Hunger Strike for Medical Attention
I have enclosed copies of letters a comrade wrote to secure his position, ensure his safety, among many who are undergoing a mass hunger strike thie 23rd day of March 2016, to fight perpetually against the injustice we are receiving here at Lucasville. I will pass out your address to the rest of the brothers who will be fighting as well. I will remain on the compound to be the legs and voice to services and family on the streets of the brothers undergoing this battle.
Our basic human rights are being denied here! A shortage in food from Aramark. Our religious accommodations are being refused. Medical attention is being refused to those in dire need. And the majority of the minority population is being discriminated against and abused. Together we take a stand and organize against the administration today.
I'll write to keep you updated and give awareness. Expect much more letters.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We have not yet received an update on this hunger strike, but these comrades are taking a correct tactical approach. Engaging in such a protest as a unified group, and engaging outside media and supporters, have been shown to be important aspects for the success of hunger strikes in the past.(1) We are eagerly awaiting more information on the progress of this protest.
As the comrade states in eir letter, attached to this article, ey do not want to go on a hunger strike. Ey is being compelled to put eir life on the line because ey has tried all other avenues available, to no avail. The attached letter contains the demands of one prisoner. In negotiations with the state, it will be important to develop a clear list of demands that represent the entire population at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF). The comrade who wrote to us, the "legs and voice" on the unit, outlined some clear complaints which could be made into specific demands of the administration and prison staff. Without this clarity, the unity of the strikers may be compromised, as it leaves the group vulnerable to divide-and-conquer tactics.
We do hope this strike brings needed remedies for prisoners held at SOCF. The state has shown time and time again that agreements it makes with prisoners (or even its compliance with established laws) is unreliable, so the strikers should be prepared to defend any victories tooth and nail. In the end, whether the administration cooperates or not, using this struggle to build long-term unity amongst prisoners at SOCF is the real prize. Strengthening unity amongst prisoners will bring much more long-term remedy than a few token individuals who are permitted to receive medical treatment. Clarify your goals, unite around them, and prepare to defend them!