Archive for February, 2017

Incarcerated Prison Strike Leader’s Life Endangered by Hostile and Negligent Prison Officials

February 23, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Incarcerated Prison Strike Leader’s Life Endangered by Hostile and
Negligent Prison Officials

(Harvest, AL) – February 22, 2017 – Aggressive actions and negligence
over the past three months by Alabama prison officials have led to a
rapid decline in the health of Kinetik Justice.

Robert Earl Council, a.k.a. Kinetik Justice, is a leading prison
organizer with the Free Alabama Movement. He was convicted of capital
murder by an all white jury for killing a man in self-defense in the
early 90s. He has been highly politically active, and played crucial
leadership roles in several acts of resistance in the last two years,
most notably the nationwide prison strike that began on September 9th,
2016.

Kinetik’s most recent ordeal began with the “suicide” of Robert Deangelo
Carter at Alabama’s Holman Correctional Facility on October 10, 2016. On
that date Kinetik appears to have tweeted about the incident, “WE
SCREAMED, WE KICKED, WE BANGED BUT NO ONE EVER CAME- in spite of telling
the CERT TEAM4 times- He just HANGED.” Immediately after this, Kinetik
was moved 100 miles away, to Kilby Correctional Institute, a facility
notoriously referred to by prisoners and their supporters as a “bully
unit.” Monique Gillum, policy strategist at the Southern Poverty Law
Center, went to Kilby on October 12, 2016 to meet with Kinetik as part
of her investigation of what the Alabama Department of Corrections
referred to as Carter’s “apparent suicide.” Kilby staff simply told
Gillum that Kinetik was not there.

Kinetik was moved again on October 21, 200 miles further, to Limestone
Correctional Facility. In protest of his unsafe conditions, Kinetik
commenced a hunger strike: “I made it explicitly clear to officers at
Limestone CF that due to exigent circumstances, I felt my life was  in
danger… Due to my expressed fear and my inability to see if my food was
being tampered with, I began a ‘Hunger Strike Protest’ in order to bring
attention to Limestone CF’s disregard for my safety and well being,” he
says, in a letter dated November 5.

Kinetik notified Pastor Kenneth Glasgow (FAM spokesperson and founder of
“The Ordinary People Society”) that on October 27th, he informed a Nurse
Haynes that the medical staff was failing or refusing to comply with the
federally mandated policy regarding Hunger Strikes. Bureau of Prisons
Program Statement P5562.05 requires, among other things, checking the
health vitals and psychological state of persons on hunger strike. Nurse
Haynes replied, “You are doing this to yourself, so don’t complain.”

On October 30th, Kinetik was found unconscious and non-responsive in his
cell. Kinetik was taken to the infirmary, where a very low Blood Sugar
Count of 52 was determined to be the cause. Medical staff with Corizon
Correctional Healthcare administered glucose and an Ensure drink in
order to raise his Blood Sugar Count above 96. This forcible feeding
“reset” Kinetik’s hunger strike against his will, whereby according to
the BOP policy he would not have to be checked for another 72 hours. The
next day, Warden Gordee ordered a still severely dehydrated Kinetik to
be placed in a “day cell” for observation. Day cells have no running
water except for that in the toilet, no blanket, clothes, personal
items, or reading material. By the order of a Dr. Robbins he was not to
have his blood sugar checked unless he was “out of it.”

On December 2, at approximately 8:45 p.m., while in handcuffs and on the
way to the showers, Kinetik was shoved to the floor and pushed into a
janitor’s closet by a CO Shoulders. Once inside the closet, Shoulders
began choking Kinetik, while asking (rhetorically), “You gonna tell I&I
on me too?” Then a CO Dozier said, “Hold up Shoulders, hold up,” reached
around him and sprayed over half a can of mace directly into Kinetik’s
eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. The spray was so strong that Shoulders got
up off of Kinetik coughing. Both officers ran out of the closet, leaving
Kinetik laying on his back in a corner choking, and then called for
backup. This entire incident was witnessed by 3 people already in the
showers. Rather than reprimand the 2 officers, their supervisor, a Sgt.
Whitfield, refused to let Kinetik make a phone call or file a complaint
against the CO’s, and again placed him in a “day cell” where he remained
hidden for 5 days.

