Final Day of Hunger Strike

THE FIVE DAY VIGIL AND FAST , WITH THE COMMUNITY, IN BEACON NEAR THE PRISON, ON FRI, SAT ,SUN..AND THEN ON MONDAY, MOVED TO NYC AT THE HARLEM OFFICE BLDG…SOFFIAH ALIJAH, DIR. CORRECTIONAL ASSN, WILL FAST ALL WKEND TOO AND WILL BE AT THE NY RALLY ON MONDAY.ALSO BILL PERKINS, MINISTERS AND RABBIS AND MORE PEOPLE GETTING INVOLVED AND WILL BE THERE MONDAY 4-6 AT HARLEM OFFICE BUILDING.



FIVE-Day HUNGER Vigil and Rallies to 
Demand Justice FOR SAM HARRELL

April 21 will mark one year since Sam was beaten to death at the Fishkill prison in Beacon, NY.

Sam was a beloved husband, brother, uncle, and friend to many who live in Kingston, NY.  He was diagnosed bipolar and was serving time in Fishkill prison on a drug charge.  The week of April 21, 2015 he was released from two weeks in solitary confinement, had not been given his proper meds, and had an episode where he believed his family was coming to get him and prepared to leave.  As many as 20 COs handcuffed him, beat him, shouted racial slurs, and threw him down a flight of stairs.

A year later those COs are still on the job and nothing has been done to prevent anything like this from happening again.

To honor Sam and support critical changes in the prison, ten members of Sam’s family plus more than a dozen friends and supporters, including Soffiyah Elijah, one of the nation’s most important voices in prison reform, will be fasting for five days, starting on the year anniversary, April 21.



Join Us!!!

NYC Commemoration Ceremony &
Final Day of Hunger Strike 
Monday, 4/25, 4-6
The plaza in front of the State Office Building,
125th and Adam Clayton Powell

The Harrell Family          Soffiyah Elijah of the Correctional Association
Senator Bill Perkins          Truthworker Theater Company
Hip Hop Artists Mister Five and Mysonne          Poet Tiffany Van Dyke
Rabbi David Ingber          and more…

Please share the FB event page:  beaconprisonaction.org/nyc

For more information: info@beaconprisonaction.org

On Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 1:35 PM, Kavitha Rao <kavithawow@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Connie,

sorry for the delay.  here's the press release and I'll send the flyer in the next email:

5-Day Hunger Vigil and Events to Commemorate
Year Anniversary of Murder of Samuel Harrell
________________________________________________________________________

Ideal points of media coverage:
Saturday, 4/23, 2-4pm – Rally in Beacon, NY
Monday, 4/25, 6am-noon – The family is available for live interviews, by phone or on-site in NYC
Monday, 4/25, 4-6pm – NYC Commemoration Ceremony
We are happy to arrange in-person interviews and live phone interviews throughout the vigil.

Locations:
Beacon, NY location: Memorial Park, west side near Matteawan Rd.
NYC location: State Office Building Plaza, 125th and Adam Clayton Powell

BACKGROUND:  Harrell, a 32-year old black man suffering from bipolar disorder, was serving an 8-year sentence on a drug charge. Four days after completing two weeks in solitary confinement and not receiving his proper medication, Harrell mistakenly believed his family was coming to pick him up and he prepared to leave. As many as 20 corrections officers handcuffed him, beat him, shouted racial slurs at him, and threw him down a flight of stairs.  No disciplinary action has been taken against the COs involved, and no changes have been made in the prison.

THE HUNGER VIGIL: 10 members of the Harrell family, plus dozens of supporters, including Soffiyah Elijah, the Executive Director of the Correctional Association, will fast for five days to honor Sam and to seek critical changes at the prison: accountability for the COs who killed Sam, a body camera program, cut-backs in the use of solitary confinement, and additional training for COs.

SEMINAL MEDIA COVERAGE ON SAM HARRELL:

“Prison Guard ‘Beat Up Squad’ Is Blamed in New York Inmate’s Death,” New York Times, 8/18/15   www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/nyregion/fishkill-prison-inmate-died-after-fight-with-officers-records-show.html

Other coverage included Democracy Now!, The Huffington Post, The New York Daily News, The Albany Times-Union, The Poughkeepsie Journal, The Daily Freeman, and more.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Thursday, April 21 - The Harrell family will begin fasting in North Carolina where Sam is buried, while some of their friends and supporters in New York will begin their fast with a candlelight ceremony outside the Fishkill prison in Beacon.

Friday, April 22 – Sunday, April 24 – The family and may of the other people fasting will spend three days camped out at Memorial Park near the Fishkill prison.  Hundreds of people will flow through the vigil site where there will be numerous portraits that have been painted of Sam, a replica of a solitary confinement cell, speakers, music, poems, workshops, interactive art, theater, and more.

Saturday, April 23, 2-4pm – There will be a spike of hundreds of additional people at the Beacon site for a rally featuring Sam’s family and friends, social justice singer Taina Asili, gospel singer Ralph Williams, Rabbi Brent Spodek, Red Wing Blackbird Theater, the New Progressive Baptist Church Choir and Praise Dance, poet Tiffany Van Dyke, and more.
                                                                  
Monday, April 25, 4-6pm – Hundreds of people will participate in a commemorative event in Harlem to close out the hunger vigil, featuring Sam’s family and friends, Soffiyah Elijah of the Correctional Association, Senator Bill Perkins, rappers Mysonne and Five, poet Tiffany Van Dyke, Rabbi David Ingber, and more.

CONTACT:   Jeff Golden   Beacon Prison Action   845-764-7112   info@beaconprisonaction.org

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