First and foremost let me thank you for the newspaper that you have been sending me. It lightens up my spirit and soul to know that people on the outside are trying to help people like me who are locked up in hell in Ohio and elsewhere.
Burton and Carol Stringfellow write us with kindness and we sure appreciate them. You all are in my prayers.
David Carpenter, POW
I read the last issue of the paper and was touched by the letters the women wrote. Being a father of a 10 year old daughter, I can relate to the other inmates and their struggle. So I am asking to receive a paper. I would rather get the information from you than jailhouse rumor. You all are doing a great job helping us, so please keep up the good work. Besides the Lord, people like you of the November Coalition are the only help we have. God bless you and all the other POWs around the country.
POW Derrick Ogletree
Two Redding police officers, also agents with the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force, fired their guns at and near a pickup driven by 20-year-old Bradley McKinney of Anderson, after driving up to the vehicle with their guns drawn, witnesses said. McKinney was shot in the arm by a bullet from officer Concello's pistol, according to police. The first shotfired by officer Bonnerwent through the windshield of the police car at an angle away from the pickup. Police say the officers followed the pickup because it left a home where suspected drug activity took place.
Neither drugs nor weapons were found in the pickup and there were no arrests. Shasta County District Attorney said last week that there will be no criminal charges filed against either officer. Officer Bonner stated his gun went off accidentally, Officer Concello believing they were being shot at returned fire hitting McKinney who had gotten out of his pickup and had his hands up in the air.
COMMENT: By Dodi Jones
I can't believe that people have become so complacent as to
accept this types of citations without batting a eye. Here a
young man was shot by the police because he drove away from a
house the police suspected may be involved with drugs. There
was no crime committed and yet they drive up to this pick up
with guns drawn. If a citizen had done the same thing and said
it was an accident they would be in jail facing attempted murder
with a deadly weapon. All the police had to do is mention the
word drugs and that made it alright, even though there were no
drugs found. This young man could have been your son and he could
have been killed yet no one had a problem with the DA's decision
not to press any charges against the officers.
Hello my friends,
One point that I want to address has to do with the "abuse of harmless error." How can anyone be brought before a jury and a judge proceed to trial when the government's lawyer commits "an error"? How can a person's life be judged when there has been any error?
No man or woman should be held, brought into a court of law, and abused by prosecutors and agents, then sent to prison because it was only a "harmless error." There can be no error when a person is faced with the loss of freedom.
This is now a system far and away from constitutional protections. The individual was to be protected from the governmentnot the other way around.
Karl A. Most III, POW
Answer: this policy has many deadly flaws. And the most deadly flaw lies with policy makers who refuse to share the theater with qualified personnel. Rational alternatives to our mortally wounded war on drugs continue to be shunned. Who seeks alternatives? Associations of trained professionals and private citizens who have taken the time to discover the success of alternatives such as needle exchange programs and decriminalizing marijuana for adults-to name a few.
Who supports war? Profiteers: drug cartels, money launderers, and politicians brazen out guilt in stupors of support.
Talk it over with friends. Ask policy makers to pursue alternatives under a model of harm reduction and tolerance.
We can treat addiction, we can even live with it, but who is profiting from this barrage of open caskets, private prisons and hollow promises?
John F. Wilson
January 10, 1998
Dublin Federal Prison Camp, CA
Dear November Coalition:
I'm a P.O.W. I've just heard of you and your cause. Jesus said: "Give honor to whom honor is due." I give all honor to what you are doing for us P.O.W.s and our families.
I'm writing you briefly about something Jesus said over two thousand years ago that still applies today. I and my family included will join you in your quest, and I will soon be sending you my story of how and why I'm serving a 41 month (3 years 5 months) sentence, and my husband Michael Flowers is serving a 151 months (almost 13 years) sentence.
Jesus was speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees -the lawmakers of that generation. You can very well see that He is also speaking to the lawmakers of our generation. Jesus was talking about our President, Congress, the Government, U.S. Attorneys, and all Lawmakers and Enforcers.
"WOE TO YOU, LAWMAKERS AND HYPOCRITES! FOR YOU ARE LIKE WHITE-WASHED TOMBS WHICH INDEED APPEAR BEAUTIFUL OUTWARDLY, BUT INSIDE ARE FULL OF DEAD MEN'S BONES, AND ALL KINDS OF FILTH. EVEN SO YOU APPEAR RIGHTEOUS TO MEN, BUT INSIDE YOU ARE FULL OF HYPOCRISY AND LAWLESSNESS." -- Matthew 23, verses 27 & 28.
Keep up the good work.
Sincerely, Kim Flowers
Light in the window is an excellent idea, for each of us who
feel the injustice of the imprisonment of many thousands of good
people for victimless drug war 'crimes' to place in their window
a lighted candle -- and to leave it there until this despicable
war against innocent people is ended. It's time to stand up and
be counted, and a candle in the window is a way to do it.
