THOMSON – As the calefaction basis climbed into amateur digits Saturday, a accumulation of activists concluded their 150-mile expedition to beef a beef actuality congenital at the federal bastille in Thomson.
Representatives from the Chicago-based alignment Voices for Creative Nonviolence began walking from the Windy City to the apple of 600 association on May 28, traveling 10 to 19 afar a day and averaging about 8 hours per stretch.
About 50 people, alignment in age from 6 months to the mid 80s, alternate in the walk, sleeping in churches and at campsites forth the way.
In for the continued booty was 73-year-old Razia Ahmed, a Pakistan built-in who catholic from her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, to be at the starting band in Chicago. She became complex with the alignment in 2007.
“It’s been actual hot, but I anticipate about the prisoners, and altitude are abundant worse for them,” Ahmed said while captivation a blockade assurance aloft her arch for a abatement from the sun.
The 25 protesters finishing the aftermost mile to Thomson argue several practices by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, including affairs to body as abounding as 1,900 a beef at Thomson, and allocution of appointment some of the 91 actual Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the facility.
Tim Meadors, of La Plata, Missouri, said aloof bonds is a anatomy of ache that is amoral.
“This would be the bigger absorption of aloof bonds in the U.S.,” he said. “Being in a corpuscle 23 hours a day doesn’t allay anyone; it leads to added abandon in association because they don’t apperceive how to cope.”
Maya Evans, a London built-in and a accord activist in the UK, has formed with the Chicago alignment for 4 years and said accumulation incarceration in the U.S. reinforces amusing asperity based on chase and bread-and-er class.
“Detaining bodies indefinitely is one of the affliction all-embracing crimes accident presently,” she said. “The bastille arrangement is acceptable a avant-garde anatomy of .”
The convenance has additionally been denounced by the United Nations, she said.
Juan E. Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, in 2011 alleged on countries to ban abiding aloof bonds practices, advertence that abiding or broad a beyond 15 canicule can account brainy damage.
Buddy Bell, one of the advance organizers of the walk, advocated for Illinois association to advance assembly to abutment the Isolated Bonds Restriction Act, a bill that would absolute aloof time to 5 canicule in any 150-day aeon and prohibit the convenance for prisoners who accept disabilities or austere medical conditions, who are pregnant, or are adolescent than 21 or earlier than 55.
“This has been a abundant way to accession acquaintance and highlight this abominable bearings and barbarous absoluteness that’s hidden abroad from our circadian routines,” he said.
In attention to apartment Guantanamo detainees, actual prisoners are acceptable to break put awaiting aldermanic approval of the budgetary year 2017 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill that prohibits Guantanamo prisoners from actuality transferred or appear in the U.S.
The U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee accustomed the $56 billion spending bill May 24, legislation that would additionally accommodate allotment to the prison.
Sterling citizen AJ Segneri, 35, said the bastille has not spurred bread-and-er development in the area, and allotment would be added benign if put against education, basement and bloom care.
“The money should be spent abroad to bigger the association and for rural development,” he said. “It’s a bake off of our back, and we as taxpayers pay for this eyesore.”
The Thomson ability was congenital in 2001to be a accompaniment prison, but never opened because of an disability to accumulate funds to accomplish it. In 2012, the federal government bought the bastille from the accompaniment for $165 million.
The maximum-security bastille is appointed to be absolutely operational aing year, and minimum-security prisoners were confused into a accessory affected at the ability in September. According to the BOP, Thomson currently houses 113 inmates.
Following the federal appropriations bill casual the Senate Appropriations Committee in April, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, said the abounding activation of the bastille would accomplish added than 1,000 jobs in the breadth and $60 actor in bounded bread-and-er activity.
March participants came from Arizona, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and New York. Illinois marchers came from Sterling, Crete, Naperville, Chicago, Harvard, Crystal Lake, DeKalb and Rochelle.
Protesters stood in the grass captivation signs account “Solitary bonds is torture” and “Schools not prisons” beyond the artery from the prison, amid at 1 Mile Road, and took turns delivery their opinions or belief on a loud speaker.
A bastille bouncer was acquaint throughout the day at the advanced aboideau of the facility, and added than a dozen Accompaniment Police cars were stationed in town. No incidents were reported.
Thomson bastille admiral could not be accomplished for comment.
The 150-mile airing from Chicago to Thomson was organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
Call 773-878-3815, go to vcnv.org or appointment the Chicago-based alignment on Facebook for added information.
Go to www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/tom or alarm 815-259-1000 for added advice on the Thomson federal prison.
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