Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. Cockburn’s rules on how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC
 Day 19

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Degradation on Death Row

Steve Champion’s Hunger Strike in San Quentin

by TOM KERR

If you oppose the degrading treatment of prisoners, much less the death penalty, please take a minute to read Steve Champion’s story, as presented by the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper.

You will find reflected in his list of demands an approach to “corrections” that dehumanizes in the extreme—and that can thrive in this country because so many Americans somehow fail to understand that one is dehumanized to the degree that one dehumanizes and because so few Americans know what is happening behind our prison walls.

Steve’s last-resort protest clearly transcends his own situation, as he carries the torch of human rights and dignity for all prisoners—his fellow prisoners on death row, prisoners all over California, and prisoners around the world.

Please heed the Bay View’s call and help Steve’s friends and supporters “flood the San Quentin warden and Corrections spokespersons with calls and emails calling for justice for Steve Champion”:

San Quentin Warden Kevin Chappell, Kevin.Chappell@cdcr.ca.gov or (415) 454-1460

CDCR Press Secretary Jeffrey Callison, Jeffrey.Callison@cdcr.ca.gov

CDCR Deputy Press Secretary Terry Thorton, Terry.Thornton@cdcr.ca.gov

People running the show inside need to know that people outside care, that we are paying attention.

TOM KERR teaches writing and rhetoric at Ithaca College. He can be reached at tkerr@ithaca.edu.

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