Information is just now beginning to escape from Kinross Correctional Facility in northern Michigan, where one of the larger, more inspiring strike actions occurred on September 9. Retaliation by MDOC officials has been severe and violent. Three prisoners have turned up dead under suspicious circumstances. Find links to news reports and coverage below, and updates at https://www.facebook.com/Michigan-for-Prison-Abolition-585834328095870
Local organizations have connected and coordinated with National Lawyers Guild and IWOC as well as family members and the prisoners to get more information out and to build an effective response to the state’s violence and refusal to release information. Continue reading
Peacefully Marching Prisoners Tear Gassed, Zip-Tied, Left Out in Rain in Retaliation
KINCHELOE, MI – More than two weeks after prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility participated in a nationwide prison workers’ strike, the prisoners’ own accounts of what happened are beginning to emerge. Prisoners report that the facility was on lockdown from September 10 to the morning of September 22, preventing communication with their outside supporters.
Most prisoners, including kitchen staff, did not report for work on September 9 in conjunction with the nationwide work stoppage. The following morning between 400 and 500 prisoners marched peacefully in the yard. The deputy wardens came to the prisoners who communicated their grievances, including low wages, the commutation process, restrictive visitation room seating in violation of MDOC policy, high phone rates, poor quality and quantity of food provided by private contractor Trinity Services Group, the way the yard is run, living conditions that squeeze eight men into a room intended for four, no re-entry programs, no bleach for clothes, MP3 players that break easily and cannot be fixed or replaced, not enough room in the law library, not enough room in the visiting room causing some visitors to be turned away, and not being allowed to transfer to other facilities. Continue reading
“I would like you and supporters to know that there was a symbolic protest at Washington Correctional Center for Women in Gig Harbor on September 9. Three women refused to go to work in the prison library. The emergency response team was dispatched and the women were taken to Segregation. At their hearing last week, they were given 20 days in seg, and are facing reclassification and probably the loss of their jobs. In my opinion, this was a peaceful, non-violent expression of their opinions meant to draw attention to the issue of prison labor, and the response was much more disruptive than the event itself. The library has been closed since September 9. According to DOC, this was the only action in the entire state of Washington.”
Youngstown, OH- On Thursday August 18, 2016 the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) Rules Infraction Board (RIB) restricted Imam Siddique Hasan, of the Free Ohio Movement, from phone and email kiosk access. In response, Hasan and other Muslim prisoners have begun a hunger strike.
The RIB found Hasan guilty of violating Rule 59 of the OAC (Ohio Administrative Code) Section 5120-9-06 Inmate Rules of Conduct, which reads, (59) Any act not otherwise set forth herein, knowingly done which constitutes a threat to the security of the institution, its staff, other inmates, or to the acting inmate. (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/5120-9-06 )
According to the RIB conduct report, S. Ishmael, a freelance Imam who leads prayers and religious study classes at OSP and nearby Trumbul Correctional, accused Siddique Hasan of making threats against the institution. On August 1, 2016, Ishmael told OSP staff that Hasan had asked him to wear a suicide vest in to the institution. This conversation was supposed to have taken place during religious study on July 22. Hasan and other Muslims attending the class deny Imam Ishmael’s allegation.
“The staff Imam’s story is an absurd and offensive stereotype.” OSP prisoner David Martin told supporters over the phone. “If Hasan was supposed to have made this threat on July 22, why did it take nine days before the man told staff about it? What was he doing for those nine days?”
Please call OSP immediately and daily 330-743-0700 until they release him.
Ask to speak to the warden and demand that Hasan be allowed back into his regular cell and regain access to his property. The person they connect you to may pretend they only know Hasan by the name Carlos Sanders, even though his name was legally changed to Siddique Abdullah Hasan decades ago. His prison number is R130-559.
Hasan is one of the few public spokespeople for the national protest that will start on September 9 of this year. Last week he was visited by law enforcement who inaccurately described Sep 9 as a plot to harm people and blow up buildings.
