Men at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia are not only refusing meals but also refusing showers and refusing recreation time. We must support these courageous comrades who are actively revolting against the incarceration nation. Go to http://virginiaprisonstrike.blogspot.com and take action!
These reports are from Rock Volume 1, #6, June 2012, available here.
Solidarity Statement with Red Onion Hunger Strike
Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) at Howard University extends our solidarity to the prisoners on hunger strike in Red Onion State Prison. As Black students, we understand that the inhumane conditions of solitary confinement experienced by Our incarcerated brothers is an extension of the brutality suffered by Black people since our forced transportation to the Western Hemisphere. A direct line can be drawn to the daily abuses experienced by Africans during enslavement and the convict lease system to the Red Onion Hunger strikers.
Similar to other social justice movements, the Red Onion Hunger strikers simply want their human rights observed. Simple demands such as ‘we demand fully cooked food’ and ‘adequate medical care’ speak to the gross human rights violations that occur on a daily basis at Red Onion and prisons around the country. For example, Charles Graner, the ringleader of the abuses that took place in Abu Ghraib, was a correctional offi cer in Pennsylvania state and county prisons. This is why in October of last year, UN special rapporteur Jaun Mendez stated “solitary confinement should be banned by States as a punishment or extortion technique.” We agree.
As historically conscious Black students, we remember the state violence experienced by Black students in Fisk University (1924) and Jackson State (1970). At any moment, it could be any one of Us. Free’em All!
Stories from incarcerated brothers at Red Onion State Prison. More to come.
“It is so hard and bad for me that I had to tell my family to cancel sending me money for me and not put any more money on my account because the DOC would actually steal most of my money what my family work so hard for. That’s why for right now I am on the DOC indigent inmate list……. You know that people judges you wrong by looking at you from the outside and don’t look on the inside from your heart, mind , and soul. I’m not like that. I love people for who they are as human beings…… Kidnapped me from my homeland (Virgin Islands-prisoners are shipped to VA to fill our institutions). It was never due process of the law…..It happen late in the night when I was asleep . When the prison official come to my celland took me straight to a jet…” c.
“Also the guy who attacked me with the dog, his father is a captain here. Once the law suit is fi led the asst. warden and the guy that attacked me with the dog will be named in it as well as all the guards that stood around and watched it happen. Once that hits the courts and it is public knowledge I expect the harassment to come. I’m ready for it. You know I cannot let go what these criminals did to me. I already feel ashamed because I did not physically fight back. It was probably best that I did not fight back because those savages would have tried to kill me.” j.
“…As I stepped outside the chow hall officer C. called out to officer R. saying “Hey, here goes one of those smart ass Muslims.” Then C. told me to turn around so I could be searched. As I turned around C. and R. jumped on me slamming me to the ground face first. To make a long story short, C. ground my face into the concrete with his knees pulling skin off both sides of my face. He kneed me in the back of my head busting my lips on the concrete and knocking one of my teeth so loose that it had to be pulled. My shoulders and arms were scarred up from the concrete. C, was on my back with one arm pinned under my body. Instead of letting the pressure off my back so that my arm could be freed C. pulled my arm from under my body pulling skin and meat off my left wrist. The shackles were put on my feet backwards and so tight it left scars on my legs because I was forced to walk that way under the threat of being assaulted again. I was given four bogus institutional charges to justify being attacked. After I handcuffed and shackled by C. and R. and support staff, R. punched me in my face and both C. and R. called me a “fucking nigger” several times.” p.
“The day I arrived I was…told that I was at Red Onion now and if I act up they would kill me and there was nothing anyone could or would do about it.”
If you haven’t read Human Rights Watch’s report, “Red Onion State Prison: Super Maximum Security Confinement in Virginia”, now’s this time.