Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lucasville Prison Rebellion 20 years later: an interview wit’ political prisoner Imam Saddique Hasan

From San Francisco Bay View 

Lucasville Prison Rebellion 20 years later: an interview wit’ political prisoner Imam Saddique Hasan

April 21, 2013

Lucasville prisoners lead spreading hunger strike at Ohio State Penitentiary

BULLETIN: The hunger strikers situation is urgent. As of April 21, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar) had already lost 28 pounds! He and Hasan remain on strike. No update is yet available on the other hunger strikers. Sign the online petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/ohio-department-of-rehabilitation-and-corrections-allow-on-camera-interviews-with-lucasville-uprising-prisoners#

by The People’s Minister of Information JR

Saturday, April 27, 2013

1993 Never Ends: The Lucasville Uprising, 20 Years Later

This essay may or may not have been written by Sean Swain (see footnote). It was posted to SeanSwain.org tonight.

1993 Never Ends: The Lucasville Uprising, 20 Years Later

By _____ _____*

I remember the images of the prison beyond the razor-wire beamed to me through my idiot box as the guards, in a panic, went cell to cell, slamming doors that easter morning. At Mansfield Correctional, we watched the spectacle unfold, seemingly unreal, enduring the emergency lock-down. Normal prison operations ended.
They have not yet resumed.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hunger Strike Continues into Third Week.

Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Greg Curry continue their hunger strike into it's 3rd week. Jason Robb, Kieth Lamar (aka Bomani Shakur) and the three others who joined in solidarity have resumed eating. They hope to have gained attention so that people on the outside can continue to pursue gaining media access through other means. 

Warden David Bobby says he has spoken with central office and will be meeting with the hunger striking prisoners this afternoon, but would not comment on the possibility of an agreement. The four prisoners began refusing food on Thursday April 11th, the 20th anniversary of the Lucasville uprising. They have all been held in solitary confinement since the uprising on convictions they maintain were manufactured by the authorities. Their single demand is for the ODRC to grant media requests for on camera sit-down interviews. 

One other prisoner at OSP is currently on hunger strike with completely different personal demands. Supporters can call or email Warden Bobby at OSP, or JoEllen Smith, the communications director at ODRC central office.

JoEllen Smith: 614-752-1150 or joellen.smith@odrc.state.oh.us. Warden David Bobby 330-743-0700 x 2006 or David.Bobby@odrc.state.oh.us

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Trend Article on Re-Examining Lucasville Conference.

From newtrendmag.org by Kaukab Siddique

Christian-Muslim, Black-White Unity vs US "Injustice" System & "Snitches." Why is Abdullah Hasan on Death Row?
April 19-21. I was in Columbus, Ohio, attending a conference  on "Layers of Injustice: Re-Examining the Lucasville Uprising."  It was well attended.  Even with people going and coming all day, it was standing room only. There were professors, writers, activists, Christian Socialists, activists, anarchists and volunteers for good causes, almost all "White." Some prominent Muslims, African Americans, turned up on late Saturday evening, the most famous among them being Br. Khalid Samad from Cleveland, Ohio, whom I knew because of his support for Imam Jamil al-Amin. He leads a Coalition for a Better Life which intervenes in the lives of young people to help them stay away from gang life.   
The leaders of the conference, Staughton Lynd and his wife Alice, are very elderly White people steeped in the steel of truth.  I renewed my acquaintance with them after almost 10 years. 
The uprising resulted in a tainted trial leading to  5 death sentences and 14 long prison sentences. 
The conference challenged and rebutted in detail every aspect of the trials of the two Muslims, Br. Hasan and Br. Namir Abdul Mateen and the others, sentenced to death, White and Black 
  The role of the hunger strike, from that of Bobby Sands, the Irish hero, to that of the GTMO Islamics and now Lucasville death sentence group was highlighted. 
The conference was a great opportunity for networking with Christians, Socialists, Anarchists, Islamics, even an Indian writer from Tamilnadu. It was also a superb example of volunteerism. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

AP Reporter Interview Request Denied, Hunger Strike Continues.

From Associated Press.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A spokeswoman says three of five Ohio inmates sentenced to death after the 1993 Lucasville riot are continuing a hunger strike aimed at gaining sit-down media access on their cases.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Monday another three inmates have joined the effort.

Smith said the strike begun on the 20th anniversary of the riot April 11 peaked last week with seven inmate participants.

Some additional inmates are refusing food for unrelated issues.

A renewed request Monday by The Associated Press to interview the Lucasville Five was denied. Smith cited safety, security and department media policy.

No in-person media interviews have been granted with the men since the 11-day uprising, the longest deadly prison riot in U.S. history. Ten people, including a corrections officer, died.

[ways to support hunger striking prisoners here.]

