The Final Straw: Hunger Strike at OSP Youngstown nears 30th day

Pirate_radio_station_5417.jpgFrom Asheville FM

Streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on April 13th through April 19th, 2015, then podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM. The show will later be archived at TheFinalStrawRadio.NoBlogs.Org. Drop us a line at thefinalstrawradio(aT)riseup(dooot)net for suggestions or comments.

This week we’re joined by Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan, one of 6 prisoners who are almost a month into a solidarity hunger strike at Ohio State Prison in Youngstown to press the Warden about current conditions at the prison. Among the issues the hunger strike is protesting include the inability of all new/incoming prisoners to OSP and those currently on the highest level of security (5B) to attend congregational religious activities, also poor quality of food presented by Aramark (the company contracted to provide meals at OSP, and who’s food services sparked the hunger strike in January of 2014 at Westville Correctional Facility in Indiana) a lack of access to outside recreation for the prisoners and more. You may recall Hasan from a prior interview we did with him on the anniversary of the 1993 Lucasville Prisoner uprising which began because of some of the same issues and for which Hasan is facing the death penalty as an organizer of the beginning of the protest sparking the uprising as well as helping to organize the end of that uprising. The 1993 uprising resulted in the deaths of 9 prisoners (accused of being snitches) and one prison guard. To hear our interview with Hasan from October of 2013, click here.

Also, Sean Swain speaks about the hunger strike at OSP, where he was formerly incarcerated, and the harsh realities of lack of access to human interaction, direct sunlight and the out doors.

There is a rally in solidarity with the hunger strikers in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday the 14th of April at 3pm at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corruption, 770 West Broad St. The point of the rally is to deliver a list of demands to the officials of the ODRC and pressure them to change the conditions at OSP Youngstown, ending the hunger strike. The rally coincides with the 22nd anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising which started because of a denial of religious rights of muslim prisoners including Abdulla Siddique Hasan. More info at LucasvilleAmnesty.org

From that site:
“If you can’t make it to Columbus, please be creative and find a way to support the hunger strike on Tuesday. Organize a solidarity fast like students at the University of Toledo did on Friday, with an evening “break the fast” get together. Or a call-in lunch, gather with friends mid-day and call the prison, Central Office, and The CIIC (numbers and scripts below). Or a letter writing party, write letters to officials, your local newspapers, and/or to the hunger striking prisoners.

Whatever you do, let us know by emailing Ben at Insurgent.Ben@gmail.com so he can share the stories with the hunger strikers and the world. Tuesday will be the 30th day of this hunger strike, if everyone can find a way to express solidarity on that day it will make a huge difference for these men’s morale and resolve, as well as sending a strong message to the prison authorities that the hunger strikers are not alone in their protest.

There is also a rally in the works for at or near OSP on Saturday. Details will be posted at lucasvilleamnesty.org as they are confirmed.”

If you’d like to write to Hasan, he can be reached at:
Siddique Abdullah Hasan
R130-559
OSP
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505

To get ahold of ODRC director Gary Mohr you can call 614-752-1150.
Or direct your mail to
Gary Mohr, ODRC Director, 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43222
or Email him via
drc.publicinfo@odrc.state.oh.us

and you can express your concern for the safety of the prisoners hunger striking at OSP.

More info and suggestions are up at lucasvilleamnesty.org

Playlist for the episode is here: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/12054