injustice

Bonnie Kerness: Pioneer in the Struggle Against Solitary Confinement

November 8, 2012  by Solitary Watch Guest Author Lance Tapley

In 1986 Ojore Lutalo, a black revolutionary in the Trenton State Prison — now the New Jersey State Prison — wrote to Bonnie Kerness’s American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) office in Newark. His letter described the extreme isolation and other brutalities in the prison’s Management Control Unit, which he called a “prison within a prison.”

“I could not believe what he was telling me” about the MCU, she says. She reacted by becoming “this lunatic white lady” calling New Jersey corrections officials about Lutalo.

Kerness immediately went to work trying to stop MCU guards from harassing prisoners by waking them at 1 a.m. to make them strip in front of snarling dogs leaping for their genitals — to arbitrarily have them switch cells. She got this practice stopped.

Lutalo’s letter also began to open her eyes to the torture of solitary confinement, which in the mid-1980s was just starting to spread across the country as a mass penological practice. Coordinator of the AFSC’s national Prison Watch Project, Kerness had worked on prison issues since the mid-1970s. Now she became an anti-solitary-confinement activist. In 2012, she has been one longer and more consistently than, possibly, anyone else.

Mentally Ill Man Dies, Injured and Alone, in a Tulsa Jail Cell

November 5, 2012 by  

photo of Elliot Earl Williams

In a horrific story out of Oklahoma, lawyers representing the estate of a prisoner who was found dead in the Tulsa Jail have sued the local sheriff’s office and the jail’s private health care provider. In a motion just filed in federal court, attorneys have asked a judge to release a video made of the man’s final two days, during which he allegedly languished in an isolation cell without food, water, or medical attention.

As reported by the Tulsa World:

Elliott Earl Williams, 37, was pronounced dead in his cell at 11:21 a.m. Oct. 27, 2011, after allegedly going days without food and water…

According to the motion seeking release of the video and related documents, Williams–who had exhibited signs of mental illness–tried to hurt himself and ran into a steel door head-first after being placed in a booking cell upon arrival at the jail Oct. 22.

When detention officers and medical personnel refused to treat him, claiming he was faking paralysis, he was left on the floor of the booking cell for 10 hours and soiled himself, the motion states.

He was then transferred by gurney to the jail’s medical unit, where he was dumped in a shower and left for two hours. He was then moved to a medical unit cell, where he was left naked on a steel bunk with only a blanket, the motion states.

Williams remained in the cell, naked, immobile and with only a blanket, for the next three days, according to the motion.

He last ate on the morning of Oct. 23 and last drank any water–”other than a few drops he managed to lick off his fingers”–on the morning of Oct. 24, according to documents cited in the motion.

The next morning, on Oct. 25, Williams was dragged on his blanket to a video-monitored cell, according to the motion. The remaining 51 hours of Williams’ life were videotaped.

 Included on that tape, according to the motion, are numerous instances in which detention officers opened Williams’ cell door and threw Styrofoam food containers onto the floor of the cell.

On Oct. 26, the day before his death, no one entered his cell, according to the motion.

“On one occasion, he attempted to open one of the food containers that had been thrown into his cell the previous day, but his efforts to do so failed,” the motion states. “In the process of trying to open the food container, he spilled the cup of water. The empty cup was still in the cell when Mr. Williams died.”

September 2012 Issue of Rock Newsletter

Here is the September issue of the Rock newsletter. It was mailed out to prisoners August 29, 2012. This and previous issues are available by clicking on the “Rock Newsletter” link at http://www.prisonart.org.

DOWNLOAD September 2012 Rock Newsletter HERE (small file pdf): http://redwoodcurtaincopwatch.net/files/Rock 1-9.pdf

"Working to extend democracy to all."  Communication is a human right!

Mumia Court Updates with Audio Links

Prison Radio recorded attorney Rachel Wolkenstein, Pam Africa, Ramona Africa and Linn Washington outside of the Criminal Court at 13th and Filbert in Philadelphia minutes after the filing of Mumia Abu-Jamal's pro se objection to his sentence

August 8th: FREE the MOVE 9! Thirty-Four Years of Political Imprisonment. Listen to KMUD radio show

Listen to Radical Rap on the 34th Anniversary of the August 8, 1978 police attack on the MOVE house in Philadelphia.  August 8th is also the day before Cotton Day, the anniversary of the fatal police beating of Martin Cotton in Eureka CA.

August 8th Radical Rap, KMUD radio:
http://archive.kmud.org/mp3/kmud_120808_190000wedtalk.mp3

August 9th is Cotton Day

Please join together for COTTON DAY, Thursday August 9th
Street music (acoustic) CONCERT at 4:00 pm
Clarke Plaza 3rd and E Sts, Eureka
Bring your own chair. Bring a sign.
 
