Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hunger Strike at Critical Point /calls, letters, emails NEEDED to Pressure DOC

CALLS EMAILS LETTERS NEEDED!!

The DOC is now force feeding the LaRon McKinley and Cesar Deleon after 72 hours , when they are at brink of death from dehydration. The sporadic force feeding in itself is dangerous and can lead to a condition called "refeeding syndrome", ""the shifting of electrolytes and fluid balance increases cardiac workload and heart rate. This can lead to acute heart failure. Oxygen consumption is also decreased which strains the respiratory system" which can cause sever damage or death. The water in WCI is polluted with high lead levels . This is impossible to drink on an empty stomach. When Cesar tried to drink it , he vomited. We have asked that he and LaRon be given bottled water with no response. full press release here and below-(scroll down)

Read LaRon's letter original
Read LaRon's letter typed and Read Cesar's letter typed

MOST EFFECTIVE ACTION YOU CAN TAKE:
 Now please email call and/write the warden, the DOC secretary and demanding that they: 

1.Let Cesar DeLeon and LaRon McKinley have bottled water, let them buy as much as they want from the commissary.
2. Put a 1 year limit on Administrative Confinement for all WI prisoners


calls, letters, emails to

WCI Warden Brian Foster: 920-324-5571; PO Box351, Waupun WI 53963;brian.foster@wisconsin.gov

DOC secretary Jon Litscher: 608-240-5000, Po Box 7925, Madison, WI 53707:jon.litscher@wisconsin.gov


 
Your legislators:Finding your legislators and suggestions: Remember one of the most effective things you can do is get to know the aides of your aides of your legislators and let them know your personal stories- on whatever the subject. These are powerful people and CAN and DO help. Below are letter but phone calls are also effective-both is best.
WHO REPRESENTS ME?


Here is the website to find out your legislators’ contact information:
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/-you or just google "who are my legislators in Wisconsin"
give your zipcode and they will give you your legislators and their emails and phones
phone number to get contact info on legislators is: 800 362-9472 (state switchboard)
address for senators: PO Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707
address for representatives by last name
a-l : PO Box 8952, Madison 53708;
m-z : PO box 8953; Madison 53708
 Here is full press release:
Dying to Live Hunger Strikers Kept on the Brink of Death by Retaliatory DOC
Waupun WI- According to a letter from hunger striker LaRon McKinley, the Dying to Live hunger strike against solitary confinement at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) has become a serious health crisis after seventy-six days.

On August 15, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) decided to suspend the force feeding they have subjected the prisoners to since June 17. They allowed McKinley and Cesar DeLeon, the two most committed hunger strikers, to go without food or water for 72 hours, until they were severely dehydrated. Then they tube fed them again on Thursday August 18.
“Presently, and for most of this week, we have been under retaliatory attack by our warden as a direct consequence of our political efforts... to force an end to prolonged Administrative Confinement,” the letter from McKinley reads.
On Saturday August 13, a coalition of prisoner supporters from across the state gathered in Waupun to protest DOC practices and show solidarity with the hunger strike. They were greeted by offensive gestures, threats and insults by local residents, some of whom likely work at the prison.

“We believe Warden Foster has changed the force feeding regimen in response to our protest, unfortunately, the changes are retaliatory: increasing the pain, harm and danger these men are experiencing in an effort to break their will,” says Chance Zombor, who led the march on August 13.

A sudden intake of calories by a starved and dehydrated person causes violent metabolic shifts, leading to a potentially fatal condition called refeeding syndrome. WI DOC has begun a regimen that is very likely to cause refeeding syndrome. According to wikipedia, “the shifting of electrolytes and fluid balance increases cardiac workload and heart rate. This can lead to acute heart failure. Oxygen consumption is also decreased which strains the respiratory system.”
When the United States Military was force-feeding suspected terrorists on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay, they took care to first intravenously re-hydrate the starving people to prevent refeeding syndrome. In Waupun, the DOC only allows the prisoners to drink lead-polluted water from the 165 year old institution, which causes diarrhea and exacerbates their dehydration.
McKinley suspects the DOC is intentionally keeping them on the brink of death. According to his letter, after 42 hours without food or water—because they refused to drink Waupun's polluted water, he and Cesar DeLeon, “were diagnosed as seriously dehydrated, and the tube feeding was then recommended, but this time they made us both go exactly 30 more hours, to exactly 72 hours each. Seventy Two hours without water is a well known and medically held time limit that would and is generally believed to kill most people.”

The hunger strikers believe Waupun staff will continue force feeding them every 72 hours in an effort to make the hunger strike as unbearable as possible. McKinley's letter goes on to describe his body's response, which mirrors the symptoms of refeeding syndrome: “due to the stress and ordeal that our bodies had gone through, they kind of reacted as if they had been poisoned when said fluids were eventually forced into the stomach.”

Outside supporters are demanding that the DOC allow LaRon McKinley and Cesar DeLeon to drink bottled water, and that Wisconsin meet the striker's central demand: a one-year cap on any form of solitary confinement. They are asking people to contact Warden Foster, DOC Secretary Jon Litscher, and Governor Scott Walker. More information, including phone numbers and email addresses can be found at SolitaryTorture.blogspot.com.





