Report from prisoner led formation Tx TeamOne, about ongoing hunger strike happening inside the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Originally published on Abolition Media Worldwide.
On August 21st, 2021, over 60 imprisoned persyns in TDCJ’s Allred unit, Restrictive Housing Unit, declared a hunger strike in protest of the continued conditions, and existence of long term and indefinite sensory deprivation. Since these brave individuals, anchored by Tx T.E.A.M.O.N.E. (a revolutionary prisoners’ formation) began their strike, they’ve experienced various forms of petty retaliation tactics from prison officials/guards, and medical personnel.
Furthermore, after declaring that they would continue the hunger strike until they received an audience with executive director Brian Collier and regional director David Blackwell, the inmates have been completely ignored by the administration. Their communications have been unacknowledged.
This experience of the prisoners here has shown that the state cares not about its most oppressed internal population. These inmates are systematically alienated and upon seeking recognition of their humynity, have been completely ignored, not even worthy of acknowledgement.
And what do these inmates want that is SO extreme or far fetched?
They’ve demanded phones be installed in the housing area, which will allow for the 15 minute calls allowed each persyn not in solitary. They’ve asked for rehabilitation, and educational opportunities. They’ve asked for the opportunity to socialize with each other via a small group recreation.
Are these things so far fetched? And if they’re too much for the administration to handle, these prisoners demand to be released from the continued torture that is extended isolation.
Below, we’ve listed a few, not all of the retaliatory tactics taken by the administration since this strike began on the 21st:
- During the first week, administration denied inmates opportunity to call home, an attempt to prevent news from leaking out.
- During the first weekend, medical refused to see any strikers the entire weekend, which is against hunger strike management policy G-53.3, which states that each day, strikers should be seen by medical after they’ve missed 9 meals.
- Administration has been purposely interrupting strikers and inside supporters’ sleep, keeping us over 20 hours, as they come in the wee hours of the morning to inventory the items in our cells.
- One Tx TEAMONE committee member was ordered to show his anus if he wished to see medical; when he refused and asked to speak to a ranking official, he was placed on strip cell status, or property restriction, which means ALL his persynal, as well as the state’s property was taken from him, and he was made to remain naked in a cold and isolated cell, simply for not submitting to the inhumane measures of a search.
As of the date of this writing (9/5/21), these prisoners are still on hunger strike. The only thing that has come out of their sacrifice is more repression from the state, along with a small token of a 1 hour increase in COVID restricted visitation, which was part of the strikers’ nine minimum demands.
Reach out to these comrades behind the walls at:
Tx TeamOne/ 113 Stockholm, #1A/ Brooklyn, NY 11221
Also, see their ‘Tx TeamOne Primer’: https://www.amwenglish.com/articles/texas-team-one-primer/.
Tx T.E.A.M.O.N.E. is already looking forward to advancing their struggle against the Tx state prison system through a statewide campaign which they’ve already began organizing for June 2022…
photo: Hédi Benyounes via Unsplash