Despite all this, according to a recent visitor, “He’s quite an
inspiration. Been in isolation for 37 months, has to wear shackles and
belly chain during ‘exercise,’ but still strong and able to smile.”

Kinetik has filed repeated grievances to ensure his health and safety.
FAM and IWOC (the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee) call this
an example of complete lack of regard by prison officials for people’s
safety, and demand that he be relocated from Limestone Correctional
Facility.

ABOUT

The Free Alabama Movement is part of a network of groups whose objective
is to provide online content, educational material, and support to
family members, activists, and other organizations in furtherance of our
efforts to connect the “FREEDOM MOVEMENT”, which is the National
Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, to Alabama,
Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas in the South, and
California and Illinois. We promote legislation that is drafted by the
men and women on the inside in each State in a document we call our
“FREEDOM BILL”, with an emphasis on Education, Rehabilitation and
Re-Entry Preparedness.

The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee supports prisoners’
efforts to build their own labor union and organize for their own
self-defense against inhumane treatment. We function as a liaison,
building bridges between inside and outside to support prisoners
organizing their local chapters. We advocate the abolition of
incarceration, white supremacy, and capitalism.

Contact:
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
iwoc@iww.org
302-404-IWOC(4962)
http://www.iwoc.noblogs.orgf-a-m-bw

The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

February 23, 2017

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The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home

By Johanna Fernandez

Dear Friends of Mumia,

I’m writing on behalf of the Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal to ask if you might help us in an emergency. The Committee is the official fundraising venue for Mumia’s legal defense today. It has been raising funds, quietly, since Mumia was facing execution in the ‘90s.

The Committee was initiated and led by Frances Goldin, Mumia’s literary agent. She is 93 years old today and continues to be actively involved in this work. Our letters are reviewed and signed by Angela Davis. Our efforts focus exclusively on Mumia’s legal defense, and on the few occasions when we’ve deemed that raising funds for other projects was critical to Mumia’s safety, our letters have explicitly outlined our thinking.

Since Mumia fell ill, we have been behind on payments to Mumia’s lead health attorney and we need to raise funds – quickly. Would you consider making a donation and identifying one or two others who might do the same?

A Word on Mumia’s Condition

Although the symptoms of his Hep C condition wax and wane, he is much improved since his near death crisis two years ago. That moment was harrowing, and having been in the center of it, I can truly tell you that the movement saved his life.

Heidi Beghosian, former executive director, National Lawyers Guild, and I had been concerned about Mumia’s declining health two years ago, and we happened to visit Mumia the morning that he collapsed in the infirmary. At that moment, we called his family, identified the hospital to which he had been taken, then drove there to make our presence known.

Since Mumia fell ill, we have been behind on payments to Mumia’s lead health attorney and we need to raise funds – quickly. Would you consider making a donation and identifying one or two others who might do the same?

We alerted the movement, and dozens joined us at the hospital that evening. The next day we held a press conference at the hospital to which surprisingly the Philadelphia mainstream media showed up. The conditions under which Mumia was hospitalized were horrendous and we visited the hospital daily.

After these dramatic days, when we realized that Mumia was in danger of dying, we went into emergency mode for several months. This included identifying outside doctors to visit him, taking out an ad in the New York Times, mobilizing the movement and testifying in court about what we saw.

We even took Mumia’s hair sample covertly to be tested at an outside laboratory. It was our doctor, not the hospital physicians, who in the end diagnosed Mumia with Hep C and made the connection that his terrible skin condition was a symptom of that disease. In this moment of crisis, Pam Africa’s experience was indispensable.

