Water in Mahanoy Correctional Institute (Eddie Africa & Mumia) is Severely Polluted

Saturday, April 01, 2017
By Lamont Lilly, Workers World,
Interview – Segment of Part 2 of 2.

Lamont Lilly: I heard that the prison where Mumia Abu-Jamal is being detained doesn’t have clean drinking water. Is that true? You also have family members in that prison. What have you heard about this?

Polluted water in Dixie cupsRamona: Lamont, let me tell you. I know people have heard about Flint, Michigan but contaminated water is not just in Flint. The prison that our brother Eddie Africa and Mumia are in is called Mahanoy Correctional Institute. The water there is so so bad! It is so bad that they started giving the inmates, (and this is ridiculous), three little Dixie cups of water with each meal. That’s nine little Dixie cups of water per day because the regular water is not drinkable. This is what they’re giving them, nine little Dixie cups of water per day? It’s unreal! Most people have no idea this is going on.

Where my brother Mike Africa is being incarcerated, at Graterford Prison here in Pennsylvania the water is really bad there, too. He convinced the “Lifer’s Association” to sell bottled water. It’s one of their fundraisers. But he pays like close to US $20 for a case of water. That’s ridiculous. He’s spending 60 bucks a month for water.

They were telling the guards, straight up, don’t drink the water; bring your own. My brother Mike works in the kitchen there, and he was telling me that in the guard’s dining room they have filters on the water spigots, but not for the inmates, of course. That is the state of what’s happening in this country, not just with Mumia, but in prisons all over this country.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to really, and I mean REALLY, get the message that this system and those running it are not operating in our interests, in the interests of the people. Their only interest is money and keeping this system going. I don’t know when people are really going to get that, but we can’t look to this system for anything.

…I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to realize that we don’t need this system. We can’t use or get anything from this system. It’s the system that needs us — that relies on the people, not the other way around. We have to let this system go and make up our minds to do for ourselves because we sure aren’t getting anything from this system. Nothing!

Thank you, Lamont. Long live the revolution! Free Mumia! Ona move!

Read entire interview:  http://www.workers.org/2017/03/26/former-u-s-political-prisoner-ramona-africa-discusses-mumia-abu-jamals-incarceration-u-s-prisons-and-donald-trump/#.WTORPhPytE4

Clean Water Resolution Passes Philadelphia

Thank you, Philadelphia Councilpersons Jannie Blackwell, Curtis Jones and Cindy Bass for their work on this resolution that passed the Philadelphia City Council on October 28, 2016.  Thank you, Pam Africa, for your overall initiation and shepherding of this resolution.

Resolution

Calling upon Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Legislature to ensure that individuals incarcerated and working in state prisons have access to clean water and proper health services.

WHEREAS, Recently there have been claims of black, foul smelling water at SCI Mahanoy, SCI Frackville and other State Prisons in Pennsylvania, as well as reports of prisoners not receiving specialized medications needed to treat their health conditions; and

WHEREAS, Recently there have been claims of black, foul smelling water at SCI Mahanoy, SCI Frackville and other State Prisons in Pennsylvania, as well as reports of prisoners not receiving specialized medications needed to treat their health conditions; and

WHEREAS, In some cases, the water is so toxic that prisoners are unable to use the water, leaving them with little to no drinking water and virtually no water to bathe in or in less severe cases prisoners are left to drink and bathe in dirty brown water; and

WHEREAS, Using the dirty water can exacerbate existing health conditions for some prisoners, and many prisoners do not have proper access to healthcare services to met their medical needs, and those needing medication become increasingly ill without it; and

WHEREAS, While the water problems at SCI Mahanoy and Frackville are fairly recent, other state prisons have been experiencing similar problems for years causing both prisoners and guards to experience serious health problems including but not limited to shortness of breath, dizziness, body sores and tumors; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Corrections has received complaints about the ongoing issues regarding water and medication but has reportedly not alleviated the problems; and

WHEREAS, The cause of the contaminated water has not been confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Government, and more resources and energy need to be devoted to solving this water and health crisis; and

WHEREAS, The Government bears the responsibility of protecting its prisoners and should remember that those who are incarcerated are people too, deserving of the basic human necessities that are required for their survival. Therefore, we ask that there be a sense of urgency in resolving these issues that affect the health of individuals under the Pennsylvania State Government’s care; and

WHEREAS, A copy of this resolution will be forwarded to the Governor and to all members of the Pennsylvania State Legislature.
Now therefore, be it resolved that the City Council of Philadelphia Calls upon Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Legislature to ensure that individuals incarcerated and working in state prisons have access to clean water and proper health services.

Jannie L. Blackwell
Councilwoman, Third District, City Council of Philadelphia

Cindy Bass
Councilwoman, Eighth District, City Council of Philadelphia

Curtis Jones Jr.
Councilman, Fourth District, City Council of Philadelphia