Tag Archive: Virginia

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…)

A Wave of Prisoner Resistance Sweeps the South

By Jen Waller and Thomas Hintze

Last week, prisoners in two different facilities in the United States resisted inhumane conditions — one through an uprising that the mainstream media dubbed a “riot,” and the other through a hunger strike. The tactics employed by the two groups differ, but the messages are clearly linked: Prisoners are protesting their conditions and are willing to put their lives on the line to fight for better treatment.

On May 20, inmates took control of the Adams County Correctional Facility in Mississippi for over eight hours. One inmate managed to access a cell phone during the uprising and called WLBT TV in Jackson, proving his presence in the prison by sending pictures. He gave the station the following statement: “They beat us; we’re just [paying] them back. We just need better treatment and services. We need medical attention. We just want some respect. They call us wetbacks” — referring to a racist slur used against undocumented immigrants.

The prison is privately owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which manages over 60 facilities and touts a capacity of 90,000 beds. The prison in Adams County is populated by immigrants from over 70 countries awaiting deportation and is part of a larger war on undocumented immigrants in the United States. 2011 was a record year for deportations: 396,000 people were removed from the country, and more than half of those people were convicted of crimes and held at private immigration detention facilities like the one in Adams County. (more…)

Virginia Prison Hunger Strike Continues

From Solidarity With Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers

Over the weekend, Solidarity with Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers received word from a prisoner in segregation at Red Onion that he was still actively hunger striking. To his knowledge, due to isolation tactics, he could only confirm that one other striker was currently refusing food. He also reported that hunger strikers had been stripped of their clothes and that to receive their clothes back, they were required to accept food. This report, from a hunger strike participant, indicates that the VADOC is not being truthful in their position that the hunger strike has ended or that Red Onion officials are not reporting honestly to their superiors in Richmond.

Pierre Watkins, a hunger strike representative inside Red Onion, has been transferred to Colorado. He is currently at the Denver Reception & Diagnostic Center. His attorney is working to establish contact with him.

Solidarity With Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers

Solidarity with Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers has been formed to support and publicize the hunger strike being launched by prisoner comrades at Red Onion State Prison beginning Tuesday May 22nd when men in segregation refused their first meal.

Ten Demands of Red Onion State Prison (ROSP) Hunger Strikers

We (Prisoners at Red Onion State Prison) demand the right to an adequate standard of living while in the custody of the state!

1. We demand fully cooked food, and access to a better quality of fresh fruit and vegetables.  In addition, we demand increased portions on our trays, which allows us to meet our basic nutritional needs as defined by VDOC regulations.

2. We demand that every prisoner at ROSP have unrestricted access to complaint and grievance forms and other paperwork we may request. (more…)

Solidarity with Jeremy Hawthorne

From Anarchist News:

“Jeremy’s said he needs about $30 a week to pay for decent non-carnivorous food, stamps, sanitary supplies, and so on. Assuming a release date sometime in August, he’ll need somewhere near $500 all up from now til his release.

I’m assuming like roughly $100 will go to the ChipIn, Paypal, and jail percentages. We can minimize the amount of money wasted (and given to the state!) by donating it all at once.

So, put up some cash for our friend!”

Help make Jeremy’s time easier in jail by donating money so he can have phone privileges to call his family (collect!), write letters (paper & stamps cost dollars), and eat something vegetarian (mostly Cheetos & Ramen minus the flav packet).

I know he and all of his loved ones will really appreciate it.

http://jeremycommissary.chipin.com/mypages/view/id/00c7a462ca2f7222

(more…)

Richmond: Anarchist Jeremy Hawthorne sentenced to 12 months

From the Wingnut Anarchist Collective:

Today was Jeremy Hawthorne’s trial for charges brought against him back in September. Numerous posts on this website and others (www.richmondlegalsupport.org) detail the charges and circumstances around them. He was facing felony charges for vandalism that happened to 7 tires of VCU vehicles, including 2 cop cars in August.

Over 40 friends showed up to the court building today to show their love and support for Jeremy. It was clear that he is part of a large community that likes and appreciates him.

Unfortunately, today he was found guilty. There were many aspects of this case which were bogus, including the last minute cancellation of his lawyer, leaving him stranded with a public defender unfamiliar with the case. Jeremy was found guilty of Felony Destruction of State Property worth greater than 1000 dollars. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, and a fine of over 1300 dollars (the alleged cost of replacing the tires).

Fortunately, Jeremy is being allowed to remain out of jail until April 6th, when the details of his sentence will be decided in court. His lawyer will also hopefully be able to begin an appeal process before that date. We hope that court on April 6th and any future appeal dates go in Jeremy’s favor. (more…)

Richmond, VA: Anarchist Jeremy Hawthorne felony trial February 1st

From Richmond ABC:

Jeremy Hawthorne, arrested September 5th, 2011 while on a Copwatch patrol, is going on trial before a jury for allegedly slashing 7 tires on Virginia Commonwealth University vehicles, including two police cars. The charge is Destruction of State Property > $1,000, a Class 6 Felony.

The case is clearly politically motivated; as a part of Richmond Copwatch, Jeremy is one of several who have been targeted by Richmond police in past months for their work against police brutality and poor jail conditions in the city. The notoriously heavy-handed RPD and its officers, ever the subject of much controversy, have bristled and taken a particularly antagonistic attitude with activists, protestors, and copwatchers, reacting in a consistently aggressive, violent, and reckless manner. Accountability, on the other hand, has been elusive. (more…)