An excerpt from “Hunger Strike 2”

By: Reginald Blanton, DRIVE member

As of January 1, 2007 I will proceed with a Hunger Strike. The only thing I will consume is water and the beautiful spirits smiling forth from my fellow brethren proceeding likewise. I sent a sick-call to medical this morning in front of Officer Davison notifying them that I’m not only going on a hunger strike, but as long as I do such, I will not take my high blood pressure medication. Though I’ve always contested my blood pressure is high only as a result of these oppressive conditions; take away these oppressive conditions, you’ll take away my high blood pressure. Of course they would rather medicate me.I’ve never envisioned myself resisting in this manner (hunger strike) for any prolonged period of time. However, I’ve always been willing to do whatever necessary to bring attention to our humanity and these inhumane conditions. I can’t say how long I will be able to deny myself food, but I will go as long as I can, extending the love and solidarity to the some dozen others on this pod (not certain of the number on other pods) sacrificing their time and bodies for the cause of being recognized as a human being with unalienable right to life given by God and ratified through the US Constitution. Yes! After a year, the movement is stronger and the solidarity still crosses color lines. In light of Hunger Strike 1, brothers see we are remaining dedicated to the cause we sat out on, and they are beginning to believe in the cause, believe in themselves, believe that WE can do something about our conditions.We’re still encouraging activism, even if our encouragement means self-sacrifice of the highest kind. We want our death row community to continue to stand up! If not for the death row community of the now or future, for themselves. Break the chains of complacency and help balance the spirit of hope that has been deficient within these walls for so long.

Solidarity greeting from Illinois:
To the brothers on Texas’ death row, I say to you, don’t think that your voices or your case has not been felt. You are not alone in your fight and struggle to bring awareness to your cause. You’re not! I haven’t eaten, and I love to eat, but I haven’t eaten for four days and counting to feel and understand and show my solidarity with you brothers. We will continue to fight because we will defeat the Texas Department of Criminal (In)Justice.

In solidarity,
Ronnie Kitchen, #B09130, 711 Kaskaskia Street, P.O. Box 711, Menard, IL 62259