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Milwaukee IWOC calls for a national day of action in solidarity with the Dying to Live hunger strike at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI).

 “…Well the past few days have been hard. Apart from the pain, humiliation, and sick process I have to go through 3 times per day in this force-feeding, I am okay. The weather though make it hard. It makes you dizzy and sick. Plus it makes you hungry as well. I try not to think of food or else you break,”

Cesar DeLeon’s most recent letter to Milwaukee IWOC.

Cesar DeLeon and LaRon McKinley-Bey began refusing food on June 7. They called their protest Dying to Live, and demanded an end to indefinite solitary confinement, what the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) calls Administrative Confinement (AC). On June 17 the DOC requested and got approval to force feed the hunger striking prisoners.

Milwaukee IWOC (The Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing Committee of the IWW) has been supporting this protest, in coalition with other groups for 60 days now. We have marched on the DOC twice, held rallies in Milwaukee and Madison, shamed DOC Secretary Jon Litscher at a public meeting he chaired, passed out hundreds of flyers and held banners over freeways many times. The DOC has conceded nothing, and conditions for the prisoners have remained abysmal.

June 10, Milwaukee, Photo credit: Sam Caravana. Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

June 10, Milwaukee, Photo credit: Sam Caravana. Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Now Milwaukee IWOC is calling for national solidarity and mobilization to back up our next action. On Aug 13, we will mobilize against the WI DOC and we need others to amplify the signal and make the Dying to Live protest a national issue.

Why get involved?

Cesar DeLeon is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) a militant labor union whose slogan is “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”. Cesar and LaRon have had tubes shoved down their noses to force bottles of ensure into their stomachs well over 100 times at this point. For a while, the staff doctor had advised that feeding three times a day was excessive, and changed the practice to once every couple of days, so we’re not clear on the actual number of
tube feedings. Continue reading

Update and Summary of Wisconsin Hunger Strike

rally 6 21 16Wisconsin DOC is force feeding prisoners.

We have confirmed at least two of the perhaps dozens of prisoners who have been refusing food since the week of June 10th are being force fed by WI DOC officials. Using a practice which has been condemned by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Red Cross as a form of torture and “never ethically acceptable,” Wisconsin DOC personnel have been forcing a feeding tube through the nose and down the throat of their restrained and struggling captives three times a day since last weekend.

On Tuesday, Cesar DeLeon, one of the most vocal of the hunger strikers was finally able to contact his family to describe the procedure, which he had already endured many times. During his weekly fifteen minute video visit with his sister Erika he said that staff often leaves the tube in his throat for a long time after the actual feeding, that the procedure causes bleeding and that they laugh at him and mock him while conducting it. According to the AMA inserting a feeding tube in an unwilling patient risks tearing the esophagus, or accidentally filling the lungs with fluid, both potentially fatal injuries. Tristan Cook, the DOC’s Communications Director has assured the public that the DOC is monitoring the hunger strike, indicating that DOC Director Jon Litscher is aware of and responsible for his staff’s conduct with these prisoners. Continue reading