Dear friends and colleagues,
I hold in my grasp your December 97/January '98 issue. It is worn almost to the point of illegibility by its passage through the countless hands of my fellow POWs. Second generation Xerox copies of this cherished issue now circulate in its placecontinuing to disseminate your (our) words of hope to those who have almost forgotten what hope is.
Robert Milchner, POW
I just got finished reading an article titled "Who is the November Coalition?" and I must say that I was really impressed. I has no idea that there was a organization out there that believed the way I do. It was a relief and breath of fresh air to finally hear someone make sense out of all this non-sense. Recently, about 2 months ago, I was turned in by a "friend" turned informant and the Drug Task Force busted me with sells of 2 ounces of marijuana, possession with the intent to sell, and possession of a pot pipe. Now I am in no way condoning my actions, but what scares my it the maximum sentence for my crime in Montana is life in prison. Now I have a wife and 2 kids and the last thing they need or I for that matter is to go to prison for a seemly harmless crime.
I just wanted you to know that you have a 100% supporter here and will do what ever it take and for how ever long it takes to change these drug law where so much moneys is spent for the government getting no where. Once again thank you for being there.
Your friend, Jeff
Subject: RE: Light in the Window - LTE's Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998
From: PAO NCOIC MSG Glynn
Dear Ms. Callahan,
I've recently joined the November mailing list and was happy to see that a fellow Washingtonian was spearheading the effort on one of the fronts against the War on Drugs. I'm from Spokane, though I haven't lived there since 1980 when I joined the Army, but I'm hoping to return someday, especially to the when the nation has declared peace in the Drug War and our Constitution and human rights are reinstated and apply to all American citizens. I'm about ready to retire from the Army and return to civilian life and will begin to add my voice when I'm out. Anyway, you're busy and just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. Good luck, take care.
I just read this info on the war on drugs and not only am I disgusted with what the federal and local governments are allowed to get away with but my main question is this - Who are these people that are keeping these financially oriented laws and attitudes on top? My family are God following Christians (not churchites) and there is not a single person in our family or our many friends who believe in what is happening to people just because they smoke a plant. Why aren't these people who are making a living bringing horror to innocent people pointed out and stopped? Is there no one to stand up to these rich liars and call them just what they arerich liars! These are truly the dark ages. When will Americans take a good look at where the power that these politically correct scumbags have comes fromthe people themselves. Wake up America and stop listening to the fueled propaganda of the news media. They live in the trophy homesyou don't! Common sense is dead! I started not to sign this for fear of persecution by the corrupted government but I did not spend a year in Vietnam getting shot, to sit back and let "I'm just doing my job" bastards keep my family and I in a state of fear! Wake up America and do the only thing you canVote the bastards out!!!!!!
Sincerely BOBBY LEE GODWIN
November 5, 1997
As I sit on my bunk reading the Prisoners of War in America stories from our last edition Vol. 1 No. 3, tears well up in my eyes. I see and read about our youth and what this war on drugs is doing to the beautiful families of our America; The land of the not so free. My heart goes out to these men and women for they are being imprisoned by a government which cares nothing about the people-only this war on drugs which nets billions of dollars and a slave force that boggles the imagination.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of us, accused of drug crimes with little or no evidence. We are sentenced to 10 to 30 years on a first time offense. Some have never even had a parking ticket, yet they find that the government has seized all their property, sold all of their possessions at auction, and totally broken up so many families. As a result of this illegal drug war there are untold numbers of children that are now orphans. In many cases both parents have been torn away from their children on false conspiracy charges.
Because I am a C .M. S . clerk at my assigned FCI, I see the millions of dollars put into these institutions yearly to warehouse people and increase the security. Though I have not been in a low security FCI for long (one year) I transferred from a high level in Colorado, I see much the same or more security measures here. This institution has a twenty two million plus dollar payroll for staff alone, and there are over 140 institutions throughout the federal system with 19 more scheduled to be built by 1999. They can't staff the institutions as is, so the federal government seeks to privatize a portions as we speak.
The figures I mention are fact because I have seen these figures pass before my eyes as well as a 14 million dollar price tag to run this institution. So when I say billions are spent each year it's no joke.
When I see what the November Coalition is doing for those of us doing long sentences for nonviolent drug ware so called crimes, I realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My tunnel runs till June of 2003 on a ten year track which is now almost one half over. I was set up by an informant to pressure me into giving up people so he could remain free. He was killed and because the DEA did not get what they wanted I'm doing ten years.
Keep us informed. Most of us know the ride will undoubtedly get rougher but we will do what we have to do to help you, and though we are on the inside our prayers are with you because this can only be fought through the people outside and not by us individually in the courts. Some way Congress must be convinced that millions of dollars are being wasted and the real drug problem is not any closer to a solution.
I believe an amnesty for first offense nonviolent drug cases is imminent.
Mitakuye Oyasin, Scott Braden-Walker, POW