Tag Archives: hunger strike


It was great to get Issue #2 of Wildfire, and I was even happier to read Michael Kimble’s letter which was, in part, a response to something I wrote in Issue #1. How cool that we have this forum to get this dialogue started– on whether or not hungerstrikes and work stoppages are reformist.

I wrote previously that hungerstrikes and work stoppages are categorically reformist, that by employing them, we seek concessions from those in state power but we do not attempt to eliminate state power entirely.

In his response, related to hungerstrikes, Michael Kimble points out that, at the time Issue #2 went to press, he and I were both on hungerstrikes– which is true. But, as always, our recourse to going hungry did not topple the hierarch enemy, but only made me a hypocrite.

A hungry one, at that.

So, in that sense, hungerstrikes are vindicated as a means for achieving small victories and concessions, but not as a means for bringing anything down.

In contrast, Michael brings up a scenario of a wide spread work stoppage where, if no one goes back to work, the system does collapse. Michael is right, of course, and what he describes is the anarcho-syndicalist dream, the work stoppage to end all work stoppages. The problem is, this has been a dream for centuries because it never materialized, in the free world or in prison. Continue reading

The Long-Delayed Conclusion: Medical “Observation” in the Dark


The Long-Delayed Conclusion: Medical “Observation” in the Dark


Welcome to hell.

Of the four “medical observation” cells, I was placed in the one where the other prisoners could not see me. The other three, prisoners can strain their necks to look at one another. The cell I was in, the entrance was set back behind a sink and counter area, isolating me completely even from other prisoners.

The cell door is plexiglass. Inside, the full array of luxuries that compliment the standard torture suite: a fibergass box where prior occupants were strapped down in five-point restraints… a ragged, bare mattress (perhaps with stuffing, perhaps not)… A steel sink-and-toilet combo (perhaps with remnants of prior occupants’ DNA smeared on it, perhaps not)… A half of a roll of toilet paper… A light blasting from the ceiling, all hours of the day and night… A four-inch window that looks out onto an obstruction, allowing no sunlight… A steel shower compartment the size of a phone booth carved into one wall… A camera, high up on the back wall, behind a reflective bubble that looks like a giant insect eye staring at you…

That’s it. The environment in which you will live until further notice.

Do NOT tip the bell-hop. Continue reading

Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain “Disappeared” by Prison Fascists, State of Health and Well-Being Unknown.

forsheyUPDATE: Email from Sean: “I’m out of the dungeon. Description of shenanigans to follow. I’m broke, so no $ on phone account to call. Thank you for everything. Sorry this is short, but I’m spent. Will write more later. You rock. Freedom, Sean.” Followed by this incomplete text. We don’t know if Sean’s demands have been met, if he’s off hungerstrike, or whether to make any more calls.

Ohio State Penitentiary administrators removed Sean Swain from population, according to a prisoner housed on Sean’s security level. He is now held incommunicado, without phone or email access, and likely without writing materials. When prison officials last removed Sean from population at Mansfield Correctional, he was placed in a torture cell with no heat, no bed, no shower, forced to pace 24 hours a day to stay warm. He left there sleep-deprived and hallucinating. Less than 90 days later, two other prisoners died on Torture Cell Row.

Sean initiated a hungerstrike on Monday, 02 February and refused blood pressure medication beginning Tuesday, 10 February. His health is likely already compromised, so placement in a torture cell, isolated from all other prisoners and cut off from the outside world, could only be initiated by prison officials for the obvious motive of eliminating Sean once and for all.

Sean, anticipating this possibility, explained, “The only thing to gain by isolating me is the opportunity to continue refusing me medications after I have agreed to start taking them again. In other words, isolating me gives them the chance to murder me without witnesses, something they can’t do while I’m in population.”

Prison officials would benefit greatly from the death of Sean Swain. Currently, Sean has a lawsuit filed through his counsel, Richard Kerger. This lawsuit threatens to expose the illegality of ODRC Director Gary Mohr’s JPay policy, that enriches a prison profiteer corporation; it threatens to expose the State’s recourse to torture, and a connection between the FBI and torture engineer Trevor Clark, who was disclosed as “agency liaison” to the FBI; it threatens to expose a not-so-secret dirty war waged by government against dissidents and critics, particularly of an anarchist perspective. Continue reading

How to Support Sean Swain’s Hungerstrike

weasel8Sean’s been on hungerstrike since Mon Feb 2nd, and without his blood pressure medication since Mon Feb 9th. He describes himself as “angry, stupid, and turning purple” in recent communication, which also includes speculative personality types of various ODRC and state officials, and descriptions of his rectal flame-throwing talents. It’s clear he’s still got his sense of humor even after 9 days without food.

Rick Kerger, Sean’s attorney is working on filling a restraining order, which should resolve all this, but legal channels move slow while our friend is starving himself, so we’ve been calling fuckweasels all week… And getting nothing but run-around.

The fuckweasels keep passing the buck and refusing to accept responsibility or admit who cancelled the visits, why, or who can un-cancel them. We suspect they’re slow walkin us, dragging their feet and waiting for Sean to die, or surrender.

Sean doesn’t surrender.

So, since we can’t find a pressure point to target, we’ve decided to adopt a shotgun approach. Call any and all of the following phone numbers, write letters and emails, do whatever you’ve got time and patience to do. It’ll mean a lot to Sean. The bigger the flood, the more they’ll regret it.

