Monday, May 28, 2012
Solidarity Statement with Red Onion Hunger Strike
Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) at Howard University extends our solidarity to the prisoners on hunger strike in Red Onion State Prison. As Black students, we understand that the inhumane conditions of solitary confinement experienced by Our incarcerated brothers is an extension of the brutality suffered by Black people since our forced transportation to the Western Hemisphere. A direct line can be drawn to the daily abuses experienced by Africans during enslavement and the convict lease system to the Red Onion Hunger strikers.
Similar to other social justice movements, the Red Onion Hunger strikers simply want their human rights observed. Simple demands such as ‘we demand fully cooked food’ and ‘adequate medical care’ speak to the gross human rights violations that occur on a daily basis at Red Onion and prisons around the country. For example, Charles Graner, the ringleader of the abuses that took place in Abu Ghraib, was a correctional officer in Pennsylvania state and county prisons. This is why in October of last year, UN special rapporteur Jaun Mendez stated “solitary confinement should be banned by States as a punishment or extortion technique.” We agree.
As historically conscious Black students, we remember the state violence experienced by Black students in Fisk University (1924) and Jackson State (1970). At any moment, it could be any one of Us. Free’em All!
SAMI was founded in February 2011 at Howard University. The mission of the organization is to raise awareness about the prison industrial complex, political prisoners, and recidivism. We feel the aforementioned are the fundamental issues of our generation and can only be addressed through radical and militant Black activism linked to previous social movements but revised for a 21st century context.
Contact: email@example.com or @samiathu
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