 

Friday, September 9, 2016

List of Hunger Strikers


Please consider writing letters to these prisoners who have been engaged in direct action and food refusals against the WI DOC solitary confinement and control unit practices.


Dying to Live Hunger Strike
Currently on strike and have been since 6/7. Being force fed regularly:
LaRon McKinley 42642
Cesar DeLeon 322800 
Waupun CI P.O Box 351 Waupun WI 53963-0351


Was on strike starting in June:

Joshua Scolman 422508
Ronald Lane 469083
Waupun CI P.O Box 351 Waupun WI 53963-0351

Joshua has a deviated septum and was hospitalized during force feeding. Ronald is still refusing food, but also refuses to be force-fed, so he is drinking his meals (given 30 minutes to drink 3 cans of Ensure once per day).

Uhuru Mutawakkil (chosen name)
N. Green 228971 
Columbia CI P. O. Box 900 Portage WI 53901-0909


Joined Dying to Live Hunger strike on Mon Aug 15: 
Antonio Smith 275561
Aaron Scott 461771
Waupun CI P.O. Box 351, Waupun WI 53963-0351


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hunger strikers LaRon McKinley, Cesar Deleon latest letters 8 16

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dear Babette,

I write this emergency letter in a weakened state for me and DeLeon. Presently, and for most of this week, we have been under retaliating attacks by our wardens as a direct consequence of our political effort to hunger strike (which we continue to do) to force an end to prolonged administrative confinement, and by extension all forms of solitary confinement that is excessive.

The actions (described below) of the officials, now that they know that the public is somewhat distracted from our struggle in terms of the energy level in which it initially engaged in in June and July, have now taken a dangerous turn to push us to within inches of our own life and/or health in effort to break our strike. What follows is the most egregious of several tactics they have unleashed in aim to break our lawful strike. We are weakened and unable to do a lot of writing and, thus, are relying exclusively upon you to not only get the work out among your radio listenership, but also to pass the word on the relevant social media sites to our friends as well as contact the folks at IWW, IWOC, Wisdom, Peg Swan, Bernie Gonzales, and all other concerned persons and groups. We are requesting that a phone zap, email zap, letters, etc…be organized to bombard the individual DOC officials referred to below about their nefarious and insidious actions with regard to our health. First, I will prep what I’m about to explain by saying that at this very moment those officials have stood by while me and De Leon have gone 71 continuous hours without any fluids, and they were well aware of this, and of the fact of our commitment to legally do what we are peacefully doing, i.e. demonstrate our conditions of confinement. Thousands of people in Wisconsin and throughout the country are aware of our commitment, i.e. the conviction at which we are committed to this fight. Thus, does also all persons concerned, including the court and the DOC officials. DeLeon and I have demonstrated more than once that we are serious; we have endured the crucible of validation.

On June 7, 2016, we began the hunger strike. On June 17, 2016, we were both diagnosed with moderate to severe dehydration and malnutrition. The officials of their own accord (not ours) chose to seek and did obtain court orders to temporarily force feed us. On June 22, 2016, 5 days later, the doctor suspended the force feeding of me and DeLeon at which he and I commenced our no food and no water intake. Within 48 hours, 42 hours later to be exact, we were again diagnosed with serious dehydration due to no water intake. Thus, on June 24, 2016, the force feeding and hydration recommenced until Monday, August 15, 2016, where several Waupun (WCI) and DOC medical officials decided "to have a meeting" concerning me and DeLeon. The following is what was written by Dr. Manlove, the WCI attending physician, in my medical "Progress Notes" about the meeting:

"8/15/16…

A. Ongoing hunger strike

B. After meeting with BHS & Medical director as well as Warden Brian Foster] and HSU manager [her name is Emily Staudmeier], it was decided to suspend tube feeding for now. They are free to continue HS.

—Will monitor closely

Manlove [Director of WCI]"

Babette, the following described the actions taken and best reveals the contents, and the results of said meeting: As mentioned above the tube force feeding an hydration of DeLeon and I was suspended on 8/15/16 at 4:30 p.m., which was the last feeding we received at that point. Again, the officials have known that DeLeon and I are committed to no food & water intake. About 42 hours later on Wednesday 8/17/16, at about 9am, a nurse examined us and it was noted then and we both had de facto signs of dehydration (Note: previously (as stated on p.s. herein) we were diagnosed as seriously dehydrated, and the tube feeding was then recommended but this time they made us both go exactly 30 more hours (42 + 30)to exactly 72 hours each! 72 hours without water is a well known and medically held time limit that would and is generally believed to kill most people. This morning (the 3rd day at about the 61st hour) they took our blood and urine (labs) and we saw the doctor at around 2 a.m. after which he ordered reinstatement of the force feeding and hydration. At the exact time they inserted the nasal tube into my nose (4:30 p.m.) is the exact time I was force fed and hydrated 3 days earlier. And up to 3 days earlier, and for several weeks before that time, me and DeLeon were receiving 3 cans of Ensure and 3 cans of water with each feeding.

Beginning today (at the 72 hour marker) the doctor had taken one can Ensure and one can of water, so that now we only receive 2 and 2. The point is that they did all of this to retaliate and to punish us. They also intentionally withheld nutrients from us to within inches of our health or life—figuratively speaking. And that said force feeding tore up both of our stomachs, i.e. gave us the runs due to the stress and ordeal that our bodies had gone through, they kind of reacted as if they had been poisoned when said fluids were eventually forced into the stomach. Note: they are trying to responded by saying that they were within the court order, but this has to be rejected.

