Thursday, August 18, 2016
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:
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,
p.s. will write again soon. Thanks for the 2 cards.
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 —