Tag Archive: Georgia

The Final Straw: Hunger striking against the TIER Program at Georgia State Prison

finalstraw

From The Final Straw

This week you’ll be hearing an interview with Earthworm (Dell) of Atlanta Black Cross and Sandy, who’s the mother of an inmate at Georgia State Prison, about the TIER program being implemented there. The TIER program is the means by which the certain prisons in Georgia are reducing the time outside of cell for prisoners down to mere hours a week from multiple a day based on minor accusations and infractions and sometimes with no clear process towards getting out or limit of stay. While inside, these prisoners are kept on a minimal diet with no commissary, often no access to the library for legal research along with other issues.

In response to the conditions under TIER at GSP, numerous prisoners initiated a hunger strike back in April, with one continuing to this day.

More on what’s going on with TIER at GSP, check out http://atlblackcross.org, to read the words of the prisoners themselves via their letters posted and transcribed there. You can also find addresses for the prisoners at that site. A good intro article can be found here

Also mentioned was the Free Alabama Movement, which is a multi-state network of incarcerated folks (Alabama & Mississippi, plus affiliates in CA & VA) organizing non-violent protests to the exploitation of their labor for profit, the racialized system of incarceration in the U.S. and the horrible conditions of their incarceration. More on the project, including links to their prisoner-sourced podcasts can be found at http://freealabamamovement.com/
For our interview with members of the FAMM, check out this link

Finally, referenced was the case of Kalief Browder, incarcerated at the New York prison of Rikers Island from the age of 16-19, without trial on the accusation of stealing a backpack. Browder committed suicide 2 years after his release, in June of 2015. (more…)

Anarchist Perspective on Mass Prisoner Resistance Movements

the-struggle-continues-graficanera-NO-COPYRIGHT

From Anarchist News / By Ben Turk

There is a widespread, growing and committed resistance movement happening in US prisons across the nation. This movement is not going away, and with more outside support and national coordination, it could be powerful enough to reshape not only the US prison system, but the entire society.

At the time of this writing thirty prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary, the supermax prison in Ohio are recovering from a hunger strike that has lasted over 30 days. Prisoners in Georgia, accused of leading the largest prison work stoppage in US history in 2010 are on hunger strike demanding relief from torture conditions they’ve been subjected to in solitary confinement as reprisal for their non-violent protest. The Free Alabama Movement (FAM) has been dealing with threats, beatings and lockdowns they’ve been subjected to in reprisal for the mass work stoppages that shut down three Alabama facilities for weeks in January of 2014.

Massive hunger strikes that rocked California’s prison system in recent years are now getting slow results in favorable court decisions for their class action lawsuit. Prisoners in IllinoisGeorgiaVirginiaNorth Carolina and Washington State have all engaged in historically large protests in recent years. In February, thousands of immigrant prisoners in a federal detention facility in Texas refused to work, and protested and sabotaged the facility, rendering it uninhabitable. At around the same time women at an Arizona county jail were on hunger strike refusing to eat the moldy food they’d been served.

The above examples are only the most coordinated and best publicized of these protests. Many prisoners see individual acts of courage and resistance as necessary for their identity and survival. When the country locks up as large a portion of its population as the US does, prisoner protests are inevitable and almost constant. (more…)

Anarchist Resistance in Georgia Prisons Continues

prison_solidarityFrom Anarchist News

At least four prisoners in the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville are on hunger strike. They demand an end to the Tier Program, a system used to grant and withhold privileges from prisoners. To understand why this is significant, here’s some history:

In 2010, thousands of prisoners across Georgia, USA went on strike, refusing to leave their cells or cooperate with the prison in any way. The effort crossed race and gang lines, with normally rival groups working together. They were met with repression and violence, but resistance spilled into more prisons through communication over smuggled phones. It grew into international news.

Unable to contain the situation, prison officials identified the supposed “leaders” of the uprising and transferred them to Jackson State Prison. There they were held under very restrictive conditions – almost no visits, calls, or medical attention.

In 2012, those prisoners in Jackson started a hunger strike in protest of the restrictive conditions. They were fewer than in 2010, but gained attention and ultimately forced prison officials to meet and negotiate with them to improve conditions.

As one might imagine, officials were worried by a prison population that felt it could make demands. So since 2012, they have taken steps to prevent further resistance. Key among these is their use of the Tier Program. It effectively functions as an unaccountable and arbitrary criminal justice system within the prison itself. Prisoners placed on the program are assigned a tier: 1, 2 or 3. The higher the tier, the more restrictive and harsh their conditions are. The prisoner must then obey and cooperate with officials until they decide to move the prisoner to the next lower tier. (more…)

Luke Needs Our Help!

judgepostcard-copy judgepostcard-copy2From Let Luke Go

At sentencing, Judge Markle added the condition of criminal banishment to Luke’s probation.  For all eight years of his probation, Luke will be exiled from the state of Georgia, with the exception of one judicial district – that of Screven county, and in turn, his family and closest friends.  For more information on criminal banishment and the unusual nature of its inclusion in Luke’s sentence click here.