I received both cards you sent me. Please see if you can get our supporters to respond to this abuse, or they will be doing this frequently. They should not be allowed to play with the stability of our health since the State/DOC won’t let us starve to death (being against the law), and they claim to be protecting our health and have assured the public that that’s what they are doing.

This is the 3rd time that we have had to be baptized with fire so to speak, and have had to prove via ordeal that we are serious about our strike and our right, protected right, to do it. They have tried to torture us into submission—twice—after we have prior to that established that we were determined. We need a rapid and organized response from the supporters out there, or they will devise another diabolical trick soon. Please see what you can do…

 

It would have been nice to hear your voice when I was on the phone with Gary but you were asleep. I’ll write more soon. Spread this word for because we are recovering and are not able to do a lot of writing for a while.

 

With Love & Peace,

Always-LaRon

p.s. will write again soon. Thanks for the 2 cards.

Jacob 8/15/16

 

Hi,

 

I write to you to give you an update on the Hunger Strike to protest long term solitary confinement. The prison doctor and administrations decided to stop the force feeding starting tomorrow. They hope that once I begin to stave myself again the "hunger pains" will compel me to eat on my own.

The proof that they’re using their court order (to force feed me) to cause me pain… Once I’m in danger of damaging my organs they’ll force feed me again, then stop hoping the "hunger pains" will work as adverse conditioning. This is almost capital punishment.

Regardless of what they do I will continue not to eat nor drink any fluids. If my kidneys get damage so be it. We will file a lawsuit on them afterwards.

Anyhow now that I can prove that they are using the force feeding to cause me pain perhaps you can talk to Attorney Gary Grass to represent me on this matter so I can get back in court and stop the court order to feed me altogether, or like I said the D.O.C. will use it to cause me "hunger pains" all the time, a violation of the 8th Amendment (cruel & unusual punishment.

Today I received a letter from you with support messages from a lot of IWW members. Y’all give me so much strength you can’t imagine. I appreciate it a lot. Please send me regards to everyone.



 

— In Struggle —
Ceśar


 
 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dying to Live Hunger Strikers Kept on the Brink of Death by Retaliatory DOC


Waupun WI- According to a letter from hunger striker LaRon McKinley, the Dying to Live hunger strike against solitary confinement at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) has become a serious health crisis after seventy-six days.

On August 15, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) decided to suspend the force feeding they have subjected the prisoners to since June 17. They allowed McKinley and Cesar DeLeon, the two most committed hunger strikers, to go without food or water for 72 hours, until they were severely dehydrated. Then they tube fed them again on Thursday August 18.

“Presently, and for most of this week, we have been under retaliatory attack by our warden as a direct consequence of our political efforts... to force an end to prolonged Administrative Confinement,” the letter from McKinley reads.

On Saturday August 13, a coalition of prisoner supporters from across the state gathered in Waupun to protest DOC practices and show solidarity with the hunger strike. They were greeted by offensive gestures, threats and insults by local residents, some of whom likely work at the prison.

“We believe Warden Foster has changed the force feeding regimen in response to our protest, unfortunately, the changes are retaliatory: increasing the pain, harm and danger these men are experiencing in an effort to break their will,” says Chance Zombor, who led the march on August 13.

A sudden intake of calories by a starved and dehydrated person causes violent metabolic shifts, leading to a potentially fatal condition called refeeding syndrome. WI DOC has begun a regimen that is very likely to cause refeeding syndrome. According to wikipedia, “the shifting of electrolytes and fluid balance increases cardiac workload and heart rate. This can lead to acute heart failure. Oxygen consumption is also decreased which strains the respiratory system.”

When the United States Military was force-feeding suspected terrorists on hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay, they took care to first intravenously re-hydrate the starving people to prevent refeeding syndrome. In Waupun, the DOC only allows the prisoners to drink lead-polluted water from the 165 year old institution, which causes diarrhea and exacerbates their dehydration.

McKinley suspects the DOC is intentionally keeping them on the brink of death. According to his letter, after 42 hours without food or water—because they refused to drink Waupun's polluted water, he and Cesar DeLeon, “were diagnosed as seriously dehydrated, and the tube feeding was then recommended, but this time they made us both go exactly 30 more hours, to exactly 72 hours each. Seventy Two hours without water is a well known and medically held time limit that would and is generally believed to kill most people.”

The hunger strikers believe Waupun staff will continue force feeding them every 72 hours in an effort to make the hunger strike as unbearable as possible. McKinley's letter goes on to describe his body's response, which mirrors the symptoms of refeeding syndrome: “due to the stress and ordeal that our bodies had gone through, they kind of reacted as if they had been poisoned when said fluids were eventually forced into the stomach.”

Outside supporters are demanding that the DOC allow LaRon McKinley and Cesar DeLeon to drink bottled water, and that Wisconsin meet the striker's central demand: a one-year cap on any form of solitary confinement. They are asking people to contact Warden Brian Foster, DOC Secretary Jon Litscher, and Governor Scott Walker. More information, including phone numbers and email addresses can be found at SolitaryTorture.blogspot.com.

