Dear family members, friends and supporters of the Lucasville uprising prisoners,
Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), Jason Robb and Namir Mateen
(James Were) will start a hunger strike on Monday Jan. 3 to protest their 23-hour a
day lock down for nearly 18 years. These four death-sentenced prisoners have been
single-celled (in solitary) in conditions of confinement significantly more severe
than the conditions experienced by the approximately 125 other death-sentenced
prisoners at the supermax prison, Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. They are
completely isolated from any direct human contact, even during "recreation". They
are restricted from certain kinds of good ordering including gold weather items for
the almost unbearably cold condtions in the cells. They are denied access to
computer databases they need in order to prepare their appeals. It has been made
clear to them that the outcome of their annual "security level reviews" is
pretermined, as one reads, "...regardless of your behavior while confined at OSP."
Prisoners whose death sentences were for heinous crimes are able to win privileges
based on good behavior, but not the death-sentenced Lucasville uprising prisoners.
Meanwhile out in the world, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted additional due
process rights to some of the Gauantanamo prisoners, some death-sentenced prisoners
have been exonerated or had their sentences commuted, an evidentiary hearing was
ordered for Troy Anthony Davis, and prisoners in Georgia are engaging in a
non-violent strike for improvements in a wide range of conditions. So the four
death-sentenced Lucasville uprising prinsoners have decided that being punished by
the worst conditions allowable under the law has gone far enough, especially since
their convictions were based on perjured testimony. They are innocent! They were
wrongfully convicted! They are political prisoners. This farce has gone on far too
long and their executions loom in the not too distant future. These brave men are
ready to take another stand. We ask that you get ready to support them.
The hunger strike will proceed in an organized manner, with one prisoner, probably
Bomani Shakur starting on Jan.3. The hunger strike becomes official after he has
refused 9 meals. Therefore the plan is that 3 days later, Siddiquie Abdullah Hasan
will start his hunger strike and 3 days later, Jason Robb will follow. Namir Mateen
has a great willingness to participate and plans to take part to the extent that his
diabetes will allow.
On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Saturday, Jan. 15, we will be
holding a press conference about the hunger strike and other issues pertaining to
Ohio State Penitentiary. Details of time and location are being worked out. There
will very likely be a brief rally near the gates of OSP, as we have in previous
years to honor Dr. King, to protest the death penalty and to protest the farce of
the Lucasville uprising convictions. There will probably be one or more vans and/or
a car caravan to OSP for the event. Stay tuned for more information.
Please forward this email to other people you think would be interested, here in
Ohio, around the country and around the world.
the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network