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Oct 29, 16

Kinetik Justice of FAM Launches Hunger Strike After Being Transfered to “Bully” Prison

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

Kinetik Justice, an outspoken leader within the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) has been transferred out of Holman Prison in Alabama to anther prison with a reputation for being a “bully unit” for rebellious prisoners. According to Brian Sonenstein at ShadowProof:

One of the leading voices behind the national prison strike against slavery was transferred to Kilby Correctional Facility, known among Alabama prisoners to be a “bully unit,” where prisoners deemed disruptive are brutalized.

Kinetik Justice-Amun, also known as Robert Earl Council, is a member of the Free Alabama Movement and was previously incarcerated at the Holman Correctional Facility. He used contraband cellphones to communicate with journalists and publish videos and audio recordings from his solitary cell at Holman. The videos showed how prisoners like him are treated.

“That’s bad,” an anonymous prisoner reacted after he learned where Kinetik was transferred.

“Kilby is our bully camp,” said the prisoner, who is also a member of Free Alabama. “That’s where inmates go who they deem to be problems that they have to iron out with brutality. You understand what I’m saying? When they send you to Kilby, that’s where they break your arms and break your legs.”

Another article wrote that the transfer came only a day before Justice was about to blow the lid on continued violence and brutality within Holman:

According to Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, founder of The Ordinary People Society and a spokesman for the Free Alabama Movement, Council was transferred out of Holman Correctional a day before he was set to meet with SPLC policy strategist Monique Gillum, Glasgow said, who was investigating the suicide of Robert Deangelo Carter. The SPLC declined to comment on the scheduled meeting, but did confirm that they were investigating Carter’s death. “We’re looking into it,” Maria Morris, SPLC managing attorney, told Jezebel. “We’re also looking into the conditions in segregation units at Holman—and elsewhere—that allow for suicides like this to happen.”

In a response to the move, Kinetik has launched a hunger strike. According to an article on RT:

Just two months after organizing a national prison labor strike, Alabama inmate Robert Earl Council – also known as Kinetik Justice Amun – is on a hunger strike.

Council began his hunger strike a week ago, after he was transferred from Holman Correction Facility in Alabama to Kilby Correctional a day before he was reportedly scheduled to meet with an advocate from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC). From there, he was transferred to Limestone Corrections, a prison notorious for solitary “segregation units,”according to Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, a spokesman for the Free Alabama Movement.

“Prison officials confirm the inmate has declared a hunger strike,” Bob Horton, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections, told The Birmingham News on Thursday. “Medical staff has conducted an initial assessment of the inmate’s condition. The inmate will be weighed daily, his food intake monitored, and proper medical care will be provided as needed.”

Horton told the outlet that Council’s stated the reason for his hunger strike was “over concern for his safety.”

Council is in fear of his life and “will not eat any of the food they have tried to give him,” Glasgow told the Birmingham News.

Since the start of the historic September 9th hunger strike, members of FAM have remained resolute that the prison administration at Holman have intentionally escalated violence at the facility (not only against inmates through guards, but also in inmate against inmate violence) as a means of guaranteeing tens of millions of dollars for more prison construction in the state. As The Bay View wrote:

As the culture of violence in Alabama’s prison system continues to spiral out of control, yet another provocation has resulted in another day of violence at Holman Prison. Holman is experiencing major staff shortages as a result of officers joining and supporting the non-violent work strikes being led by Free Alabama Movement.

In response to the work strikes and correctional officers quitting their jobs, the ADOC commissioners responded by dispatching CERT Team staff and officers from other prisons to fill staffing positions. These CERT Team officers are notorious for, and have a well documented history of violent beatings, sexual harassment and excessive force.

Just last month, CERT officers beat Cleveland Cunningham, the man who has been charged in the death of another correctional officer, leaving him with an unexplained broken arm and broken leg. This after-the-fact beating was administered after it was widely reported to the news media by ADOC that Mr. Cunningham was taken into custody without incident.

The same brutality was meted out in March on five men transferred from Holman after a riot had taken place. All five men were taken to W.E. Donaldson Prison, where they were taken one at a time in handcuffs, shackles and belly chains into a guard shack and severely beaten and sexually assaulted. This matter was investigated by the Commissioner’s Officer, but not a single officer was disciplined.

In the face of this, FAM has pushed for an end to the violence:

In response to the escalating violence at Holman Prison, various factions, including street organizations and religious communities, formed a peace summit last month that was called for by Free Alabama Movement and its co-founder Robert E. Council, also known as Kinetik Justice. The peace accord proved effective and provided a temporary stop to violence, while organizers sought more permanent solutions, including a request for more educational and rehabilitation programs.

The attacks on Kinetik Justice is only part by a larger push by the state to bury the Free Alabama Movement and the wider movement against prison slavery. We must stand behind Kinetik during his hunger strike and all of those within FAM who fight against prisons and the world of domination and white supremacy they maintain.

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