Prisoners at Three Facilities in NC Begin Hunger Strike! Solidarity Needed!

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Please make calls to the wardens at these facilities, over 100 men starving
themselves and willing to die to get basic human rights met. Your call
matters!

At the end you will find prison books statement of support. If your group
would like to sign on, please let us know.

Prisoners at Three Facilities Begin Hunger Strike

On Monday July 16th, prisoners began hunger strikes at Bertie CI in Windsor,
Scotland CI in Laurinburg, and Central Prison in Raleigh. Targeting a wide
range of conditions related but not exclusive to solitary confinement, the
prisoners have vowed not to eat until their demands are met.

Prisoners have encouraged supporters to call or fax the administrations of
these different facilities as well as Director Robert Lewis (see information
below), 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.”

The prisoners have listed the following demands (listed at the bottom),
though
they are also encouraging others to include any other grievances specific to
their conditions. It is still unclear how many prisoners are currently
participating, but correspondence with those on the inside has made it clear
that the strike has spread to three at least three different facilities.

Constant attention and pressure on administrations can help make this
strike a
success, and protect those who are putting their lives on the line. Prisoners
have asked folks on the outside to call everyday to check on fasting
prisoners
and pressure administration. You can contact officials at:

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

PRISONERS’ DEMANDS

1.Law Libraries. We are tired of being railroaded by the courts, and
having our rights violated by prison staff and officers. NC Prison Legal
Services are inadequate and oftentimes do not help us at all. A law
library is needed to enable us to legally defend ourselves.

2.An immediate end to the physical and mental abuse inflicted by officers.

3.Improve food, in terms of quality and quantity.

4.A better way to communicate emergencies from cells; many emergency call
buttons are broken and never replaced, and guards often do not show up for
over an hour. At least one prisoner has died this way.

5.The canteens that serve lock up units need to make available vitamins and
personal hygiene items.

6.An immediate stop to officers’ tampering or throwing away prisoners’ mail.

7.Education programs for prisoners on lock-up.

8.The immediate release of prisoners from solitary who have been held
unjustly or for years without infractions; this includes the Strong 8,
sent to solitary for the purpose of political intimidation.

9.The immediate end to the use of restraints as a form of torture.

10.The end of cell restriction. Sometimes prisoners are locked in their
cell for weeks or more than a month, unable to come out for showers and
recreation.

11. The theft of prisoners’ property, including mattresses and clothes.
When on property restriction, we are forced to sleep on the ground or
steel bed frames naked, with no bedding.

12.Medical privacy and confidentiality. Guards should not be able to
listen in on our medical problems when on sick call.

13.Change our cell windows to ones which we can see through. The current
windows are covered with feces and grime. Not being able to see out is
sensory deprivation, and makes us feel dissociated from everything that
exists outside of prison.

14.An immediate repair of cell lights, sinks, toilets, and plumbing.

15.Toilet brushes should be handed out with cell cleaning items.

16.The levels of I-Con, M-Con, and H-Con need to be done away with
altogether. When one is placed on Intensive Control Status (I-Con), one is
placed in the hole for six months and told to stay out of trouble. But even
when we stay out of trouble, we are called back to the FCC and DCC only to
be told to do another six months in the hold, infraction free.

Prison Books Collective Statement of Support for NC Prison Hunger Strikers

As a group that has for the last six years supported prisoners’ struggles
for education, dignity, and freedom through sending literature and
resources into prisons in the South, the Chapel Hill Prison Books
Collective expresses its full support for the struggle of hunger striking
prisoners at Central Prison, Bertie Correctional, and Scotland
Correctional.

The strikers’ demands for law libraries, decent food and medical care, and
a halt to abuse by guards, are basic and fundamental in nature. That
prisoners have to risk their lives by hunger striking in order to achieve
these simple things tells us something about the nature of the prison
system they are trapped in.

Beyond the question of demands, the strikers are acting to retain some
level of dignity in the face of a system of solitary confinement that has
devolved into torture and debasement of the worst kind. That these men
have the courage to unite across lines of race, gang status, and religion
to stand up for themselves inspires us, as we hope it inspires others on
both sides of the wall.

Love for All Prison Rebels,

the Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective

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