Prisoners at Toledo Correctional Institution went on strike on Saturday, and were in turn attacked with chemical weapons. See how you can support the current phone-zap campaign in solidarity.
Seven people incarcerated in Toledo Correctional Institution went on strike Saturday, November 2nd). They refused to be moved into the yard for recreation time until a SWAT or SRT team moved them, and are going on hunger strike and refusing food. SWAT and SRT teams have used rubber bullets against protesters in Toledo before. They are protesting renovations to add more solitary confinement wings. In the past 2 months, the state has been trying to turn the entirety of Toledo into a lock down institution. As a result, people have been sent to solitary because other units didn’t have room, and for minor infractions that wouldn’t have been reason to send someone to solitary confinement otherwise.
Many people in the “4B Overflow” unit in D4 North were sent there because the (lower security/not solitary confinement) 4B unit did not have enough room. People in solitary (including overflow solitary) can’t receive books, and guards in the 4B Overflow unit have been abusive, spit in food, refused to give inmates food trays or given them empty trays, and harassed Black inmates. Attempts to go through the grievance procedure have been ignored. According to a comrade on the inside, “once they finish the solitary confinement blocks, you sneeze the wrong way you’re going to the hole. Everyone in the whole institution is getting sick and tired of cops trying to lock the whole place down.”
Four of the people on strike are David Easley, Richard Harris, Elijah Bowen, and James Ward. Three others are striking, but asked to be anonymous. They’re demanding that people on the 4B Overflow unit be moved out of solitary confinement (and have asked to be moved to the A1 East unit).
Call to protest the expansion of solitary confinement, racist harassment, and the denial of food at the whims of abusive officers. They expect to be met with riot cops (SWAT and SRT), maced, and shot at with rubber bullets for doing this, and have asked that supporters on the outside phone zap in solidarity.
Mass calls this Monday, 11/5! but you can start now as well.
“I am calling on behalf of David Easley, Richard Harris, Elijah Bowen, and James Ward, and all others on hunger strike. We know they have been severely punished with mace and rubber bullets, and I am asking of you to ensure they are not subjected to any further abuse for their actions. I stand behind their demands against adding more solitary confinement wings, and ask that their concerns are addressed promptly. Solitary confinement is extreme and inhumane, and not a solution to overcrowding… no one should be held in solitary because your facilities are inadequate to house them otherwise. There are also reports of harassment and abuse in the 4B overflow units, and I ask that you immediately take steps to guarantee that guards are not tampering with food or denying prisoners proper meals, and lift any restrictions that would prohibit prisoners from receiving books.”
ODRC Interim Director Stuart Hudson: 614-387-0588
Ohio Correctional Institution Inspection Committee: 614-466-6649
Office of the Inspector General: 614-644-9110
Toledo Correctional Institution: 419-726-7977
Update from an outside supporter that the strikers have been chemically attacked Saturday evening: “Can’t breathe, need a shower, they ain’t letting him take a shower, shot Easley and James Lee with mace… Everybody got chemicals on their bodies, eyes nose face, they’re supposed to let them decontaminate but they’re making them sleep in it. They aren’t letting people file complaints. They got rapid fire chemical weapons, not letting people wash it off or take showers. Used mace against multiple people and aren’t letting them decontaminate. I just called and the officer said that he’s not allowed to discuss security concerns with me.”