The Legal Situation and Our Request for Funds

As you know, his attorneys, primarily Bob Boyle, scored an unprecedented legal victory in Mumia’s Hep C health suit. On Jan. 7, a federal judge, Robert Mariani, in an unprecedented decision, ordered that Mumia be treated with the 95 percent effective cure rate antiviral medicines within 21 days. He condemned the barbarity of the DOC’s (Department of Corrections’) Hep C protocol, and his opinion establishes the groundwork for the treatment of the 7,000 others with Hep C in the Pennsylvania prisons.

The Pennsylvania DOC is fighting this all the way to hell. On the 10th day after the ruling, right before the Martin Luther King holiday, the DOC attorneys filed a stay and a notice of appeal in the 3rd Circuit District Court of Appeals.

Our legal filings are voluminous. Bob Boyle has been working for two years at reduced legal fees, and we are behind on payments. He has literally had to borrow money to stay afloat. We’ve also put in some personal funds, and are sending out another appeal to our members, but we need an infusion of $25,000 in the next week.

His attorneys, primarily Bob Boyle, scored an unprecedented legal victory in Mumia’s Hep C health suit. The Pennsylvania DOC is fighting this all the way to hell.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration.

All the best,

Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D.

Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Baruch College (CUNY,) coordinator of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, member of the Committee to Save Mumia Abu Jamal, and writer and producer of the acclaimed film, “Justice on Trial: The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.” She can be reached at jfernandez1202@gmail.com.
______________________________ ______________________________ ____________

Legal Particulars

Federal Judge Robert Mariani presided over Mumia’s health suit. Judge Mariani granted Mumia his claim of deliberate indifference, meaning that Mumia won the preliminary injunction for immediate treatment. The judge ordered that a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) doctor must see Mumia within 14 days of his Jan. 7 ruling and instructed that treatment begin seven days after that – in other words, within 21 days of the ruling.

But on the 10th day after the ruling, right before the Martin Luther King holiday, the DOC lawyers filed a challenge to the judge’s ruling. They filed “a stay,” which essentially asked the judge to halt all legal actions and proceedings. The DOC attorneys also filed a separate notice of appeal that made known their intention to appeal the decision in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the court immediately below the Supreme Court.

Here are the different scenarios that can emerge.

If Judge Mariani denies the stay and upholds his original decision, the DOC can seek a stay from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. This would happen in advance and separately from the DOC’s full appeal in that court. If the 3rd Circuit grants the stay, the appeal process could take two to three months, even if “expedited.” If the 3rd Circuit denies the DOC’s request for a stay, Mumia basically wins because it would mean that the injunction must be carried out, meaning that MAJ gets the drugs.

If Judge Mariani grants the DOC’s request for a stay, Mumia’s attorneys can ask the 3rd Circuit to vacate (overturn) the stay; however, it would be unlikely that the 3rd Circuit would do so since they would take Judge Mariani granting the stay as an indicator that he feels his ruling would not withstand an appeal. We then would have to litigate the appeal in the 3rd Circuit Court, again a two to three month process.

Profile of the Attorneys Litigating Mumia’s Health Suit

Bret Grote is a young attorney and the founder of the Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh. He was the only lawyer willing to file a preliminary injunction to get Mumia immediate treatment after he fell ill. All the attorneys with whom we consulted argued that the case was impossible to litigate and win. Shortly after Bret Grote filed the motion, the movement recruited Bob Boyle to join Bret Grote.

Bob Boyle is one of the most noted and accomplished attorneys representing political prisoners today. He is comparable to Len Weinglass in his political analysis of these cases. Bob Boyle

  • litigated the Lynne Stewart case, which led to her compassionate release;
  • litigated the case of Black Panther Dhoruba Bin Wahad and secured his freedom;
  • secured the release of Black Panther Marshall Eddie Conway, who spent close to 43 years in prison;
  • overturned in appellate court the 75-year sentence of Mohammed Al-Moayad, who was convicted of providing material support to Hamas.

How to Donate

Please mail your tax-deductible check payable to National Lawyers Guild. On the memo line, be sure to write: “For Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Defense.”