It is important that we stand up to repression and terror-baiting as soon as it rears it’s head. Please call the prison and share this alert as widely as possible.
From Anarchy Live
[Note: Below is a text from anarchist comrade Michael Kimble, who just got thrown into segregation for allegedly participating in the most recent rebellion at Holman Prison.]
At the moment I’m writing from segregation (lockup) after being stripped, handcuffed, slapped, and placed here by the CERT (riot squad) on Monday, August 1, 2016 at approximately 11:45 pm. It’s now Wednesday and I haven’t been given my personal property (shoes/slides, soap, deodorant, clothes, toothbrush, etc.) nor have I received a 72 hour investigation notice as to why I’m being held in segregation.
I’m assuming that I’m being held for being involved in a rebellion (riot) that popped off on August 1, 2016 at around 3:06 pm. Initially there was a fight between prisoners, but escalated into a rebellion against the guards when they tried to intervene after being told numerous times that things were under control.
The guards didn’t listen and was chased out of C-dorm, which has become a space of self-governance and resistance against prison officials. Fires were set, control units taken.
I’m one of about ten prisoners who was also placed in segregation.
So, if you don’t hear from me personally, it means that all my property, including letters, addresses, phone numbers, have been destroyed or lost. I’ve had to borrow writing materials to get this out.
You can write Michael at,
Michael Kimble # 00138017
Atmore, AL 36503-3700
[Find a current list of hunger strikers and contact information here: https://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/07/list-of-hunger-strikers.html
Hunger strikes by some state prisoners protesting abuses of solitary confinement at the Waupun Correctional Institute are reportedly spreading to two other state prisons, according to prisoners’ rights advocates.
The Coalition of Prisoner Supporters has also received reports of dozens of hunger strikers at Columbia Correctional Institution, according to a letter from prisoner Robert Ward. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has refused to release the number of prisoners involved in the hunger strikes at any of the state prisons.
The so-called “Dying to Live” hunger strikes are an attempt by prisoners to abolish long term solitary confinement in Wisconsin, according to Coalition member Ben Turk of the Milwaukee Industrial Workers of the World. LaRon McKinley-Bey and Ras Uhuru Mutawakkil (state name Norman Green) have drafted a proposal of new rules for DOC’s use of solitary confinement. These rules were delivered to the DOC along with a rally and protest by 20 members of the Coalition of Prisoner Supporters on July 5 at WI DOC central office, according to Turk. Continue reading
Attention!!! James “Dhati Khalid” Pleasant, Free Alabama Movement Organizer, was arbitrarily transferred from St Clair population to Donaldson Correctional Facility and placed in a “Hotbay’ stripped Segregation Unit.* After repeatedly protesting the taking of all his belongings, he was sprayed with a chemical agent then placed in a shower stall the remainder of the night. Please call Donaldson Warden ASAP – Leon Bolling 205-436-3681
*a hotbay or stripped cell, also known as a suicide cell is a special unit often used to deprive prisoners of the most basic necessities on the pretext that they may harm themselves. The strip cell has no bed or furniture at all, prisoners confined there are denied all property including clothing, the temperature is kept low and the lights are on constantly. DOC’s claim to create these cells for mental health observation, but the conditions, sleep deprivation and isolation, are actually designed to cause or exacerbate mental health crises.
From The Intercept
Alabama prisoners who have been on strike for ten days over unpaid labor and prison conditions are accusing officials of retaliating against their protest by starving them. The coordinated strike started on May 1, International Workers’ Day, when prisoners at the Holman and Elmore facilities refused to report to their prison jobs and has since expanded to Staton, St. Clair, and Donaldson’s facilities, according to organizers with the Free Alabama Movement, a network of prison activists.
Prison officials responded by putting the facilities on lockdown, partially to allow guards to perform jobs normally carried out by prisoners. But prisoners told The Intercept that officials also punished them by serving meals that are significantly smaller than usual, a practice they have referred to as “bird feeding.”