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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lucasville Uprising Hunger Strike

UPDATE: We'll be leaving from Columbus to attend this demonstration at about 9:15 on Saturday Jan 15th. Contact us by commenting here or emailing if you'd like to come with or carpool. The demo starts at 12:45. See below for details. 

Here's an online petition you can sign right now! Here's a facebook page you can join to get more updates. See below for other ways to support the Lucasville 4. 

Dear family members, friends and supporters of the Lucasville uprising prisoners,

Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), Jason Robb and Namir Mateen (James Were) will start a hunger strike on Monday Jan. 3 to protest their 23-hour a day lock down for nearly 18 years. These four death-sentenced prisoners have been single-celled (in solitary) in conditions of confinement significantly more severe than the conditions experienced by the approximately 125 other death-sentenced prisoners at the supermax prison, Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. They are completely isolated from any direct human contact, even during “recreation”. They are restricted from certain kinds of good ordering including gold weather items for the almost unbearably cold condtions in the cells. They are denied access to computer databases they need in order to prepare their appeals. It has been made clear to them that the outcome of their annual “security level reviews” is pretermined, as one reads, “…regardless of your behavior while confined at OSP.”

Prisoners whose death sentences were for heinous crimes are able to win privileges based on good behavior, but not the death-sentenced Lucasville uprising prisoners.

Meanwhile out in the world, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted additional due process rights to some of the Gauantanamo prisoners, some death-sentenced prisoners have been exonerated or had their sentences commuted, an evidentiary hearing was ordered for Troy Anthony Davis, and prisoners in Georgia are engaging in a non-violent strike for improvements in a wide range of conditions. So the four death-sentenced Lucasville uprising prinsoners have decided that being punished by the worst conditions allowable under the law has gone far enough, especially since their convictions were based on perjured testimony. They are innocent! They were wrongfully convicted! They are political prisoners. This farce has gone on far too long and their executions loom in the not too distant future. These brave men are ready to take another stand. We ask that you get ready to support them.
The hunger strike will proceed in an organized manner, with one prisoner, probably Bomani Shakur starting on Jan.3. The hunger strike becomes official after he has refused 9 meals. Therefore the plan is that 3 days later, Siddiquie Abdullah Hasan will start his hunger strike and 3 days later, Jason Robb will follow. Namir Mateen has a great willingness to participate and plans to take part to the extent that his diabetes will allow.

On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Saturday, Jan. 15, we will be holding a press conference about the hunger strike and other issues pertaining to Ohio State Penitentiary. Details of time and location are being worked out. There will very likely be a brief rally near the gates of OSP, as we have in previous years to honor Dr. King, to protest the death penalty and to protest the farce of the Lucasville uprising convictions. There will probably be one or more vans and/or a car caravan to OSP for the event. Stay tuned for more information.

Please forward this email to other people you think would be interested, here in Ohio, around the country and around the world.

the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network


Here's an interview in Angola 3 news, with Staughton Lynd, author of a book on the Lucasville uprising. 

Here's an address info for letters of support: The address for all four prisoners is: Ohio State Penitentiary, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd., Youngstown, OH 44505-4635.  Be sure to include their "convicted as" name and prisoner number in the address.
Bomani Shakur started the hunger strike on Jan 3rd. Convicted as Keith LaMar, prisoner number: 317-117.  
Siddique Abdullah Hasan will join the hunger strike second, probably after three days. Convicted as Carlos Sanders, prisoner number is R130-559.  
Next will be Jason Robb whose prisoner number is 308-919.  
And finally, Namir Abdul Mateen will join, to the extent that his health will allow.  Convicted as James Were, prisoner number is 173-245.  

Messages of solidarity and support are of course welcome.  In addition, we should be deluging certain officials with our support for the prisoners' demands, which are, very simply, that they be treated like other Death Row prisoners and be afforded the same tiny privileges to the other prisoners held in OSP who are also sentenced to die, such as physical contact with loved ones.  Fair and just annual reviews that took into account these prisoners' 12 years of good behavior would have resulted in recommendations of removal from the highly restrictive "level 5" solitary confinement they have been subjected to for no reason other than vindictive need for punishment - for crimes they did not commit, folks, don't forget that!  This is inhumane, this is unconstitutional, this is illegal, this is deplorable, this is an international disgrace  - and it must stop.  Please contact the following people to speak your mind:

OSP Warden David Bobby, 330-743-0700 or fax 330-743-0841 or email
ODRC Director Ernie Moore,614-752-1159 (couldn't find fax) or email
People from Cleveland, please contact state Senator Shirley Smith, who is on the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee, 614-466-4857 or email

The facebook page will direct you to an electronic petition.  Other initiative are in the works.  If you have ideas, suggestions and information, please post them.  There are people working on this cause literally around the world.  But we need to build the strength of support for the very modest demands of the hunger strikers and ensure a swift victory.  So get the word out to all interested organizations and individuals.  Now is the time for not only a nationwide prisoner support movement, but an international prisoner support movement.  Let's make it happen!

Sharon Danann
for the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network

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