The demonstration will begin in Wisconsin, but the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Milwaukee, which is supporting the prisoners’ efforts, hopes that it will spread to other prisons, reported the Post-Crescent, a Gannett newspaper. The IWW will be holding rallies in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, as well as hold an online letter writing campaign with a petition.
“The overarching demand is to end administrative confinement — to not allow long-term solitary confinement,” said Ben Turk with the IWW to the Post-Crescent.
The United Nations called for all countries to ban solitary confinement in 2011 saying that the practice amounts to torture. “Segregation, isolation, separation, cellular, lockdown, Supermax, the hole, Secure Housing Unit… whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by States as a punishment or extortion technique,” said UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez that year.
“Bey is serving a 262-year sentence for crimes including robbing and tying up two elderly Madison women in their homes in 1984, and a 1987 escape in which he shot a sheriff’s deputy and another was injured,” wrote the Post-Crescent.
A spokesperson for the DOC, Tristan Cook, told the Post-Crescent that they are aware of the prisoners’ plan to hunger strike and “will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation to ensure the health and safety of inmates.”