Help a Captive Indigenous Warrior Survive! Fight Medical Neglect in U.S. Prisons!
Byron Shane “Oso Blanco” Chubbuck is an Indigenous rights activist serving 80 years for bank robbery, aggravated assault on the FBI, escape and firearms charges. A confidential informant reported that Oso was robbing banks in order to acquire funds to support the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico throughout 1998-99.
Since his transfer in January 2013, Oso has been struggling with medical neglect at USP Florence-High. He is suffering from an undetermined potentially cancerous mass in his liver, and needs an ultrasound to determine the problem. He has been requesting this care since he first arrived at Florence, and his condition continues to get worse. Oso Blanco urgently needs our help.
In the day’s following June 11th international day of solidarity with Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and other longterm anarchist prisoners . . . Support Oso Blanco by calling USP Florence-High, June 12-13th (9am- 5pm, Mountain Time), and demand that he gets the medical attention he needs. (Email and letters are also highly encouraged)
Fax: (719) 784-5290
USP FLORENCE – HIGH
PO BOX 7500
FLORENCE, CO 81226
People to ask for and speak with if they are available . . .
- Mr. Charles Daniels, Warden
- Ms. McDermott, Hospital Administrator
- Mr. Leggit, Counselor
- Miss Hopkins
- “The Lieutenant”
NOTE: Any of these people may put you on hold indefinitely, hang up on you, talk over you, etc. If nothing else, let someone, even if it’s just the operator, know the reason you are calling.
Sample call talking points . . .
- Hello, may I speak to _________? This call is in reference to inmate Byron Chubbuck #07909-051. Byron has a painful, potentially cancerous mass in his liver. He needs an ultrasound to determine the problem, and has been asking for this since he came to Florence in January.
- He placed a sick call in April.
- He has high ammonia build up in his liver and experiences daily vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, and irregular breathing.
- Byron already has a medical record in the BOP concerning liver problems and has never asked for family/friends to help with a medical condition before.
- I know that HIPAA prevents you from sharing his personal health information (PHI) wtih me– I just want to make sure this is brought to your attention and that you take all actions necessary to ensure Mr. Chubbuck proper medical treatment.
- I know you have a protocol to follow. Why wasn’t he given a liver biopsy when he placed a sick call in April? How do you evaluate an internal medical condition?
- Thank you for doing the right thing and getting my friend the medical attention he needs.
Sample email or letter…
Dear [staff name],
It has come to my attention that inmate Byron Shane Chubbuck #07909-051 has been suffering from a painful health condition that has gone untreated. This is of great concern due to his 23 year history of chronic liver disease. For six years, he suffered from both Hepatitis B & C simultaneously. And in 2003, he was told that he would likely experience liver failure in the next two years.
I’m aware that when Mr. Chubbuck first arrived at Florence on January 9th 2013, he informed the interviewing PA that he’s been a chronic care inmate for the past 12 years due to liver issues and that he needs an ultrasound and blood tests to be done. A week later he started getting sick and experiencing dizziness. In a very short time, Byron’s liver got hard and his condition grew drastically worse over the next two months. At the end of April, he was quickly examined again by medical staff and re-assured that he needs an ultrasound and blood tests to determine the problem. And recently, on May 28th, he fell extremely sick again. This being the worst yet.
Byron has high ammonia build up in his liver, as well as an undiagnosed growth that is potentially cancerous. He experiences daily vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, and irregular breathing.
I understand that all of these are common symptoms of advanced Cirrhosis, which greatly increases the risk of primary liver Cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). Primary refers to the fact that a tumor originates inside the liver.
Byron needs an ultrasound and blood tests to determine the problem. He has been requesting this care since he first arrived at Florence in January. I’ve been informed that he still has not yet received this treatment and his liver continues to get worse. I request that you take all actions necessary to ensure Mr. Chubbuck receives the proper medical care. I trust that you will do the right thing. Thank you.
Coordinating the effort
- Post a brief report of how your call went to social media with this announcement or a link to it! Lead by example! #OsoBlanco
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how calls are going!
- If you can, send a quick get card to Oso, letting him know that you called and that he is in your thoughts and/or prayers. This will lift Oso’s spirits and again remind him, as well as his captors, that he is not alone in his struggles.
Also, don’t forget about these other crucial ongoing campaigns against medical neglect of political prisoners . . .