NOTE: in previous posts we suggested requesting your own video visit with Sean, forcing them to cancel a flood of requests. That won’t work anymore. JPay has blocked Sean from getting video visits, so you won’t get through. But, the first step is to request to add yourself to Sean’s visiting list, using this form. This is still a great sign of support and solidarity, esp if you live in Ohio and can actually visit Sean. Also, writing him is a great idea. A flood of visit requests and letters will show the ODRC that by fucking with Sean, they’re only making him and his incendiary viewpoint more popular and widely known. Also, we can promise that Sean is infintely more fun to talk to than any of the below Government Officials.

ON TO THE CALL LIST! Continue reading

Freedom or Death- Call-in Today!

[UPDATE: These support actions have proven fruitless. Thomas Miller is slow walking us, dragging his feet and waiting for Sean to die. JPay has blocked anyone from scheduling video visits with Sean.  Here are some better options.  You can still call Miller, cuz he loves talking without saying anything. He talked to my retired elementary school, dyed in the whool bleeding heart liberal mom for twenty minutes the other day, and pissed her off. Ohio tax payers must be paying him to sit around throwing pencils at the ceiling most days. Also, you can still apply to visit Sean, and write him letters, cuz that shows support, but don’t bother with JPay.]

Contact Thomas Miller, who has been put in charge of answering all inquiries regarding Sean.

Phone: 614-644-7233.
Email: thomas.miller@ohioattorneygeneral.gov
Fax: 614-578-9963
Mail / visit: 150 East Gay Street, 16th Floor, Columbus OH 43215-6001

With fascist fuckweasels ignoring his hungerstrike, anarchist prisoner Sean Swain has vowed to refuse his blood pressure medication, beginning February 9. This medication keeps his blood pressure regulated. To stop taking this medication “cold turkey” is extremely dangerous, as it could cause a spike in blood pressure which can lead to heart attack, stroke or aneurysm.

“Freedom or death,” Sean said. “I’m not fucking around.”

Fuckweasels have engaged in a concerted, provable pattern of harassing every element of Sean’s communication, waging a war against anarchist expression.

Within 48 hours of suspending his medication, Sean will be in serious danger of medical problems and anticipates he will soon be held incommunicado in a torture cell, in a fuckweasel effort to break his will and cut him off from the outside world. But, as he pointed out, that will not stop his blood pressure from spiking.

“Clock is ticking,” Sean said. “To quote Emiliano Zapata, ‘Mejor morir en pie que vivir en rodillas’ (‘Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees’). If my choice is to surrender to tyrants or risk my health or even my life, then my choices are to live for the wrong thing or die for the right one. In that situation, dig my grave.”

There are two important ways you can show support for Sean at this time. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Anarchist Prisoner Begins Dumb Hunger Strike (Sigh)

ghandi hs In response to cancellation of video visits with Ben Turk, anarchist prisoner Sean Swain announced a hungerstrike, commencing Monday, February 2, continuing until fuckweasels and JPay profiteers end their ideological harassment and repression of his video communication.
As soon as he made the announcement, he immediately regretted it because, in his words, “Hungerstrikes are stupid and reformist, but it’s the only leverage I have, so fuck it.” He added that he can stand to lose a few pounds anyway, especially given the unhealthy pile of food he has planned on Superbowl Sunday.
He has vowed to refuse solid foods until state terrorists and corporate profiteers refrain from the ongoing, childish attacks on his communication, even though, “Hungerstrikes are dumb. Fuck Gandhi. But I’m unarmed and vastly outnumbered (sigh). It’s not like I have other options.”
* * *

Support Sean’s Hunger Strike, Call the ODRC on Monday!

callcancelMonday morning February 2nd Sean Swain will start refusing meals until Ohio Department of Retribution and Corruption officials and JPay stop interfering with his communication with the outside world. Sean demands that he be given the same access to communication as any other prisoner, and that he not be further targeted for his deeply held anarchist beliefs.

Sean needs your support!

We’re asking outside supporters to call Stephen Gray in the ODRC legal services department at central office, because we believe this restriction is all about retaliation and interference with the lawsuit  Sean has pending against 11 ODRC officials. Call Stephen Gray at 614-752-1765 or write him a letter: Stephen Gray, Legal Services, 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43222.

Sample script: “Hello, my name is ____. I’m calling about Sean Swain’s communication access. He was denied four video visits this weekend. We’re concerned that this relates to the lawsuit Sean has pending against employees in your office, specifically Trevor Clark. Can you tell us who authorized cancelling these visits, and why?”

Also, after a monitored phone call in which Sean discussed sending Ben more information about the situation, prison officials cut prisoner access to the email Sean was going to use for everyone on Sean’s security level. They used to be able to check their emails twice a day, now they’re only allowed every other day. Call OSP at 330-743-0700 and ask for Mrs Franklin. You can also ask to talk to the Warden, or email assistant warden Laura Gardner, here: Laura.Gardner@odrc.state.oh.us

Sample script: “Hello, my name is _____. I’m calling about the recent policy change regarding prisoner access to the email kiosk for prisoners on level 4A. I’m requesting that you please reverse this policy, stop arbitrarily restricting prisoners’ access to their loved ones, and stop using collective punishment to set prisoners against each other. Thank you.”

Continue reading