Filed under: Editorials, Environment, Incarceration, Southeast
Jason Renard Walker is Deputy Minister of Labor for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and one of the contributors to the Fire Inside zine. He writes here about possible water contamination in Texas prisons, as it has been revealed that across Texas, many people are drinking water polluted with radium.
This is a notice to the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign, the EPA and everyone who is against tainted drinking water: the Ramsey Unit here in Rosharon, TX (near Houston) may have high levels of radium in the water supply.
I was brought to this conclusion after hearing a news update on January 15th 2018, which mentioned that the water supply throughout the state of Texas was at high risk of containing harmful levels of radium.
The city of Houston was mentioned as being one of the cities that could possibly have the highest levels. For those who don’t know what radium is, it’s a very radioactive metallic chemical element that is used in the treatment of cancer. It can also cause serious bodily harm and cancer if ingested in water with high levels of it.
Evidence that the water here might be tainted is due to the fact that it runs out of the faucet as a grainy, milky substance that takes time to clear up. White flakes and other debris can sometimes be found floating around. The toilet water contains the same discolorations, and off and on debris.
I’ve been drinking the water since my arrival, November 1st 2017. And since then I’ve continuously suffered from illnesses that I didn’t have before, like sore throat, headaches, non-stop coughing, bone pain and high fever. Other prisoners are experiencing the same symptoms, and didn’t have them until recently.
Whether it’s from the water is unknown, but an investigation into this matter is very important. The only ones subjected to this drinking water are prisoners. All staff carry and drink bottled water and other beverages.
There aren’t any boil notices posted, so it’s presumed by the prison that the water is safe to drink, shower and wash with. But the news report suggests that the water in Houston and small surrounding cities needs to be scrutinized.
It is well known that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will cover-up and conceal problems from extreme heat and poisonous water, so I hope that arrangements can be made, via public complaints, to test the water and mobilize to correct it if it is unsafe to drink. Please help.
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win. All power to the people.
Jason Renard Walker, #1532092
11 FM 655
Rosharon, TX 77583