Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lucasville Uprising Prisoner Fights Back

By Sharon Danann

Youngstown, Ohio
Published in Worker's World, May 13, 2010

On March 3 Lucasville uprising prisoner Greg Curry took a stand against relentless harassment by guards at Ohio State Penitentiary. The convictions of many Lucasville uprising prisoners are based on falsehoods. Nevertheless, guards in Ohio and nationwide are vindictive against these prisoners based on a guard’s death during the uprising.

Curry explains, “If I am sentenced to LIFE and gotta get on my knees, then Life is already over. I get this, in fact having ‘Life’ gives me more room to express myself or ‘LIVE.’”

Weeks before March 3, much of Curry’s property had been confiscated without cause. When he went through channels to get it returned, he was informed that his possessions were missing from the property room vault, apparently destroyed.

During outside recreation, two guards decided to pat Curry down to deliver the message that if he told on one of them again, the consequences would be more severe. Upon his return to his cell, he found it torn apart, like “Hurricane Katrina.”

At lunch, a violent struggle ensued. Curry received a severe beating, including head wounds requiring stitches, but he believes that his dreadlocks provided some protection. His punishment: two weeks in “the hole” (isolation) and an increase of security level that placed him back in solitary confinement for at least five years.

Curry had been recommended for a reduction of security level to Level 3, which would have made him eligible for transfer to a medium security prison. OSP’s warden, David Bobby, disregarded this recommendation, but Curry was optimistic about his appeal. Either the stepped-up campaign of harassment by certain guards was specifically aimed at undermining Curry’s appeal, or it was a remarkable coincidence.

Curry asserts, “I believe I was right. So often all these ‘tough’ prisoners let the police do anything. I always say, ‘Because y’all won’t deal with it properly, it always falls on the next prisoner.’ These were BAD cops creating their own rules. Everyone feared them. I didn’t and they knew it.”

The immediate danger is further retaliation from the guards, which means the possibility of a danger to Curry’s life.

The Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network is mobilizing a campaign of letters, phone calls, faxes and e-mails to Warden David Bobby, holding him responsible for the protection and security of Greg Curry. We are calling for the termination of guards who think they have permission to torment prisoners at will, destroying their property, violating their rights and raining down all manner of harassment on their heads.

Betty Springer, member of the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network, has these words for the warden of OSP. “Warden Bobby, if you are allowing these vicious, inhumane activities to continue on your watch, you are personally responsible for the results. Toss out the rotten apples, Warden, or we will see that someone else does.”

Contact Warden David Bobby by phone at 330-743-0700, by fax at 330-743-0841, by e-mail at or by mail at Ohio State Penitentiary, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH 44505. Please refer to Greg Curry’s prisoner #213-159. Free Greg Curry and all political prisoners!

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