dr. Willie and Mary Ratcliff

Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll

Beloved political prisoner Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell, feared and hated by guards, assassinated in Black August after 46 years in solitary

by Dr. Willie and Mary Ratcliff
Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll.
From December 1970 to 2014, when he finally had a contact visit with his mother, Yogi was allowed to come out from behind the thick glass in the visiting room and touch a loved one only once: When he married Shirley, they were given 15 minutes together. She later died.
By some accounts, it was his first day on the yard after 46 years in solitary confinement when Hugo Pinell, affectionately known as Yogi Bear, was assassinated Aug. 12. The news sparked a victory celebration by  prison guards on social media: “May he rot in hell” and “Good riddens” (sic), they typed. Yogi was the only member of the San Quentin 6 still in prison, and his role in the events of Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson was assassinated, has earned the guards’ incessant enmity ever since.
“This is revenge,” declared his close friend, fellow Black Panther veteran Kiilu Nyasha, on Hard Knock Radio Aug. 13. “They hated him as much as George Jackson. They beat him constantly, kept him totally isolated for 46 years – no window, no sunlight – but they could never break him, and that’s why they hated him.
“The only way he survived was that this man was full of love.”
Isolated in the Pelican Bay SHU from 1990 to 2014, Yogi supported his SHU comrades’ campaign to end solitary confinement. He participated in the hunger strikes and applauded the Agreement to End Hostilities, authored by 16 of his comrades, Black, Brown and White, and dated Aug. 12, 2012, three years to the day before he was killed. It has nearly erased racial violence from California prisons.
The comrades who conceived and wrote the agreement were following Yogi’s lead.
“There was a time in the prison sys­tems throughout the United States,” according to a story headlined “The Black Panther Party and Hugo Pinell” in The Black Panther newspaper of Nov. 29, 1971, “when the prisoners themselves were divided, not only white against Black, but Latinos against Blacks. This – the result of racism in every area of U.S. society – was particularly apparent in Cali­fornia prisons.
This is the story from the Nov. 29, 1971, edition of The Black Panther. – Courtesy Billy X Jennings,
This is the story from the Nov. 29, 1971, edition of The Black Panther. – Courtesy Billy X Jennings, (Click to enlarge)
“Blacks and Latinos fought, stabbed and killed each other in the yards, cell blocks and dining halls of every prison camp from Tehachapi to Tracy. This is always the case when the racist white prison guard, under administration orders, pits one man struggling to survive against another.
“It is the easiest way for the prison to assure almost absolute control over its inmate population. After all, only an idiot would believe he could control 100 men with one man, unless the 100 were divided. Quite often men were paid to start fights between two men. …
“(B)rothers and sisters across the country inside the maximum prisons began to awaken to the fact of their oppression. They began to realize, as Comrade George Jackson would say, that they were all a part of the prisoner class.
'The Black Panther Party and Hugo Pinell' by The Black Panther 112971-2, web
“They be­gan to realize that there was no way to survive that special brand of fas­cism particular to California prison camps except by beginning to work and struggle together. … The prisoner class, especially in California, began to understand the age-old fascist principle: If you can divide, you can conquer.
“There are two men who were chiefly responsible for bringing this idea to the forefront. They helped other com­rade inmates to transform the ideas of self-hatred and division into unity and love common to all people fighting to survive and retain dignity. These two brothers not only set this example in words, but in practice.
“Comrade George Jackson and Comrade Hugo Pinell, one Black and one Latino, were the living examples of the unity that can and must exist among the prisoner class. These two men were well known to other inmates as strong de­fenders of their people.
“Everyone knew of their love for the people, a love that astounded especially the prison officials of the state. It astounded them so thoroughly that these pigs had to try and portray them as animals, perverts, madmen and criminals in order to justify their plans to eventually get rid of such men.
“For when Com­rades George and Hugo walked and talked together, the prisoners began to get the message too well.
“In a well-planned move, the state of California and the U.S. government carried out the vicious assassination of Comrade George Jackson, field marshal of the Black Panther Party, on Aug. 21, 1971. Their plans to slaughter Hugo Pinell are now in full swing.”

What happened on New Folsom Prison’s B yard on Aug. 12, 2015?

