Update 8/30/2017 – Camp Liberty has a new, more permanent home. More on this coming soon.
On Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 we found out that Ammon Bundy had been severely abused the day before. He has been held, denied pre-trial release, at the Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, NV. For about 16 months he has been in custody along with the other political prisoners. Check back here for a complete list of political prisoners with their individual mailing addresses and additional info.
Ammon Bundy is a terrible slave. For about the past 40 days prior to this incident he has been in administrative segregation, or solitary confinement (“the hole”), for “non-compliance.” This “non-compliance” is that he has been not willing to remove his own drawers for the strip-searches that they have been targeting him with. It’s important to note that he is not refusing to be searched, just to drop his own drawers. This is a deeply principled man we are talking about. Ask yourself, what would you do? He’s been in there over a year and never convicted of a crime. He was finally allowed in the jail’s general population just shortly before this newest incident on the night of May 2nd. He was in a cell with his brother, Ryan Bundy, laying down on his bunk. He had his shirt hanging over his bed to block the bright lights in order to get some sleep. An officer came up to him and grabbed the shirt, stating that it was against policy to hang clothing from the bunk. Of course there were other shirts hanging on beds; Ammon respectfully inquired about the purpose and necessity of this “policy.” It appeared that he was being singled out and harassed. When they thought the confrontation was over, Ryan reached out to grab the shirt back for Ammon. You see, another “policy” they have is that if you don’t have a shirt in the morning, they will not feed you. You don’t get very many shirts, and Ammon’s other two were being laundered, so that’s all he had. The officers declared this reach “assault” and took Ryan to the hole for 7 days. Shortly thereafter they took Ammon into the hallway, posturing to shackle him. He knew what was coming and did not want to be handcuffed. He had just spent 40 days in the hole, and did not want to go back. Instead they dragged him into a shower stall. His hands were cuffed behind his back, palms out, and his legs were shackled so tight they bruised and eventually drew blood. The stall was approximately 3 ft by 3 ft. They then left him like that for 13 hours without food or water. At one point one of the officers came in and threatened to leave him in there for 72 hours. He spent the night in there, freezing, unable to lay down. He had to urinate twice while in there. He was already so cold, then he had to be careful not to get wet and make it even worse. At some point he lost circulation in his hands and his limbs swelled up. After 13 hours they finally removed him from the shower stall and drug him back to the hole, where he remains to this day. He couldn’t hardly walk after 13 hours hunkered over, shackled. He was unable to lift his arms to comply with the usual process while removing shackles, a guard had to hold his arms up for him. It was him being drug back to the hole that Ryan witnessed and got the word out.
Immediately this community came together and started making calls to anyone who could potentially help. This included the warden, the warden’s assistant, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and dozens of elected officials. All calls were ignored, some agencies even had special [spam] folders for our calls.
Later that day Ammon got a call out to Kelli Stewart, who broadcast it live on her Facebook page. After all this, he still had the grace to not want to name the guards who did these terrible things. He wants to give the chain of command the opportunity to make it right.
On Thursday, May 4, 2017 we the people invited everyone to join us on the ground at the detention center in Pahrump, NV for a peaceful, non-violent demonstration. We intended to draw as much attention to this corrupt, abusive institution as possible. We demanded an investigation but more importantly, CHANGE.
By Friday, May 5, 2017 over a half dozen people were camped out across from their main gate. The detention center, a privately run prison by CCA, immediately began to punish ALL the inmates. They were essentially using human shields, trying to provoke animosity among the inmates to coerce us into going away. They wanted us to know that they were willing to punish the inmates even more than usual just to get us to stand down. The shut down visitation for everyone in the facility, not just Ammon and Ryan. They denied everyone phone calls, and canceled all yard time. We believe they most likely denied commissary for everyone as well, but that has not been confirmed. They would love to spin the narrative that we were there only to protest for the Bundy family. In fact, we are there for every human being in there being abused. We know that Ammon and Ryan are not the only ones who have suffered abuse. Unfortunately for the abusers, they have now done it to someone who currently has a huge audience. We marched around the detention center in the style of Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho. There still had been no indication that the Nye County Sheriff’s Office had begun investigating this incident.
On Saturday, May 6, 2017 we found out that the inmates had not only seen through the gross tricks of the prison, they had come together in solidarity with us. On Friday they had their own demonstrations as best they could. All of pod G4 refused meals for the whole day. It was reported the all of G1 had a sit-in, refusing to leave the common area. The prison had no choice but to scale back their authoritarian antics. As of Saturday inmates were allowed phone calls and yard time. On Sunday visitation was resumed as well. It appeared that all inmates now have full “privileges” except for Ammon and Ryan. They are still in administrative segregation, without commissary. That needs to be our focus for now. We need as many people on the ground as possible to come out there and raise awareness for this issue. There is plenty of space to camp out – bring your tent, camp trailer, or sleep in your vehicle. The locals have come out in force and supported the camp, now being called Camp Liberty. They have donated incredible amounts of food, water and various supplies. So bring yourself and don’t worry about meals!
Local business Joe’s Sanitation has kindly donated a couple porta-potties and a dumpster. Locals have dropped off gas grills and there is even a whole giant tent just for the kitchen. We even have an address established now:
1776 E Mesquite Ave
Pahrump, NV 89060
We are not the only ones trying to out this corrupt institution. As it turns out the local community has been fighting against the CCA run Nevada Southern Detention Center since before it was built there. CCA has a long history of abuses and scandals, and now we have the opportunity to join with the locals and grow our voice. We actually have a chance right now to make a huge impact on not only this prison, but to shine the spotlight on the entire for-profit private prison system. Don’t let it go to waste, come out and support.
We will not be accepting the company of anyone who intends to initiate any kind of violence. That is not what we do, and its not what we stand for. How can we be against torture and inhumane treatment if we are willing to harm others? There are no exceptions, there are no excuses. There will be no tolerance for any violence or threats of any violence. This is a peaceful demonstration and it will continue until real change is affected.
“It matters how you stand.” – LaVoy Finicum
– Ed, the virus