Tag Archive: prisoners’ voices

Sean Swain Communication Cut Off After Prisoner Protest

freeseanswain

From SeanSwain.org

Last week we received word that Sean’s email and phone access have been suspended, along with his video visitation. This suspension came shortly after Sean asked us to post this story of an incident of arbitrary and unjustified brutality that occurred on his range (added below). Sean is not in the hole and he has not been physically attacked at this time. Sean’s lawyer is investigating to find the pretext the prison officials used to justify denying Sean his basic constitutional rights again, but, in the meantime, Sean has smuggled the following message out through a friend…

“I have NO direct communication with the outside world. Phone, JPay, mail suspended. I’m perfectly silenced forever.
Phone calls, letters to CIIC, court filings, website updates– all of that is Portuguese. It’s the wrong language.
MLK said those who make nonviolent change impossible… make violent change inevitable.* It’s proven useless to keep trying to do the impossible.
Feel free to post.
Freedom,
Sean.”

*We remember this quote being attributed to JFK, not MLK. Not that it makes any difference.

We don’t know what it will take to get Sean’s communication re-instated at this time. It is not hard to conclude that Trevor Clark and friends have taken Judge Benita Pearson decision in the fascist’s favor regarding video visits as a blank check to do whatever they’d like to Sean, especially since the punitive transfer to Lucasville only led to him emboldening self-defense and resistance among his neighbors at SOCF. Sean clearly doesn’t think that our past tactics of phone calls and emails has much leverage against these fascist fuckweasels, though anyone with the breath and the patience who can’t think of anything else to do, can find all the relevant numbers here.

Meantime, we’re sure Sean can’t wait to hear some reports about creative acts of solidarity, leverage and revenge.

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Sean Swain and Retaliatory Transfer to Ohio’s Most Notorious Prison

seanswainFrom Sean Swain

“I’ve been wearing the same pair of underwear since Tuesday. That night at three in the morning the warden at the super duper max, Jay “Lowdown” Forshay informed me that I was being transferred to Lucasville. Lucasville, home of the 1993 prisoner uprising, is a psychological September Eleventh for the Ohio prison system. It’s also the prison where ODRC officials attempted to put former prisoner writer Timothy “Little Rock” Reed in order to engineer his death until he gained asylum from Ohio in New Mexico, proving conclusively that Ohio prison officials attempted to murder him.

In the lead up to this transfer prison officials tried several times unsuccessfully to silence me. Blocking phone communication for eight weeks to keep me off the radio, intercepting intercepting postings for SeanSwain.org and communications with counsel who filed a civil action against prison officials on my behalf, and then blocking my video visits to stop me from generating video on the site, which is illegal, not that the laws matter to fascists.

In response I undertook a hunger strike until I was threatened with being tossed in the hole, which is illegal, not that laws matter to fascists. So I began a med strike, and then OSP physician James Kline held me incommunicado with medical isolation, in a torture cell, until I agreed to take blood pressure medication I had refused, which is illegal, not that they care.

So, before I could even finish writing the epic tale of those wacky shenanigans, I was told to hop on a prison bus for Lucasville. When I protested that this was selective, Jay Lowdown said, “we thought you’d say that, that’s why thirty seven others are going with you. So, to disguise prison fascist’s targeting of me, they tossed thirty seven other dolphins into the tuna net as collateral damage.

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Introducing Maya Chase, formerly Jared Chase of the NATO 3

NATO-3-Banner-DropFrom FREE THE NATO 3

The prisoner we have been supporting as Jared Chase is ready to let her supporters and comrades know that she is a trans woman who prefers to be called Maya and uses she/her/hers pronouns. She also wants to go vegan, although she is currently not able to receive adequate nutrition in general, much less according to her ethical decisions.

She wrote us recently to say:

“I am writing to tell you all and the world that I am a TransGender woman. All of my life I have always identified as a woman. After 30 years I am finally done hiding, pretending to be something I’m not.”

Communicating with Maya has been difficult, in large part due to repression she is suffering on the inside. As such, we do not have an up-to-date report on her well-being at this time. We will keep you updated about how she is doing and about any opportunities to advocate for her as we learn more. (more…)

Anti-fascist Jason Hammond sentenced 3.5 years for Tinley Park action

jasonhammondFrom Jason Hammond Support Network

Sentencing Statement

I write this statement after pleading guilty to state charges against me for my participation in an organized direct action taken against a group of white supremacists in May of 2012. I would like to share my thoughts about this action. First, major thanks and love to my friends and family who have supported me, for my amazing partner who kept me sane, my band for letting loose and my lawyer Sara Garber who has been ridiculously helpful in fighting this case with me.
While Chicago was in rebellion against the western military super-alliance NATO summit in 2012, a small group of racists organized their own ‘white nationalist economic summit’ in the nearby suburb of Tinley Park. They booked a restaurant to hold a luncheon under the guise of the “Illinois European Heritage Association.” For over six months this event was promoted on Stormfront.org, a very popular online forum where racists and neo-nazis converse. Being in a prolonged state of resistance against racism, this summit became known to organized anti-fascists throughout the Midwest. Through research, they had ascertained the time, location, and even some identities of the attendees of this meeting, some of whom were already known as being members of white supremacist groups such as the KKK, National Socialist Movement and Council of Conservative Citizens. Upon becoming aware of this  information, myself and others decided to confront the fascists at their meeting. A righteous melee ensued, many of the ten white supremacists were injured, and we left the scene in less than two minutes.

