Friday, April 19, 2013

Another Brief Wallens Ridge Hunger Strike Update:

A legal privileged phone call was made on Friday with the Hunger Strike leader. He said that on Tuesday he was isolated by the C/O's, stripped of his clothing and placed in solitary. The last he had heard there are 9 men still on hunger strike.

Now it is more important than ever before to call Wallens Ridge State Prison and demand that the hunger strikers' demands be met.

Make a phone call today. Send an email today.

VA DOC Director Harold W Clarke
Email: Harold.Clarke@VADOC.Virginia.Gov
Business Phone: 804 674 3118

WRSP Chief Warden Gregory Holloway
Email: Gregory.Holloway@VADOC.Virginia.Gov
Business Phone: 276 523 3310

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wallens Ridge Hunger Strike Brief Update

"The majority of the men hunger striking are in Pod D-6, though there may be men in D-5 and D-4 also hunger striking.
Notice was given to Warden Dennis Zook, Assistant Warden Gregory Halloway, and Operations Manager Young"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hunger Strike Begins at Wallens Ridge State Prison

On Monday, April the 15th it was brought to the attention of the Solidarity with Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers Coalition that a hunger strike has been initiated at Wallens Ridge State Prison located in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Based off inside information there are at least 16 individuals participating in this hunger strike. The status of the strikers is unknown at this time.

Last May a hunger strike was initiated at Red Onion State Prison, which is located 30 minutes north of Wallens Ridge State Prison and could be considered its sister site. Between the prior hunger strike and the current one, the VADOC has conducted a new effort to transport many of the prisoners formerly held at Red Onion to Wallens Ridge. Although Wallens Ridge is a lower-level security prison it is commonly said by prisoners and ex-prisoners that Wallens Ridge is a more brutal and corrupt prison than Red Onion. Even though the technical status of Wallens Ridge is security-level 4 there has now been a new security-level designation within Wallens Ridge, in correspondence with Red Onion transfers, known as security-level S. According to the VADOC January newsletter the reasoning behind this campaign is to give...offenders more programmatic opportunities and more pathways to lower security prisons” and that it has resulted in “..a reduction in the number of Administrative Segregation offenders, a reduction in incidents, and a reduction in offender grievances.” The fact that these young men are compelled to risk their lives in order to gain a little more fairness, a little more decency, refutes whatever the official line of the VADOC may be in its efforts to keep the population under its thumb.

The VADOC and its agents are culpable for all torture and brutality that is inflicted upon generations of young black men who are living at the mercy of a justice system that specifically targets them based on their race and class. We support these hunger strikers and their demands against the oppression they face daily at the hands of correctional officers and the negligence of the VADOC itself.

Support the Hunger Strikers!

Meet Their Demands!

End Prison Torture!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Solidarity Message from Liberate Baltimore

We, Liberate Baltimore, stand in solidarity with our incarcerated
brothers on hunger strike  in Red Onion State Prison. The inhumane
conditions in Red Onion State Prison have been well documented by
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in their "Report on Human Rights Violations
in the United States" published in April 1999. In their report, HRW
wrote, "At Red Onion, unfortunately, the Virginia Department of
Corrections has failed to embrace basic tenets of sound correctional
practice and laws protecting inmates from abusive, degrading or cruel
treatment."  In addition, HRW writes, "The Virginia Department of
Corrections is responsible for safely and humanely confining all its
inmates, even those deemed to be violent, disruptive or who pose other
security risks."

Liberate Baltimore recognizes the prison industrial complex as a
continuation of the white supremacist and capitalist control,
exploitation, and violence against people of color upon which this
country (and the state of Virginia) was founded. The criminal
(in)justice system has been designed to systematically oppress and
profit from communities of color. Given the need to destroy these
systems of oppression, the hunger strikers’ demands for BASIC human
rights should be met without delay. The incarcerated brothers at Red
Onion State Prison should be treated with the respect and dignity that
they deserve.

We stand in solidarity with their struggle and with the struggle of
all prisoners in the United States and its empire – FREE ‘EM ALL!

In struggle,
Sine for Liberate Baltimore

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Write to transferred hunger striker

One of the leaders of the hunger strike has been transferred to Colorado, and we need your help in being in touch with him. Before he was transferred, he was isolated in a pod by himself and blocked from communicating with other prisoners. Take the time to write a letter and send it along.

Please don't mention the hunger strike, but use phrases like "folks are still having food issues", etc.

Pierre Watkins


Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center

10900 Smith Road

Denver, CO 80239

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hunger Strike Continues

Over the weekend, Solidarity with Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers received word from a prisoner in segregation at Red Onion that he was still actively hunger striking.  To his knowledge, due to isolation tactics, he could only confirm that one other striker was currently refusing food.  He also reported that hunger strikers had been stripped of their clothes and that to receive their clothes back, they were required to accept food.  This report, from a hunger strike participant, indicates that the VADOC is not being truthful in their position that the hunger strike has ended or that Red Onion officials are not reporting honestly to their superiors in Richmond.

Pierre Watkins, a hunger strike representative inside Red Onion, has been transferred to Colorado.  He is currently at the Denver Reception & Diagnostic Center.  His attorney is working to establish contact with him.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strike Update 5/31

Today it was confirmed by ROSP staff that one of the hunger strike leaders was transferred out of their facility to Powhatan Reception and Classification Center. We are in the process of trying to confirm his location at this facility and see if visitation is allowed at this time. Another hunger strike leader is still located at Red Onion. We are still working on establishing legal calls and visits with these prisoners and will give further updates as they come along.