In California, the prisons are abundantly funded, but the billions of taxpayer dollars are spent in secret, as the media are prohibited from covering prisons. So the stories coming from the mainstream media about Yogi so far are based on press releases from CDCr, the Corrections Department, not from reporters who go inside to hear from prisoners.
Highly paid prison guards and their CCPOA (California Correctional Peace Officers Association) are called the most powerful lobby in the state. Guards at New Folsom, located in a suburb of Sacramento, the state capital, likely exert much of that influence. Is that why Yogi was sent there after more than 23 years at Pelican Bay?
“Once a man declares that he will retain his dignity, that he will not forfeit his manhood, then he has in essence declared war against the prison,” The Black Panther reported on Nov. 29, 1971. “He has declared war upon the guards, who operate on the smallest amount of intelligence and human un­derstanding, and upon the prison and state officials, whose every move is planned and calculated to help in this government’s last feeble attempts to quell the desire of the people to see power returned into the hands of the people. Hugo, from the very beginning of his imprisonment, made that declaration.”
Yogi’s enemies were not his comrades in the prisoner class – though he reportedly died at the hand of one or two prisoners, said to be white, though their race is unconfirmed. He was no threat to other prisoners. It was the guards who loathed him and loath the Agreement to End Hostilities, which he exemplified and set in motion over 40 years ago.
Sitting in the sunshine on the San Quentin yard in 1976 are Khatari Gaulden and Hugo Pinell. – Photo courtesy Kiilu Nyasha
Sitting in the sunshine on the San Quentin yard in 1976 are Khatari Gaulden and Hugo Pinell. – Photo courtesy Kiilu Nyasha
Did they have him killed to demolish the agreement, to rekindle all-out race riots? Riots are job insurance for guards.
Several of the authors of the agreement have also been transferred to New Folsom, where they have been educating other prisoners to understand and wield its power. A prisoner on the C yard, Hakim Akbar-Jones, P-85158, wrote this to the Bay View in July:
“Let this be understood: At CSP Sacramento on the C yard, the End to Hostilities Agreement is in full effect. Even though the summertime is here, there is rhythm and harmony amongst respective class members. There are diligent efforts made on all fronts to work hand to hand in solidarity to build a better future amongst the prison class. With this said, we stand fast and salute all conscious guerrilla revolutionaries whose concepts have been brought forth and come to fruition, those in solidarity who support the movement, thus bringing on and creating positive change for the oppressed.”
Does this sound like a place where Hugo Pinell, the legend, the giant amongst conscious guerrilla revolutionaries, would not be protected? Did the other prisoners even know that Yogi would be joining them on the yard on Aug. 12?

What else are the guards afraid of?

Three initiatives are underway that could empty the SHUs and empower the remaining prisoners, and the guards, fearing for their jobs, are fighting them. A reasonable assumption is that the guards expect that the assassination of Hugo Pinell will see a return of the bad old days of racial violence to “justify” filling the SHUs and guaranteeing job security and top pay for guards:
Black Guerrilla Family – According to family members of prisoners who have been negotiating the hunger strikers’ demands with CDCr administrators since the hunger strikes began in 2011, CDCr has decided to remove the Black Guerrilla Family from the list of eight prison gangs because it’s a political not a criminal organization, but reportedly the guards and their CCPOA are furiously opposed. If BGF is not a prison gang, then all the Black prisoners “validated” as BGF “gangsters” would have to be released from SHU.
George Jackson University – Abdul Olugbala Shakur (s/n James Harvey) recently settled a suit to legitimize George Jackson University, which 25,000 prisoners signed up for when he and other prisoners and outside supporters founded it years ago. Guards are adamantly opposed to the distribution and study of books that prisoners might find mentally and spiritually liberating and have prevented the prisoner-led institution from taking root. Though the settlement terms have not yet been revealed, guards are undoubtedly fearful.
Hugo Pinell in 1982
Hugo Pinell in 1982
Class action lawsuit to end solitary confinement in California – Currently in settlement talks with CDCr are the attorneys for the plaintiff class of prisoners who have been held in the Pelican Bay SHU for 10 years or more. The attorneys are led by Jules Lobel, president of the very prestigious New York based Center for Constitutional Rights, the public interest law firm that also represents many of the hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The New York Times is giving the case multi-media coverage, including a recent video showing some of the plaintiffs describing how they survive the torture of long term solitary confinement. If the case doesn’t settle, trial is set for December.
These initiatives, bolstered by the awakening in the court of public opinion to the evils of mass incarceration and solitary confinement, are driving efforts by California prison guards and their “union,” CCPOA, to demolish the carefully constructed Agreement to End Hostilities and revert to racial warfare that divides and conquers prisoners of all colors so that the guards can rule over them as cruelly as they want without getting their hands dirty.

