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Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike at Three Facilities In NC

July 18, 2012

On Monday July 16th, prisoners began hunger strikes at Bertie CI in Windsor, Scotland CI in Laurinburg, and Central Prison in Raleigh. Targeting a wide range of conditions related but not exclusive to solitary confinement, the prisoners have vowed not to eat until their demands are met.

Prisoners have encouraged supporters to call or fax the administrations of these different facilities as well as Director Robert Lewis (see information below), to “march or protest in front of Central Prison and others,” “boycott all products being sold in these prisons,” and to “contact media outlets and let them know what we are doing.”

The prisoners have listed the following demands (listed at the bottom), though they are also encouraging others to include any other grievances specific to their conditions. It is still unclear how many prisoners are currently participating, but correspondence with those on the inside has made it clear that the strike has spread to three at least three different facilities.

Constant attention and pressure on administrations can help make this strike a success, and protect those who are putting their lives on the line. Prisoners have asked folks on the outside to call everyday to check on fasting prisoners and pressure administration. You can contact officials at:

Robert C. Lewis, Director of Prisons
phone: 919.838.4000
fax: 919.733.8272

Central Prison Warden Ken Lassiter
phone: 919.733.0800
fax: 919.715.2645

Bertie CI Warden Renoice Stancil (The Receptionist Says Stancil Is Replaced With A Man Named Anderson)
Phone: 252-794-8600
Fax: 252-794-4608

Scotland CI Warden Sorrell Saunders
Phone: (910) 844-3078
Fax: (910) 844-3786
PRISONERS’ DEMANDS

  1. Law Libraries. We are tired of being railroaded by the courts, and having our rights violated by prison staff and officers. NC Prison Legal Services are inadequate and oftentimes do not help us at all. A law library is needed to enable us to legally defend ourselves.
  2. An immediate end to the physical and mental abuse inflicted by officers.
  3. Improve food, in terms of quality and quantity.
  4. A better way to communicate emergencies from cells; many emergency call buttons are broken and never replaced, and guards often do not show up for over an hour. At least one prisoner has died this way.
  5. The canteens that serve lock up units need to make available vitamins and personal hygiene items.
  6. An immediate stop to officers’ tampering or throwing away prisoners’ mail.
  7. Education programs for prisoners on lock-up.
  8. The immediate release of prisoners from solitary who have been held unjustly or for years without infractions; this includes the Strong 8, sent to solitary for the purpose of political intimidation.
  9. The immediate end to the use of restraints as a form of torture.
  10. The end of cell restriction. Sometimes prisoners are locked in their cell for weeks or more than a month, unable to come out for showers and recreation.
  11. The theft of prisoners’ property, including mattresses and clothes. When on property restriction, we are forced to sleep on the ground or steel bed frames naked, with no bedding.
  12. Medical privacy and confidentiality. Guards should not be able to listen in on our medical problems when on sick call.
  13. Change our cell windows to ones which we can see through. The current windows are covered with feces and grime. Not being able to see out is sensory deprivation, and makes us feel dissociated from everything that exists outside of prison.
  14. An immediate repair of cell lights, sinks, toilets, and plumbing.
  15. Toilet brushes should be handed out with cell cleaning items.
  16. The levels of I-Con, M-Con, and H-Con need to be done away with altogether. When one is placed on Intensive Control Status (I-Con), one is placed in the hole for six months and told to stay out of trouble. But even when we stay out of trouble, we are called back to the FCC and DCC only to be told to do another six months in the hold, infraction free.
30 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2012 4:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Moorbey's Blog.

  2. July 19, 2012 5:31 pm

    We have just recieved word that the strike started with over a 100 folks at Central. Not yet sure about Bertie or Scotland CI…

  3. July 20, 2012 6:50 pm

    Hello,

    Is there any way to get a list of the addresses of the prisoners currently on strike?

    Atlanta Black Cross

    • July 20, 2012 6:51 pm

      We don’t have a list of all of the people on strike, just a certain number of contact persons. Not sure they want their addresses given out, but can certainly ask. Thanks for your interest!

    • July 20, 2012 6:51 pm

      Also check the story most recently posted.

