More Frequent Updates

We've been using this blog less and our facebook group more often, for random updates and events. So, if you wanna know what we're doing right now, go here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


We have been too busy for the internet. Here's what's up...

1. Pelican Bay- we went to Ohio State Penitentiary  for a "supermax to supermax" rally organized by the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network. Before talking about the silly little action we did, I want to acknowledge both the amazing bravery of the hungerstrikers and the despicable apathy of the powers that starved them for four weeks (some are still refusing food). Read updates here. We made the group into about 15 people standing on the side of the road 1/4 mile away from the prison. Visitors came and waved. We chatted with folks and got sunburnt. Shift change happened and dozens of COs drove past scowling. We got bored and felt even more ineffectual than protests normally make us feel, cuz we were out of sight of both the inmates we were trying to express solidarity with and the administration we were trying to confront. So, we got our signs and some buckets and marched, past the no tresspassing signs making as much racket as we could. A couple other protesters joined us, including Brother Quahar of the new black panthers. We made it to the parking lot by looking at the ground, walking and not stopping with the noise every time a car pulled up next to us to try and talk to us. Finally in the parking lot an oily no-nonsense CO who clearly did not know how to talk with people he couldn't get away with beating up or macing with impunity informed us that the highway patrol was on their way to arrest us if we didn't leave immediately. We knew we weren't going to tear down any walls that day, and had important plans to come back and visit people the next morning, so we marched back, hoping at least half the inmates had seen or heard us. 20 minutes later 4 highway patrol cars rolled up and a much more polite officer told us that we ought not do that again. As usual he started with "who's in charge here" and when we told him no one was, he directed his statements at me, until Wes and Kate reminded him that they were there too.

2. ABC conference- We're going to the Denver ABC conference, and they've asked us to do a presentation on the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners. With that goal in mind, we visited Staughten and Alice Lynd at their house near Youngstown. They've both done a lot of work with the Lucasville cases, including writing the book on it. They have so much detailed knowledge to share. I feel like we could have talked to them all night, but we only had 45 minutes.  Then we camped out in a thunderstorm, which was surprisingly fun. The next day we went back to OSP to visit Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Bomani Shakur. This was an inspiring and very enjoyable experience. Bomani and Ben shared handshakes and book references. Hasan, Kate and Weslie talked about all kinds of current events and political prisoner issues. We also discovered they're celled on the other side of the prison. We'll have to march around the whole perimeter to be seen by them. We got a much better understanding of their case and their preferences for what we tell ABC. We'll be going back soon, for the bigger challenge of talking with Jason Robb about his affiliation with the Aryan Brotherhood and ABC's tradition of refusing solidarity with white supremacist groups. We're very much looking forward to helping the complexities of the lucasville situation enrich discussion and analysis at the ABC conference.

3. Elkton FCI food strike - got a letter from the shitheads claiming that they can't give me any records I requested. They say it's part of an ongoing criminal investigation and I can appeal to a higher authority, which I will be doing.

4. The "what are prisons for" puppet show from Mysterious Rabbit and Puppet Army was really great. If you have a chance to see them, please do.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What are Prisons For? Puppet show about the Prison Industrial Complex

The Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army rolls into town on Friday, July 22nd as part of its whirlwind, month-long excursion across the continental United States to raise awareness about the prison system. Performing at 9 at Villa Vilekula 2623 Neil Ave.

Monday, July 11, 2011

News Updates- FCI Elkton and Pelican Bay

FCI ELKTON- Been calling to check up on the FOIA request every couple days. They're still processing it. If you'd like to help pressure them to take this more seriously, please see this post.

We also received a letter from an inmate at FCI Elkton, who wrote an article about the 24 hour lights-on policy which he says inspired the protest. We're working on publishing the whole article, but here's an excerpt about the food strike: "On May 18th, 2011, the majority of the inmate population at Elkton participated in a "food strike" where they refused to attend the meals offered at the chow hall in protest of a variety of newly imposed policies (constant lighting at nighttime being the most significant). The protest lasted about a week.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pelican Bay Solidarity

On July 1st hundreds of inmates in SHU in California started an indefinite hungerstrike. The mainstream media is (of course) not making a peep about this, but you can read about it and follow events here.

You can also take action by signing this petition or calling these politicians. Please do.

We couldn't help but take this opportunity to point out the irony of our nationwide celebration of america's independence from an authority far weaker than the authority the US currently holds us under and exercises  around the world. So, we made up some flyers and handed them out first at Red White and Boom and then at the Doo Dah Parade. Of course, handing out flyers isn't going to tear down any prison walls, but we got some new ideas about prison and the fact of the hunger strike's existence into hundreds of people's hands.