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The Empire Hits! and an update on Bill Dunne

billdunneFrom Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Bill Dunne #10916-086
FCI Herlong
Post Office Box 800
Herlong, California 96113

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Empire Hits!

The U.S. Parole Commission conducted a hearing for a 15 year reconsideration of my case on 5 November 2014. The last 15 year continuance (“hit”) was set to expire in December. The hearing examiner went through the usual things:offender characteristics; the circumstances
of my 1979 offenses; a 1983 escape attempt; ancient disciplinary infractions. I was thinking a good outcome would be a one year date, a bad one, five years (and, having long experience with the agency of repression, expecting the worst!). Then the examiner went unusual. He unleashed a tirade about anarchist connections and anti-authoritarian views. He recommended another 15 year hit on the basis thereof. Four weeks later, I got a Notice of Action (NOA) from the commission adopting the recommendation and setting my next reconsideration for November of 2029.

The commission made much of the facts that I was on parole and the 1979 conspiracy included three armed bank robberies to finance the escape of a federal prisoner who had killed a customs agent. It also changed the assault of a Seattle police officer during the escape to attempted murder, using this change to raise my offense behavior category and guideline range. It did so notwithstanding that I was not at the scene of the shooting, the shooter was paroled ten years ago, and having established the old category in 2000 and defended it through seven hearings and appeals. The real reason for the higher offense behavior category is that its guidelines have no upper limit. I’ve already served more than the top guidelines under the previous, lower category.

The commission then added a specific amount of time to my parole guidelines for each disciplinary infraction I’ve had. That came to (erroneously, but ad arguendo) 32-132 months. Next, it singled out five of those infractions from 31, 31, 30, 25, and 19 years ago (attempted escape, knife, handcuff key, “uncompleted” handcuff key, escape paraphernalia — the second and last bogus) as indicative I was a more serious risk than my parole prognosis showed. These infractions, the commission alleged without saying why, further justified exceeding the guidelines by so much as the 15 year hit. It thus used the infractions to both raise and exceed the guidelines contrary to its own rules. (more…)

Former Tutwiler inmate says broken leg not treated for days

ledbetterFrom Corporate Media

BIRMINGHAM, AL -Imagine slipping and falling on a wet floor, suffering a painful fracture in your leg that requires surgery, but not receiving a diagnosis, treatment or even pain medication for more than three days. Imagine only having an ice pack to apply to that injury as it continues to swell, turning black and blue. Imagine being told you’re not “on the list” to see a doctor as your pain goes from severe to excruciating. Fifty-seven-year-old Susan Ledbetter doesn’t have to imagine an ordeal like that, she says she lived it.

In 2012, Ledbetter began serving almost nine months at Alabama’s Tutwiler Prison for Women for drug charges. In May 2012, she turned herself into Calhoun County authorities, pleaded guilty to second degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and in her words, “wanted to do her time and get on with her life.”

She reported to Tutwiler Prison June 1, 2012 and shortly after arriving, began working in the prison’s kitchen.

Ledbetter, a mother and grandmother, a former truck driver and bartender, has not had an easy life. We interviewed her outside her mobile home in rural Calhoun County, a home she returned to after prison with no power or running water. Her utilities were turned off while she was incarcerated and it took her months to scrape together enough money to get them turned back on. (more…)

Army of the 12 Monkeys Update

12_monkeysFrom Sean Swain.org

Update on the A12M Frame Up
The state has filed an answer to the lawsuit, which far as we can tell, summarily denies every allegation without evidence or argument, claims that Sean is not allowed to sue them, and requests that the court charge Sean extra fees for even trying. At the same time, the paralegal at OSP is making up reasons to not give Sean access to legal materials he needs to work on his response. A total coincidence, we’re sure. See Sean’s correspondence below for details on that.

In summary, the prisoncrats are scared, belligerent and desperate. As usual.

Wanna help ratchet up the pressure?

