Tierbefreiungsaktivist Kevin O. drohen bis zu 6 Jahre Gefängnis!!!


And now onto the bad news. Ob­vious­ly Kevin is still not out. Pro­se­cu­ting at­tor­ney Gre­go­ry Min­ger of­fe­red Kevin a plea deal of 24 months, which the de­fen­se team re­jec­ted. They re­tur­ned with a coun­ter-​of­fer of 18 months, and the two sides even­tual­ly sett­led on 22 months. But Judge Hu­schen show­ed his true co­lors once again and re­jec­ted Kevin’s deal. This time he could not be con­vin­ced other­wi­se, and was over­he­ard say­ing to the pro­se­cu­tor that Kevin is “ex­ten­da­ble.” This means that while the nor­mal sen­tence for a Class 4 fel­ony is one to three years, since Kevin has a cri­mi­nal re­cord re­la­ted to his ac­tivism, the state can seek up to a six year sen­tence if he’s con­vic­ted at trial. In Il­li­nois “good time” and time ser­ved count towards re­du­cing the over­all sen­tence. Howe­ver, this would still mean rough­ly two and a half more years in a state pri­son.Two and a half years. For ha­ving tools. (...)


And now onto the bad news. Ob­vious­ly Kevin is still not out. Pro­se­cu­ting at­tor­ney Gre­go­ry Min­ger of­fe­red Kevin a plea deal of 24 months, which the de­fen­se team re­jec­ted. They re­tur­ned with a coun­ter-​of­fer of 18 months, and the two sides even­tual­ly sett­led on 22 months. But Judge Hu­schen show­ed his true co­lors once again and re­jec­ted Kevin’s deal. This time he could not be con­vin­ced other­wi­se, and was over­he­ard say­ing to the pro­se­cu­tor that Kevin is “ex­ten­da­ble.” This means that while the nor­mal sen­tence for a Class 4 fel­ony is one to three years, since Kevin has a cri­mi­nal re­cord re­la­ted to his ac­tivism, the state can seek up to a six year sen­tence if he’s con­vic­ted at trial. In Il­li­nois “good time” and time ser­ved count towards re­du­cing the over­all sen­tence. Howe­ver, this would still mean rough­ly two and a half more years in a state pri­son.
Two and a half years. For ha­ving tools.
We’ll let you draw your own con­clu­si­ons. Re­pres­si­on is not­hing new for the ac­tivist com­mu­ni­ty, and is in fact on the rise la­te­ly. But is an­yo­ne else get­ting the dis­tinct im­pres­si­on that our fri­end has a tar­get on his back?
As soon as a trial date is set, we’ll let you know. In the me­an­ti­me, stay free, stay strong, stay loud, stay com­mit­ted, stay angry. And keep up the sup­port for Kevin!
Plea­se send Kevin a let­ter of sup­port :
Kevin John­son #4565
Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail
111 E Court St.
Eu­re­ka, IL 61530


