Friday, May 04, 2012

25 Ohio Super Max Prisoners Start a Hunger Strike

PHONE: 614 704 4699

Monday April 30th. Today at least twenty five prisoners at Ohio State
Penitentiary (OSP) began a hunger strike. They are demanding that the
Warden meet and negotiate with them for improved conditions in Ohio's
super-max prison. These hunger strikers say they intend to continue
to refuse food until their demands are met. Another, larger group of
prisoners will show symbolic solidarity with the hunger strikers, and
workers outside of prison by also refusing food on a one-day fast
tomorrow, for May Day, the international day of worker solidarity and

Information about the hunger strike is limited at this time, because
super-max prisoners have very constrained access to communication
with the outside world. The hunger strikers are asking supporters of
their cause to participate by calling Warden David Bobby (330
743-0700) and ODRC director Gary Mohr (614-752-1164). The hunger
strikers are asking people to encourage Warden Bobby to meet with the
prisoners and take their demands seriously.

This is the second hunger strike at OSP this year. The first occurred
on Feb 20th-23rd in solidarity with the Occupy movement's call for an
"Occupy for Prisoners" day of action. That hunger strike ended with
Warden Bobby, as well as officials from Central Office in Columbus,
promising to increase recreation time to the court-mandated minimum
as well as improve enrichment programming, food quality and
commissary practices. At this time, it is unclear if that promise was
kept and what relationship, if any, the current hunger strike has
with February's Occupy for Prisoners hunger strike.

Ohio State Penitentiary opened in 1998. It houses over 270 level 4
and 5 maximum security prisoners, and until recently also housed 116
of Ohio's death row prisoners. OSP was built in response to the 1993
uprising at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

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