All of Luke’s supporters are encouraged to print and fill out one of these postcards, or hand write their own, and mail them to Judge Markle, demanding that he remove the condition of banishment from Luke’s probation.

You can also download the postcard here.

Anarchists Target Chapel Hill Police Headquarters in Solidarity with Luke O’Donovan and Ferguson Rioters

Building on fire in Ferguson, MO

Building on fire in Ferguson, MO

(Blog editors’ note: this story was reposted from anarchistnews.org and is not original content of the Prison Books Collective. We thought this was quite obvious, but local journalists seem to be having a problem with this.)

From Anarchist News

In the early hours of August 14th, three police cruisers were smashed out at the Chapel Hill Police Department Headquarters in Chapel Hill, NC. A message was also painted on one of the cars, reading, “For Luke.”

This was done as a small gesture of solidarity with Luke O’Donovan, of Atlanta, GA, who was recently sentenced to two years in prison for defending himself against five homophobic attackers. We hope this brings a smile to his face.

We also carried out this act in solidarity with the rioters and looters of Ferguson, MO, who, in the face of continued brutality by racist police, have inspired the world with their courageous resistance against the forces of state, capital, and white supremacy. May their insurrection spread.

Both as small groups and entire neighborhoods, it is possible to fight back.

– some anarchists

Luke Accepts Plea Deal – Two Years in Prison, Eight Years Probation and Exile

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

Today, Luke accepted a negotiated non-cooperating plea deal and was sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of probation. As a last minute addition to this plea deal, Judge Markle added that Luke was to be banned from the state of Georgia, save one county, for the duration of his probation. Luke was taken away from us to prison immediately after court.

This end to the case surprised many of us. It was only two weeks ago that we were alerted to the fact that Luke’s trial would begin this soon. After that notice, events continued to unfold rapidly and chaotically.  The prosecution officially offered Luke this plea deal last Thursday.  Luke was placed in a very difficult position, facing decades in prison if convicted by a jury. He decided not to risk such a long sentence, but rather to accept the manageable sentence of two years in prison, and eight years of probation. (more…)

Georgia Accused Of Sentencing Transgender Woman To ‘Torture’

dragnique-ashley-diamond-revFrom Huffington Post

Georgia’s prison officials will have to explain themselves in court if they continue to refuse hormone therapy to transgender inmates, warns a letter delivered to the state’s Department of Corrections on Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group based in Alabama.

Starting in 2012, department employees violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment by denying hormone treatment to Ashley Diamond, a transgender inmate who had received the treatment for nearly two decades before entering the prison system, the letter alleges.

If these allegations are true, the officials also breached the department’s own policy, which calls for Georgia’s prisons to provide hormones to all inmates who start taking them before their incarceration.

(more…)

Luke Released! 01.17

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

We are overjoyed. His bail was $35K and he was released very early on the morning of the 17th. He is in very high spirits and is currently resting with his friends and family. Luke has still not been indicted and there is still need for much more money to cover lawyers and legal costs.

Luke is overwhelmed and grateful for all of the support he has received so far.

Please stay tuned for more updates!

-SLDC

The Support Luke Defense Committee

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Asheville FM

On the night of New Years Eve this year, there was an incident of violence that occurred at a party which left six people stabbed and/or beaten in the Reynoldstown neighborhood of Atlanta. One man, Luke O’Donovan, was taken to the hospital with multiple bruises and also stab wounds on his back, was arrested. The police and media narrative, based on the words of those present at the party, states that Luke left the party angry, returned with a knife and, as we’ve seen portrayed in recent coverage of mass shootings in the U.S., returned to attack those who enraged him. (more…)

In Love and Solidarity – Support Luke O’Donovan

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Atlanta Black Cross

It has been reported in the press that Luke O’Donovan, 19, went on a “stabbing rampage” at a New Year’s Eve party in Reynoldstown, a neighborhood in Atlanta, GA. This is not accurate. The events that occurred were the result of Luke O’Donovan desperately defending himself against a clear act of queer-bashing that included Luke being stabbed in the back.

Some facts of the situation remain unclear, but the events that have been reported thus far are inaccurate. Narratives have described Luke O’Donovan, 19, as having returned to a house party that he had been kicked out of. The reports state that Luke returned with a knife and stabbed one person, and then 4 others who attempted to subdue Luke.

As multiple witnesses have testified and will testify, Luke was never kicked out of the party and did not leave. He remained at the house where the party was occurring up until the incident. This basic fact, and the fact that it has been misrepresented, changes the story as it has been reported thus far. Luke is being portrayed as having gone on a nearly unfounded “stabbing rampage” comparable to recent mass killings. This is false. Luke did not go to the party intending to initiate conflict with anyone. Just fifteen minutes before the fight, Luke was present in the living room of the house, having a pleasant and friendly conversation with other people at the party. (more…)