by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
As the hunger strike by 9 Georgia prisoners demanding medical care, due process and human rights enters its 5th week, prison officials are surprised at the level of outside support the inmates enjoy despite a virtual news whiteout. Concerned family members and others plan to visit the Department of Corrections headquarters on Monday, July 16.
Hunger Strike in GA Prison Enters 5th Week
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
The hunger strike begun on June 11 by nine prisoners at Georgia’s massive Diagnostic and Classification prison, the same place where Troy Davis was murdered last year, continues into its fifth week. Though reports published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution declare the strike over, the families and one of the attorneys of inmates insist that the nine prisoners remain resolved, and continue to insist on administrative review of their status, adequate medical care, and access to mail and visitation privileges with their families and attorneys which have been arbitrarily denied them.
Our sources claim that these nine were among the 37 singled out by corrections officials in late 2010 and early 2011 after the peaceful strike by Georgia prisoners of December 2010. They were rounded up, many severely beaten, and transferred to close confinement and constant lockdown at Jackson, where they have remained ever since.
On Monday July 9, about 30 people showed up at Georgia’s state capitol to visit the governor’s office, where they left letters of support for the hunger strikers. Through direct and indirect contacts with their families and attorneys and other inmates, the prisoners know that they DO have significant support on the outside. The warden, for example, remarked to Miguel Jackson his surprise that the Georgia Green Party was supporting the strikers. Your phone calls to the prison warden, to the Department of Corrections, and the governor of Georgia have already made a difference.
Whether or not the hunger strike lasts much longer, the nine prisoners involved have already demonstrated their unshakable resolve , and deserve your continued concern and support, and your calls, which are still needed.
When you call, ask about them by name and ID number. Here are the names and ID numbers of the nine prisoners now in the fifth week of their hunger strike. They are
Justin Boston, ID 1305227
Quentin D. Cooks, ID 1142336
Contravius Grier, ID 591396
Miguel Jackson, ID 890692
Bobby Anthony Minor, ID 1191993
Dexter Shaw, ID 429768
Robert Watkins, ID 1245402
Demetrius White, ID 581709
|And here are the people to call||Voice phone||Fax phone|
|Warden, GA Diagnostic & Classification Prison, Butts County GA||770-504-2000||770-504-2006|
|Brian Owens, Commissioner, GA Department of Corrections, ask for his administrative assistant Peggy Chapman||478-992-5258|
|Georgia governor Nathan Deal||404-656-1776||Fax the governor at 404-657-7332. You can also send the Governor a letter online by clicking here.|
|GA Department of Corrections Ombudsman||478-992-5367 or 478-992-5358||No fax, but you can email them atOmbudsman@dcor.state.ga.us. Please add a cc to the email, firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Sign the petition in support of the Jackson Prison hunger strikers —- Click here|
If you’re in the Atlanta area on Monday, July 16, join us as we travel by van and carpool to the headquarters of the Georgia Department of Corrections in Forsyth GA where, along with the families of some of the strikers, we will demand a meeting with Brian Owens, the head of the department. Meet us at the West End MARTA station, 9 AM sharp. Some cars will be returning around lunch time, some others will probably stay in Forsyth the whole day.
The prisoners behind those walls have done all they can do. What you can do is sign the petition supporting the demands of the hunger strikers. You can pick up the phone to call and express your concern and support. You can forward this to your email and social networks, family, friends and acquaintances.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. He can be reached via this site’s contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.