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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Menard hunger strike, Sept. 23-28: Trying to make it better for...

On Sept. 23, 2015, at least 19 and possibly as many as 22 men in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center began a hunger strike that ended on Sept. 28. It was nearly a week after the hunger strike ended before we received any mail from them. The following is a composite account based on what they sent us, written on the first and last days of the hunger strike.

Update from Menard: Hunger strike resumes Sept. 23

Some of you will remember the hunger strike in January-February 2014 by prisoners in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois. During and after the hunger strike, several of the strikers were sent to prisons as far away as California, Virginia, West Virginia and New Mexico. Others remain in Administrative Detention at Menard.

Retaliation against hunger strikers at Menard – windows blocked, strikers beaten...

On this upcoming Monday, April 28, we are asking and encouraging people to participate in a Call-In Day in support of the prisoners in the High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois who are facing retaliation for engaging in a hunger strike in January. Prisoners there have been beaten by guards and metal boxes have been placed over their windows.

Update from Menard hunger strikers: We need outside support, force feeding...

On Jan. 15, 2014, approximately 25 prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard Correctional Center went on hunger strike. The hunger strikers have been told the prison administration is working on obtaining a preliminary injunction to force feed them. They expect to continue the hunger strike even if they are force fed. “We need as much outside support as possible,” the prisoners say. Please call or email: Gov. Pat Quinn, Warden Rick Harrington, Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador Godinez.

Bomani Shakur and Staughton Lynd speak to the Re-Examining the Lucasville...

The Re-Examining the Lucasville Uprising Conference, held April 19-21 in Columbus, Ohio, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising, was a resounding success by all reports. “A strong and vibrant coalition has come together to advocate for innocence of those convicted in the aftermath of the uprising,” reports Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio, one of the organizers.

Power to the people: A welcome prison victory in Ohio

Although on a very small scale (which by no means diminishes the deed), we, the people, have wrought a revolution – “a sudden and momentous change in a situation” – and accomplished in 12 days what the powers that be have repeatedly told us would never happen.

A great rally, a great victory for the Lucasville hunger strikers

The rally at Ohio State Penitentiary was attended by a large crowd, including many members of the families of the hunger strikers, despite the freezing weather. And there's wonderful news: All three have resumed eating because they achieved a victory. The prison authorities have virtually met their demands. The strikers are in high spirits, and now they can turn their attention to their death sentences. Before, they were fighting about their conditions of confinement, but now they begin the fight for their lives.

Lucasville prisoners: If we must die

Four prisoners unjustly sentenced to death for the 1993 Lucasville, Ohio, prison uprising began a hunger strike on Monday, Jan. 3, to demand that they be placed on Death Row rather than be held in solitary confinement – and to initiate a campaign that will hopefully lead to executive clemency. Here, the first of the prisoners to begin the strike speaks out.

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Evidence by the District Attorney’s Office is looking very weak ahead...

It is the opinion of this writer and sources within the legal community that the charges by the D.A. against Epps should be dropped or the case should be dismissed based on the very weak evidence that the prosecution is presenting. If the case does go to trial, the likelihood of an acquittal or mistrial seems extremely high.

Speak Creole!

The genocide against Black youths in Brazil is denounced, but we need more and more methods of international expression – on what is, in the best description by Professor Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics.”

In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front

In Judi Rever’s book “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” she tells of joining groups of Congolese volunteers with the U.N., Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross, who “were there, day in and day out, to provide the means of life to people on the edge of death.”
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Giving for greatness

“Greatness is born out of the grind. Embrace the grind,” said Robert F. Smith, the billionaire technology investor, in his speech to the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse University on May 20, 2019, announcing he is paying off the student loans of 396 Morehouse graduates.

Master Photographer David Johnson returns to his roots

Johnson is an important chronicler of African American life in San Francisco during the mid-20th century.