US prison struggles: latest calls for support

As the wave of revolt in the US prison system continues, more and more people are finding themselves targeted for reprisals by the prison authorities. These people are taking incredible risks to challenge an unjust system, and knowing that there’s people on the outside paying attention can have a real impact on the confidence of both the rebels and the authorities. Here’s a list of the most recent calls for support:

UPDATE: New York – Medical campaign for Robert Seth Hayes

Robert Seth Hayes, a long-standing prisoner from the original Black Panther days, has been suffering medical neglect for a while now, and suffered a diabetic coma just last week, so there’s an urgent call for him to be provided with an insulin pump/sugar monitor that could save his life. Please contact Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D. to demand that Robert Seth Hayes 74A2280 be provided with an insulin pump/sugar monitor:

Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D.
Deputy Commissioner/Chief Medical Officer
NYS DOCCS Division of Health Services
Harriman State Campus, Building #2
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2050

Phone: 518-457-7073

Fax: 518-445-7553

I’m not entirely certain of this, but I think you should also be able to pass this message on by emailing, and – at least, those addresses didn’t seem to bounce for me, so they’re worth a try.

To contact Seth himself, write to

Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA

Ohio – inmate subjected to sexualised targeting by guards

Anarchist prisoner Sean Swain reports on how prison staff publically humiliated another inmate in a way designed to mark him out as a target for sexual assualt. To send some solidarity to Michael Rhodus, write to him at:

Michael Rhodus #714-293
Warren Correctional Inst.
P.O. Box 120
Lebanon, OH 45036

Missouri – Ferguson prisoner Josh Williams:

Over in Missouri, Josh Williams, who was jailed for his role in the Ferguson uprising, has been housed with violent offenders, which threatens his safety, and is asking for help in first getting moved to a different level, and and also to be moved to another prison closer to home.

Phone numbers: (573)-751-2389 and (573)-751-3222


Message: “Hello, I am a concerned citizen contacting you on behalf of Joshua Williams #1292002, who is currently housed at the ERDCC in Bonne Terre, MO. Joshua Williams has been unjustly housed with violent offenders in level 5 at this facility, when he should be in level 2. Joshua Williams is a non-violent, wrongly convicted young man with no priors. Because the prison has jeopardized the safety of Joshua Williams and housed him haphazardly, we are also demanding that Joshua Williams be transferred to a facility closer to his home in St Louis, MO.

We need Joshua Williams transferred from level 5 to level 2, and his transfer papers should be approved and in process immediately.

I need this message to be passed on to the director, deputy director, and any other parties who can expedite this process. This is an emergency and of the utmost importance.”

You can also drop Josh a line with a few words of support at

Josh Williams #1292002
2727 Highway K
Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Oregon – IWOC comrades Josh and Scott:

Up in Oregon, Portland Anarchist Black Cross are reporting that local Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee members have been victimised for organising their fellow inmates at Deer Ridge Correctional Institute, with two organisers now having been moved to a different prison.

You can ring Deer Ridge Superintendent Tim Causey at 541-325-5999 Ext. 5226

or email,, and

to pass on the following message:

“I am contacting you in solidarity with prisoners incarcerated at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras, Oregon.

Many prisoners at DRCI have reported being served inadequate portions of food, under cooked food, rotten/moldy food, food that is marked expired and therefore, unfit for human consumption. Prisoners and their supporters at DRCI have requested that staff comply with Oregon State law 169.076 that details food served to inmates must be “procured, stored, prepared, distributed and served under sanitary conditions, as defined by the authority under ORS 624.041 (Rules) and that inmates “will be fed nutritionally adequate meals in accordance with a plan reviewed by a registered dietitian or the Oregon Health Authority.”

However, Superintendent Tim Causey has responded by putting prisoners who have raised concerns in “disciplinary housing”. I am contacting you to ask that you tell Superintendent Tim Causey to end the campaign of repression against these two individuals. Targeting inmates because of their advocacy for prisoner and human rights is unethical, illegal and therefore subject to further legal action against the DOC. We ask that you restore their privileges, communications and return them to general population.”

Since Joshua and Scott have now been transferred, you could also contact their new institution at by ringing Superintendent Jeri Taylor at 541-278-3602 or by emailing the following addresses:,,,,,,

and tell them:

“I understand that Joshua Cartrette #12225965 and Scott Elam #16883095 have both been moved to the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute as punishment for raising concerns about unsanitary and unsafe food at Deer Ridge Correctional Institute. I am contacting you to ask that you end the campaign of repression against these two individuals. Targeting inmates because of their advocacy for prisoner and human rights is unethical, illegal and therefore subject to further legal action against the DOC. We ask that you restore their privileges, communications and return them to general population, and allow them to be transferred back to Deer Ridge if they wish.”