  4. Stephanie permalink
    July 21, 2012 12:24 pm

    The person at the number for the director of prisons didn’t know anything about the hunger strike and redirected me to this number: 919-743-2440. The person at that number said that no one could talk to me over the weekend and advised me to call back Monday. The people at Bertie CI and Scotland CI said there were no hunger strikers there. Is there any update on those two prisons?

    • July 21, 2012 2:59 pm

      We re trying to get thru to those facilities still since word first came out. Thx for.the.New number and for calling!

  5. July 23, 2012 5:56 pm

    We just (Monday J. 23rd) received news from one of the strikers on Unit 1 at Central Prison in Raleigh. After the fourth day Doctors were finally sent in to assess the condition of the prisoners. One of them had lost six pounds, and the Doctors threatened to IV him. Otherwise It sounds like spirits are fairly high with the strike, and hope remains that it will spread. Referring to the administration of Central, “They are trying to downplay it but they are scrambling.”

  6. July 23, 2012 6:30 pm

    A weekly anarchist radio show out of Asheville, NC, called the Final Straw, recently did an hour long interview regarding this hunger strike. You can hear it at http://archive.org/details/NorthCarolinaPrisonersInitiateHungerStrikes

  7. Anni permalink
    July 25, 2012 8:56 pm

    Ken Lassiter’s office told me Public Information (919) 733-5027 was handling these calls now, which I hope means lots of people have been calling! I called that number and put in a request for info on the prisoner’s health and how the demands were being handled. Maybe a fax to Mr. Lassiter’s office would be more effective?

  8. Kala permalink
    July 26, 2012 4:52 pm

    Thank you for covering this. I came here from a mention of you on the nodeathpenalty.org email list.

  9. Tikear Frazier permalink
    August 9, 2012 3:26 pm

    These problems and issues exist and occur in prisons across NC. I have a loved one that is incarcerated at Tabor City. Although the prisoners have committed a crime and serving a sentence for said crime, the subhuman conditions that exist is a violation of Human Rights Laws and warrant the attention of the Federal Government. The continued abuse and mistreatment of prisoners contribute to the recidivism rate. Not to mention that eventually their sentences end and society is then charged with the burden of criminals that have been conditioned to living in subhuman conditions with no regard for community.

    • August 9, 2012 6:01 pm

      This is all true. Unfortunately, its not like the federal government is a counter-weight to the States – just look at federal prisons, and you';; see the same systems of brutality and control, if not worse. There is no government solution to this problem, because it’s a government problem in the first place (combined with a nice dose of profit motive, of course…)

Trackbacks

  1. Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike at Three Prisons In NC | Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
  2. Support Prisoner Organizing: Prisoners in North Carolina on Strike! | The Abolitionist
  3. Call for Boycott & Solidarity Actions Against Prison Canteen Profiteers | GREY COAST ANARCHIST NEWS
  4. Announcing Call-In Day and Petition for NC Hunger Strikers « Internationalist Prison Books Collective
  5. Call-in Day and Petition for NC Prison Hunger Strikers « triANARCHY
  6. North Carolina Hunger Strike: Support Needed | The Abolitionist
  7. Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For August Is Now Available « Internationalist Prison Books Collective
  8. August Political Prisoners Birthday Poster « The Wingnut
  9. Political Prisoner Birthday List – August | Atlanta Black Cross
  10. Political Prisoner Birthday Poster for August | PRISON RADIO
  11. North Carolina Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike « Solitary Watch
  12. HUNGER STRIKE: NORTH CAROLINA PRISONERS LAUNCH… « www.HumansinShadow.wordpress.com/
  13. Hunger Strikers Solidarity Demo a Success « Internationalist Prison Books Collective
  14. Solidarity Demos for Hunger Strikers Spread « Internationalist Prison Books Collective
  15. » 2013 Bob Sheldon Award Honors Organizers in NC Prisons Internationalist Books and Community Center
  16. 2013 Bob Sheldon Award Honors Organizers in NC Prisons | Internationalist Prison Books Collective
  17. 2013 Bob Sheldon Award Honors Organizers in NC Prisons | Amplify Voices Inside

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