From the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project
Yesterday we announced a hunger strike on 4B with a list of demands. Later that day we stood outside the jail with a banner reading “Hunger Strike on 4B”, since it’s very difficult for prisoners to communicate between different section. Our phone line immediately lit with calls from people inside wanting to know more and to vent their own frustration. Today, we got a call from a prisoner on 3B letting us know that a whole range there is on hunger strike now as well — all 20 prisoners refused breakfast this morning.
The guards reacted by shutting off the ventilation system to 3B, allowing the range to become very hot and muggy. We demand that Barton Jail staff immediately stop all retaliation against prisoners for striking!
We are asking supporters to call the jail tomorrow (Monday) during business hours to ask the administration to meet the prisoners demands. The number is 905-523-8800 and ask to speak to the superintendent. Tell them you support the demands of striking prisoners for healthy food, an end to lockdowns, visits, sanitation, mail, and repairs, and that you strongly oppose all retaliation against prisoners who engage in protest.
If you call, consider hiding your number using #31# dialed before the number, and please share details about your call with us on our FaceBook page or by email at email@example.com
Here is the full list of demands from striking prisoners. Look it over, there are some new ones from yesterday.
1) We want a diverse range of healthy, cooked food — no more premade trays.
2) We want an end to the rotating lockdowns.
3) We want visits reinstated.
4) We want our mail delivered quickly and in full.
5) We want consistent access to soap
6) We want necessary infrastructure to function (specific mention of the broken urinal on 4C, which has left 20 prisoners with one toilet for nine weeks, and the ventilation on 3B)
As for the 4B strikers, their status is unclear. As of yesterday evening, after 24 hours, prisoners we spoke to said most would resume eating the normal meals but continue collectively refusing any of the disgusting pre-made food trays. This collective refusal is still inspiring and is deserving of support, and there may be prisoners on those ranges who are still on full hunger strike.
Solidarity between prisoners is hugely inspiring. Divisions inside, both physical and otherwise, are hard to overcome, but together Barton prisoners are trying to mount a challenge to worsening conditions. As one prisoner put it, ““It doesn’t take long for things to feel normal, and if we’re not careful in six months all of this stuff is going to be the new normal in here.”
Original posting: https://www.facebook.com/bartonsolidarityproject/posts/273169014027061?hc_location=ufi