Andy Lopez was murdered by a Sonoma County Sheriff in Santa Rosa, California on October 22nd, 2013. He was only 13 years old. Andy’s murder was deeply felt all over the world. 300 miles north of Santa Rosa, Jose Villarreal was moved to write and create art in honor of Andy from his cell in the SHU at CSP – Pelican Bay.
Jose Villarreal is a prolific writer and artist who has spent the last ten years of his life in the SHU at Pelican Bay. He writes frequently for publications such as California Prison Focus and The Rock. Everything Jose does he does with purpose and commitment – including taking part in the most recent prisoner hunger strikes that occurred at Pelican Bay and elsewhere throughout the California Prison system. Jose has dedicated his life to struggling for Brown youth, Aztlan and oppressed people everywhere. He could not sit idle after hearing that Andy Lopez had been murdered and quickly created the following portrait and poem for and about him. He recognized that Andy’s struggle is one that we all share – the fight against repression and for liberation. When we fight for Andy, we fight for all of us.
“The poem Andy’s Fight I tried to write it in a way that not just captures how his death affected me but to also empower people to see how Andy has mobilized many as well.”
You’re presence lives on in every struggle against brutality,
a precious life not spared the coarse nature of our reality.
A reflection of life under Amerikkka in these streets,
We yearn for the day youth need not worry about them folks wearing
them dam sheets.
You were not allowed to reach your 14th birthday,
This tragedy was felt all the way up in Pelican Bay.
I was in my windowless cell when I got the news,
mijito in our struggle for justice we will not lose!
Today we are born into a repressive state,
Yet the beauty of the people is shown resisting on your birthdate.
You’re precious life meant more than you would probably ever know,
Your small Brown fist has already dealt them a mighty big blow.
Transformation has started due to this pigs actions,
Look at the mobilization of people from so many factions!
Your fight began the day you were born,
Occupation will continue until struggle becomes the norm.
Today we rebuild with liberation in sight,
there is no way in hell we will abandon Andy’s fight!
By Jose Villarreal
Pelican Bay – State Prison
SHU – C11 – 106
PO Box 7500
Crescent City, CA 95532