If so, you can:
1. Call OSP at 330-743-0700 and request to speak with Darnell Brady, politely ask them why Sean is being denied access to legal materials while working on a lawsuit against the ODRC.
2. Call the Warden at the above number plus extension 2600 and politely ask why Darnell Brady is refusing to give legal materials to prisoners. Remind the Warden that he and other OSP staff are currently not parties in Sean’s lawsuit, because, up until this point, we don’t have evidence that they have participated in the coordinated targeting and violation of Sean’s rights.
3. Call the ODRC legal services boss Stephen Gray and politely ask him (or his secretary) if Trevor Clark, the key orchestrator of  repression against Sean Swain is still working there. If they say “yes,” then ask “why?”  Stephen’s number is 614-752-1765.
4. Contact the Ohio Attny General, (614) 466-4986 and politely request that they demonstrate the thinnest pretense of  respecting constitutional rights or the rule of law by getting their pants sued off fair and square. Tell them that you enjoy the game where we pretend this is a democratic country and that, by breaking all the rules of that game they are making your feelings hurt. If they ask what you’re talking about, you can say something like… “well, everything you do really, but particularly how you’re cheating at SWAIN v MOHR, ET AL. Case #4:14-cv-02074.”

Whatever you do, don’t email anything unpleasant to thomas.miller@ohioattorneygeneral.gov from an anonymous email account. That would be rude, and we know the rules of the game are we’ve always gotta be polite while communicating with our oppressors.

Enjoy Sean’s correspondence on the subject… (more…)

Durham Jail: During demonstration, c.o.’s threaten to beat and taze inmates

durhamFrom Amplify Voices

Hey, —,

I’m glad to hear from someone like you and what you stand for is a real good thing, man. I was sitting in my cell reading the letter you sent me and I seen in one part of the letter you ask me if we could hear or see you all. Yea, we could see y’all outside the jail and on the news, too. I guess whoever has the power over the jail did not like that at all, so they put the whole jail on lockdown meaning that they put us in our cells when we still had time to be out. No showers, no looking at T.V., no phones, and you eat in your cell. The c.o.’s came in and said if we did not lock back they were going to beat and taze us, so we said “Don’t shoot, our hands is up” and we all locked back into our cell. For almost two weeks they were putting the jail on lockdown, and no one knows why, as the c.o.’s say. They taking the V.I. (visitation) from us, saying our fam have to go online to see us. But they still find a way to take our money. Man, it’s crazy, we need help in here!

Thanks 4 lookin out we need you!!! And yeah, I like to read books.

K. C.

Durham Jail: Schedule your visitation with your loved one or friend online!

As is always the case with new initiatives, somebody (in this case, GTL) is gettin’ paid.

As is always the case with new initiatives, somebody (in this case, GTL) is gettin’ paid.

From Amplify Voices

What people are saying so far about this ‘great’ new service:

  • It’s bullshit.
  • It’s another way for them to get all kinds of personal information about people who are visiting at the jail. (Including checking warrants and people’s records.)
  • You have a window of five days: You must schedule at least two days in advance and no more than seven. So, are you expecting people to plan, or not?
  • WTF?
  • They only have so many slots, so you get shut out if they all fill up. It’s made so everyone on a pod CAN’T have a visit.
  • It’s confusing, and it doesn”t work. And the staff doesn’t know how to use it.
  • When you use the lobby computer to schedule a future visit, everyone in the lobby can see all of your personal info.
  • And, the best part: People are waiting as long as ever to get in for a visit.

Check back for more reviews of this great new service, brought to you by Durham County Detention Facility.  (more…)

A tough cell: US to defend solitary confinement use before UN

solitary-confinementReports suggest over 80,000 prisoners in isolation at any time, but government insists punishment is not systematic

NEWARK, N.J. — In a small, brightly lit office in Newark, Ojore Lutalo lays out sheet after sheet of paper covered in disquieting words and images — collages made from photographs and cutouts from magazines pasted alongside the text of legal documents and blueprints and Lutalo’s words. They are the product of his incarceration for nearly 30 years in a New Jersey prison, 22 of them in solitary confinement.

“I would create these collages to help maintain my sanity,” said Lutalo. “I would get up every morning. I would read and write, exercise. I’d write letters. Some days I would do collages all day long. I’d just cut and paste, cut and paste.”

On Nov. 12 and 13, the practice of holding incarcerated people in prolonged isolation will come under international scrutiny when the U.S. government goes before the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, part of a periodic review to assess the country’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture and the first U.S. review under Barack Obama’s administration.

This year the 10-person U.N. committee has repeated its concerns about imposing prolonged isolation on prisoners. In a list of issues to be addressed with the U.S. — including the use of secret detention facilities, Guantánamo Bay and the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — the committee has asked the government to “describe steps taken to improve the extremely harsh regime imposed on detainees in ‘Supermax security prisons,’ in particular the practice of prolonged isolation.”

The U.S. government insists that “there is no systematic use of solitary confinement in the United States.” There is abundant evidence to the contrary; Latulo can attest to that. He is just one of tens of thousands of men and women who have spent years, sometimes decades, in solitary confinement in the U.S. (more…)