More information about the Aug 13th protest can be found here on ItsGoingDown.org

More about refeeding syndrome, comparisons to proceedures at gitmo, and force feeding in general can be found here

Monday, August 15, 2016

Phone Zap: Fight WI Prison Torture

See and share the Facebook event!

To support the prisoner hunger strike happening now in Wisconsin, please take a couple of minutes to call:

DOC Central office- 608-240-5000, docweb@wi.gov Ask to speak with Jon Litscher's office, sample script: "I am calling in support of Cesar DeLeon, LaRon McKinley, Antonio Smith, Aaron Scott and anyone else who is protesting Administrative Confinement at Waupun CI, or any other facility. Please meet these men's demand that a one year cap be placed on Administrative Confinement. Also please oversee, investigate and protect the prisoners from reprisals from your staff."

WCI Warden Brian Foster- (920) 324-5571 Ask to speak with the Warden's office, sample script: "I am calling out of concern for the hunger striking prisoners in your facility, including Cesar De Leon, LaRon McKingley, as well as Antonio Smith and Aaron Scott who have recently joined the hunger strike. Please stop force feeding all hunger strikers, and please separate them from officers Beahm and Maungey who have a well established record of mistreating prisoners, including these men."

Friday, August 12, 2016

Join the Dying to Live Solidarity Action on Sat Aug 13

The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee invites all supportive parties to join in a rally outside Waupun Correctional on Saturday, August 13th to protest force feeding of hunger strikers, guard abuses, and indefinite solitary confinement.
Our Milwaukee contingent will be meeting at the Upark by Estabrook Park at 1PM on Saturday. We will be gathering with our allies at the Waupun Mobil Station at 3:30PM. We will march around the prison, make speeches, noise and spectacle, and then come home by 6PM.

If you have any questions, call or text Ben at 614-704-4699 insurgent.ben@gmail.com

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rally set for Saturday, August 13th



RALLY set for Saturday, August 13th
Cesar DeLeon being tube fed, Called torture by the AMA -see full article here:

  We are asking that force feeding be stopped, that Strikers be given water and that abusive Sgt Beahm be fired . In solidarity with WISDOM who is collecting bottled water to donate to Prisoners in WCI and FLCI, We are delivering the bottled water.
 

We will meet up outside of the city of Waupun by 3:30 (location TBD) and all arrive downtown together.

We will have speakers and a rally starting at the public library parking lot across from the .

We will march around the prison, staying on sidewalks for safety, waving banners and signs, and chanting. We hope that prisoners will be able to hear us over the 20 foot wall surrounding the facility. Chance (who did time there) says the prisoners will not be able to see us because of the wall.

We will bring the water donated by WISDOM members to the gates and ask them to give it to the prisoners. If they do not accept it, or convince us that they will actually give it to the prisoners rather than throwing it in a landfill, we will instead give the water to a friend who is organizing community defense and safety patrols in the Sherman Park Neighborhood to give to kids in the park on hot days.
_____________________-

 

You are invited to an important event: Thirsting for Justice
Thursday, August 11
6:00 to 8:00 pm
St. Francis Catholic Church, 1928 N. 4th St., Milwaukee, WI


The event will call attention to the multiple systems problems in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, highlighting the poor, perhaps dangerous quality of the water in some older Wisconsin prisons. 

Besides the problem of Contaminated Water, you will hear explanations and first-person testimonials about:

Excessive Crimeless Revocations, resulting in thousands of prison admissions each year for people who have not been convicted (or in many cases charged) with a crime;

  • Lack of Compassionate Release for elderly and seriously ill inmates;
  • A broken Parole System, keeping many long-term parole eligible people in prison far beyond the time envisioned by the judges who sentenced them in the last century;
  • Excessive use of Solitary Confinement.

Those who attend are invited to bring packs or cases of bottled water.  These will be loaded on a truck and delivered to Fox Lake Correctional Institution.  Fox Lake has a troubled history with contaminated water, and WISDOM members hope the donation will not only give prisoners and staff clean drinking water for a part of the summer, but will also serve as a sign that people on the “outside” remember and care about those on the “inside.” 

Please join us on August 11 to learn and to join our voices in a call to reform a very troubled Corrections system.
 

  • While you are at it, mark your calendar for September 21 when SOPHIA and EXPO will sponsor a forum on Criminal Justice at the New Berlin Public Library, 7-8:30 p.m.

                                                                      http://wisconsinwatch.org/2016/07/judge-refuses-to-halt-force-feeding-of-inmate-in-solitary-confinement-protest/

Friday, August 5, 2016

Milwaukee IWOC calls for a national day of action in solidarity with the Dying to Live hunger strike at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI).