Mail your check directly to Johanna Fernandez, 158-18 Riverside Drive W., Apt. 6C-50, New York, New York 10032.

Please forward this email far and wide and let’s make the raising of $25,000 a reality.

URGENT MEDICAL CAMPAIGN FOR ROBERT SETH HAYES

February 16, 2017

download-38
Political Prisoner Seth Hayes
Needs Us Again!
PLEASE CALL, WRITE AND FAX!
MONDAY, FEB. 13 THRU FRIDAY FEB. 17, 2017
NYC Jericho visited Seth on Sunday, Feb. 12th. We had an excellent visit despite the current dire circumstances. The giant lump on Seth’s head has subsided. The gash above his right eyebrow is butterflied with two or three butterflies. Seth reports that he awoke in the shower in a pool of blood and does not really remember passing out. He was taken to the nearest outside hospital with a possible fractured skull, which was ruled out. Seth did suffer a severe concussion and is still having headaches as a result of this. He was kept in the so-called infirmary at Sullivan for two days for observation. Seth reports that being in the infirmary is like being in SHU, all by himself with two COs constantly present and no witnesses except the nurses, who do everything the COs tell them to.

Seth is also concerned because the medical personnel at Sullivan have told him that, even if he gets the insulin pump, he will still need to be monitored three times a day. This is leading Seth to believe that he will be getting an insulin pump without a monitor, which is not what the endocrinologist at Coxsackie told him back in October. Seth absolutely wants the pump with the monitor, as he can no longer tell when his sugars are high or low. He feels that having an insulin pump without the monitor may actually worsen his current situation. WE WILL CONTINUE TO DEMAND THE INSULIN PUMP/MONITOR AS A LIFE-SAVING MEASURE FOR SETH.

Seth suffered another Diabetic Coma or Code Blue on Feb. 5, 2017! This time he fell so hard he broke a tooth and opened a cut above his eye. He is currently with stabilized sugars in the infirmary with a headache and being monitored and getting X-rays.

Seth has been suffering from uncontrolled diabetes for over 16 years now. His sugars go up to the 400’s, then down so low he falls into a diabetic coma. Each diabetic coma he goes into could end in death if not noticed and treated right away or from a fall such as the one that occurred today.

We are asking that Seth be given an insulin pump/sugar monitor immediately to avert these near fatal incidents. He had consultation with an endocrinologist at Coxsackie in early October 2016 and was told the paperwork to receive a insulin pump would be pushed immediately. On November 20, 2016 Seth wrote a grievance stating he has not heard anything. He has still not received any response to this grievance almost3 months later. Despite the endocrinologist’s recommendation, call in campaigns, and the grievance, it is months later and still no pump.

The NYS DOCCS is completely aware of the situation and is stalling; we cannot afford to have another incident of low sugar. THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!

Seth’s constant extreme fluctuations in sugar levels have led to him no longer being able to tell when his sugars are high or low. The sugar monitor sends a loud warning if his sugars are beginning to get either too high or too low and the pump allows him to use small dosages of insulin when needed along with his eating schedule and daily activity.

Here is the grievance Seth wrote due to the long delay in approval of the insulin pump/sugar monitor:

In addition, Seth had another incident of low sugar on Monday, November 28, 2016, and was in the infirmary for overnight observation. It really is a matter of life and death that Seth be provided with an insulin pump/sugar monitor as soon as possible.

Seth called on December 4 to state the following:

If Seth’s sugars are high in the morning, he is given a dose of Levamir. If his sugars are still high at 11 a.m., he gets a dose of actual insulin. By the time his sugars are checked at 4 p.m. they are usually in the 30’s, prompting an emergency response.

We therefore urge you to call, write and fax to demand immediate provision of an Insulin Pump/Sugar Monitor to Robert Seth Hayes 74A2280. Seth needs this device immediately!