You can read more about the situation in a letter from Joshua here, and you contact the two IWOC comrades by writing to them at

Joshua Cartrette 12225965
2500 Westgate
Pendleton, Oregon 97801-9699


Scott Elam 16883095
2500 Westgate
Pendleton, Oregon 97801-9699

Indiana – torture at Wabash Valley:

There’s a request to contact Richard Brown: (812) 398-5050 and Bruce Lemmon: (317) 232-5711.

Email addresses for the Indiana Department of Corrections are,,, and

The message to pass on is

“I am calling to protest the ongoing torture of prisoners in disciplinary segregation at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. The prisoners are being tortured by slow starvation and exceedingly cold temperatures in the cells.  The food rations these prisoners are receiving are dangerously insufficient, and the staff keeps the AC on so high that prisoners are constantly cold. Please examine the practices of the staff at WVCF in regard to the provision of food to inmates in and their operation of the heating and cooling system in disciplinary segregation. Also, please repair the sink in the cell of James Phillips (DOC #106333), because it is currently broken to the point that he can’t get water to drink unless he puts his mouth on the faucet. Thank you.”

To support the prisoner in question directly, write to him at
James Phillips, #106333
PO Box 1111
Carlisle, IN, 47838

California – Santa Clara hunger strike:

Ring Sheriff Laurie Smith at (408)808-4611 or (408)299-8770


Tell them:

“Hello, I am contacting you in support of the ongoing hunger strike being staged by Santa Clara prisoners, and to request that you engage in negotiations to bring the strike to a conclusion as swiftly as possible.

Here are their demands:

  1. End: Meaningless classification reviews and biased appeal process.


  1. Incorporate classification practices of other jurisdictions (CDCR, Alameda County, etc.)
  2. Establish independent oversight and review of inmate appeal process, jail conditions, practices and policies.
  3. Safeguard all due process protections.
  1. End: Placement in solitary confinement when there exists no serious rule violation to merit such placement.
  2. Prohibit the use of long-term/indefinite solitary confinement.
  3. Prohibit the use of solitary confinement based solely on gang allegations, affiliation, validation, etc.


  1. Follow the classification and housing practice of other jurisdictions (CDCR, Alameda County, etc.)
  2. Allow all inmates a genuine opportunity to be downclassed and properly integrated into the general population.
  3. Determine classification/housing of all inmates based on individual behavior.
  1. End: Policy/practice of denying inmates adequate clothing.


  1. Establish policy that promotes proper hygiene.
  2. Provide two sets of tops. and bottoms, three sets of underclothes, and sufficient clothing exchange.
  1. End: Jail profiteering and exploitation of prisoners and their families through contract bidding of commissary vendors based on kick-backs and political incentives for campaign contributions.


  1. Set commissary prices equal to or cheaper than those set in CDCR.
  2. Approve more packaging vendors to create a competitive and fair market.
  1. End: Recidivism and misappropriation of Inmate Welfare Funds.


  1. Expand and provide constructive programming and privileges for all inmates regardless of classification status.
  2. Create opportunity to engage in meaningful self-help treatment, work, education, and other activities related to having a sense of being a part of a community in preparation for re-entering society for all inmates.
  3. Reallocate Inmate Welfare Funds toward education and rehabilitation programs.”

Michigan – Kinross prison uprising

You can read an account of the Kinross prison uprising here, and contact the author at

Gilbert Morales #186641
Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility
13924 Wadaga Rd.
Baraga, MI 49908-9204

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A quiet victory: Notts cops cop out of Rojava case

It’s not the kind of story that makes for big, attention-grabbing headlines, but Nottingham saw an important victory against state repression this week, as the bail conditions against Aiden Aslin were finally dropped. Aiden has spent the last 8 months under restrictive bail conditions as the cops and CPS tried to decide whether volunteering to join the Kurdish YPG in their fight against ISIS was worthy of a terrorism charge or not.

Aiden and supporters at an earlier bail date

Criminalisation of the Kurdish movement is a bad thing, not just for those who are most involved in supporting it, but also for anyone who just wants to be able to have a serious critical discussion of the subject, because it’s impossible to have a free and honest conversation about a subject where expressing an overly enthusiastic opinion could get you banged up as being a terrorist sympathiser. It’s still bullshit that Shilan Ozcelik was jailed for essentially the same reason last year, but it’s great news to know that Aiden won’t be having to put up with any more police harrassment and can start to move on with his life.

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Practical resistance in education: rent strikes and survey sabotage

The UK’s student movement has had some really impressive moments in the last few years, but it’s also often struggled to come up with lasting ways of building power beyond brief and quickly-evicted occupations. One of the most promising steps forward in the last year or so has been the crossover between student and housing struggles in the shape of the rent strike, and now rent strike organisers are pushing to take things national. To kick things off, there’s an action of some sort organised for Wednesday 19th October, meeting up at 2:30 at Russell Square. The organisers suggest “action briefing on arrival then ~we’ll see what happens from there~”.

