With only a few days left of this year’s Legislative Session, there are few things more important than passage of the HALT legislation to reduce solitary confinement and ban it completely for individuals with mental health issues. I have rarely seen a campaign with such dedicated advocates doing everything in their arsenal to support passage of the bill. From rallies and civil disobedience to hunger strikes, there has been no stone left unturned. The reason for their passion is because they recognize that solitary confinement is inhumane and has traumatic repercussions well beyond prison release.
Please help in these waning days by supporting the hunger strike and making three calls today. Phone numbers are listed below. Thank you.
The #HALTsolitary Campaign has been pushing the #HALTsolitary bill to end solitary confinement in New York State prisons and jails for many years.
At this moment we are closer than ever before. A majority of legislators in both the Senate and the Assembly are co-sponsors of the bill but leadership has not yet brought the bill to the floor for a vote. Advocates have shared their very personal experiences with solitary with legislators and staff people for many years, we have educated and organized their constituents across New York State, we have rallied, we have won the official support more than 110 legislators, and yet our political leaders have still not passed the bill.
Survivors of solitary and their allies began a hunger strike on June 13 through the end of the state legislative session (June 19) in order to bring attention to the urgent need to eliminate the torture of solitary confinement in New York. We’d like to have people to join us across the state and the country, in whatever way they can. The core group of people are on a liquid-only diet and are not taking solid foods for the last seven days of the legislative session.
But anyone can participate however works for them, including participating in the entire hunger strike, going on a hunger strike for 23-24 hours a day for one day in recognition of the 23-24 hours a day people spend in solitary, fasting sun-up to sun-down, or spending one or more days on strike – whatever works for you.
If you are interested in joining the hunger strike in some way, you can sign up to participate in the strike here: http://bit.ly/HALTHungerStrike
We also encourage you to post your participation on social media:
- Make a sign and take a picture of yourself or a personal video about why solitary is torture, why HALT is needed, and why you support the strike
- For signs or tweets, use: “I support the hunger strike to #HALTsolitaryNOW because…”
- And please tweet it @AndreaSCousins @CarlHeastie @NYGovCuomo @nycaic
The hunger strike is a tactic that is sometimes employed by people in prison who are prohibited from other forms of protest. The fight to end solitary confinement in New York has always been done in solidarity with our brothers and sisters and cousins behind the walls and we believe that utilizing this tactic at this moment honors the struggles of those on the inside, both current and throughout history.
CALL LEGISLATIVE LEADERS, YOUR SENATOR!
Please take 30 seconds TODAY to make 3 calls:
Call Senate Majority Leader Stewart- Cousins at 518-455-2585 / 914-423-4031) and tell her:
“Thousands of New Yorkers are suffering in solitary confinement, for months, years, and decades. The HALT Solitary Confinement Act (S1623/A2500) has 34 Senate cosponsors and others committed to vote for it. I respectfully urge you to bring HALT to a vote now (as is, without watering down its protections), so we can finally end this torture.
CALL Assembly Speaker Heastie: (518) 455-3791 and tell him:
“Thousands of New Yorkers are suffering in solitary confinement, for months, years, and decades. Thank you for your leadership in supporting the HALT Solitary Confinement Act (A2500/S1623). We appreciate that the Assembly passed HALT last year and that you continue to support the bill. I respectfully urge you to bring HALT to a vote now (as is, without watering down its protections), so we can finally end this torture. There is no time to lose!
CALL Your Own Senator: find at www.openstates.org and tell them:
“Thousands of New Yorkers are suffering in solitary confinement, for months, years, and decades. Thank you for your support of the HALT Solitary Confinement Act (S1623/A2500). What are you doing now to end this torture? Will you tell the Senate leadership that HALT is a priority and that you want the bill to be brought to a vote now (as is, without watering down its protections)? HALT has 34 Senate cosponsors and others committed to vote for it. There is no time to lose. Do not let another mind or life be taken by this torture. Thank you.“
3 DAYS TO GO TO STOP THE SUFFERING: THANK YOU!