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Re-Examining Lucasville


by Staughton Lynd

Staughton Lynd is the author of Lucasville: the Untold Story of a Prison Uprising and Layers of Injustice. He and his wife Alice have been steadfast organizers with the Lucasville Uprising prisoners since 1996. The Lynds have been labor lawyers and civil rights activists since the 1960s. Staughton made this statement at the Re-Examining Lucasville Conference.
Our focus this morning has been a detailed discussion of what happened before and during the eleven days and in the trials that followed. My comments are intended to build a bridge between that analysis and the broader perspectives that will be offered this afternoon. I will divide my remarks in four parts. First, I shall recall the three biggest prison rebellions in recent United States history. I will suggest that while we are just beginning to build a movement outside the walls of both prisons and courtrooms, there are particular aspects of the Lucasville events that help to explain why that has been so hard.
Second, I will make the case that, despite appearances, Ohio’s prison administration was at least as responsible as were the prisoners for the ten deaths during the occupation of L block.
Third, I shall describe the manipulation by means of which the State of Ohio induced a leader of the uprising to become an informer and to attribute responsibility for the murder of hostage Officer Robert Vallandingham to others. I shall add that to this day the State says it does not know who the hands-on killers were.
Finally, and very briefly, because I recognize this will be the agenda for tomorrow morning, I will ask: What is to be done?

Support Media Access Hunger Strike

  1. Call in support of the hunger strike! Please call JoEllen Smith at ODRC central office and demand that she and director Gary Mohr grant media access to on camera interviews with the Lucasville Hunger Striking prisoners.
    JoEllen Smith 614-752-1159. Tell the operator you do not want to talk to the Warden, you know that director Mohr and communications director Smith are the actual decision-makers. Tell JoEllen that you believe they are denying this access because they do not want the truth to come out about April of 1993. 

  2. Tell your friends to call in, to sign the online petition, and to tell their friends to do so. We need this to go viral if we want to get a meaningful response. In the past when the guys have gone on hunger strike, Warden Bobby was able to negotiate an agreement, this time it's not his call, and we need to show broader support to pressure central office.

  3. Request interviews. If you're a journalist, student, blogger, radio personality, or if you know anyone who is, please write a request for an interview. A message from Hasan: “We are asking journalists, reporters and other members of the media to lift up their pens and let their voices be heard in protest against this unequal treatment and gross miscarriage of justice... One thing you can do it write to Warden David Bobby requesting to have an on-camera interview with these four prisoners... to talk to them exclusively about their criminal cases. Make it clear that you do not wish to talk to them about overcrowding, indefinite confinement in super max, nor about prison policies and proceedures. Even let Warden Bobby know that you would have absolutely no problem with him or his designee sitting in on the entire interview.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OSP Prisoners Join Hunger Strike in Solidarity

Tues April 16th, 2013, Youngstown, OH- At least twenty one prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) refused all three meals on Monday, April 15th in solidarity with the four Lucasville Uprising prisoners who've been on hunger strike since April 11th.

Warden David Bobby says no additional prisoners are officially hunger-striking, because none have refused nine consecutive meals, but he said numerous prisoners have refused meals off and on during the hunger strike.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hasan on NPR

Siddique Abdullah Hasan being interviewed by Karen Kasler on National Public Radio.

Listen here.

Lucasville Uprising Hunger Strike Call-in Script.

Greg Curry
Bomani Shakur (Keith Lamar)
Jason Robb
Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan
Please call in today in support of Lucasville Uprising Hunger Strikers at Ohio State Penitentiary. Greg Curry, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb, and Bomani Shakur have been on hunger strike since Thursday April 11th. They are demanding that ODRC allow media outlets to have sit-down, on camera interviews with them. 

Call Warden David Bobby at OSP 330-743-0700 ext 2006.

Call Central Office at 614-752-1159.

Call in script: "Hello, I am calling in support of the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners on hunger strike. I believe the public deserves to know their stories and the media should be allowed to interview them on camera. Please grant their demands."

Supporters can also write to the prisoners at the following addresses.

Greg Curry 213-159
Siddique Abdullah Hasan R130-559
Jason Robb 308-919
Bomani Shakur (Lamar) 317-117

878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH 44505

Friday, April 12, 2013

20th Anniversary Hunger Strike Press Release

PHONE:  614-704-4699
WEBSITE: Re-ExaminingLucasville.org

For Immediate Release: Four Lucasville Uprising Prisoners on Hunger Strike.

April 11th, 2013, Youngstown, OH- Four prisoners housed at Ohio State Penitentiary began refusing food today. Greg Curry, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Bomani Shakur, who have been housed at OSP since it opened, are demanding that media outlets be allowed to come for sit-down on-camera interviews with them. In a recorded announcement, Bomani Shakur described the hunger strike as a "protest [of] the state's unfair and unreasonable refusal to grant us access to the media... I am an innocent man. This is injustice, the state of Ohio is trying to kill me."

