we are waiting for our parent station – ckut – to make it possible for us to download the archives of our own show! once we do that, we’ll put october and november’s shows up here!
but, in the meantime, there is lots happening. here’s a short run down (1. is about GVI, 2. is about Lucasville hunger strikers, 3. is about Seth Hayes medical emergency call-in):
Info about call-in campaign at GVI
BEING QUEER IS NOT A CRIME!
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At Grand Valley Institute for Women (GVI), a federal prison in
Kitchener, Ontario there has been a recent crackdown against LBTQ2+
prisoners and/or prisoners in relationships amongst themselves. Intimate relationships between prisoners are being attacked by a clique of guards acting without apparent direction or oversight from the Corrections Canada administration. We need your support with a call-in campaign to end these practises.
Harassment of prisoners includes throwing them in solitary as punishment for being in a relationship, threatening them with transfers to remote parts of the country, separating partners by placing them in different parts of the prison, and laying spurious institutional charges that can lead to being locked in the maximum security unit.
Most troublingly, guards have been using physical intimidation and invasions of personal space to harass prisoners who speak up against these practices. In violation of their own rules individual guards have been entering prisoners’ cells at night,with an institutional history of sexual violence and exploitation of prisoners by guards at GVI, this can only be understood as a threat.
All of this is happening due to a growing culture of impunity among the guards, created by a power vacuum at higher levels. GVI currently has no warden overseeing the actions of the guards and doesn’t expect to hire one for another year. The Federal Corrections Investigator whom handles oversight and prisoner grievances, didn’t have his contract renewed by the federal government, leaving no one to respond to grievance reports filed by prisoners. Compounding all this, the recent elections have left the government without a sitting Minister of Public Safety and the prisoners are left without the flimsy accountability that may offer. GVI still has not made any of the necessary changes with respect to the Ashley Smith inquiry, which drew national attention as the prison was investigated by a coroner’s inquest into a prisoners death in segregation.
The prisoners have been organizing in response to these attacks, but have faced increasing repression for their efforts. Their attempts to start an official two-spirited group were turned down, and there has been little ability to meet or congregate without official consent (by contrast, an application for an association of white prisoners, made by white supremacist inmates, was approved immediately).
Outside support right now can make a major difference in putting a check on the repression of prisoner relationships and dissent among prisoners.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Call Grand Valley Institute for Women at (519) 894-2011. Ask for the
acting warden. Even if you’re not able to speak with the warden, the
person on the line can take a message for you. It’s important to get
these questions and demands in to the prison, so be confident and firm.
Tell them criminalizing sexuality and deny prisoners in segregation their rights need to stop now, ask them to address some of these questions or read the prepared statement below:
* Why are you criminalizing inmates’ sexuality?
* Which of the Commissioner Directives (policies from CSC) states that physical intimacy is illegal? (spoiler: none of them)
* Why are you denying people in segregation access to their lawyer?
* Why is there currently no meaningful way for inmates to file
grievances about abuses of power by guards?
NOT SURE WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY? READ THIS PREPARED STATEMENT:
Hello, can I please speak with the acting warden?
My name is (Insert Name Here) and I am calling to address the alarming conditions inmates are experiencing in Grand Valley Institute for Women.
Word has gotten out that through the practises of your guards, prisoners rights are being trampled upon and prisoners sexuality has been criminalized. This needs to end now. There is no policy within the Commissioners Directive that gives guards the authority to deny
consensual physical intimacy or expression of sexuality among prisoners.
Harassment and punishment of prisoners for their sexual preferences and dissent against this treatment needs to stop immediately.
I demand that you stop denying prisoners in segregation their right to
see their lawyers. Approve the application of the prisoners two-spirited group to meet. Address the issue with your superiors of providing a meaningful ways for prisoners to file grievances against abuses of power by guards to a functioning, independent organization. Get your guards under control and stop the continued punishment of prisoners for their sexuality and dissent.
Now that these situations have been brought to my attention, I will
continue to follow the situation to ensure these issues are resolved.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS CALL! Now get all your friends to call, too!
Visit the website: GVIWatch.wordpress.com, to share with others about what making the call was like for you and for further updates.
2. Call-in campaign for Lucasville hunger strikers, Keith Lamar and Jason Robb (from November 16, 2015).
Monday Morning starts the second week of the hunger strike against conditions on Death Row at OSP. Since the last email on the subject Jason Robb has joined the hunger strike, and the Warden has met with, but refuses to accomodate Keith’s demands.
Please support the hunger strike, Keith and Jason need your help to make this action effective.
There are also updates, articles, a video and more details in recent posts at LucasvilleAmnesty.org. Please check them out, and share them with friends.
More ways to support below.
1. Call Regional Director Todd Ishee at 330 797-6398 and tell him that Warden LaRose’s decisions are cruel and violate the men’s 8th amendment rights, considering there is no end in sight for them in solitary confinement. Mr. Ishee is the warden’s boss and Keith wants most pressure applied here, since he has found Mr. Ishee to be more inclined to resolution.
Campaign for Justice for Keith LaMar
PO Box 3656
Youngstown, OH 44513
3. Urgent Seth Hayes Medical Emergency call-in
*PLEASE POST AND SPREAD WIDELY*
We recently received this distressing information about the ongoing
persecution of comrade Robert Seth Hayes.
As many of you know, Seth has had a chronic cough since May of this year
for which he did not receive any diagnosis or treatment for many months.
When Seth finally saw the pulmonologist at Coxsackie on Monday, November 2, the doctor wanted to know why the medical personnel at Sullivan (the prison where he is being held) had waited so long to bring Seth for a pulmonary exam. The pulmonologist intends to schedule for Seth a CT scan, a CT scan of his heart, and bloodwork. The pulmonologist thought there might be some infection, but needs more info.
In addition, the facility doctor (Dr. Sidorowicz) told Seth to come to
the clinic to use the nebulizer whenever he feels short of breath. Seth
has been using an inhaler twice a day (Seth does not get to carry his
inhaler, and so needs to go to medical when he gets short of breath) and
also the nebulizer twice a day for a while now, although he does not yet
have a diagnosis of the cause of this chronic cough.
On a prior occasion about 10 days ago, C.O. Slater, who was accompanying
Seth to the clinic, stated that Seth did not really need the nebulizer. Then the nurses did not attend to Seth, and he had to overcome his difficulty breathing on his own.
Today, the same thing happened again, with C.O. Slater once again
claiming that Seth did not really need the nebulizer. Seth passed out
shortly thereafter and a Code Blue was called on him.
We need people to call Superintendent Keyser at Sullivan specifically
about C.O. Slater interfering with and preventing Seth from receiving
needed medical attention. This C.O. should never accompany Seth to the
medical clinic again. Also ask why the nurses are not following the
facility doctor’s medical advice instead of paying attention to C.O. Slater.
We also need people to call and fax Dr. Koenigsmann and Nancy Lyng in Albany to demand that Seth receive all needed pulmonary tests as soon as possible and that C.O. Slater be prohibited from accompanying Seth to the clinic in the future.
This is attempted medical murder of one of our beloved freedom fighters
and we must do everything possible to help Seth at this time.
Superintendent Keyser at Sullivan: 845-434-2080
Dr. Koenigsmann: 518-457-7073 (phone) and 518-445-7553(fax)
Nancy Lyng: 518-445-6176
Seth needs visitors and letters.
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Van to Sullivan picks you up at your door: 845-866-1118