Join the Militant in its fight to overturn a ban of the Jan. 4 issue of the paper imposed by prison officials at the Camp Hill State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania.
The inmate-subscriber whose paper was seized sent the denial form to the Militant. He said he plans to file an appeal of the ban as per prison regulations.
The denial form justifies the impoundment by saying page 2 of the issue could “create a danger within the context of the correctional facility.” But the only article on page 2 is “Workers in Scotland Speak Out Against Economic, Health Crisis.”
The form also says, “Brief Description: Socialist Workers Party Action, speaks on social unrest and standing against law enforcement.” Prison authorities are likely referring to the “Socialist Workers Party Action Program” appearing on page 3, which is the election campaign platform of the SWP that has been run in many issues over the past year.
No notice was ever sent to the Militant informing it of the prison officials’ ban, which they are required to do by law.
On Feb. 1 Militant attorney David Goldstein spoke with Diana Woodside, director of Policy, Grants and Legislative Affairs at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He sent her the issue and the impoundment notice. Woodside said she will review the issue and inform him if the denial is reversed. Otherwise Goldstein will appeal the ruling in order to overturn the ban.
An issue of the Militant sent to a different subscriber was banned at Camp Hill last July, an action Woodside reversed.
“At issue are constitutional rights to freedom of speech and of the press,” said Militant editor John Studer. “The millions of workers behind bars in the U.S. must have the right to read and think for themselves, form their own opinions about political developments in the U.S. and worldwide, and to be partisans of the class struggle.
“We ask supporters of prisoners’ rights to join in the fight to reverse this,” said Studer.
Among those who have spoken out, some numerous times, against previous efforts by prison officials to ban the Militant are Amnesty International USA, National Lawyers Guild, PEN America, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Florida Press Association, American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, union officials and many others.
Letters demanding the ban be reversed can be sent to Diana Woodside at 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send copies to the Militant.