The Human Rights Coalition is organizing a rally in support of the hunger strikers at SCI Fayette outside of the DOC Headquarters. Join us Friday, August 2nd to caravan from Philadelphia to the DOC Headquarters (near Harrisburg). We will meet at the MFL stop at 46th and Market at 8am to caravan. The rally begins at Noon. A little backstory: On July 4th, 2019 16 prisoners began a hunger strike to peacefully protest their physical and psychological abuse in solitary confinement and their systematic denial of basic goods such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, mail, yard time and showers. The hunger strikers issued demands: 1. Abolish the Restricted Release List 2. Investigate patterns of abuse in the DOC and fire abusive guards at SCI Fayette 3. End Long-Term Solitary Confinement 4. Close SCI Fayette due to toxic waste and prison health issues On August 1st, prisoners across the country, family members/loved ones of the hunger strikers, and outside supporters will be joining the hunger strike for 1 day and will be fasting sun-up to sun-down for the rest of the month. This is to commemorate Black August, a month honoring the history and long tradition of Black resistance to slavery, captivity, murder and oppression. #Hungry4Justice #SolidarityNotSolitary #SupportTheHungerStrikers
Left-Right: Chris, Saleem, and Wesley
#SolidarityNotSolitary Harrisburg! On June 26th HRC spent the day in Harrisburg at the State Capital with Chris Kimmenez from Healing Communities and Wesley from the Human Rights Coalition (HRC) meeting with legislators to discuss legislation that would end long term solitary confinement. Afterwards we headed out to a joint CADBI, HRC, Healing Communities, and PA Council of Churches forum on ending long term Solitary Confinement and Death by Incarceration. For us the connection between DBI and Solitary is obvious, both practices treat human beings as disposable and beyond redemption. Both practices must be ended. Thanks to Saleem Holbrook, Andy Switzer, Kempis Songster, Carrington Keys, Shandre Delaney, Sunshine Griggs, Dana Lomax-Williams, John Rowland, Jose Alamo and everyone that turned out for making the forum a success. We will be having several more forums across the state in the upcoming months building a powerful coalition lead by impacted families, formerly incarcerated and allies.
*** Originally posted May, 2018 *** Shakaboona was granted a re-sentencing hearing as a result of the US Supreme Court’s ruling against the extreme sentencing of children which is common practice within the state of Pennsylvania (as of 2017 PA had the highest number of children serving LIFE sentences than any state in the U.S. or the world). The courtroom was packed inside and out into the corridors of 13th & Filbert, Philadelphia, PA on May 17th for the re-sentencing of juvenile lifer, Kerry ‘Shakaboona’ Marshall. Family, friends, and supporters stood for hours, some prayed, some held hands, and all waited with only one wish, “Free Shakaboona”. Those who were able to stay throughout the entire re-sentencing hearing posed for this astounding photo. Good News! The judge ruled “time served” with a life time of parole, but only if the Parole Board agrees that he is ready to return to the community. Shakaboona is one of the founding members of the Human Rights Coalition and proved to be (against all odds) a self-motivated, self-educated man. He went into prison as a boy and within the restraints of an unforgiving penal system he is now a certified ‘Peer Educator’ and a mentor to other prisoners; he is a community activist inside & outside of prison; he is a commentator on ‘Prison Radio’; serves on the Advisory Council of the Human Rights Coalition and is Co-Editor of ‘The Movement’ magazine; and he serves as adviser to several organizations (e.g., CADBI, DecarceratePA, Real Cost of Prisons).