Inmates strike to protest Alabama prison conditions

From Corporate Media:

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – Prisoners in three different state prisons think it is time they get paid for doing kitchen work, laundry and maintenance tasks. In protest of not being paid for institutional work, some have refused to report for work at three different facilities since the weekend.

The inmates are also seeking better living conditions and a revamping of the parole system. They said prisons are too overcrowded. State prisons are operating at almost double the capacity they were built to hold.

The protest started Sunday in Atmore at Holman Correctional facility, then on Monday, the peaceful protest spread to St. Clair Correctional in Springville and Elmore Correctional. On Tuesday, all of the Elmore inmates returned to work and some followed suit in Holman, but the protest continued at St. Clair Correctional on Tuesday.

Some inmates have posted videos on YouTube as part of their movement, but officials would not comment on this and said they are open to discussing issues about the food at the facilities. Posting the videos would constitute a felony charge against a prisoner because cell phones are considered to be contraband inside prison walls.

Department of Corrections Spokesperson Brian Corbett said the protest may not be the best course of action because some of their complaints are things the department has no control over, such as altering terms of parole and sentences. He suggested the prisoners should make lawmakers aware of their concerns.

Kostas Sakkas to be released!

From the Greek Streets:

Kostas Sakkas is an anarchist who was arrested in December 2010, one of the earliest in a wave of arrests targeting the “Conspiracy of Cells of Fire”. Both Sakkas and the CCF refuse he was ever a member, and Sakkas has separately taken the responsibility for his political activity as an anarchist. Held since, Sakkas’ initial pre-trial detention maximum expired eighteen months later, in the summer of 2012 -yet it was extended by another year, to June this year (ie. last month). At that time, a court of appeals in Athens ordered the extension of Sakkas’ detention by another six months, now solidly stepping outside the boundaries that the legal apparatus had set for its own self. On June 4, Kostas Sakkas went on a hunger strike.

Minutes ago, the court of appeals decided the release of Kostas Sakkas on a 30,000 euro bail.

UPDATE, 12.15 The bail conditions are as follows:

– Kostas is forbidden to exit the country.

– Once a week, he will have to sign off at his local police station.

– He must reside at his registered address.

– He is forbidden to travel outside the Attica prefecture (Greater Athens).

– He is not allowed to be in contact with any of the fellow accused for the CCF case.

– He must pay a 30.000 euro bail.

Colombia: 11,000 prisoners on hunger strike

From Libcom.org:

More than 11,000 Colombian prisoners across 21 jails are now over two weeks into a hunger strike and other acts of resistance.

They are demanding the following:

1) Declare a state of emergency in the country’s correctional facilities and install a National Board of Consultation with inmate representation to develop a plan to address prison conditions.
2) End overcrowding
3) End filthy and unhealthy prison conditions and maintain an adequate system of healthcare.

The prison system in Colombia has been given advice and money from the United States, which has resulted in a legacy of repression and mistreatment.

Water and food within the prison system is in short supply, and is often not fit for human consumption – some of which has been found to contain evidence of faces. In many jails, prisoners still have to shit and piss in buckets or plastic bags

Within recent years, overcrowding in Colombian jails has risen enormously (up to 40% in some areas). The prison estate has a maximum capacity for 78,000 people, yet there are at least 134,000 people currently incarcerated.

Also rising rapidly is the torture and ill treatment of prisoners, and in particularly – political prisoners.

Colombia recognises three types of ‘political prisoner’:

1) Prisoners of conscience – people arrested for political activities and charged with such crimes as, “Rebellion”.
2) Victims of set-ups – persons arrested for political reasons based on false testimonies.
3) Prisoners of war. An estimated 1,000 political prisoners are members of guerrilla groups.

Political prisoners (Colombia has 10,000) are kept in severely restricted conditions. They are often kept in solitary confinement, prevented from sending or receiving mail and the only human contact they are allowed is with prison officers.

The Final Straw: North Carolina Prisoners Initiate Hunger Striker

From The Final Straw, via Anarchist News:

This week’s show features a conversation with Francis Delaney about the Prison Hunger Strikes that were initiated on Monday, July 16 at three facilities in North Carolina. This action seems to have the potential to spread to other facilities because of the apparent universality of the demands (better/more food, access to legal literature, human contact, an end to torture, an end to mail tampering, medical care). We discuss some context for the strikes and how folks on the outside can get involved and show solidarity.

Chapel Hill Prison Books
Triangle Anarchist Blog
Down: Reflections on Prison Resistance in Indiana

Streamable from The Final Straw from 7/23-7/29/12

Downloadable from archive.org by searching the show title.

North Carolina: Prisoners at 3 facilities begin hunger strike

On Monday July 16th, prisoners at Central Prison in Raleigh, Bertie CI in Windsor, and Scotland CI in Laurinburg all began a coordinated hunger strike. The men have issued a series of demands revolving around food, healthcare, abuse by guards, and in particular for a return of prison law libraries, and are encouraging other prisoners to join in with their own actions and demands. They are also calling for the release of those on I-Con status and the abolition of separate control statuses.