The Demands

1. Immediate provision of an Insulin Pump/Sugar Monitor to Robert Seth Hayes 74A2280. Seth needs this device immediately!

2. A Diabetic Diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables and all the current recommendations for diabetics. Not the false diabetic diet that is currently being issued. A bologna sandwich on white bread at night is NOT A DIABETIC DIET!

We ask people to please remain calm and respectful but to be clear in these demands

PHONE, WRITE, FAX THIS DEMAND TO:

Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D.
Deputy Commissioner/Chief Medical Officer
NYS DOCCS Division of Health Services
Harriman State Campus, Building #2
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2050
Phone: 518-457-7073
Fax: 518-445-7553

Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci
NYS Department of Corrections
and Community Supervision
Harriman State Campus, Building 2
1220 Washington Ave
Albany, New York 12226-2050
Phone: 518-457-8134
Fax: 518-457-0076

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Phone: 518-474-8390
Or Email: https://www.governor.ny.gov/ content/governor-contact-form

Thank You for Your Time & Effort. It has and continues to make a difference!

Write to Seth and let him know he is in our hearts and on our minds:

Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116

To contribute to ongoing efforts supporting Robert Seth Hayes, please donate online at:
https://fundrazr.com/ campaigns/810a58

Urgent! Save Mumia’s life! Please forward widely and donate now!

February 16, 2017

PMUMIA07Z-A

Dear Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal,

Below is an emergency appeal for funds to cover Mumia’s immediate legal costs. We are seeking to raise $25,000 in the next few weeks. Please act accordingly and generously.

The appeal below is from the NY-based Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jaml, Mumia’s loyal supporters with whom we in the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Northern California have worked closely for decades. The funds raised will go to our dear friend, attorney Bob Boyle, who has diligently carried the burden of Mumia’s medical appears for years. You may recall that Bob was key to winning Lynne Stewart’s freedom. And you might remember that I served as the West Coast Coordinator of Lynne’s defense case.

Please read the information below and mail your tax-deductible check payable to:

National Lawyers Guild. In the memo box be sure to write: “For Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Defense.”

Mail you check directly to:

Johanna Fernandez
158-18 Riverside Drive W. Apt. 6C-50
New York, New York 10032
Please forward this email far and wide and let’s make the raising of $25,000 a reality.
In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler, Director, The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
510-268-9429

Here’s Johanna Fernandez’s letter and all the details you need to know.

Dear Friends of Mumia,

I’m writing on behalf of the Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal to ask if you might help us in an emergency. The Committee is the official fundraising venue for Mumia’s legal defense today. It has been raising funds, quietly, since Mumia was facing execution in the 90s. TheCommittee was initiated and led by Frances Goldin, Mumia’s literary agent. She is 93 years old today and continues to be actively involved in this work. Our letters are reviewed and signed by Angela Davis. Our efforts focus exclusively on Mumia’s legal defense, and on the few occasions when we’ve deemed that raising funds for other projects was critical to Mumia’s safety, our letters have explicitly outlined our thinking.

Since Mumia fell ill we have been behind on payments to Mumia’s lead health attorney and we need to raise funds–quickly. Would you consider making a donation and identifying one or two others who might do the same?

A word on Mumia’s condition. Although the symptoms of his Hep C condition wax and wane, he is much improved since his near death crisis two years ago. That moment was harrowing, and having been in the center of it, I can truly tell you that the movement saved his life. Heidi Beghosian, former Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, and I had been concerned about Mumia’s declining health two years ago, and we happened to visit Mumia the morning that he collapsed in the infirmary. At that moment we called his family, identified the hospital to which he had been taken, then drove there to make our presence known. We alerted the movement, and dozens joined us at the hospital that evening. The next day we held a press conference at the hospital to which surprisingly the Philadelphia mainstream media showed up. The conditions under which Mumia was hospitalized were horrendous and we visited the hospital daily.

