September 6, 2022
To Whom It May Concern,
Virginia is not well known for its support of the rights of human beings, and in a gross violation of the 1st Amendment, and strictly as a political move, the local staff at Pocahontas State Correctional Center have decided to selectively target zines that do not profess a political opinion they (the staff) agree with, that being any opinion that is not inherently neo-fascist or under the ‘Trumpite’ doctrine.
Recently, several writers, who are in fact legitimate licensed publishers, have had their projects arbitrarily blocked: Christopher Robin (IpressOn Press), Markell West (Just A Jefferson) and the East Bay Prisoner Support group.
PSCC is in open violation of upheld laws at the Circuit and Supreme Court level (see ‘Turner Standard’). Be advised that, while the focus is certainly to retain our 1st Amendment Rights, PSCC is breaking numerous laws daily, as does the entire Virginia Department of Corrections.
What makes this violation of the 1st Amendment so especially egregious is that VaDOC has come up with an Operating Procedure – 803-1 – designed to circumvent already established guidelines for what constitutes a “publication”.
They have in fact states that these materials, coming from licensed publishers “do not qualify as publications”. What filthy, arrogant audacity.
I am putting into play the paperwork necessary to fight this and take it to court. (I already have one lawsuit against these very bad people.) You can help:
Send me your zines. If they are returned to you, you will also receive a letter from me with a copy of why it was returned. The State of Virginia is a haven for fascists, and it is a frontline in the civil war that grows hotter every day. We need every activist and troll online and in the streets to focus on the VaDOC and Virginia in general.
Pocahontas State Correctional
PO Box 518
Pocahontas, VA 24635
David Annarelli is a wrongfully convicted political prisoner and a contributing writer at the Prison Journalism Project.