We call for a full independent investigation immediately

The Bay View, joining a consensus of prisoner family members and advocates, calls for investigations into Yogi’s death at both the state and federal level. We challenge California Attorney General Kamala Harris, now a candidate for U.S. Senate, and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to demonstrate they believe this Black life – the life of Hugo Pinell – matters. Harris, whose office acts as the attorney representing CDCr, needs to counsel her client to reign in the guards, especially the gang investigators.
We also call for the full and fair investigation of all deaths in jails and prisons, where incarcerated people are routinely abused and tortured and even killed. Begin with Sandra Bland and Hugo Pinell.
Yogi’s attorney, Keith Wattley, says his family is planning a wrongful death lawsuit.

Honor our fallen comrade

Long live Hugo Pinell, who showed us the power of the human spirit, that love can survive and overpower hell on earth.
Hugo Pinell in 2001
To anyone tempted to avenge Yogi’s death against another race, remember the wisdom of the Panthers: “If you can divide, you can conquer.” Ever wonder why the Bay View calls our prison section Behind Enemy Lines? The prison system, not another prisoner, is the enemy that hopes you won’t get out alive.
Embrace Yogi’s spirit and read the words that follow from current and former prisoners who loved him back.
Dr. Willie Ratcliff is publisher and Mary Ratcliff is editor of theSan Francisco Bay View. They can be reached ateditor@sfbayview.comor 415-671-0789.

Yogi’s time

by Mumia Abu-Jamal
Written July 30, 2006 – Few of us know the name Hugo Pinell.
That’s because the last time it was in the newspapers was probably in 1971, or 1976, when he was tried as a member of the famous San Quentin 6, six young Black prisoners facing assault charges stemming from battles with prison guards at the notoriously repressive California prison.
Yet that wasn’t the beginning nor the end of things.
Hugo Pinell (known as Yogi by his friends) came to the U.S. as a 12-year-old from a small town on Nicaragua’s East Coast. If he knew then the hell he would face in America, would he have left the land of his birth? We’ll never know.
He came. And he spent the last 42 years in prison – 34 of them in solitary! He hasn’t had a write-up in 24 years.
Now, his family and lawyer are seeking his parole after a lifetime in some of the most repressive joints in America.
Why so long? Why so many years? The answer, not surprisingly, is politics. Hugo was a student and comrade of the legendary Black Panther Field Marshal, the late George Jackson, with whom he worked to organize other Black prisoners against the racist violence and prison conditions of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Consider this: When Hugo was sent to prison, Lyndon Baines Johnson was president, bombing in the Vietnam War was intensifying and Martin Luther King Jr. was still alive!
Of his introduction to the prison system, Yogi would later write:
Of these three political prisoners, Hugo Pinell, Mumia Abu Jamal and Nuh Washington, only Mumia is now alive, and his health has been precarious lately due to the prison system’s medical neglect and abuse. – Art: Kiilu Nyasha
Of these three political prisoners, Hugo Pinell, Mumia Abu Jamal and Nuh Washington, only Mumia is now alive, and his health has been precarious lately due to the prison system’s medical neglect and abuse. – Art: Kiilu Nyasha
“I was 19 years old when I turned myself in. I pled guilty to the charge of rape with the understanding that I would be eligible for parole after six months. When I arrived at the California Department of Corrections, I was informed that I had been sentenced to three years to life.”
California’s notoriously unjust indeterminate sentencing has led in part to the present prison overcrowding that now threatens to bankrupt the system. California’s prisons are roughly 172 percent over capacity, and parole is a broken, nonfunctional agency.
That’s not just my opinion, but California State Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, has called the present regime a “failure,” particularly the parole system.
Despite California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2004 promises of major reforms of the parole system, which would lead to significant prisoner population reductions, the incarceration rate has soared. Today, there are a record 168,000 people in 33 state prisons, nearly double the rated capacity.
As Hugo Pinell seeks parole, California is spending $7.9 billion – yeah, with a “b”! – in the next fiscal year, an increase of $600 million a year for a prison system that has one of the worst recidivism rates in the nation, 60 percent!
Clearly, the so-called “Correctional and Rehabilitation” Department has failed in its mission to do both.
Support parole for Hugo Pinell; 42 years is more than enough.
© Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Keep updated at His new book is “Writing on the Wall,” edited by Joanna Hernandez. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.

