[Ppnews] Georgia - Stop Violence Against Striking Prisoners

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 14 19:52:02 EST 2010


Press Release

Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners’ Rights

Coalition of NAACP, Nation of Islam, Elected Officials, Prisoner Activists

Demand Governor Perdue and DOC Commissioner Brian Owens

Stop Violence Against Striking Prisoners
PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY

December 13, 2010, 3:30 p.m.
State Capitol
100 Washington Street
Atlanta, Georgia

NAACP State Chairman Edward Dubose joined by 
representatives from the Nation of Islam, elected 
officials and others, who have formed the 
Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners’ Rights, 
will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. today 
at the Capitol to urge Governor Perdue and 
Department of Corrections Commissioner Owens to 
halt the violent tactics being employed by guards 
against thousands of striking prisoners.  They 
have reached out to Perdue and Owens for meetings earlier in the day.

Begun on December 9, 2010, the prisoners’ 
peaceful protest has been historic in scope and 
in the unity of thousands of black, brown, white, 
Muslim, Christian, Rastafarian prisoners, 
including those at Augusta, Baldwin, Calhoun, 
Hancock, Hays, Macon, Rogers, Smith, Telfair, 
Valdosta and Ware State Prisons.  For five days, 
now, these men have shut down all activity at most of these facilities.

             The prisoners are petitioning the 
DOC for their human rights, including being paid 
for their labor, provided educational 
opportunities, decent health care and nutritional 
meals, a halt to cruel and unusual punishments, and just parole decisions.

While the prisoners’ protest has remained 
non-violent, the DOC has used violent measures to 
force the men back to work­under the banner of 
law, despite the 13th Amendment’s abolition of 
slavery.  At Augusta State Prison, several 
inmates were brutally ripped from their cells by 
CERT Team guards and beaten, resulting in broken 
ribs, one man beaten beyond recognition.  At 
Telfair, the Tactical Squad roughed up prisoners 
and destroyed all their property.  At Macon and 
Hays State Prisons, Tactical Squads have menaced 
the men for days, removing some to the “hole,” 
the wardens ordering heat and hot water turned 
off.  Tear gas has been used to force men out of 
their cells at various prisons, while guards 
patrol grounds with assault rifles.



The DOC has made itself unavailable to the press 
and prisoner family members, creating fears that, 
behind closed doors, the Department will escalate 
this peaceful protest to a violent 
confrontation.  The Coalition is urging the DOC 
to come to the table in peace to address the prisoners’ concerns.

“Due to the harsh conditions faced behind bars 
and the need for prison reform, the men are 
staying in their cells as a form of peaceful 
protest.  No officials or staff have been 
threatened and no property has been 
damaged.  These men’s requests are reasonable and 
in accord with the basic respect and treatment 
every human being deserves,” said Elaine Brown, a 
social activist and former Black Panther Party 
leader.  Brown is spearheading the Concerned 
Coalition to Respect Prisoners’ Rights.  More 
information about the Coalition can be found on its Facebook page.

#   #   #

Contact:   Concerned Coalition to Respect 
Prisoners’ Rights 
<mailto:concernedcoalitionga at gmail.com>concernedcoalitionga at gmail.com




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