…Well the past few days have been hard. Apart from the pain, humiliation, and sick process I have to go through 3 times per day in this force-feeding, I am okay. The weather though make it hard. It makes you dizzy and sick. Plus it makes you hungry as well. I try not to think of food or else you break,”
Cesar DeLeon’s most recent letter to Milwaukee IWOC.
Cesar DeLeon and LaRon McKinley-Bey began refusing food on June 7. They called their protest Dying to Live, and demanded an end to indefinite solitary confinement, what the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) calls Administrative Confinement (AC). On June 17 the DOC requested and got approval to force feed the hunger striking prisoners.
Milwaukee IWOC (The Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing Committee of the IWW) has been supporting this protest, in coalition with other groups for 60 days now. We have marched on the DOC twice, held rallies in Milwaukee and Madison, shamed DOC Secretary Jon Litscher at a public meeting he chaired, passed out hundreds of flyers and held banners over freeways many times. The DOC has conceded nothing, and conditions for the prisoners have remained abysmal.
June 10, Milwaukee, Photo credit: Sam Caravana. Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
June 10, Milwaukee, Photo credit: Sam Caravana. Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
Now Milwaukee IWOC is calling for national solidarity and mobilization to back up our next action. On Aug 13, we will mobilize against the WI DOC and we need others amplify the signal and make the Dying to Live protest a national issue.

Why get invovled?



Cesar DeLeon is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) a militant labor union who’s slogan is “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”. Cesar and LaRon have had tubes shoved down their noses to force bottles of ensure into their stomachs well over 100 times at this point. For a while, the staff doctor had advised that feeding three times a day was excessive, and changed the practice to once every couple of days, so we’re not clear on the actual number of
tube feedings.
Admitting that tube feeding three times a day is excessive is the closest DOC staff has come to approaching the ethical position of the global medical community on force feeding, which is: force feeding should never be done, it is dangerous and unethical. See this article for more information and the force feeding positions of the American Medical Association, The Red Cross, the World Medical Association and the United Nations. From the sound of Cesar’s latest letter, the DOC has over-ruled the doctor’s admission and resumed tube feeding three times a day. This is absolutely not medically necessary, and it never was, the only possible motivation for the tube feeding is to inflict pain on the prisoners to coerce them into giving up their protest. That is the dictionary definition of torture.










Cesar DeLeon, from WI DOC video
Cesar DeLeon, from WI DOC video
Cesar’s letter goes on: “Guards and nurses want to see this end. They claim to be short on staff and we are jamming them up even though is only two of us. They’re so desperate that they offered to let us drink the fluids on our own rather than tube-feeding it to us because if we take it voluntarily they don’t have to record it, have supervisors present, do vitals, and so forth. But we decline their offer.”
The DOC got approval from Dodge County Circuit Court Judges Brian Pfitzinger, and Steven Bauer to torture their captives like this for another six months. Nurse Ann Slinger and Dr Jeffery Manlodt testified on behalf of the DOC in Cesar’s hearing. Their practices are a clear violation of medical ethics, including the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm” but as employees of the DOC, medical ethics must not concern them.
The DOC is also allowing notorious sadist guard Joseph Beahm to assist in the medical procedures. In the video of Cesar’s tube feeding from June 20 Beahm attempts to assault Cesar. What you see in the video is a nurse inserting a tube in Cesar’s right nostril while Beahm holds a
plastic cup and straw to his mouth. By drinking water while the tube is being inserted, Cesar reduces the chance that the tube will tear his esophagus, or enter his trachea and fill his lungs with liquid nutrition, rather than his stomach.
What you don’t see in the video is Joseph Beahm pulling the cup of water away at the vital moment. You see Cesar react, asking “why did you do that?” and then insist that another medical
professional replace Beahm, but you don’t really see why, because
according to Cesar, the video was altered. There is a momentary skip in the video at that 5:05, evidence of tampering to conceal Beahm’s movement (if you look at the movement of the guard behind Cesar’s chair, the cut
is easier to see)
. State’s attorney Gloria Thomas for the DOC requested that the court not release the video to the public, but in a rare example of not doing whatever the DOC asked of him, Judge Steven Bauer ordered the video be released. We are trying to get it investigated for tampering.
Other prisoners have participated in the Dying to Live hunger strike, and also gone on parallel
hunger strikes
with less ambitious demands,
but repression and force feedings have often been effective at shutting down protests. Cesar and LaRon report that their noses have been broken or bloodied repeatedly during the procedure. Uhuru Mutawakkil, another hunger strike leader resumed eating after the first force feeding, and has focused on suing the DOC over the practice helping draft policy recommendations to end Administrative Confinement. Joshua Scolman, who has a deviated septum, was hospitalized after the DOC broke a blood vessel in his face trying to force the tube down his nose.
When Ronald Lang received the court order authorizing force feeding he refused. He said he would fight them, that they would have to beat him unconscious before he would let them put the tube down his nose. The DOC offered to let him take ensure by mouth instead, which he accepted. Now he is moved from his solitary cell to a cage for 30 minutes once a day to drink three cans of ensure and an equal amount of water. When the DOC offered Cesar and LaRon a similar deal their response was: We are on a food refusal strike. We ain’t taking anything voluntarily until we accomplish our objective, which is to put a one year cap on the use ofadministration confinement (long term solitary confinement).”
The DOC has been silent on the issue. Call in campaigns, questions from journalists, family members, angry crowds, and even elected officials have all been referred to DOC public relations officer Tristan Cook, who only says “we are aware and monitoring the situation.” The two times we’ve confronted him in person, he repeats that or other dodges for about three questions, then turns around and walks away in response to a fourth.

