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WA Prisoners Protest HB 2010

The May, 1995, issue of PLN detailed the March 20, 1995, protest by prisoner's family members and prisoner rights supporters in front of the King County jail in Seattle. It also mentioned that women prisoners at Purdy had staged a one day strike in support of the outside demonstration. The objective of the inside and out demonstrators was to protest the Washington state legislature's hateful anti-prisoner and anti-family legislation aimed at taking the Extended Family Visiting program, charging prisoners for medical care, taking prisoner's money, etc. Other protests, ignored by the corporate media, took place on that day as well.

The Walla Walla Union Bulletin reported on March 21, 1995, that the day before some 360 prisoners in two housing units in the main, close custody section of the Washington State Penitentiary had stayed in their cells and foregone meals and had not reported to their work assignments. [Close custody prisoners have already lost their EFVs due to a new Division of Prisons policy that in many respects is harsher than the proposed legislation.] Citing the fact that only some of the WSP prisoners had honored the strike WSP warden Tana Wood was quoted saying "The majority of the inmates understand that's not a way to give a message to the legislature." She did not suggest a better way. But obviously peaceful protest will not be tolerated by the DOC.

One PLN reader at WSP wrote: "It seems on Monday, March 20th about 500 prisoners stayed in their cells, did not work, eat, etc. At about 4:30 PM that day I was placed in segregation pending an investigation per order of Captain Morgan. About 150 major infractions were given out over this. I understand the thing was over the loss of Extended Family Visits and House Bill 2010." We have also received unconfirmed reports that prisoners at McNeil Island were also repressed before and after the March 20, 1995, demonstration.

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