URGENT: Call Today To Support A Hunger Striking Prisoner In Grave Danger
[Corcoran State Prison hunger strike solidarity rally, July 13. All photos by BPF Co-Director Katie Loncke.]
You may have already seen our Facebook post about the historic prisoner hunger strike happening now in California, where prisoners are risking health and repression to end torturous practices of solitary confinement.
Yesterday we received the following urgent call to support one of the hunger strikers, Chad Landrum.
Hi Friends and Comrades,
We got an urgent request to put this out as an action alert, and to please make these calls and phone calls on behalf of a prisoner on hunger strike in grave medical condition. Chad Landrum, a revolutionary and hunger striker housed in the Pelican Bay SHU, has advanced liver disease, and the prison authorities have denied him his medication because he is hunger striking. Unless something is done Chad will most likely be one of the first prisoners to die in the current hunger strike. Many thanks for whatever you can do.
Here is a sample script for phone calls: [TWM Note: I called at 4:40 PST and reached the warden's office, spoke with someone named Ryan.]
(559) 992-8800 ext. 5008
“My name is….. (if you want to give your name)
“It is my understanding that Chad Landrum # J-53474, incarcerated in California State Prison, Corcoran has been denied his medications because he is on hunger strike. Mr. Landrum is drinking water regularly, and is not dehydrated as the prison authorities contend. But he has advanced liver disease, and is in a great deal of pain. I urgently request that you get him immediate medical attention and resume his medications in a medically appropriate manner. Otherwise, I fear he may die.”
Send a hard copy of any e-mails or letters to:
Dr. Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of CDCR
1515 S Street, 5th Floor
Here is the message I received from the attorney:
“Letter of 7/10/13
“Chad told his medications were being changed because some cannot be taken if he’s dehydrated. However, he is refusing only food and is drinking lots of water. While they are decreasing dosages of other meds, they are cutting his pain medicine completely. He has severe, incapacitating pain without them. Also, they are addictive substances so he will suffer withdrawal symptoms, all while not eating. In the past, not liking the dependency, he wanted to discontinue the pain medicine, and medical staff told him that in his condition [he has chronic illness] discontinuing it could cause stroke, ruptures of diseased veins, and could even be fatal. “Yet when it’s to their convenience, they have no qualms or hesitation in cutting me off, not a slow weaning as law requires, but abruptly.” He didn’t give medicine names. He did plead, “When I [get] sick, I will be incapacitated and unable to write… Please notify Ed Mead… He expressed his willingness to arrange for individuals to call and put pressure on medical if I need it….I need all the help I can receive. Please….” He has had end-stage liver disease for at least 4 years (as long as I’ve known him).”
Here is a sample letter and e-mail I wrote to warden Lewis:
“One of the first prisoners to die in the current hunger strike will most likely be Chad Landrum #J-53474, who is in your custody. Chad suffers from advanced stage liver disease and a number of other illnesses. His pain medications were abruptly withdrawn and other meds reduced. He was told this was because some of these meds cannot be taken if he’s dehydrated. However Chad is only refusing food and is drinking lots of water—there is little chance of his being dehydrated.
“At one point in the not too distant past, well before the hunger strike, Chad was unhappy with the dependency he was experiencing due to some of the addictive drugs he was taking. When he expressed this to the medical staff they told him that discontinuing those meds could cause stroke, ruptures of diseased veins, and could even be fatal. Now that he is on a hunger strike the medical staff has no qualms about suddenly cutting him off his pain meds, rather than the slow weaning as required by state law. In addition to the excruciating pain he normally suffers, Chad must now undergo the trauma of withdrawal.
“Will you please check into this matter and let me know when Mr. Landrum’s full regimen of medication has been resumed.”
Click photos in the gallery to enlarge.