Meanwhile, mainstream media coverage still repeats the misleading public statements from the DOC that they have limited solitary confinement to 90 days. This is blatantly false information. In actuality, solitary confinement in the DOC is indefinite. LaRon McKinley has been in solitary for over two decades. What the DOC calls “Restrictive Confinement” was recently limited to ninety days, but “Administrative Confinement” currently has no cap. Any other differences between the two seem to be mostly semantic. 
The Coalition of Prisoner Support questioning Tristan Cook at Central Office. Photo credit Cobern Dukehart, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
The Coalition of Prisoner Support questioning Tristan Cook at Central Office. Photo credit Cobern Dukehart, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Milwaukee IWOC’s support efforts have included robust collaboration and coalition building with
other statewide groups, the Forum For Understanding Prisoners (FFUP),
ExPrisoners Organizing, The WISDOM Network, and Prison Action Milwaukee (PAM) have all endorsed and supported the protest. We’ve gotten liberal lawmakers to call in and do wellness checks, to visit Cesar DeLeon, and to begin the process of introducing legislation. None of these moves have produced substantive results, and we cannot endure the thought that Cesar and LaRon will continue to suffer force feedings and assaults by staff for the months or years that it would take to reform the system by litigation or legislation.
Hunger strikes are not easy. They hurt like hell and they can even damage your organs. And that is what everyone is scared of…I don’t blamethem. No one wants to be the sacrificial lamb, but sometimes you have to think of others as well. Che Guevara live his life based upon three principles, “Social Awareness,” “Personal Example,” and “Self-Sacrifice,” and I too now have chosen to live mine with those principles. I hope others will follow.” – Cesar DeLeon

How to get invovled?

If you are in Milwaukee, meet us at the Upark lot on Humbolt just north of Capitol at one PM. We will provide transport to Waupun from there and be back in town by 6PM. If you are elsewhere in Wisconsin or have questions contact iww.milwaukee@gmail.com for more information.
If you are outside of Wisconsin, or can’t take action with your body on Aug 13 here are some
suggestions:
Call DOC officials.

Begin calling today, but make sure you call on the weekend of August 13. Do not let people refer you to Tristan Cook, insist on leaving a message for the person in question. We want their  voicemail boxes to be overflowing Monday morning, and Tristan Cook’s entire job appears to consist of turning his back on public inquiries. 
-call WCI, ask to speak to Warden Brian Foster. Demand that Foster cease the force feedings, that he encourage the DOC to meet the prisoner’s demands, and that he fire sadist guard Joseph Beahm. Contact Brian Foster here: (920) 324-5571
-call DOC Secretary Jon Litscher and demand that he end the practices of force feeding protesting prisoners, that he cap administrative confinement at one year, and that he fire sadist guard Joseph Beahm. Contact Litscher here: 608-240-5000 and docweb@wi.gov
-call Green Bay CI Warden Scott Ekstein and demand that he meet and negotiate with hunger strikers Howard Brown and Devon Armor and that he fire sadist guard Captain Schultz. Contact Ekstein here: (920) 432-4877 and read more about the heartbreaking situation in Green Bay here.
Spread the word
Share this article, or the articles linked within it. Tell journalists, friends, family, anyone about what is going on in Wisconsin. Get off the internet and hold solidarity rallies, flyer outings, banner drops or other actions wherever you are. Make 50 days of force feeding, endless solitary torture and the absence of accountability in the WI DOC a nation-wide conversation.
If you are in Wisconsin, call lawmakers on the oversight committees and ask them to do more to pressure the DOC into resolving the situation. Let them know where you live in Wisconsin, also feel free to contact your own representatives.
-Senate Justice and Public Safety Committee Chair Van Wangaard (R -Racine) 608-266-1832. Sympathetic committee member: Lena Taylor (D – Milwaukee) 608-266-5810.
Assembly Committee on Corrections Chair Rob Hutton (R – Brookfield) 608-267-9836 Sympathetic committee members: Mandela Barnes (D – Milwaukee) (608) 266-3756 David
Bowen (D – Milwaukee) 608-266-7671

Write to the prisoners
Here is a list of everyone we know of who has participated in or told us about the recent hunger strike activities in Wisconsin. Milwaukee IWOC stands in solidarity with all prisoners resisting the torture of solitary confinement, regardless of what form their protest takes, or how many days it lasts. The more mail these prisoners get, the more encouragement they and others will have to stand up to the guards.
Also, staff who sort and read the mail will see your letter as sign that these prisoners are supported. The mailroom staff are also censors, and in Wisconsin, the censors are very aggressive. If you mention a protest, use the words hunger strike, or otherwise acknowledge the reality of resistance against the DOC’s torture program, the mail will likely be (illegally) blocked by the DOC, because this institution is like a petulant child who shoves their fingers in their ears to block out truths they don’t want to admit. We need to raise the volume of that truth telling until they can block it out no longer.
Milwaukee IWOC calls for a national day of action in solidarity with the Dying to Live hunger strike at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI).

…Well the past few days have been hard. Apart from the pain, humiliation, and sick process I have to go through 3 times per day in this force-feeding, I am okay. The weather though make it hard. It makes you dizzy and sick. Plus it makes you hungry as well. I try not to think of food or else you break,”
- Cesar DeLeon's most recent letter to Milwaukee IWOC.

Cesar DeLeon and LaRon McKinley-Bey began refusing food on June 7. They called their protest Dying to Live, and demanded an end to indefinite solitary confinement, what the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) calls Administrative Confinement (AC). On June 17 the DOC requested and got approval to force feed the hunger striking prisoners.

