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Georgia Prison Hunger Strikers Endure, Call GA Governor at 404-656-1776, and Fast on Monday July 2

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    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Since July 11, at least ten, and possibly more prisoners at Jackson GA have refused food, vowing to fast till death if they cannot receive medical care, visitation and fair, transparent status reviews. The state of Georgia is adamant, reportedly threatening the prisoners with death where they are rather than even hospitalize or closely monitor their deteriorating condition.

    Georgia Prison Hunger Strikers Endure, Call GA Governor at 404-656-1776, and Fast on Monday July 2

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Georgia's massive Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson is the place where Troy Davis was murdered by the state last year. It may be the place where state authorities manage to kill more prisoners this year. On June 11, ten prisoners, most or all of whom have been in solitary confinement for 17 and half months, since the courageous and peaceful strike by Georgia prisoners in December 2010, began refusing food.

    They demanded medical care, including but not limited to care for injuries sustained in the wave of retaliatory beatings which were the state's response to the December 2010 strike, when more than one prisoner was beaten into coma and paralysis. In the past year and a half, Miguel Jackson and other prisoners whom the state appears to believe were leaders of the December 2010 strike have been denied showers for weeks and months on end. They demanded access to these basic needs, and the restoral of the meager personal property inmates are allowed to accumulate behind the walls. They demanded that authorities cease arbitrarily removing the visitation privileges of their families and their ability to access legal books and other assistance. They demanded that the Department of Corrections follow its own procedures and review the status of prisoners in punitive isolation at 30 day intervals, and that the hearings and their records be public.

    These are dignified, peaceful, minimal demands,” declared Rev. Kenneth Glasgow of the TOPS Society and the Prodigal Child Project. After more than two weeks, the men are starving and their health is in great danger. Would the state of Georgia rather let these men die than give them medical care? Is that what we' ve come to?

    It's time to call the warden at Jackson Prison, to call the governor, to call the Department of Corrections in respectful support of the dignified demands of these prisoners. It's time to call today and not delay. This is a matter of life and death and human dignity.

    If you're in Atlanta you can join us at Thursday at 6:30 PM at Project South, 9 Gammon Avenue for a film screening on prisons as social control and a discussion afterward. This is your chance to connect with real people trying to do something in the real world about the prison state. You can also join us Friday from 10AM to 2PM on the steps of the state capitol, the Washington Street side, for a press c onference and rally demanding humane and civilized treatment of our brothers and sisters behind the walls, and especially for the relief of the hunger strikers at Jackson. And whether you're in Atlanta or not, we want you to join us for a one day fast Monday, July 2, in solidarity with Georgia's prisoners, who are themselves victims of brutal crimes committed by the state. Prisoners are are brothers, our uncles, our nieces and our daughters, our sons and our cousins. When we allow them to be confined with education, without recreation, with due process and without dignity or hope we debase ourselves and disgrace each other.

     

     

    Call Georgia's governor Nathan Deal right now, and tell him we are better than that. Ask him to do the right thing.”

    The call for a one-day solidarity fast on Monday is being repeated in churches and communities around metro Atlanta and beyond.

    The Georgia Green Party endorses Monday's solidarity fast,” said spokesperson Hugh Esco. “We hope that people of faith and others will join it, and will spread the word. The US has 2.4 million prisoners, far more than anyplace else on earth. African-Americans are 12% of our people, but more than 40% of the locked down. Latinos are 13% but almost 30% of all prisoners. That means 70% of US prisoners come from the 25 percent of our population that is non-white.

    Our nation's over-reliance upon prisons as answers to homelessness, to mental illness, to drug use has taken a terrific toll on our families and communities and futures. It's time that people in Georgia and across the country work to roll back the prison state. We hope you'll sign the petition to Georgia's governor at www.endmassincarceration.com, to forward it widely, along with whatever news becomes available of the strikers' status. We hope you will join the fast on Monday July 2 in solidarity with the prisoners, and tell your pastor, your family, your friends and co-workers about it.

    And above all, we need you to call Ja404-656-1776ckson Prison, the Georgia Department of Corrections and the governor to demand fairness for the men behind the walls, some of whom have not eaten since June 11. The state should also release the names of all those it has placed under close confinement at Jackson and spell out in public why they are confined there. Secret imprisonment without public trial has been illegal since the 13th century, and this is the 21st.”

    Black Agenda Report will follow this story with a Friday update, containing interviews with the family members of the strikers, and more about Monday's solidarity fast. Meanwhile, check the phone numbers below and make the calls. The clock is running. Those behind the walls are doing all they can. Their fate is in our hands.




    Who to Call

    Voice phone

    Fax phone

    Warden, GA Diagnostic & Classification Prison, Butts County GA

    770-504-2000

    770-504-2006

    GA Department of Corrections Ombudsman

    478-992-5367 or 478-992-5358

    No fax, but you can email them at Ombudsman@dcor.state.ga.us. Please add a cc to the email, info@georgiagreenparty.org.

    Brian Owens, Commissioner, GA Department of Corrections, ask for his administrative assistant Peggy Chapman

    478-992-5258

     

    Georgia governor Nathan Deal

    404-656-1776

    Fax the governor at 404-657-7332. You can also send the Governor a letter online by clicking here.

    Sign the petition in support of the Jackson Prison hunger strikers

    Click here


     

    For its part, the Georgia Green Party sponsors an ongoing effort to work with the families of the incarcerated and others called the Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, and maintains a web page at http://www.endmassincarceration.org.

    The Campaign to End Mass Incarceration has a list of 13 demands. To find out what you can do, and who you can connect with to do it, especially in Georgia, visit and register at www.endmassincarceration.org, and they'll be in touch with you soon.

    Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a state committee member of the Georgia Green Party. Contact him at bruce.dixon(at)georgiagreenparty.org.

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    Call governor Nathan Deal?

    I   live  in   Ga and    have    two   relatives   who  are   inmates  in  its   prisons. I   have   another    relative   who   died of  a   heart  attack  in   prison;  fellow   inmates   covertly  wrote   the   family a  letter   indicating    it  was   twenty   minutes   before   he   receive   medical  care.

    I   believe    Bruce  Dixon  is   sincere,  but   calling    Governor   Deal  is  a complete waste  of  time.  The  sad   truth  is   the   vast   majority  of   Georgia   residents ,  black  or   white,   could   care   less about  how inmates  are   treated.

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