After these dramatic days, when we realized that Mumia was in danger of dying, we went into emergency mode for several months. This included identifying outside doctors to visit him, taking out an add in the New York Times, mobilizing the movement, and testifying in court about what we saw. We even took Mumia’s hair sample covertly to be tested at an outside laboratory. It was our doctor, not the hospital physicians, who in the end diagnosed Mumia with Hep C and made the connection that his terrible skin condition was a symptom of that disease. In this moment of crisis, Pam Africa’s experience was indispensable.

The legal situation and our request for funds: As you know, his attorneys, primarily Bob Boyle, scored an unprecedented legal victory in Mumia’s Hep C health suit. On January 7, a federal judge, Robert Mariani, in an unprecedented decision, ordered that Mumia be treated with the 95 percent effective cure rate antiviral medicines within 21 days. He condemned the barbarity of the DOC’s (Department of Corrections) Hep C protocol his opinion establishes the groundwork for the treatment of the 7,000 others with Hep C in the Pennsylvania prisons. The PA DOC is fighting this all the way to hell. On the 10th day after the ruling, right before the Martin Luther King holiday, the DOC attorneys filed a stay and a notice of appeal in the Third Circuit District Court of Appeals.

Our legal filings are voluminous. Bob Boyle has been working for two years at reduced legal fees, and we are behind on payments. He has literally had to borrow money to stay afloat. We’ve also put in some personal funds, and are sending out another appeal to our members, but we need an infusion of $25,000 in the next week.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration.

All the best,

Johanna Fernandez, Ph.D.
Committee to Save Mumia Abu Jamal
Department of History
Baruch College, City University of New York

Legal particulars

Federal Judge Robert Mariani presided over Mumia’s health suit. Judge Mariani granted Mumia his claim of deliberate indifference (meaning that Mumia won the preliminary injunction for immediate treatment). The judge ordered that a PA Dept of Corrections (DOC) doctor must see Mumia within 14 days of his January 7th ruling and instructed that treatment begin 7 days after that. (In other words within 21 days of the ruling)

But on the 10th day after the ruling, right before the Martin Luther King holiday, the DOC lawyers filed a challenge to the judge’s ruling. They filed “a stay” which essentially asked the judge to halt all legal actions and proceedings. The DOC attorneys also filed a separate notice of appeal that made known their intention to appeal the decision in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the court immediately below the Supreme Court.

Here are the different scenarios that can emerge.

If Judge Mariani denies the stay and upholds his original decision, the DOC can seek a stay from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. This would happen in advance and separately from the DOC’s full appeal in that court. If the Third Circuit grants the stay, the appeal process could take 2-3 months, even if “expedited.” If the Third Circuit denies the DOC’s request for a stay, Mumia basically wins because it would mean that the injunction must be carried out, meaning that MAJ gets the drugs.

If Judge Mariani grants the DOC’s request for a stay, Mumia’s attorneys can ask the Third Circuit to vacate (overturn) the stay; However, it would be unlikely that the Third Circuit would do so since they would take Judge Mariani granting the stay as an indicator that he feels his ruling would not withstand an appeal.. We then would have to litigate the appeal in the Third Circuit Court, again a 2-3 month process.

Profile of the attorneys litigating Mumia’s Health Suit

Bret Grote is a young attorney and the founder of the Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh. He was the only lawyer willing to file a preliminary injunction to get Mumia immediate treatment after he fell ill. All the attorneys with whom we consulted argued that the case was impossible to litigate and win. Shortly after Bret Grote filed the motion, the movement recruited Bob Boyle to join Bret Grote.

Bob Boyle is one of the most noted and accomplished attorneys representing political prisoners today. He is comparable to Len Weinglass in his political analysis of these cases.

Bob Boyle

1) litigated the Lynne Stewart case, which led to her compassionate release
2) Litigated the case ob Black Panther Dhoruba Bin Wahad and secured his freedom
4) Secured the release of Black Panther Marshall Eddie Conway who spent close to 43 years in Prison
5) His appellate work overturned the 75 year sentence of Mohammed Al-Moayad who was convicted of providing material support to Hamas.