(IWOC) - David Easley, James Ward, and Matt Hinkston went on hunger strike on Friday, September 14. They are demanding an end to retaliation for involvement in the national strike, and protesting the long-term solitary confinement of inmates with mental health issues, and violence by guards. Prison officials are trying to put them in solitary and to put David in a sound-isolation chamber (a "bubble") in retaliation for this, and on Friday, September 14, guards in the Toledo Correctional Institution maced them for being on hunger strike and having a sit-in. This situation is still developing. It's really important for prison officials to know that we're watching, and that David, Jay, and Matt have public support for their human rights demands. Prisoners involved in the strikes have been put in solitary for months and years - Matt has been in limited privilege housing for 6 months and they're trying to extend his time in there, and David has been moved between a restricted unit and suicide watch over the last year. 

David writes:

"I'm at Toledo, OH Correctional Facility and dealing with retaliation from 3 officers: Poupard, Cunningham, and Zimmerman, and I keep getting threats, and there's another officer Lee but he's not here currently, but they all done made a pact where they put a hit out on me. It's an ongoing situation dealing with the incident in June 18, 2018 where Officer Hughes beat me up, so they lied on their reports and told all the nurses to lie on their reports and say I tried to attack them so the CO won't lose his job for spraying me with mace in June, and I wrote them up and beat the charges, whatever, and now they're upset because I got into it with one of the nurses. They’re writing false reports on me - what if she would have gotten me indicted for shit I didn't do? You’re lying on me saying I did shit I didn’t do; what if the highway state patrol would have come in here, and they believed you and pressed charges on me? Lies. So when she told them anyway that I spit on her they were like ‘When the time is right we’re gonna get you, we’re going to beat the fuck out of you, spray you with mace or whatever” and Cunningham, Zimmerman, and Lee they’ve been trying to spray mace in here through the door all day but I keep blocking the floo hatch, with the mat, so they can’t spray. So the supervisor keeps coming up here bringing, trying to bring my food or whatever, but I’m on a hunger strike, so I’m not accepting no food – me, Matt Hinkston, and James Ward have been on hunger strike since Friday, yesterday, and we’ve got to miss 9 meals before they declare it a hunger strike. The 9th meal will be tomorrow, Sunday at dinner, and then they declare it an official hunger strike. We still on a hunger strike right now but 9 meals, that’s how they do it, then it goes into the computer system, pretty much. So uh. That’s what’s going on now, and we would appreciate it if we get support from IWOC headquarters to send out a phone zap. […] We need everybody to start calling in starting Saturday night, Sunday, Monday all through. Matt Hinkston and Ward, they’re known for going on long hunger strikes, they’ll probably be going for at least the next 2 weeks. Matt, he’ll probably be going for a month. So we’ll be trying to check in with y’all and give y’all updates on the hunger strike, if it ends or when it ends or whatever. We thank everybody for the support too.”

Toledo Correctional Institution phone: 419-726-7977 fax 419-726-7151, email drc.toci@odrc.state.oh.us

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections: interim director Stuart Hudson phone: 614-387-0588

Ohio Correctional Institution Inspection Commission: 614-466-6649

We are asking people to call and ask why mace has been used against them, to check on them, and to demonstrate support for their demands. 

Example script: "Hello, I'm calling in support of David Easley (A#306400), James Ward (A#517461), and Matt Hinkston (A#724969). I've heard that they are on hunger strike in protest of the excessive use of solitary confinement against individuals with mental health issues, and were sprayed with mace on Friday, September 14th. I support their human rights demands and urge you to meet with them about these issues, and to stop retaliating against them for demonstrating."

Call reports: DM IWOC on Twitter @IWW_IWOC or report in their Comment section

[Cover photo: "Prison Bound" by Thomas Hawk on Flickr - CC-BY-NC-2.0]

This Creative Commons content was republished from Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.  This and other republished CC content does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Great Lakes Antifa, and is curated based on the interest of our readers.

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