Phone Calls With Fuckweasels

phoneweaselYou may not understand Sean’s hungerstrike and impending refusal of medication. “Freedom or Death” for the prison industrial complex’s monopoly equivalent of Skype might seem  a little extreme to you. Well, this post is here to explain why this struggle matters and means more than that.

For the last week, many of us have been calling various prison officials regarding Sean’s hunger strike. If annoying them enough to get them to pass the buck to someone else is any indicator, this call-in campaign is working.

Warden Forshay at OSP told supporters that he had nothing to do with pulling the video visits. He said they were pulled by DRC Investigator Paul Schumacher. You can call Warden Forshay at 330-743-0700, ext 2006, and he’ll tell you to call someone else.

Schumacher  told Sean’s lawyer a bunch of lies about how he cancelled the video visit because the automatic keyword search system used to monitor JPay correspondence flagged some of Sean’s emails. For funny stories about how we know this is a lie, see below.

Other than Sean’s lawyer, Paul Schumacher didn’t answer the phone or return calls to anyone until after an Anarchist News post invited people to call his voicemail and “say whatever you want”. Then he answered the phone and said he can’t say anything other than to tell people who ask about Sean Swain ought to call Assistant Attorney General, Thomas C Miller. Then we asked him a few more questions and he told us a few more things, things he’d just said he wasn’t supposed to say. He even slipped up and kinda admitted he was instructed to pull the visits. Which is obvious anyway. Anyway, if you wanna chat with Paul and see if he’s got anything else to say, you can call 614-728-1152, but if he answers, he’s probably just gonna tell you to call Thomas Miller.

So the buck has been passed to Thomas Miller, the defender of Trevor Clark and half a dozen other ODRC officials who Sean is suing. Rick Kerger is working on the issue with Miller and the courts. Kerger is filing a restraining order against ODRC officials interfering with Sean’s communication, so we’re working through the courts on this, but, like any interaction with an illegitimate and unresponsive justice system, our best bet is public opinion. Call Thomas Miller and tell him to stop restricting Sean’s communication and to settle the lawsuit. Phone: 614-644-7233. Email: Fax: 614-578-9963 Mail / visit: 150 East Gay Street, 16th Floor, Columbus OH 43215-6001

And this is why the video visits are important. This issue is not just about video visits, it’s also the current front in an years long ongoing battle with the ODRC. If we don’t demonstrate that Sean has supporters who are willing to make life inconvenient for the fuckweasels who’re messing with him, then they’ll take that as tacit permission to go back to starving him, holding him in a torture cell, and beating him. If we demonstrate our power and support, they’ll drop the lawsuit and Sean will go back to medium security, where he can get programs for parole, and will be free to focus on over-turning his original conviction. The state’s hold on Sean is based on a tenuous web of lies. Waiting for Rick Kerger to force the courts to dismantle that web, one lie at a time, will take years. Standing up for Sean, making the fuckweasels’ phones ring off the hook, and otherwise exerting pressure will break their resolve and get them to give up. We’ve got to make them get tired of killing Sean before he gets tired of dying.

Speaking of lies, here’s the story behind Paul Schumacher’s story. Schumacher told Rick Kerger that he cancelled the video visits because the system flagged correspondence in which Sean 1. threatened to bomb the statehouse and 2. shared the licence plate of ODRC Warden Terry Tibbals. None of these things are true.

1. If the system worked this way, Sean’s communication would be flagged constantly. Neither of these cited examples is unusual for Sean’s communication. He’s been openly and explicitly advocating violence in correspondence to Ben and others (including public officials) for years. These things are par for the course when it comes to Sean’s legally protected free speech, they are not exceptional. More importantly, they are not true.
2. Sean never threatened to bomb the Ohio statehouse.
That’s not in his correspondence at all. He did issue executive orders as Ohio’s Governor-in-Exile that the Ohio Statehouse be burned to the ground. Clearly this is a satirical and absurd statement of a desire, made through a fictional character, not a real  plot or a credible threat to damage any building. Nothing Sean said would help his friends on the outside succeed in burning the statehouse down.
3. Sean did not share Warden Tibbals’ license plate number. He did make fun of the fact that Warden Tibbals (an out of shape middle aged white guy) has a vanity license plate that says “black lightning”. The things is, “Black Lightning” is 14 letters long. Vanity license plates are limited to seven characters. There are at least half a dozen different ways seven of the 14 letters in black lightning could be removed to make a vanity plate. Sean telling us that Tibbals told him that his licence plate said “Black Lightning”  only narrows down the possibilities of what Tibbals’ licence plate says. I supposed we could try and list them, and guess, but it’s would be a lot easier to just go to London Correctional Institution and read it off the car parked in the spot marked “Warden”. Which brings us to…
4. Even if Schumacher’s story were true, these would not be credible threats. If Tibbals was scared of Sean, or Sean’s supporters knowing what his license plate was, then perhaps he should not have told Sean what his license plate was. Unlike all the rest of us, Sean can’t go out to the parking lot and look at the warden’s car, he had to be told by the warden, what the car was. If people finding the license plates of wardens was a real security concern, they wouldn’t park their cars in public lots in spaces marked Warden. Also, let’s just pretend that Sean HAD issued a bomb threat. He is locked in Ohio’s most secure prison, if they think he can acquire bomb making materials and transport them to the Ohio Statehouse to make good on his threat, then they’ve got bigger security concerns than some video visits, right?
5. Cancelling video visits is not a logical or sensible response. If Sean’s communication via email prior to Jan 30th was in some legitimate way inappropriate, wouldn’t that mean he should be restricted from email access? Instead, they only took away a form of communication he has not used yet. This is either prior restraint of free and protected speech, or punishment after the fact for free and protected speech. It does not serve any kind of legitimate security or penalogical interest, and is therefore illegal and unacceptable to court precedent.