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Steve Champion: Nine days into his death row hunger strike, he’s lost 51 pounds

October 15, 2012

by Birgit Czerny

Steve Champion
I just got back from my visit with Ajani [Anthony Ross] that went from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. [on Saturday, Oct. 13]. Everyone in the prison treated me very politely, very friendly. They granted an extension of our visit with generosity. We both thanked for this fair treatment – Ajani on his side of the glass wall and me on my side of the glass wall.

The following information comes from Adisa [Steve Champion] and Ajani and can and should be spread out into the public:

First: Adisa is doing very well and he is also being treated very well. He is in a strong mindset and very dedicated to his goal.

Today he weighs around 76 kilos (167 pounds), having gone down already within nine days from around 99 kilos (218 pounds).

Today he weighs around 76 kilos (167 pounds), having gone down already within nine days from around 99 kilos (218 pounds).

Now the details:

He started his hunger strike on Oct. 4. He expressed it aloud and put a written sign, a written message on the little window of his cell. This written sign remains at the window of his cell door.

The next day, Oct. 5, he was pulled out of his cell and the people who are usually part of the committee that decides whether he has to stay at AC (Adjustment Center in solitary confinement) or not talked to him.

Adisa explained everything about his hunger strike, about the reasons for coming to that decision, his demands, and they asked him to stop the hunger strike. Adisa said NO. Other than that, they didn’t say much, but they documented everything.

They asked him to stop the hunger strike. Adisa said NO.

Beginning on Friday Oct. 5, he’s been pulled out of his cell every day. They take him every morning into a room in AC, like a medical room for examinations. An RN takes his weight, temperature, blood pressure and writes everything down.

San Quentin Adjustment Center – Photo: Mark Scott Thornton
Two to three times a week they take him to the hospital. There the examination goes further; additionally, they take blood and do an ekg. And they give him electrolytes to add to his fluids, which he does.

On Monday, Oct. 8, the associate warden talked to him. The associate warden said he is going to come back next week (this means this coming Monday, Oct. 15).

Also daily there comes a psychiatrist who wants to talk to Adisa, but Adisa only ignores him.

Today, Adisa is going out to yard. Nobody is treating him badly or harassing him. He also receives mail.

Guards came to Ajani and were asking him if he will be part of the hunger strike, and he said NO.

Kherm [Carmen Lee Ward, who began his hunger strike on Sept. 23] is also still on hunger strike, and he is doing well; the prison guards and prison administration treat him fairly.

Kherm [Carmen Lee Ward, who began his hunger strike on Sept. 23] is also still on hunger strike, and he is doing well.

Nobody else has joined this hunger strike so far.

Adisa wants us to keep putting pressure on the warden and the CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation). He also wants more public attention.

Ajani also has been treated fairly by the prison system.

Birgit Czerny is the wife of Anthony Ross, or Ajani. He, Steve Champion, or Adisa, and Stanley Tookie Williams had been close friends throughout their incarceration on San Quentin’s death row. Ajani and Adisa were moved shortly before Tookie’s execution on Dec. 13, 2005, to solitary confinement in the notorious San Quentin Adjustment Center, where they remain nearly seven years later. Birgit is a Green Party member of the Frankfort Parliament in Germany. She visited Anthony this weekend. She can be reached at birgitCzerny@aol.com. The Bay View thanks Professor Tom Kerr, Adisas editor and friend, for relaying this report.

How you can help

Read the first report on Steve Champion’s hunger strike and his demands here. He asks that we flood the offices of key prison officials with calls and emails:

Tell them: “We are aware of Steve Champion’s hunger strike and concerned for his health. We look to you to respond to him promptly, constructively and appropriately.”

Flood the office of San Quentin Warden Kevin Chappell with calls and emails. Say “We are aware of Steve Champion’s hunger strike and concerned for his health. We look to you to respond to him promptly, constructively and appropriately.”

A petition addressed to Warden Chappell has been posted by Diane Bukowski, editor of Voice of Detroit. Sign it here.

Listen to the Pacifica Evening News’ excellent report, broadcast throughout California on Monday, Oct. 15:

Send our brother Adisa some love and light to keep his spirits high through this ordeal: Steve Champion, C-58001, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94974. And read his book, “Dead to Deliverance: A Death Row Memoir,” available at amazon.com or Split Oak Press, splitoakpress.com.

 

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5 thoughts on “Steve Champion: Nine days into his death row hunger strike, he’s lost 51 pounds

  1. serious2020

    You know, about 2-3 minutes into Mark Miracle's newscast, makes me feel that it is a major miracle that this individual is still doing news reports anywhere….he is possibly the most inept newscaster that I've ever heard. I can only hope that the reports on Haiti and on Steve Champion are better…

    Reply
    1. serious2020

      OK. I've listened to the report on Steve Champion. It was decent. However, Mr. Miracle (or KPFA) sincerely needs to revamp their news coverage. I thought they had ongoing classes in media coverage. It seems that the news has devolved since I participated in contributing to the news and did my own news shows throughout the 70's and 80's.

      Reply
    2. Charles Darwin

      Charles Darwin stated the obvious over 100 years ago.

      Expand "Since the dawn of history the_Negro has owned the continent of Africa – rich
      beyond the dream of poet’s fancy, crunching acres of diamonds beneath his bare_
      black feet and yet he never picked one up from the dust until a white man showed
      to him its glittering light.

      His land swarmed with powerful and docile
      animals, yet he never dreamed a harness, cart, or sled.

      A hunter by
      necessity, he never made an axe, spear, or arrowhead worth preserving beyond the
      moment of its use. He lived as an ox, content to graze for an hour.

      In a
      land of stone and timber he never sawed a foot of lumber, carved a block, or
      built a house save of broken sticks and mud.

      With league on league of
      ocean strand and miles of inland seas, for four thousand years he watched their
      surface ripple under the wind, heard the thunder of the surf on his beach, the
      howl of the storm over his head, gazed on the dim blue horizon calling him to
      worlds that lie beyond, and yet he never dreamed a sail.” — Charles Darwin

      Reply
  2. Darlene

    It is terrible how the system can put a human being in a small cell for years..I wish the government could understand it is better to rehabilitate these guys and give them one more chance.. Keeping these men locked up like animals is not the answer.. They are already locked up why torture them.. Let them out of their cages, it's terrible.. Come on let Steve Champion out of the adjustment center, enough is enough already.. He has reached his limit.. He has been punished enough. Have a heart.. It is terrible.. Let these guys out to work and make a little money for their supplies.. It's just not right that after 30 years he is still here when he commited this crime when he was still a juvenile.. If he has to stay in prison forever let him out so he can do something positive.. Give him his supplies and writings.. Don't take everything away from him.. My heart breaks for him.. 30 years in a cage.. Come on people.. He really is being punished for his beliefs.. Gang member come on.. He is barely alive spiritually after this inhuman treatment.. How much l longer is he going to survive under these circumstances..Really??

    Reply
  3. site

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