31. oc­to­ber 2013:
The book ban has been lif­ted + Kevin ends hun­ger strike.
After 8 days on a hun­ger strike, jail head Micha­el Wa­ter­worth told Kevin Ol­liff he was lif­ting the book ban. This huge vic­to­ry comes after Kevin lost close to 20 pounds over the 8 days. Kevin has now ended his hun­ger strike, ef­fec­tive im­me­dia­te­ly.
Thanks to ever­yo­ne world­wi­de who made calls, wrote ar­ti­cles, and or­ga­ni­zed sup­port du­ring Kevin’s hun­ger strike. While it is al­ways un­for­t­u­na­te when so­me­o­ne is pus­hed into star­ving them­sel­ves to re­cei­ve a basic human right, we can say that from ever­yo­ne’s hard work and Kevin’s sa­cri­fice, this epi­so­de has a happy en­ding.
Kevin at his first meal in over a week at lunchti­me on Thurs­day, and was given a book. He was told the books that have been sent du­ring the book ban will be given to him by the end of the day.
Lif­ting of book ban comes after major pu­bli­ci­ty and hund­reds of calls.
The lif­ting of the ban came after a full week of hun­ger strike, and huge pu­bli­ci­ty from pla­ces such as Al­ja­zee­ra Ame­ri­ca and Twit­ter, where the “#righ­t2­read” hash­tag was seen by mil­li­ons over the pre­vious two days.
If we let one jail get away with ta­king away a basis human rights from pri­so­ners, they can soon take them from ever­yo­ne. Thanks to ever­yo­ne who stood up to this un­just de­ni­al of a pri­so­ner’s basic right to read. This is a vic­to­ry not just for Kevin and Tyler, but to ever­yo­ne con­fined in Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail and bey­ond.
Wa­ter­worth’s agen­da back­fi­res
This re­ver­sal did not come from Wa­ter­worth’s con­sci­ence. He was clear to spe­ci­fy to Kevin that lif­ting the book ban was not his de­ci­si­on, and came from hig­her up the chain. There is no ques­ti­on he is em­bar­ras­sed over ha­ving his point­less book ban given world­wi­de sc­ru­ti­ny, re­sul­ting in more re­a­sonable peop­le over his head set­ting him straight.
Many com­ments he made to Kevin in­di­ca­ted the book ban was about con­trol, not prac­tical me­a­su­res. He also main­tained he would not lift the book ban be­cau­se it would em­power pri­so­ners and their outside sup­por­ters, and show that he could be in­flu­en­ced by them.
This at­tempt to look like a tough law­man has back­fired on Wa­ter­worth, who has now been pu­bli­cly em­bar­ras­sed by the peop­le above him, and shown that even in the cul­tu­re of jai­lers his con­duct was out of line, in­hu­ma­ne, and un­ac­cep­ta­ble.
The les­son
Don’t ever think that sim­ple ac­tions to shine a spot­light on in­jus­ti­ce don’t work. This vic­to­ry would not have been achie­ved if we had not spo­ken up.
Send Tyler and Kevin books!


30. oc­to­ber 2013:
Jail threa­tens to begin force-​fee­ding as Kevin is moved to so­li­ta­ry con­fi­ne­ment.
Yes­ter­day, Kevin was moved to an “iso­la­ti­on unit” at the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail. He is now on day 7 of his hun­ger strike to chal­len­ge the jail’s ban on books, which has crea­ted a life of in­suf­fe­ra­ble bo­re­dom for both Kevin and Tyler.
The os­ten­si­ble pur­po­se of the iso­la­ti­on unit is for “me­di­cal ob­ser­va­ti­on” as Kevin en­ters a very pre­ca­rious se­cond week wi­thout food. The cell is on the ground floor, where he is able to be wat­ched more clo­se­ly by jail staff.
Kevin has lost 10 to 15 pounds since his hun­ger strike began 7 days ago. He is drin­king water (and cof­fee), and in­ge­sting salt (so­di­um is said to stave off the worst ef­fects of star­va­ti­on).
The jail has been at­tempt­ing to bait Kevin into ea­ting by of­fe­ring food of a qua­li­ty far bey­ond what is nor­mal, in­clu­ding baked po­ta­toes, vegan chili, and more in an at­tempt to en­t­i­ce him into ea­ting.
They have re­pea­ted­ly threa­tened Kevin with “me­di­cal in­ter­ven­ti­on” if he con­ti­nues to re­fu­se food. Spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, they have said he will be strap­ped down and force-​fed.
Ano­ther thre­at Wa­ter­worth has made to Kevin is that he will be per­so­nal­ly char­ged for all me­di­cal bills re­la­ted to his hun­ger strike.
As the days tick by, Kevin’s health is li­kely to wor­sen and he will need all the sup­port we can offer him. It is an ab­so­lu­te dis­gra­ce that a point­less book ban has in­flic­ted such de­s­pe­ra­te psy­cho­lo­gi­cal stress on pri­so­ners that they feel forced to star­ve them­sel­ves in re­s­pon­se.
What you can do
Con­ti­nue to call the jail: 309-​467-​2116, ask for “Micha­el Wa­ter­worth.”
Con­tact the go­ver­nor: Pat Quinn: (217) 782-​0244 or (312) 814-​2121 or via on­line form.
Con­tact the mayor: Scott Punke: (309) 467-​2113 or via email at mayor@​eurekaillinois.​net.
Mail Kevin in­ter­net prin­touts: The only way for Kevin to oc­cu­py his time is to read what is mai­led in to him. Print out ebooks and long-​form ar­ti­cles on en­ga­ging to­pics. When you send prin­touts, you should also in­clu­de a let­ter! (And don’t for­get to write Tyler).