Peoples music.

Remember Martin Cotton.  Resist the Injustice... which continues....

Stop Grand Jury Repression in the Northwest- Take Action

Stop Grand Jury Repression in the Northwest: Take Action 

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is circulating a statement from the Portland-based Committee Against Political Repression on how you can help the political activists who have been subpoenaed to appear before a Seattle Grand Jury August 2. If your group has not yet signed the solidarity statement, reprinted below, please do so. We know that repression us growing in this country. It is vital that all progressive people unite and defeat this attack on the people’s movement.
  • Call In Day- Wednesday, August 1st
  • Thursday, August 2. Come to Seattle
  • Plan another event or demonstration in solidarity!
  • Please donate!

Demand Justice for Alan Blueford

Alan DeWayne Blueford, born December 20, 1994, was an 18 year old Senior at Skyline High School, preparing to graduate
in June. He was the youngest son of Adam Blueford, Sr. and Jeralynn Brown Blueford.

During the early morning hours of May 6, 2012 Alan was murdered by an officer (whose name has yet to be released) with Oakland Police Department. Alan's family is now seeking justice for his death.

What About Leonard Peltier? Or the MOVE 9?

Obama Issues First Pardons Of His Presidency

by Dan Froomkin 12/3/10-- President Obama, who had gone nearly 700 days without using his clemency power, finally issued nine pardons on Friday afternoon to a very minor rogue's gallery of small-time felons who long ago did their time, if they did any at all.

Far from sending a message about the excesses and errors of the judicial system, Obama picked minor and sometimes ancient offenses -- such as a 1963 conviction for "mutilation of coins" -- to forgive. He also chose not to commute any sentences at all.

MOTHERS DAY, May 13th: Mothers Smashing the Prison Industrial Complex & Mothers Speaking Out for Their Children in Solitary Confinement (Hear Audio)

Mother’s Day provides an opportunity to honor and celebrate our given and chosen families.  For those of us fighting the prison industrial complex, Mother’s Day can also provide an opportunity to reflect on the ways the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) attacks and disrupts our families. 

The good news is that all over the world moms are leading the charge against the PIC.

Georgia Senator Urges Execution Staff to STRIKE & REFUSE to Kill Troy Davis

Georgia Senator Joins SCHR to Urge Execution Staff to Strike & Refuse to Kill Troy Davis    Date of Publication:  09/20/2011

Atlanta – Today, the day before Troy Anthony Davis is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection, Georgia Senate Democratic Whip Vincent Fort and Southern Center for Human Rights Executive Director Sara Totonchi have issued a joint statement calling upon the individuals charged with carrying out the execution to refuse to participate in the killing of a possibly innocent man. 

URGENT: STOP the Execution of Troy Davis, set for Sept. 21 (Calls, Emails & Petitions!)


An Innocent Man Faces Execution in Georgia

Troy Davis faces execution in Georgia, September 21.
Davis was framed up, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of a Savannah policeman in 1989.

Please, call, fax or email today.
Stop the execution of Troy Davis!

* Gov. Nathan Deal: phone (404) 656-1776, fax (404) 657-7332, email georgia.governor@gov.state.ga.us, web contact form http://gov.state.ga.us/contact.shtml

"It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out."

May Day turns 125 years old this year. Elizabeth Schulte tells the story of the fight for the eight-hour day--and of the Haymarket Martyrs who gave their lives for it.

The Haymarket Martyrs

ON MAY 1, 1886--125 years ago this month--hundreds of thousands of workers were taking the streets of cities around the U.S. to demand an eight-hour day.

The epicenter of this great labor struggle was Chicago, where the eight-hour movement inspired defiant protests and strikes--and inspired fear and repression from bosses and their loyal servants in law enforcement.

Two days after the massive May 1 actions, Chicago police fired on a protest of workers at a South Side factory, killing four people. A protest demonstration was called the next day for Haymarket, just west of downtown. The rally was peaceful, but as it was nearing a close, police waded into the crowd. At this point, a bomb was thrown into the ranks of police--and this became the excuse for a deadly rampage by the authorities.

Eight working-class radicals were arrested and charged with conspiring to commit the bombing--even though most weren't even at Haymarket when the explosion occurred.

The eight radicals were prosecuted--but it was the entire eight-hour movement that was put on trial.

The robber barons wanted to destroy the workers' movement. And they had good reason. The struggle of workers--and their demand for the eight-hour day--threatened the very foundations of the employers' profits.

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