Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Perilous Podcast. Recently our capacity for producing podcasts has fallen off a bit. We send our apologies to our listeners for the gap in episodes. This month, we bring you an audio version of our article on the death of anarchist prisoner Brian McCarvill, who tragically died from COVID while still inside, on his 68th birthday. Our sincere condolences to those who knew Brian.
We would also like to take this time to let you all know about a new website for indigenous Yaqui land defender, Fidencio Aldama Perez, from the northern Mexican state of Sonora. He is currently sentenced to 15 years and six months on trumped up charges. More info can be found in both Spanish and English at fidencioaldama.org.
Before we get to the article, here’s some headlines:
- • Beginning on March 22, over 100 prisoners inside Eyman State Prison launched a hunger strike responding to “inedible food, bug infestations, and a lack of clean clothing”. The protestors are demanding improvements to these “unsanitary conditions.”
- On March 27 at the Oklahoma County Detention Center in Oklahoma City several prisoners attacked and then held hostage one guard. According to cell phone video footage aired on Oklahoma News 4 a prisoner explained that this was an act of protest. Prisoners inside the facility are experiencing a lack of adequate food and sanitation according to the video. One prisoner told a loved one after the incident “I knew this was going to happen, I’ve been telling you that they were upset because they weren’t getting enough food, we were all hungry, and they were about to riot”. Oklahoma City Police shot and killed one prisoner while responding to the incident, and the guard held hostage was hospitalized. Tear gas was used to subdue other prisoners. This incident comes after years of unrest, escapes, and prisoner deaths inside the facility.
- On March 31st, 92 people held at the Sonoma County Jail in Santa Rosa, California launched a 4 day hunger strike to demand in person visitation with friends and family. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in-person visitation is now available at most facilities.
- In the first few days of April, Alexis Maurice and 5 other women prisoners at the Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Saskatchewan, CA launched a hunger strike to draw attention to the lack of access to healthcare and hygiene, mistreatment from staff, and failures of the grievance system. The hunger strike lasted for at least a week and a half, advocates from Beyond Prison Walls Canada and Inmates 4 Humane Conditions held a demonstration outside the walls in solidarity with the striking women.
- On Saturday, April 10th, prisoners at the Idaho State Correctional Center held in the housing unit known as H Block, Tier One, took control of the unit. According to the Idaho Department of Corrections, the disturbance began following an assault, the prisoners reportedly set fire to a trash can and destroyed property in the unit. 300 prisoners were evacuated due to the fires and 5 incarcerated people were transferred to the hospital for minor injuries. The unrest was quelled by late evening.
- On Saturday, April 17th, 3 prisoners escaped from the Estrella County Jail in Phoenix, AZ. All three men were re-captured shortly after by law enforcement, and one appeared to have an injured ankle.