From Sean Swain
Wednesday, Feb 13th, Mansfield OH- Tomorrow is the deadline for Sean Swain to file his final appeal to Warden Terry Tibbals. Supporters are asking people to call the Warden on Friday to oppose the transfer. The Rules Infraction Board found Sean guilty of leading The Army of the 12 Monkeys, a group calling for sabotage and low intensity guerrilla warfare against the prison system. They had no evidence against Sean other than an alleged “ideological match” with the propaganda put out by this group.
Sean has been under strict supervision in a control unit since September, but the activities of the Army of the 12 Monkeys have continued in Mansfield and may have spread to a second correctional institution in Ohio. On January 15th, at least four prisoners were transferred from general population in Mansfield to segregation for allegedly engaging in 12 Monkeys activity including breaking windows.
On the weekend of Jan 26 there was a large fight at Lake Erie Correctional, one of Ohio’s three private prisons. In multiple fights, which involved multiple offenders, only one prisoner was hospitalized because of injuries inflicted by a correctional officer. 40 prisoners were transferred to ManCI and put in quarantined segregation, in their own seg block. Rumors from that cell block are that the Army of the 12 Monkeys sent a press release claiming responsibility for the fight before it happened. The fact that the ODRC transferred so many prisoners to ManCI would support these rumors, they might be trying to contain any prisoners exposed to 12 Monkeys propaganda in one institution.
Sean Swain is has been an outspoken anarchist and proponent of prisoners’ rights for many years. Before the accusations and transfer to segregation, Sean was writing strong opposition pieces to the ODRC’s privatization of prisoner commissary accounts. Sean has served over 20 years of a life sentance for a murder he maintains was self-defense against a man who broke into his house.
If the transfer to Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) goes through, he fears he may spend the rest of his life there. Recently Cornelius Harris, a prisoner on level 5 at OSP went on a 36 day hunger strike demanding a step-down procedure after spending three years in solitary on level 5 with no incident reports. Prisoners accused of participating in the Lucasville Uprising 20 years ago have been held on level 5 at OSP since the facility opened in 1998.