[Ppnews] Ohio State Penitentiary Hunger Strike Demands
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 13 13:33:34 EDT 2013
Contact: Ben Turk
Phone: 614-704-4699 <tel:614-704-4699>
*Ohio State Penitentiary Hunger Strike Demands*
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP)- Cornelius
"Soja" Harris' second hunger strike reaches 24 days. Less than a week
after Soja suspended his 38 day hunger strike, he resumed refusing food.
He is ready to come back off hunger strike if five simple demands are met.
He initially suspended the hunger strike he started on January 4th, with
assurances from OSP Warden David Bobby that his missing property would
be returned or replaced and that an institutional inspector to interview
him. A few days later correctional officers at OSP interfered with a
scheduled visit from Soja's partner and threatened to destroy more of
his property. On return from that visit, they refused to give Soja his
morning meal. This harassment combined with the fact that Warden David
Bobby had not taken action on his assurances prompted Soja to go back on
Soja states that he is willing to come off this hunger strike if five
simple demands are met.
1. Return or reimburse for property guards destroyed during Soja's first
2. Immediate transfer from segregation back to Sojas regular cell.
3. Lift restrictions from petty and fabricated conduct reports filed
against Soja in retaliation for his hunger strike and the success at his
4. End to harassment from Correctional Officers.
5. Opportunity to call outside supporters to make up for visits that
guards cancelled or interfered with.
After missing 21 consecutive meals, the Warden authorized to send Soja
to segregation. On his previous hunger strike, Soja was transferred to
the infirmary. Officials claim that he was sent to segregation to
monitor his food intake, but Soja believes this is actually punishment.
Other prisoners in segregation are given 3 meals a day and could easily
pass food to a hunger striker. Soja just endured a genuine 38 day hunger
strike, with medical monitoring, so they should know he is not one to
fake it. Segregation is punishment because it is loud all day and night
from prisoners arguing, kicking doors and shouting at guards. Every
other day someone floods their cell with toilet water, which runs under
the door of other cells, so prisoners in segregation are constantly
cleaning up toilet water, urine and excrement.
Death threats and harassment, including sexual harassment from guards is
also common and ongoing. In a letter to supporters, Soja stated: "These
cowards... want you crawling on your knees, weak and broken, they don't
want you standing strong, head up with no fear." Soja has been refused
access to the shower and his one hour of rec time out of his cell,
without cause or explanation, on numerous occasions.
On March 3rd, Soja was put in a visiting booth with a broken lighting
fixture and dirty glass, conditions which made it impossible for his
visitor to see past the glare on bulletproof glass separating them.
Another visit was denied altogether when Soja insisted that supervisors
prevent the guards from again destroying his property while he was out
of his cell. Soja has filed complaints for each of these incidents, with
Since this harassment began the guards have also filed many petty
conduct reports against Soja, resulting in increased regulations and
limitations on his movement. Warden Bobby refuses to answer questions
about Mr Harris' situation. Central office also refuses to say anything
about Soja's case in particular other than to insist that the standard
procedure for hunger striking prisoners is being followed. That
procedure includes regular interviews and monitoring of the prisoner's
According to Soja the bare minimum of that routine is being followed.
Warden Bobby and Deputy Warden Remmich come through on their routine
rounds, but they are casual and uninterested in his hunger strike. They
don't respond to complaints about harassment, and have threatened to
send him out of state.
Soja also asked to "please give my thanks to all of those who supported
me and my situation on the blogs and other communication lines." He says
he is "at the end of my patience... I don't have too much left. Patience
has it's limits, take it too far and its cowardice."
He has written an extensive statement, which he is hesitant to send out
through the OSP mail room because guards may destroy it.
Supporters can call OSP Warden David Bobby at 330-743-0700
<tel:330-743-0700> and demand that he meet with Mr Harris (institution
#525-945) and discuss his reasonable demands. People can also call
central office at 614-752-1159 <tel:614-752-1159> and request that
institutional inspectors review the Warden's inability to control his
correctional officers and compliance with procedures regarding hunger
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews