Saturday, February 04, 2012

Support Prisoners in Indiana SHU

This is an URGENT ACTION ALERT asking for a solidarity call-in to
demand an investigation into abuses in the Secure Housing Unit of
Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and to protest the recent torture
of our comrade Shaka Shakur. We are asking people to make calls,
starting at 830am EDT on Monday February 6th through 430pm EDT Tuesday the 7th.

Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner IDOC: (317)
232-5711, fax (317) 233-1474,
Richard Brown, Superintendent Wabash Valley Correctional Facility:
(812) 398-5050 ext 4102., fax
(812) 398-5032,
Jack Hendrix, Director of IDOC Classifications:
(317) 232-2247, fax
(317) 232-5728,

The SHU is Indiana's most repressive Super Max Prison, and is modeled
after the infamous Pelican Bay SHU. It holds many of Indiana's most
political prisoners in extreme isolation and sensory deprivation,
many of them people of color. It is a prison within a prison, in the
rural south of the state, and is imbedded with extreme racism and
white supremacist organizing.

In August of 2011, prisoners there staged a multi-day protest aimed
at ending the state-wide lockdown that happened in response to a
white supremacist gang member being murdered. Prisoners in the SHU
weren't allowed access to recreation, showers, hygiene products
(including water) for their cells, and eventually had the power and
water shut off completely. The protest was successful in regaining
the basic necessities of life, but now it seems the administration is
out to get those with a history of no-comproise struggle against
their conditions.

On Saturday the 21st of January, our comrade Shaka was forcefully
removed from his windowless cell, subjected to numerous invasive and
humiliating searches and eventually moved to an isolated part of the prison.

His property was thoroughly searched, x-rayed, replaced and then
searched again. He was placed in a 2ft x 3ft holding cell with only a
toilet, stripped down to his boxers. Guards on duty said this order
came directly from the Superintendent, Richard Brown. He was given
water every 4 hours and was only allowed to flush the toilet after a
thorough search of its contents.

Shaka immediately began a hunger strike, refusing all food and water
from this point on, until his release from this holding cell back to
his isolation cell. He maintained this hunger strike, even though the
conditions severely aggravated a herniated disk and kidney condition.
He remained in excruciating pain, in the 2x3ft holding cell until
Wednesday morning (4 days later), with no medical attention.

He was released back to his cell and started to take food and liquids
again on Wednesday, but his property remains gone. Political
writings, books, magazines, legal resources, family photos, even his
glasses. It is all presumed to be destroyed, as the prison officials
have not presented him with a confiscated property form.

He has been on the SHU for nearly a decade, with the quasi-official
designation of Administrative Segregation. He's has a clean conduct
record while there, but the state has refused to transfer him to
population. Now they're trying to kill him.

We're asking for solidarity calls and actions aimed at getting the
abuses on the SHU stopped, on getting Shaka off the unit before he's
murdered by the State.

This is not the first time such a call has been made. Recently,
Indiana based groups such as Decarcerate Monroe County, The City of
Bloomington Human Rights Commission and The Progressive Faculty
Coalition at Indiana University have called for an investigation into
white supremacist organizing amongst guards in the SHU at Wabash
Valley. The state has thus far dismissed such claims, and has made no
effort towards explaining their complicity in such organizing.

Please call the following IDOC administrators. Please engage in
solidarity actions. Please tell Shaka you stand with him!

Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner IDOC:
(317) 232-5711, fax
(317) 233-1474,
Call him to express horror at the actions of the Superintendent and
Staff of Wabash Valley Correctional Facility at the treatment of
Shaka and to demand adequate medical treatment and review of his
continued placement in isolation. Demand an investigation into
practices of torture and denial of basic human necessities in the
SHU. Express your outrage at the continued complicity of IDOC
administrators in the known white supremacist organizing amongst
guards at Wabash Valley.

Richard Brown, Superintendent Wabash Valley Correctional Facility:
(812) 398-5050 ext 4102., fax
(812) 398-5032,
Call him to express outrage at his treatment of Shaka, his orders to
hold him for days on end without medical care in a holding cell, and
demand the return of all of his property undamaged.

Jack Hendrix, Director of IDOC Classifications:
(317) 232-2247, fax
(317) 232-5728,
Call him to demand Shaka's immediate release from Administrative
Segregation and housing on the SHU. Shaka has many years of clear
conduct and yet the IDOC refuses to release him to general
population. His housing on the SHU is leading to extremely dangerous
health and safety conditions for him.

Write to Shaka and let him know you're behind him:
Shaka Shakur #135647
PO Box 1111
Carlisle, IN

For more information or for more background information on recent
events in the SHU, contact

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