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US PRISONER HUNGER STRIKE
Email: joelnotjails (nospam) hotmail.com
21 Nov 2001
12 prisoners from the Virgin Islands being held at Wallens Ridge State Prison
in Virginia begin hunger strike on November 1, 2001!
backround: The Virgin Islands (V.I.) had, before the these past couple of
months, been renting out cells in the Untied States for its own overcrowded
prison population. This has been going on for decades and the V.I. has run up a
huge bill with the U.S. So the V.I. decided to bring all its prisoners back
home. There is a catch: those prisoners the V.I. deemed to be too dangerous were
sent to the Commonwealth of Virginia for further holding.
On November 1, 2001 12 prisoners at the Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone
Gap, Virginia began a hunger strike in protest of “the capricious and unjust
transfer of 15 Virgin Islands Prisoners to this conservative and bigoted run
The 12 currently on hunger strike are not aware of the whearabouts of 3 of
their comrades, who might also be on hunger strike with them (if they recieved
word of it).
Hanif Bey, a prisoner of war on the strike writes:
“We would like to hold out for at least 1 month, to bring outside attention,
and hopefully cause the “Contract Agreement” to be dissolved, however, if we are
not satisfied at the end of the month, with the steps taking place to grant us
“proper relief”, we have the resolve to continue.
We have all been hand picked to be wharehoused in this death trap, simply to
secure ‘settler interest’ in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as they really deem us a
potentially influential political force, if allowed to return.”
Hanif is fighting for Virgin Island independance.
Currently these men are locked in their cells 23 hours a day, and wear
handcuffs and legchains whenever they leave their cell.
The wording of the contract allows the prisoners to be held in Virginia
indefinantly. The contract lasts for a year and if it is not terminated in the
11th month it is automatically continued for one more year.
It seems that these prisoners are being kept in segregation permanantly. The
Commonwealth of Virginia rents out its cells at differnt rates. Segregation
costs less than general population.
These prisoners need our support. Share this information, and write a letter
Stan Young, Warden
P.O. Box 759
Big Stone Gap, Virginia
or call him at : (340) 523-3310
to show your solidarity with this hunger strike.
Also write to V.I. officials and ask that these prisoners be brought home to the
Mr. Iver Stridiron
Virgin Islands Department of Justice
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00801