Hugo Pinell – Rest in Power!

by Claude Marks
Graphic courtesy Freedom Archives
Graphic courtesy Freedom Archives
We are saddened by the news of Hugo Pinell’s death. Hugo Pinell always expressed a strong spirit of resistance. He worked tirelessly as an educator and activist to build racial solidarity inside of California’s prison system.
Incarcerated in 1965, like so many others, Hugo became politicized inside the California prison system.
In addition to exploring his Nicaraguan heritage, Hugo was influenced by civil rights activists and thinkers such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King as well as his comrades inside including George Jackson. His leadership in combating the virulent racism of the prison guards and officials made him a prime target for retribution and Hugo soon found himself confined in the San Quentin Adjustment Center.
While at San Quentin, Hugo and five other politically conscious prisoners were charged with participating in an Aug. 21, 1971, rebellion and alleged escape attempt, which resulted in the assassination of George Jackson by prison guards. Hugo Pinell, Willie Tate, Johnny Larry Spain, David Johnson, Fleeta Drumgo and Luis Talamantez became known as the San Quentin 6.
Their subsequent 16-month trial was the longest in the state’s history at the time. The San Quentin 6 became a global symbol of unyielding resistance against the prison system and its violent, racist design.
As the California prisons began to lock people up in long-term isolation and control unit facilities, Hugo was placed inside of the SHU (Security Housing Unit) in prisons including Tehachapi, Corcoran and Pelican Bay. There, despite being locked in a cell for 23 hours a day, he continued to work for racial unity and an end to the torturous conditions and racially and politically motivated placement of people into the SHU. This work included his participation in the California Prison Hunger Strikes as well as supporting the Agreement to End Racial Hostilities in 2011.
At the time of his death, Hugo had been locked behind bars for 50 years, yet his spirit was unbroken.
Claude Marks, director of Freedom Archives, 522 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, (415) 863-9977,, can be reached at

Hasta Siempre Hugo (Forever Hugo)

Solidarity forever
And we are saddened
Solidarity left
You when (it) should have
Counted for something and
What your long imprisoned
Life stood for
Now all your struggles
To be free have failed
And only death
Inglorious and violent
Death has
Claimed you
At the hands of the
Cruel prison system
La Luta Continua

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Hugo Pinell ¡Presente!

Rest in Power Yogi!

Tributes to Hugo L.A. Pinell:

Please listen to: Hard Knock Radio, with Kiilu Nyasha talking about Hugo Pinell (Aug. 13, 2015)

SF Bay View

A Tribute to Hugo Pinell, on Hard Knock Radion (KPFA), August 20th 2015 (listen here)

Interview with Sundiata Tate about Hugo Pinell (August 16, 2015)

Interview with Shujaa Graham of the California Prison Movement about Hugo Pinell (August 18th 2015)

Interview with David Johnson of the San Quentin Six (August 18th 2015)


We just learned that our beloved Hugo Yogi Pinell was killed yesterday, August 12th 2015. We are saddened and shocked, and we are still gathering information. We will write more once we know more.
[Updated 8/14/15]

Rest in Power Yogi!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Hugo Pinell's Parole turned down again for 5 years

Greetings All:
It's with great sadness, but renewed hope, that we announce the results of of our brother Yogi's May 2nd Board hearing.

His attorney, Keith Wattley, reported the Board gave Hugo a five-year hit, but with the following caveat:  If he participates in the prison's Step-Down program, he will get another hearing in about a year to a year and a half.

This is certainly better than the worst possibility, a 15-year denial, but I'm quite sure it doesn't make Hugo's mother very happy.  She's well into her 80s and has been waiting nearly 50 years to have her son released and back home.

We are all disappointed, but still very committed to Yogi's ultimate release.  So please keep up your support, and send Yogi some love.  He'll need it to get through this disappointing period, as well as encouragement to endure this next phase of incarceration.  As far as we know, he is still in lockup, albeit with less tortuous conditions than at Pelican Bay.