From Arawak City Anarchist Black Cross, by Laron McKinley Bey, #42642
In a nation that would not tolerate shutting in zoo animals 23-24 hours per day the State of Wisconsin has no compunction confining prisoners to indefinite isolative Administrative Confinement (AC) alone in a parking-space size cell for 164 of the 168 hour week. Such prolongued social, environmental, and occupational isolation and lack of stimulation is well known to pose a substantial risk of harm to mental and physical health.
Norman Uhuru Green and I, 2 of the longest standing Wisconsin prisoners held in this type of endless isolation at 18 years, and nearly 28 years respectively, together with Cesar DeLeon, form the 3 remaining original ‘Dying to Live’ movement hunger strikers who continue to refuse to eat or drink in hopes of forcing an end to the state’s practice of indeterminate seclusion.
On June 7, 2016, a group of 10 Wisconsin prisoners in solitary confinement at the Waupun and Columbia correctional institutions began refusing nourishment to expose the inhumane conditions of their confinement, and to facilitate dignified treatment of all humans. Within a few weeks the Department of Corrections had obtained court orders to force-feed Uhuru, DeLeon, and I 3 times daily which entails being placed in full restraints, and then strapped into a ‘restraint chair’ and having a nasal-gastro tube inserted in one nostril to the stomach where a liquid mixture of nutrition is funneled. Besides violating the sanctity of our bodies, this procedure is an invalid state response to a dignified struggle and it can cause significant internal injury.
Despite this, our strength and morale remains high, and we are determined until we see substantative change.
Among our reasonable demands are a 1 year cap on the length of AC, and a 15 day cap on punitive isolation. A coalition for support of prisoners on the outside has carried our reasonable demands to the DOC officials and state legislation, which may lead to proposed legislation on a negotiated settlement.
-Laron McKinley Bey, #42642
Waupun Correctional Institution
PO box 351
Waupun, WI 53963