As the struggles inside the US prison system continue to heat up, and the planned nationwide work stoppage on September 9th grows closer, the administrations are increasingly cracking down on those prisoners involved in organising. Outside support is crucial to let those in charge of the prisons know that there’s people watching them, so they can’t just get away with doing whatever they want.
The most dramatic situation is in Wisconsin, where several people have been on hunger strike for months now and are being kept on the verge of death. They’re being denied access to clean bottled water and forced to drink water from the prison, which is polluted with high levels of lead and caused a striker to vomit when he tried to drink it on an empty stomach. They ask for people to make the following requests to the contact details below:
1.Let Cesar DeLeon and LaRon McKinley have bottled water, let them buy as much as they want from the commissary.
2. Put a 1 year limit on Administrative Confinement for all WI prisoners
WCI Warden Brian Foster: 920-324-5571; PO Box351, Waupun WI 53963; email@example.com
DOC secretary Jon Litscher: 608-240-5000, Po Box 7925, Madison, WI 53707; firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ohio, Siddique Hasan, a long-time prison rebel and organiser involved in the strike movement, is being subjected to victimisation and bogus disciplinary charges, and he and other prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary have launched their own hunger strike as a response. The Free Ohio Movement are asking that people contact the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to demand that the conduct report against Siddique Hasan is dropped and that all restrictions on his communications with the outside world are removed. Looking on the ODRC website, the director’s page manages to tell you how many sodding grandchildren he has, but not what his email address is (but if you feel like calling or writing to him, you can contact him at 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43222 or 614-752-1150). You can contact their office of communications at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another post giving updates on Siddique’s situation has some important information that you might want to include in any communications with the Ohio prisons bureau – most crucially, that he’s having his communications cut off for 30 days even though the relevant rule sets a 12-day limit for this punishment, but also that the wrong staff member’s signature appears on the conduct report and that he’s having phone and email rights revoked even though there’s no suggestion that he’s been abusing them.
Finally, on the first of August a prison riot broke out at Holman prison in Alabama. Following this, several prisoners including anarchist comrade Michael Kimble were thrown into solitary confinement, and as of the 13th they hadn’t been given any explanation for why they were in segregation, which is supposed to happen within 72 hours, and were still being denied access to their personal property, including things like shoes, deodourant and toothbrushes. To support these prisoners, contact the Alabama Department of Corrections by ringing 251-368-8173, writing to Holman 3700, Atmore, AL 36503-3700, or emailing email@example.com, to pass on something along the lines of the following message:
“Hello, I’m calling to demand that Michael Kimble and other individuals put in segregation on August 1st after alleged rioting be released and have their property returned. They have been held there for over 72 hours without charge or phone call, violating DOC policy.”
The US prison system is seeing some really intense and courageous struggles at the moment, and that’s only going to intensify in the run-up to the national strike. Prison administrations are used to being able to get away with dirty tactics and straightforward brutality because they don’t expect anyone to be watching them; the more outside attention and hassle they get, the less confident they’ll be when victimising organisers. Let’s help our comrades inside keep the heat up.