Milwaukee IWOC (The Incarcerated Worker's Organizing Committee of the IWW) has been supporting this protest, in coalition with other groups for 60 days now. We have marched on the DOC twice, held rallies in Milwaukee and Madison, shamed DOC Secretary Jon Litscher at a public meeting he chaired, passed out hundreds of flyers and held banners over freeways many times. The DOC has conceded nothing, and conditions for the prisoners have remained abysmal.

(caption: Credit: Sam Caravana. Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinal)

Now Milwaukee IWOC is calling for national solidarity and mobilization to back up our next action. On Aug 13, we will mobilize against the WI DOC and we need others amplify the signal and make the Dying to Live protest a national issue.


Why get invovled?
Cesar DeLeon is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) a militant labor union who's slogan is “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”. Cesar and LaRon have had tubes shoved down their noses to force bottles of ensure into their stomachs well over 100 times at this point. For a while, the staff doctor had advised that feeding three times a day was excessive, and changed the practice to once every couple of days, so we're not clear on the actual number of tube feedings.

Admitting that tube feeding three times a day is excessive is the closest DOC staff has come to the ethical position of the global medical community on force feeding, which is: force feeding should never be done, it is dangerous and unethical. See this article for more information and the force feeding positions of the American Medical Association, The Red Cross, the World Medical Association and the United Nations. From the sound of Cesar's latest letter, the DOC has over-ruled the doctor's admission and resumed tube feeding three times a day. This is absolutely not medically necessary, and it never was, the only possible motivation for the tube feeding is to inflict pain on the prisoners to coerce them into giving up their protest. That is the dictionary definition of torture.


(caption: Cesar DeLeon, from WI DOC video)

Cesar's letter goes on: “Guards and nurses want to see this end. They claim to be short on staff and we are jamming them up even though is only two of us. They’re so desperate that they offered to let us drink the fluids on our own rather than tube-feeding it to us because if we take it voluntarily they don’t have to record it, have supervisors present, do vitals, and so forth. But we decline their offer.”
The DOC got approval from Dodge County Circuit Court Judges Brian Pfitzinger, and Steven Bauer to torture their captives like this for another six months. Nurse Ann Slinger and Dr Jeffery Manlodt testified on behalf of the DOC in Cesar's hearing. Their practices are a clear violation of medical ethics, including the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm” but as employees of the DOC, medical ethics must not concern them.

The DOC is also allowing notorious sadist guard Joseph Beahm to assist in the medical procedures. In the video of Cesar's tube feeding from June 20 Beahm attempts to assault Cesar. What you see in the video is a nurse inserting a tube in Cesar's right nostril while Beahm holds a plastic cup and straw to his mouth. By drinking water while the tube is being inserted, Cesar reduces the chance that the tube will tear his esophagus, or enter his trachea and fill his lungs with liquid nutrition, rather than his stomach.

What you don't see in the video is Joseph Beahm pulling the cup of water away at the vital moment. You see Cesar react, asking “why did you do that?” and then insist that another medical professional replace Beahm, but you don't really see why, because according to Cesar, the video was altered. There is a momentary skip in the video at that 5:05, evidence of tampering to conceal Beahm's movement (if you look at the movement of the guard behind Cesar's chair, the skip is easier to see). State's attorney Gloria Thomas requested that the court not release the video to the public, but in a rare example of not doing whatever the DOC asked of him, Judge Steven Bauer ordered the video be released. We are trying to get it analyzed.
Other prisoners have participated in the Dying to Live hunger strike, and also gone on parallel hunger strikes with less ambitious demands, but repression and force feedings have often been effective at shutting down protests. Cesar and LaRon report that their noses have been broken or bloodied repeatedly during the procedure. Uhuru Mutawakkil, another hunger strike leader resumed eating after the first force feeding, and has focused on suing the DOC over the practice helping draft policy recommendations to end Administrative Confinement. Joshua Scolman, who has a deviated septum, was hospitalized after the DOC broke a blood vessel in his face trying to force the tube down his nose.

When Ronald Lang received the court order authorizing force feeding he refused.
He said he would fight them, that they would have to beat him unconscious before he would let them put the tube down his nose. The DOC offered to let him take ensure by mouth instead, which he accepted. Now he is moved from his solitary cell to a cage for 30 minutes once a day to drink three cans of ensure and an equal amount of water. When the DOC offered Cesar and LaRon a similar deal their response was: We are on a food refusal strike. We ain’t taking anything voluntarily until we accomplish our objective, which is to put a one year cap on the use of administration confinement (long term solitary confinement).” The DOC has been silent on the issue. Call in campaigns, questions from journalists, family members, angry crowds, and even elected officials have all been referred to DOC public relations officer Tristan Cook, who only says “we are aware and monitoring the situation.” The two times we've confronted him in person, he repeats that or other dodges for about three questions, then turns around and walks away in response to a fourth.

Meanwhile, mainstream media coverage still repeats the misleading public statements from the DOC that they have limited solitary confinement to 90 days. This is false. In actuality, solitary confinement in the DOC is indefinite, “Restrictive Confinement” is limited to ninety days, but “Administrative Confinement” can last years, or decades, other differences between the two are mostly semantic. Hunger striker LaRon McKinley has been locked down like this for over 24 consecutive years.