Correspondence with the prisoners has confirmed the strike at several facilities, and that at least at Central Prison over 100 prisoners began the strike on Monday. Prisoners have encouraged supporters to call or fax the administrations of these different facilities as well as Director Robert Lewis, to “march or protest in front of Central Prison and others,” “boycott all products being sold in these prisons,” and to “contact media outlets and let them know what we are doing.”

Groups have begun organizing support and solidarity on the outside here in NC, and we are encouraging others around the country to show their solidarity. Numbers for organizing your own call-in day can be found below; any and all actions of solidarity are encouraged. We will do our best to make sure that the strikers are hear about any actions happening on the outside, so please post information about any activities in your own town.

Against Prison Society,
Love for All Prison Rebels,

-some NC anarchists against prisons

Robert C. Lewis, Director of Prisons
phone: 919.838.4000
fax: 919.733.8272

Central Prison Warden Ken Lassiter
phone: 919.733.0800
fax: 919.715.2645

Bertie CI Warden Renoice Stancil
Phone: 252-794-8600
Fax: 252-794-4608

Scotland CI Warden Sorrell Saunders
Phone: (910) 844-3078
Fax: (910) 844-3786

Ohio Super Max Prisoners on Hunger Strike

From Redbird Prison Abolition

According to a level 5 prisoner participating in the hunger strike at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) there are forty-eight (48) prisoners who have refused nine meals and should be officially recognized as on hunger strike. Warden Bobby has not returned calls requesting information about the hunger strike.

The prisoner’s demands include the following:
1. Lower commissary prices. One striker writes: “Commissary items are permitted to be marked up.to 35% above retail, while many of us receive only $8 a month.”
2. No more indefinite terms. Prisoners on the highest security level at OSP (level 5) currently have little prospects for reducing their security level and increasing privileges. “We are taken in front of a privilege review board every 90 days, yet can expect no [increase in] privilege for a year or longer” the hunger striker says of prisoners on Level 5B. Men on Level 5A have a privilege level review every six months, but there has been no increase in their privileges in recognition of good conduct for some time.
3. Healthy and nutritious food. According to the hunger striker, “austerity cuts have allowed our food portions to be shortened.”
4. Access to educational and enrichment materials. “There has recently been a major ban on books and music” the hunger striker said.
Continue reading

CCF – victory of the hunger strikers

English original

Athens – CCF – VICTORY OF THE HUNGER STRIKES -ANNOUNCEMENT 1-5-2012
May 1, 2012 by actforfreedom | 0 comments
Translated by boubourAs/Act for freedom now!
CCF – VICTORY OF THE HUNGER STRIKES

ANNOUNCEMENT

1-5-2012

“A battle has been won but the war does not end here…”

After 23 days of hunger strike, we come out as winners against the corruption, defeatism and captivity that dominate in the world of prisoners.

We wrote: “We made a decision… we fight till the end…” We stood consistent to this choice of ours even when we saw our brothers Gerasimos and Panagiotis leave and be hospitalized in a bad condition at Tzanio hospital. Because from all that is written, we love what is written with blood and sealed with actions.All the rest is hollow babbles and a waste of time.

These 23 days we did not regret the hunger strike even for a moment. We knew the risk. We know everyone dies… but there are deaths that weigh differently, because we ourselves decide the way we will die, just as we choose the way we live. And we decided to come out of this battle as winners.

Gerasimos and Panagiotis won their final transfer from Domokos prisons. Gerasimos got transferred to Koridallos prisons and Panagiotis because he is considered a long term convict (he is sentenced to 37 years) and could not come to a prison such as Koridallos (a prison mainly for people who are waiting to be judged), won a transfer to a prison of his “choice” and will be transferred to Trikala prisons where three other members of the Conspiracy Cells of Fire are also being held.

This victory puts in its own way another pledge in our aim for political coexistence of the members of the CCF within the walls and abolishes the isolation they try to impose on us.In this confrontation opposite the system, time and fatigue, we put our bodies as a barricade and as a pawn of our decency. That’s why we did not plead, neither did we beg for solidarity in the places we avoided to hang out during our course as anarchists of praxis.

We stayed clear of leftist parties, from press conferences with a humane background, from reformist circles. Choosing thus a conscious loneliness we counted friends and enemies, comrades and indifferent, actions and silences… We do not have spare words for the small time politicians and the meaningless.

On the contrary the word “thankyou” is very poor for the comrades from the whole of greece who ran, gave out flyers, put up posters, set up PA systems, organized gatherings, occupied a tv station, they came with a demo by the prisons, carried out counter-information actions from radio stations…

Finally we send our warmest hug to all those vandals, the hooded ones, the provocateurs, the night time arsonists and bombers in Greece, the anarchist nihilists in Spain, our brothers in Bolivia, England and to all the cells of the Informal Anarchist Federation and of the Conspiracy Cells of Fire…

Nothing would be the same, without all of you…

May we meet soon comrades. Although we won, we have nothing more to do than start the next battle.

FOR THE SPREADING OF THE INFORMAL ANARCHIST FEDERATION (FAI/IRF) FOR THE BLACK INTERNATIONAL OF THE ANARCHISTS OF PRAXIS Cell of Imprisoned Members of CCF/FAI

And anarchist revolutionary Theofilos Mavropoulos