Meanwhile, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts’ call for a boycott of the National Student Survey – the mechanism used to rate “teaching excellence” and so on – seems to also be having some effect. As with the rent strike, the survey boycott isn’t just about a spectacular moment of confrontation, but a withdrawal of the kind of day-to-day co-operation needed to make the system run – in this case, refusal to take part in a survey that “informs league tables, is used to monitor staff, and will be a key metric in the government’s proposed Teaching Excellence Framework”. Both tactics seem like promising ones for helping to develop a movement of resistance with real roots in people’s daily lives, and the rest of us should watch closely to see what we can do to help, and what we can learn from the tactics that cut off the flow of rent money to landlords and information to managers.

Posted in Housing, Strikes, Students | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Solidarity against ISIS and the cops: Nottingham, Wednesday 19th October

Support for Aiden Aslin at the Beyond Europe camp this summer.

Just a quick reminder that the alleged YPG volunteer Aiden Aslin has a court date on Wednesday 19th, which will hopefully bring the news that the CPS have decided to drop all charges, but may yet turn out to be the start of a terrorism case. There’s a call-out for people who can make it to Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for 1pm in support on the day.

Meanwhile, the Rotherham 12 trial of people accused of taking direct action against Britain First continues in Sheffield. I’m not currently aware of any direct calls for support from the campaign, but keep an eye on their facebook page to keep up with what’s going on.

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The legacy of Cable Street: militant resistance against oppression today

At a time when so many people are commemorating the 80th anniversary of the historic victory over Mosley’s fascists at Cable Street, I thought it was worth taking a moment to remind people about two different court cases that both, in different ways, revolve around people whose (alleged) actions have helped keep the spirit of militant resistance seen at Cable Street alive.

First, there’s the Rotherham 12 trial, which has now started at Sheffield Crown Court. This trial is a result of an incident that took place during a Britain First march through Rotherham in September 2015, shortly after the murder of Mushin Ahmed. Violence erupted after police kettled the counter-demonstration and then forced them to disperse down a route that took them past the pub the fascists were drinking in/outside, and now 12 people are on trial facing violent disorder charges for allegedly taking part in the confrontation with Britain First that followed. Anyone who identifies with the tradition of resistance that was seen at the battle against the British Union of Fascists 80 years ago should do whatever they can to support those who’re facing charges for allegedly taking on Britain First today.

Secondly, Aiden Aslin, the alleged YPG volunteer who’s spent months and months hanging around on bail while the CPS try to get it together enough to decide whether or not they think volunteering to fight against ISIS counts as a terrorism offence or not, will be appearing at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on October 19th, where the CPS will hopefully announce that the charges are dropped and he’s free to go, but they might charge him, or just postpone making any kind of a decision and keep him in limbo for another few months. If you can get down to Nottingham Magistrates’ on the 19th to support him, please do; if you know anyone who might be able to make it, help spread the word. Whether against Britain First in Rotherham or ISIS in Syria, militant struggle against fascism should be celebrated, not criminalised.

Posted in Racism, Repression, The right | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Cleaners’ struggles in London, Oct 13-14

Next week sees a few different protests in support of ongoing cleaners’ struggles in the capital.

First up, the RMT’s organised two demonstrations in support of outsourced tube cleaners, who’re already low-paid and are now being affected by staffing cuts, on Thursday 13th: one starting at 10am outside City Hall, then one later in the day at 3pm outside the Interserve headquarters.

Justice for Cleaners

The following day, the UVW union have organised a protest at the LSE starting at 1, demanding the reinstatement of Alba, a long-standing member of the LSE’s cleaning team who’s just been sacked by the cleaning contractor Noonan. You can see a brief clip of Alba asking for support here:


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Ditching the Fear: The logistics workers’ movement in Italy

Ditching the Fear, a recent (80 minutes long) film looking at the activities of the Italian base union SI Cobas and its involvement in warehouse workers struggles there, is now available to view online at It’s a great look at people in crappy working conditions, how they fight back together, and how starting from people’s real work and lives immediately means coming up against questions like gendered harassment, instability tied to immigration status, and confrontations with the cops. Highly recommended. In the film-makers’ own words:

Since 2008 in northern Italy, unusual things have been happening. Companies, the polical class and the media are using the onset of the crisis to further undermine workers’ rights, which have been, up until now, crushed. On the other side, a lively and strong resistance has been forming at the bottom end of the wage scale.

Of all people, it is the precarious and largely migrant workers in the logistics sector who have, through solidarity and effective organising, been successful in overcoming their isolation and degrading working conditions. A struggle that hasn’t just changed their working conditions but has changed their whole lives.

“I’d been talking with the girls since 2012 because I came to know about this union called SI Cobas. But there has been a lot of fear because they put you in a condition of servility, you are enslaved to the point that you can’t even say ‘a’. You don’t say anything, you work item after item after item… So I’d been speaking with the girls since 2012 and I don’t know how it happened. It was good luck.” (Yoox Worker, from the film)


Posted in Strikes, Stuff that I think is pretty awesome, Unions, Work | Tagged , , | 2 Comments