(Caption: Milwaukee IWOC with the Coalition of Prisoner Support questioning Tristan Cook at Central Office. Photo credit Cobern Dukehart, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)
Milwaukee IWOC's support efforts have included robust collaboration and coalition building with other statewide groups, the Forum For Understanding Prisoners (FFUP), ExPrisoners Organizing, The WISDOM Network, and Prison Action Milwaukee (PAM) have all endorsed and supported the protest. We've gotten liberal lawmakers to call in and do wellness checks, to visit Cesar DeLeon, and to begin the process of introducing legislation. None of these moves have produced substantive results, and we cannot endure the thought that Cesar and LaRon will continue to suffer force feedings and assaults by staff for the months or years that it would take to reform the system by litigation or legislation.

Hunger strikes are not easy. They hurt like hell and they can even damage your organs. And that is what everyone is scared of…I don’t blame them. No one wants to be the sacrificial lamb, but sometimes you have to think of others as well. Che Guevara live his life based upon three principles, “Social Awareness,” “Personal Example,” and “Self-Sacrifice,” and I too now have chosen to live mine with those principles. I hope others will follow.” - Cesar DeLeon


How to get invovled?

If you are in Milwaukee, meet us at the Upark lot on Humbolt just north of Capitol at one PM. We will caravan to Waupun from there and be back in town by 6PM. If you are elsewhere in Wisconsin or have questions contact iww.milwaukee@gmail.com for more information.

If you are outside of Wisconsin, or can't take action with your body on Aug 13 here are
some suggestions:

Call DOC officials.

Begin calling today, but make sure you call on the weekend of August 13. Do not let people refer you to Tristan Cook, insist on leaving a message for the person in question. We want their voicemail boxes to be overflowing Monday morning, and Tristan Cook's entire job appears to consist of turning his back on public inquiries.

-call WCI, ask to speak to Warden Brian Foster. Demand that Foster cease the force feedings, that he encourage the DOC to meet the prisoner's demands, and that he fire sadist guard Joseph Beahm. Contact Brian Foster here: (920) 324-5571

-call DOC Secretary Jon Litscher and demand that he end the practices of force feeding protesting prisoners, that he cap administrative confinement at one year, and that he fire sadist guard Joseph Beahm. Contact Litscher here: 608-240-5000 and docweb@wi.gov

-call Green Bay CI Warden Scott Ekstein and demand that he meet and negotiate with hunger strikers Howard Brown and Devon Armor and that he fire sadist guard Captain Schultz. Contact Ekstein here: (920) 432-4877 and read more about the heartbreaking situation in Green Bay here.


Spread the word

Share this article, or the articles linked within it. Tell journalists, friends, family, anyone about what is going on in Wisconsin. Get off the internet and hold solidarity rallies, flyer outings, banner drops or other actions wherever you are. Make 50 days of force feeding, endless solitary torture and the absence of accountability in the WI DOC a nation-wide conversation.

If you are in Wisconsin, call lawmakers on the oversight committees and ask them to do more to pressure the DOC into resolving the situation. Let them know where you live in Wisconsin, also feel free to contact your own representatives.

-Senate Justice and Public Safety Committee Chair Van Wangaard (R - Racine) 608-266-1832. Sympathetic committee member: Lena Taylor (D - Milwaukee) 608-266-5810.

- Assembly Committee on Corrections Chair Rob Hutton (R - Brookfield) 608-267-9836 Sympathetic committee members: Mandela Barnes (D – Milwaukee) (608) 266-3756 David Bowen (D – Milwaukee) 608-266-7671



Write to the prisoners

Here is
a list of everyone we know of who has participated in or told us about the recent hunger strike activities in Wisconsin. Milwaukee IWOC stands in solidarity with all prisoners resisting the torture of solitary confinement, regardless of what form their protest takes, or how many days it lasts. The more mail these prisoners get, the more encouragement they and others will have to stand up to the guards. Also, staff who sort and read the mail will see your letter as sign that these prisoners are supported. The mailroom staff are also censors, and in Wisconsin, the censors are very aggressive. If you mention a protest, use the words hunger strike, or otherwise acknowledge the reality of resistance against the DOC's torture program, the mail will likely be (illegally) blocked by the DOC, because this institution is like a petulant child who shoves their fingers in their ears to block out truths they don't want to admit. We need to raise the volume of that truth telling until they can block it out no longer.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Latest Letter From Cesar DeLeon


7/27/16

Hi.

Well the past few days have been hard. Apart from the pain, humiliation, and sick process I have to go through 3 times per day in this force-feeding, I am okay. The weather though make it hard. It makes you dizzy and sick. Plus it makes you hungry as well. I try not to think of food or else you break. Guards and nurses want to see this end. They claim to be short on staff and we are jamming them up even though is only two of us. They’re so desperate that they offered to let us drink the fluids on our own rather than tube-feeding it to us because if we take it voluntarily they don’t have to record it, have supervisors present, do vitals, and so forth. But we decline their offer. We are on a food refusal strike. We ain’t taking anything voluntarily until we accomplish our objective, which is to put a one year cap on the use of administration confinement (long term solitary confinement).