Numerous news sources have recently contacted the prisoners because of their involvement in the Lucasville Uprising twenty years ago. The hunger strike was timed with the anniversary of the uprising, along with a conference focused on taking another look at what happened in 1993.

"There are two important reasons for media access. The first is to humanize the prisoner... the second... [is to give] the prisoner a way to contribute to the search for truth about his alleged crimes" wrote long time prisoner advocate Staughton Lynd. "[When] a journalist and a prisoner can speak face to face... the reporter [can] ask follow-up questions as in a courtroom cross-examination." Lynd also cites legal opinions that advocate a right for prisoners to speak to the media. See Staughton's full statement at Re-ExaminingLucasville.org.
The prisoners announced the hunger strike during a brief informal telephone interview with The Associated Press, who ran an article on the eve of the hunger strike. Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Jason Robb were convicted of complicity in the murder of the hostage guard officer Vallandingham and condemned to death. They maintain their innocence and argue that as negotiators of the agreement that ended the uprising, they actually avoided further loss of life.  Bomani Shakur (also known as Keith Lamar) and Greg Curry both surrendered on the first day of the uprising, but were charged and convicted of killing perceived snitches in the first hours of the disturbance. They both also maintain their innocence. Curry is serving a life sentence. Shakur has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Supporters of the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners have planned a three day conference memorializing the Lucasville Uprising and re-examining the investigations and prosecutions that produced these convictions. The Re-Examining Lucasville conference will take place at Columbus State Community College on the weekend of April 19th-21st.

Advocates are also encouraging supporters to call Warden David Bobby at OSP and request that he negotiate with and allow media access. Warden Bobby can be reached at 330-743-0700 ext 2006. Supporters can also write to the prisoners at the following addresses.

Greg Curry 213-159
Siddique Abdullah Hasan R130-559
Jason Robb 308-919
Bomani Shakur (Lamar) 317-117


Bomani Shakur Announcing Hunger Strike

Thursday, April 11, 2013

4 Lucasville Uprising Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike

Greg Curry, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Bomani Shakur will begin refusing food on April 11th. They are demanding that media be allowed access to sit-down interviews with them. These interviews are essential to  humanizing the prisoners and allowing them to contribute to the search for truth about his alleged crimes. A face to face interview permits follow-up questions and a more direct and thorough interaction than other forms of interview.

The Associated Press Columbus has written an article on the hunger strike, which is getting national attention.

Supporters can call OSP and demand that the Warden grant media requests for sit down, on camera interviews with the Lucasville Uprising prisoners.

Warden David Bobby 330-743-0700 ext 2006

 RedBird has been involved in setting up The Re-Examining Lucasville conference Re-examiningLucasville.org Please come, learn, participate.

Staughton Lynd on Media Access.

Staughton Lynd's arguments for why the media ought to be allowed to interview the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners. Written on the eve of the 20th Anniversary Hunger Strike demanding media access.
 Friends and colleagues,
    As you may know, there have been two AP articles this week on the need for media access to prisoners found guilty of alleged misconduct in the Lucasville uprising of April 1993.
    The second article, below, informs readers that four Lucasville defendants at the Ohio State Penitentiary, S.A. Hasan, Keith LaMar, and Jason Robb (sentenced to death) and Gregory Curry (sentenced to life imprisonment), will begin a hunger strike tomorrow morning, Thursday April 11, twenty years from the day the 1993 rebellion began.  The sole issue of this particular action is the demand for media access.
    The article also contains excerpts of an interview the AP reporter conducted, over the telephone, with S.A. Hasan.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee on 20th Anniversary

From: ciic@lists.lis.state.oh.us
To: ciic@lists.lis.state.oh.us
Sent: 4/9/2013 2:12:03 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: [CIIC] 20th Anniversary of the Lucasville (SOCF) riot
Good afternoon.  April 11 marks the 20th anniversary of the Lucasville prison riot, which resulted in the deaths of nine inmates and one corrections officer at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, the state’s maximum security facility.  It is not only the deadliest prison riot in Ohio, it remains the longest prison riot  in U.S. history.  The riot prompted a massive reconsideration of corrections in Ohio.  The following are some recent news articles regarding the riot and the changes in the system since 1993:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Faruq's Reply Breif to Ohio Supreme Court

Abdush Shahid Faruq (T Grinnell) has been fighting his conviction from the Lucasville Uprising pro se from within prison.

Here is the brief he filed to the Ohio Supreme Court in January. 

You can write to Faruq at:

Abdush-Shahid Faruq (Timothy Grinnel)
Ross CI
PO BOX 7010
Chillicothe, OH 45601