Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/656/11145
Solidarity messages needed for US prison reform activist
In the aftermath of an historic prison strike in Georgia, late last year, inmate activists are facing systematic violence and repression. On 9 December, inmates across six Georgia prisons staged a week-long strike.
They demanded an end to endemic human rights abuses, arbitrary violence, slave-like labour conditions, profiteering and corruption, inadequate food and medical care, among other abuses.
Socialist Alternative (CWI USA) reporters
On 12 January 2011 an inmate activist, Shawn Whatley, was handcuffed by prison guards as his cell was searched.
When he briefly spoke to his mother, Shawn reported that he had been put in solitary confinement and was severely beaten, suffering broken bones and facial injuries.
He was then transferred from Telfair State Prison to Ware State Prison. Shawn reported that at least 37 other inmates were already missing and transferred to other prisons.
Shawn explained that he was targeted, in part, for his communications with outside support groups, which included an extensive interview with SocialistAlternative.org recorded shortly before his beating.
This physical brutality and retaliation by the Georgia State Department of Corrections is their response to the historic prisoner strike last month, which they characterised as a "riot." However, despite provocations, the strike was a completely non-violent mass civil disobedience.
Prisoners simply stayed in their cells, refusing to participate in the regular routine of forced labour. Please make phone calls and send emails and/or letters to Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens, as well as Georgia's new Governor Nathan Deal.
Please send copies of protest letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Socialist Alternative at email@example.com.
Send your protest to:
- Office of the Governor Nathan Deal, State of Georgia, 203 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334 Fax: 404-657-7332
- Ware State Prison (where Shawn was recently transferred) 3620 Harris Road, Waycross, GA 31501.
- Telfair State Prison/Milan Unit (Where Shawn was previously held and beaten) 210 Longbridge Road / 410 Pickerton Street, Post Office Box 549, Helena, GA 31037
In The Socialist 9 February 2011:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party Marxist analysis