2018 National Prison Strike: Ohio

2018 National Prison Strike: Ohio
Toledo Correctional Institution, Toledo, Ohio August 21, 2018- September 17, 2018 (exact end date uncertain). Ohio State Penitentiary, Youngstown, Ohio July 28 – August 7, 2018 (exact end date of hunger strike uncertain) According to Central Ohio IWOC, at least two prisoners at Toledo Correctional Institution, David Easley and James Ward, went on hunger strike on August 21, 2018 in response to a call for a national prison strike and in protest of violence by correctional officers at their institution and lack of healthcare for prisoners. According to IWOC, Toledo Correctional confirms that some prisoners are refusing meals but does not confirm how many.
Central Ohio IWOC, Facebook, August 24, 2018. Screenshot by Perilous, September 20, 2018.
Although it is uncertain how long the initial hunger strike lasted, IWOC announced that the strike began again on September 14, this time joined by a third prisoner, Matt Hinkston. An anonymous outside supporter sent the following message to IWOC regarding the strike:
“David Easley, James Ward, and another person named Matt Hinkston are going back on hunger strike Friday 9/14 to protest 1) ongoing national demands/solidarity with prisoners and strikers everywhere 2) retaliation against them, like Ward and Easley are in separate isolation units in retaliation for involved in the A21 strike 3) lack of mental health support; prisoners with mental health issues are being thrown in solitary without access to medication regularly.”
On Monday, September 17, members of the Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo held a demonstration outside the prison, calling attention to the retaliation they say Ward and Easley face. According to the group, Easley and Ward were placed in solitary confinement as a result of the hunger strike. At the Ohio State Penitentiary, according to reports from prisoner Greg Curry via Lucasville Amnesty, one block of the prison engaged in a collective protest that included work refusal. According to Curry, “several” prisoners also engaged in a 3-day hunger strike. From Greg Curry’s statement:
“Meanwhile, the low wage cops harassing us looking to create problems. So Enough prisoners that recognized this decided to start protest that include refusing to work! of course the cops went to there SPECIAL INMATES to get them to cross the Pickett line but that was frowned upon so the pod is looking like we’re HELD AGAINST OUR WILL! IMAGINE THAT.” “As this strike took place ahead of the nationally planned Black August dates [for the National Prison Strike] but for 3 weeks this strike was every bit Black August inspired and I hope we made all our comrades past and present Proud. That pod was shut down, the administration wanted to hear OUR concerns, no one crossed the Pickett line, and although I was put in the hole, and LOST personal property the whole pod was relocated to bust the spirit!!! Here now several of us did 3 day fast while refusing to spend money with commissary during the national protest. I have heard in other parts of this prison there is also hunger strikes / commissary boycotts but I can’t confirm this due to the insulation of each section.”
Outside supporters organized multiple phone zaps to support Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan, who went on hunger strike on July 28, 2018 after being restricted from phone access and charged with various rule violations associated with his alleged efforts to organize around the National Prison Strike. On August 12 the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) put Hasan before a Serious Misconduct Panel and found him guilty of “Rioting, or encouraging others to riot” and “Engaging in or encouraging a group demonstration or work stoppage” using a process that, according to Lucasville Amnesty, violated ODRC due process policies. Please note: The information on collective protest and work refusal at OSP rely on a single source. If you have more information on this event, please email us at perilouschronicle [at] protonmail [dot] com or send us a message via our contact form.
Local activist group supports prison inmates during hunger strikeThe Blade, September 17, 2018. “Siddique Abdullah Hasan on Hunger Strike,” LucasvilleAmnesty.org, July 31, 2018. “Work stopped at Ohio State Penitentiary,” LucasvilleAmnesty.org, August 8, 2018. “Hasan ends hunger strike, awaits serious misconduct panel,” LucasvilleAmnesty.org, August 10, 2018. “Hasan railroaded, Greg released,” LucasvilleAmnesty.org, August 15, 2018. “Imam Hasan’s serious misconduct panel documents“, LucasvilleAmnesty.org, August 29, 2018. “Black August at OSP“, LucasvilleAmnesty.org, September 10, 2018.

Hungerstrike back on in Toledo CI“, Industrial Workers Organizing Committee, September 13, 2018.

IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (@incarceratedworkers) September 13, 2018. UPDATE ON HUNGERSTRIKERS AT TOLEDO C.I. [Facebook Post]. Accessed January 9, 2019. IWOC‏ @IWW_IWOC. August 23, 2018. Confirmed hunger strike activitiy at Toledo CI, OH. David Easley and James Ward are on hunger strike in solidarity with the national #A21 demands and in protest of violence by COs and lack of health care. (statement via support contacts). [Tweet]. Accessed January 9, 2019.