Call-in to Drop Charges against Cecily

call-inCall the Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, who has the power to drop the charges against Cecily McMillan at any time. Let him know that it is time to act – (212) 335-9000.  Please also take a moment to sign the petition.  Cecily’s next hearing will be held this Wednesday at 9:30 am at 100 Centre Street, Part 41.  Her support team is also collecting donations to cover their expenses.

**Whatever your feelings towards the DA and justice system, it is imperative that this campaign of calls and tweets be respectful and courteous, for the success of the campaign and more importantly for the success of Cecily’s trial.**

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3 Years After 2010 GA Prison Hunger Strike, Another Erupts

3 Years After 2010 GA Prison Hunger Strike, Another Erupts, But Still No Organizing For Prisoners Outside the Walls 02/26/2014 — Bruce A. Dixon

Hunger-StrikeIn December 2010 GA prisoners staged a brief strike, asking for their rights as men and human beings. They depended, and still depend on support from outside, support that is yet to be organized. How much longer will they wait?

Voices in the community were raised, and demanded to meet with the governor or his representatives in support of the prisoners. We at Black Agenda Report and the Georgia Green Party were among those voices and attended some of those meetings.

Three years and a couple months ago, prisoners in multiple institutions in Georgia went on strike, peacefully refusing to leave their dorms and cells for work details or meals. The demands of the prisoners were remarkably simple.

They wanted educational and job training opportunities including literacy training for those who could not read.

They insisted on adequate food and real medical care.

They demanded some transparency in the way the authorities handled inmate funds, prisoner grievances, the adjudication of alleged offenses committed by prisoners, and in release and parole decision making.

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Call-in to Support Hunger Strike in Illinois Control Unit

Hunger-StrikePrisoners in the control unit at Menard IL are on hunger strike. The DOC is denying that the hunger strike exists, but according to letters from inmates they’re being beaten and threatened with force feeding.

The backstory: http://sfbayview.com/2014/illinois-prisoners-in-menard-high-security-unit-plan-to-begin-hunger-strike-jan-15/

The interview with lying DOC official: http://thesouthern.com/news/local/doc-says-menard-hunger-strike-claims-are-bogus/article_435957b4-7e6c-11e3-89b5-0019bb2963f4.html

 

UPDATE FROM MENARD- and numbers to call in support…

January 21, 2014 – The following information is drawn from letters received from prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois.  On January 15, 2014, approximately 25 prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard Correctional Center went on hunger strike. Officers shook down their cells and took any food they found. The hunger strikers were sent to see medical staff and charged.  On the way back from seeing medical staff, one prisoner (said to be Armando Valazquez) was pushed onto the stairs while in handcuffs by two officers. Those officers then kicked and stomped on his back, picked him up and then slammed his face into the plexiglass window on a door. One officer was sent home early that day. Prisoner Velazquez was moved to the Health Care Unit and the prisoners have not seen him since.  The hunger strikers have been told the prison administration is working on obtaining a preliminary injunction to force feed them. They expect to continue the hunger strike even if they are force fed.  “We need as much outside support as possible.”

Please phone:

fund-driveGovernor Pat Quinn, 217-782-0244 or email

Illinois Department of Corrections Director, Salvador A. Godinez: 217-558-2200, x 2008

Warden Rick Harrington: 618-826-5071

New Call & Write in Campaign for Russell Maroon Shoatz

free-Russell-Maroon-ShoatsAS TORTURE INCREASES, SO DO CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CLERGY, HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS AND FIVE NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES CALL MAROON’S TREATMENT AN UNJUST “VIOLATION” OF UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPLES

*January 16, 2014*: 70-year-old Russell Maroon Shoatz, held in solitary confinement for a total of 30 years, has – for the third time in less than six months – been moved to a new prison amidst promises of eventual release into general population but actual emergency-level, dungeon-like conditions. Nobel Peace prize recipients Jody Williams (USA) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina) have now joined the call for immediate release made by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and two additional Nobel laureates; Maroon supporters remain vigilant and concerned about the political game-playing behind these delays.

“Maroon’s new cell at SCI Graterford is under the ground, with human waste on the wall and no blanket in a freezing cell as his greeting upon arrival,” reported Ayanna Ra’uf, Maroon’s fiancé and spokesperson, who was able to talk briefly with him on the phone. Even the most conservative prison guards and officials at SCI Frackville, where Maroon was housed over the past months, were shocked by the sudden move; they had been won over to the justice of his cause by his cooperation and full adherence to prison regulations during a sixty-day step-down program which Maroon completed in late November.  Despite consistent promises that the step-down program, if properly completed, would lead to a formal recommendation for release from solitary, once again the actions of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) reveal more continued isolation and roadblocks.

