On September 10, 2016, many hundreds of people imprisoned at Kinross Correctional Facility in Michigan demonstrated peacefully in the prison’s yard. Together they stood up against unendurable conditions ranging from low wages and inedible food, to overcrowding and lack of medical care, to loved ones being unable to sit together in the visiting room.

Hundreds of these rebels were retaliated against by the prison authorities, written “inciting riot” tickets, and put in administrative segregation (solitary confinement). One of them, Harold “H.H.” Gonzales, has just sent out a letter detailing how he has been singled out for
extra repression by the staff at Baraga Max Correctional Facility: they are keeping him in ad-seg indefinitely. Now, more than ever, he needs our support.

If there is no immediate change, H.H. plans to begin a hunger strike on Thursday, April 20, and continue until he is released from segregation.

H.H. requests as many people as possible to call Baraga Max C.F. Monday (4/17) and/or Tuesday (4/18). Please scroll down for more background or see below for the script.

Thank you!

SCRIPT:

Call Warden Shane Place at Baraga Max C.F. at (906) 353-7070. When you get to the full phone menu, pressing 4 will get you to the warden’s office/administration. The following is a guide you can adapt:

“I am calling about Harold Gonzales, #194496. I’d like to know why he is being retaliated and discriminated against by being kept in segregation indefinitely. Mr. Gonzales and all other inmates charged in relation to last September at Kinross need to be released from segregation and returned to general population. Long-term segregation is cruel and unusual punishment, and torture. There is no justification for any of them to remain in segregation. When will Mr. Gonzales and all the others from Kinross be released from segregation?”

Please try to call Monday, 4/17, and/or Tuesday, 4/18. You will probably be asked to give your name and number in order to receive more information. (If you don’t wish to do so, you can ask that your call of concern for Mr. Gonzales be noted and passed along to the warden.) To report back results of your call, please email maps@riseup.net or use this contact form.

Thank you!

If you feel nervous, here’s a brief video tutorial on calling prisons.

BACKGROUND

On September 10, 2016, many hundreds of people imprisoned at Kinross Correctional Facility in Michigan demonstrated peacefully in the prison’s yard. Together they stood up against unendurable conditions ranging from low wages and inedible food, to overcrowding and lack of medical care, to loved ones being unable to sit together in the visiting room.

After negotiating with administrators and reaching an agreement, protesters returned peacefully to their units. Hours later, tactical teams armed with long guns and tear gas stormed the prison, assaulting and arresting hundreds of prisoners. Of the hundreds tried on charges of incite to riot/strike, approximately 180 were sentenced to one to two years in segregation (solitary confinement). For most of the past seven months, they have been housed in special segregation units at Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility and Oaks Correctional Facility.

Possibly due to some people challenging their bogus charges in circuit court, reports are that most of the Kinross group at Baraga will be transferred out of segregation by May 1. This is good news.

However, not everyone is being released from segregation. Some are being targeted for even harsher retaliation at this time. Harold “H.H.” Gonzales was one of the spokespeople for the demonstrators at Kinross on 9/10 who negotiated the peaceful resolution. He wrote, “This action has me labeled as the ‘leader’ of the fall incidents, when in actuality I ended a situation that could have turned ugly for everyone.” H.H. has also spoken out publicly against the abuses and retaliation of the MDOC. Although he had no tickets for the past seven months, he is now being targeted with bogus tickets to justify his ongoing solitary confinement. The biased grievance system provides no relief.

More info:

Article by Harold Gonzales
Words from former people formerly at Kinross
Kinross analysis and coverage


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