This hunger strike started on the exact day the Lucasville uprising started 20 years ago:
For Immediate Release: Four Lucasville Uprising Prisoners on Hunger Strike.
April 11th, 2013, Youngstown, OH- Four prisoners housed at Ohio State Penitentiary began refusing food today. Greg Curry, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Bomani Shakur, who have been housed at OSP since it opened, are demanding that media outlets be allowed to come for sit-down on-camera interviews with them.
In a recorded announcement, Bomani Shakur described the hunger strike as a “protest [of] the state’s unfair and unreasonable refusal to grant us access to the media… I am an innocent man. This is injustice, the state of Ohio is trying to kill me.”
Numerous news sources have recently contacted the prisoners because of their involvement in the Lucasville Uprising twenty years ago. The hunger strike was timed with the anniversary of the uprising, along with a conference focused on taking another look at what happened in 1993.
“There are two important reasons for media access. The first is to humanize the prisoner… the second… [is to give] the prisoner a way to contribute to the search for truth about his alleged crimes” wrote long time prisoner advocate Staughton Lynd. “[When] a journalist and a prisoner can speak face to face… the reporter [can] ask follow-up questions as in a courtroom cross-examination.” Lynd also cites legal opinions that advocate a right for prisoners to speak to the media. See Staughton’s full statement at Re-ExaminingLucasville.org.
The prisoners announced the hunger strike during a brief informal telephone interview with The Associated Press, who ran an article on the eve of the hunger strike.
Siddique Abdullah Hasan (fka Carlos Sanders) and Jason Robb were convicted of complicity in the murder of the hostage guard officer Vallandingham and condemned to death. They maintain their innocence and argue that as negotiators of the agreement that ended the uprising, they actually avoided further loss of life.
Bomani Shakur (also known as Keith Lamar) and Greg Curry both surrendered on the first day of the uprising, but were charged and convicted of killing perceived snitches in the first hours of the disturbance. They both also maintain their innocence.
Greg Curry is serving a life sentence. Shakur has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Supporters of the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners have planned a three day conference memorializing the Lucasville Uprising and re-examining the investigations and prosecutions that produced these convictions. The Re-Examining Lucasville conference will take place at Columbus State Community College on the weekend of April 19th-21st.
Advocates, supporters are also encouraging supporters to call Warden David Bobby at OSP and request that he negotiate with and allow media access. Warden Bobby can be reached at 330-743-0700. Supporters can also write to the prisoners at the following addresses:
Greg Curry, ODRC nr: 213-159
Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders), ODRC nr: 130-559
Jason Robb, ODRC nr: 308-919
Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), ODRC nr: 317-117
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road,
Youngstown, OH 44505
CONTACT: Ben Turk
Also plz visit:
A new website was made for Greg Curry, who is serving a life sentence for his alleged role during the Lucasville riot of 1993. Greg went to trial because he knew he was innocent. Yet he was – just like others who went to court with their innocence claim – treated unfairly.
In Greg’s own words:
“With no idea of the political climate or the emotional climate of the southern Ohio area, I went, armed with my innocence. I wasn’t scheduled for trial first but I refused any delays, so I became the first accused rioter to be tried on murder charges. A case the state had to win. One inmate after another was put on the stand to “act out” on the prepared/prepaid lies that took 2 to 4 interviews with the prosecutor to manufacture.
Although some admitted felony behaviors during the riot including the star witness, Lou Jones who was in prison for murder and claimed to be an active member of the murder squad, yet wasn’t charged. In fact, he received and early release on his original murder conviction as a direct result of his testimony for the prosecution.”
Read the rest on Greg’s new site: this can be found here: Gregcurry.org
We added Essay 5 (October) and Essay 6 (November) of Staughton Lynd’s series Re-examining Lucasville here.
We added – following the Lucasville Amnesty site – the 4th essay of Staughton Lynd in the Re-examining Lucasville-series of essays leading up to the 20th Anniversary of the Lucasville uprising. Also added was the 21 Point Agreement following and ending the Lucasville uprising, under the heading Documents pertaining to the Lucasville prison uprising.
The British website 4WardEver Campaign UK (Supporting Campaigns for Justice) has made a page available for a summary, news and updates on the Lucasville prisoners, framed by the State:
About 4WardEver UK:
4WardEver UK was launched on 1st June 2006 by its founder, Tippa Naphtali, the cousin of Mikey Powell, who died in the custody of West Midlands police, Birmingham, UK in September 2003.
Our purpose is to provide a one-stop-resource for profiles, news, event details, appeals, and more in relation to deaths in custody and other injustices in the UK and internationally.
Thank you 4WardEver for doing what you do.
We made a video telling the story of Keith’s innocence in the Lucasville prison uprising murders, how he did not inform on others and was therefore indicted on five murders, solely convicted on the word of snitch testimony of people lying in court for a deal with the prosecution.
The link to the video on KeithLamar.org is here or click on the YouTube image!
From the Fight Back program on Talktainment Radio, podcast on 27th of June 2012. Hasan talks about the Lucasville 5 being framed. Please click here to go to the MP3 to listen.