“While we are glad that the lawyers for PA DOCS seem amenable to Maroon’s transfer to general population,” noted Ra’uf, “we cannot take anything they say for granted. Yesterday they told members of Maroon’s legal team that all prison officials involved in the decision-making process support Shoatz’ release into general population, and that he could be out of solitary in approximately one month’s time. Given the fact that we have been told this recently at least twice before, it is hard to keep hoping that they will do the right thing.” Litigation against PA DOC challenging Maroon’s continued restricted housing is set to move forward later this month.

The time is now to FLOOD SCI Graterford with letters, postcards and notes SENT TO Maroon HIMSELF, with the simple message – to him and to the authorities – that he is in our thoughts, and that we are watching and closely monitoring this unacceptable turn of events. We must let Maroon and SCI Graterford Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz know that a continuation of business as usual WILL NOT STAND. As we count down thirty days to the latest promise of when Maroon should be moved into general population, we must prepare to let all the authorities in Pennsylvania and the DOC know that no one’s career can be built on the back of Maroon’s continued torture.

*SEND LETTERS, POSTCARDS, AND SHORT, SIMPLE MESSAGES OF SUPPORT and LOVE to: Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF-3855, P.O. Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-0246

call-in*CALL SCI Graterford Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz, 610-489-4151, to let him know:

– We are concerned members of the community who are monitoring the situations involving inmate Russell Shoatz and the conditions he is being held under, AND
– We are respectfully expecting that SCI Graterford will be accepting the information regarding Shoatz’ successful completion of the step-down program at SCI Frackville, and their recommendation that he be released from Restricted Housing into General Population

write-inCALL & SEND LETTERS OF CONCERN, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED:  PA DOC SUPERINTENDENT JOHN WETZEL, 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050, 717-728-4109  to let him know:

– We are frustrated and angry at the continued delays, and unfulfilled promises, regarding inmate Russell Maroon Shoatz.
– His consistent good faith efforts to abide by all State Correctional procedures for transfer to general population have successfully earned him the support of prison official and administrators.
– In light of recent US Department of Justice findings that Pennsylvania State Prisons have used solitary confinement in direct violation of inmates’ constitutional rights, and United Nations guidelines regarding the    illegality of using restrictive housing for punitive, long-term purposes, we write with concern that Shoatz’ continued placement in restricted housing constitutes an act of torture: cruel and unusual punishment.
– As voters and community members, we demand Shoatz’ immediate release into general population, and will continue to closely monitor this situation until Shoatz’ conditions are safe and legal.

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Help Bring Lynne Stewart Home for the Holidays

A life and death appeal from renowned people’s attorney Lynne Stewart

“I need to ask once again for your assistance in forcing the Bureau of Prisons to grant my Compassionate Release. They have been stonewalling since August and my life expectancy, as per my cancer doctor, is down to 12 months. They know that I am fully qualified and that over 40,000 people have signed on to force them to do the right thing, which is to let me go home to my family and to receive advanced care in New York City.  “Yet they refuse to act. While this is entirely within the range of their politics and their cruelty to hold political prisoners until we have days to live before releasing us – witness Herman Wallace of Angola and Marilyn Buck – we are fighting not to permit this and call for a BIG push.”  –Lynne Stewart, FMC Carswell 

call-inTake Action between now and the New Year.
Call and send emails or other messages to:

CHARLES E. SAMUELS, Jr., Director Federal Bureau of Prisons (202) 307-3250 or 3062; info@bop.gov

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER, U.S. Department of Justice (202) 353-1555; AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

U.S. Embassies and Consulates in nations throughout the world

LET US CREATE A TIDAL WAVE OF EFFORT INTERNATIONALLY. Together, we can prevent the bureaucratic murder of Lynne Stewart.  Continue reading

Mondays: Call-in for the MOVE prisoners’ parole

MOVE8Recently information about the clear bias and the illegal parole denials of the Move 9 at the hands of the PA Parole Board has been publicized. These parole denials have been guided by the watchful eye of The Fraternal Order Of Police and also Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.  We want to bring to people’s attention the inner workings of the PA Parole Board and expose the fact that there are two former cops presiding over the parole hearings of MOVE Political Prisoners. Randy Feathers and Lloyd White are both retired police officers who were hand picked to sit on the Parole Board by the current Governor of PA. So, as you can see, this a clear issue of bias. The case of The MOVE 9 is centered around the murder of a cop. MOVE people were arrested, framed, and convicted for the murder of a cop. This is indeed a conflict of interest to have two former cops sitting over a parole hearing for such a case.

call-inPeople should be outraged with who is sitting on The Pennsylvania Parole Board and how their past affiliation is helping to influence the parole denials of MOVE. We are encouraging people to continue calling the PA Parole Board on Mondays at (717) 772-4343 and continue to demand the release of The Move 9. Also question them why former cops Randy Feathers and Lloyd White are on the Board. This is a clear conflict of interest in these parole hearings that needs to be questioned.

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