Saturday, July 27, 2013

Memorial to Billy 'Guero' Sell, dead while taking part in California Prisoner Hunger Strike for Human Rights

Statewide Prisoner Hunger Strike to Stop Torture, Long-Term Isolation & Indefinite Solitary Confinement in Prisons [link]

Anonymous commentator said...
I wonder how the cellmate Sell murdered in 2007 would respond to this story.....Karma? I do not think it is fair to paint this man, as a "victim"..when he showed no passion for his attempted murder years ago..and then for his victim and cell mate he murdered in 2007....I could care less about his art work.
Northbay MDS replies:
Ah. Well, your comment "sets the record straight". As this project of recording various campaigns is being made by an individual, I support all efforts by the public to set the record straight with corrections or further information. Of course, the Human Rights abuse in California prisons is prevalent, and that's the real issue. If prisons were meant to be like an old Soviet GULAG, then there's no reason to think the USA is freedom loving. But if our prisons were meant to be better than a GULAG, than this is why these stories are being posted, to act as the watchful eyes for freedom against tyranny. Yes, I live amongst criminals here in this so-called "ghetto" in Vallejo's hillside, and I am cold in my heart having seen so much death and sex-slavery and deadly actions against our neighbors, but even I know that Human Rights abuse is evil, despite it occurring against a convicted violent criminal, abuse which makes his already bad character worse. The lesson here is, we live in California, and we shouldn't have to stand for conditions which are similar to dictatorships, even in our prisons, or we lose as a culture!

Drawing by an unknown prisoner

2013-07-27 "Prisoner in Corcoran SHU dies while on hunger strike; Fellow prisoners mourn, advocates raise questions about his death"
by Isaac Ontiveros, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition []:
Isaac Ontiveros of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization working to abolish the prison industrial complex, is a spokesperson for the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition. He can be reached at (510) 444-0484 or
Oakand – Mediators working on behalf of hunger striking prisoners have received disturbing news that Billy Sell, known to his friends as Guero, died while on strike at Corcoran State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU) on Monday, July 22. His death is being ruled a suicide by prison officials.
Fellow prisoners have reported that Sell was participating in California’s massive statewide hunger strike – now in its 20th day. They further reported that Sell had been requesting medical attention for several days prior to his death.
They described Sell as “strong, a good person” and openly questioned the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) ruling his death a suicide, saying it was “completely out of character for him.”
Advocates are outraged at Sell’s death, noting that it could have been prevented if CDCR had negotiated with strikers.
Mediators are working to get further accurate information and accountability from the CDCR. “This story is deeply troubling and contradicts the assurances that the hunger-striking prisoners are receiving about appropriate medical care,” says Ron Ahnen of California Prison Focus and the mediation team representing striking prisoners.
Mediators have made an official inquiry to the federal receiver overseeing California’s prisons. This report comes amid growing concern for the medical care strikers are receiving, along with continued condemnation of the CDCR’s response to the strike and Gov. Brown’s total silence on the issue.
Bayview Newspaper Editor’s note: This very tragic news is of the first known death of a participant in the 2013 hunger strike. According to the person who first reported it and who spoke with several of his fellow prisoners, Billy Michael “Guero” Sell, CDCr No. P-41250, age 32, was housed in 4B-3L of the Corcorcan SHU, had not been under mental health care and had been going without water as well as food.
The prisoners reportedly described him as “strong, a good person, a good soldier” and concluded that “Billy died because of the hunger strike.” He is said to be from Riverside, but supporters have not yet been able to locate and talk with his family. The Bay View sends condolences to everyone who was Billy’s friend, comrade, fellow prisoner or family member.
This preventable death compels us all to push Gov. Jerry Brown harder to meet the prisoners’ demands and end the hunger strike before we lose any more of these brave freedom fighters. Billy “Guero” Sell’s life mattered.
Call Gov. Brown at (916) 445-2841, email him via, fax him at (916) 558-3160 or write him at Gov. Jerry Brown, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814.

PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE ALERT! (Week of July 29-August 4, 2013)
"Man Down!" That's the cry prisoners shout to the guards when a man needs immediate medical attention. The guards at Corcoran State Prison did not respond to the cry, and hunger striker Billy 'Guero' Sell died on July 22, 2013.
The Corcoran prison officials allege that Billy Sell committed suicide.
Prisoners tell a very different story...
"Man Down!" shouted hunger strikers to the guards in San Quentin's notorious prison within a prison, the solitary confinement Adjustment Center on Death Row. Four of the hunger strikers were not drinking water, as well as refusing all food.
Fortunately, these Adjustment Center prisoners are still alive. But, to this day, the Warden has not met with the hunger strikers to address their just demands.
In this fourth week of the hunger strike, even people with strong bodies and strong spirits will be in need of immediate medical monitoring. We do not want anyone else to die!
Please send this message to the prison officials (listed below):
1. To Warden Connie Gipson at Corcoran Prison:
phone: 559-992-8800 ext. 5008

2. To Warden Kevin Chappell at San Quentin Prison:
phone: 415-455-5000

3. To CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard:
phone: 916-323-6001
fax: 916-442-2637

To keep up to date on the hunger strike, sign up for the daily list serve at

Send your love, solidarity and some postage stamps to a hunger striker:
Mr. Carlos Argueta F-63367;
Ca. State Prison - San Quentin 3AC - 15- N;
San Quentin, CA 94974

Thank you,
PHSS Pledge of Alert work group

See the beautiful artwork of Billy 'Guero' Sell, the prisoner who was hunger striking in Corcoran and died July 22, 2013 at age 32. Here is the link: []

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