29. oc­to­ber 2013:
An Open Let­ter to IL Go­ver­nor Quinn & Eu­re­ka Mayor Punke
Dear Go­ver­nor Quinn and Mayor Punke,
We are wri­ting to make you all aware of an in­ma­te hun­ger strike that is cur­rent­ly hap­pe­ning at the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail in Eu­re­ka, IL, and to ask you to im­me­dia­te­ly in­ter­ve­ne in this dire si­tua­ti­on.
Kevin John­son, an in­ma­te at Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail who is await­ing trial, began a hun­ger strike on Oc­to­ber 23, 2013, to pro­test the jail’s new­ly-​ins­ta­ted ban on al­lowing in­ma­tes to re­cei­ve books that are mai­led to them from sup­por­ters. The jail pla­ced this ban on books in early Sep­tem­ber, hours after Kevin’s book wish list was pos­ted on a sup­port web­site. Kevin has made in­ter­nal com­plaints about the book ban and sup­por­ters have cal­led the jail to ask that the book ban be lif­ted, but Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail Su­per­in­ten­dent Micha­el Wa­ter­worth has re­fu­sed to allow Kevin and other in­ma­tes to re­cei­ve the books that they de­s­pe­ra­te­ly de­s­i­re in order to make their time in jail edu­ca­tio­nal. As an in­ma­te with few ways to pro­test jail ac­tions that in­frin­ge on in­ma­tes’ rights, Kevin de­ci­ded that the next step he would take in pro­tes­ting the book ban would be to go on a hun­ger strike, and he has said that he will re­main on the hun­ger strike until the book ban is lif­ted.
Kevin is se­ver­al days into the hun­ger strike and al­re­a­dy ex­pe­ri­en­cing the dif­fi­cult ef­fects of not ea­ting. As the hun­ger strike con­ti­nues, he will be ris­king per­ma­nent da­ma­ge to his mus­cles, bones, or­gans, and brain in a mat­ter of weeks; death is a risk that is pre­sent at every stage of a hun­ger strike. Fur­ther­mo­re, Su­per­in­ten­dent Wa­ter­worth has told Kevin that, if he does not re­su­me ea­ting, he will be force fed, which amounts to tor­tu­re in a jail set­ting. Kevin is put­ting his phy­si­cal and men­tal health—as well as his life—on the line, and this re­qui­res ur­gent ac­tion on his be­half.
As the Go­ver­nor of Il­li­nois and the Mayor of Eu­re­ka, you all have a re­s­pon­si­bi­li­ty to in­ter­ve­ne when an in­ma­te in your state and city is en­ga­ged in a hun­ger strike, par­ti­cu­lar­ly when the hun­ger strike is in re­s­pon­se to a jail’s tre­at­ment of in­ma­tes. We im­plo­re you to call Su­per­in­ten­dent Wa­ter­worth and ask that the jail im­me­dia­te­ly re­su­me al­lowing in­ma­tes to re­cei­ve books that are mai­led to them and bring Kevin’s hun­ger strike to an end. This is an ex­tre­me­ly dan­ge­rous si­tua­ti­on that re­qui­res this swift and com­pas­sio­na­te ac­tion from peop­le in your in­flu­en­ti­al lea­dership po­si­ti­ons.
You can call the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail at 309-​467-​2116 to speak with Su­per­in­ten­dent Wa­ter­worth and bring re­li­ef to this cri­ti­cal si­tua­ti­on. Thank you for ca­ring about the lives, health, and rights of in­ma­tes in your state and city.
Sup­por­ters of Kevin
Go­ver­nor Pat Quinn: (217) 782-​0244 or (312) 814-​2121 or via on­line form.
Mayor Scott Punke: (309) 467-​2113 or via email at mayor@​eurekaillinois.​net.


28. oc­to­ber 2013:
Hun­ger Strike Day 4
With an Il­li­nois in­ma­te now star­ving him­s­elf to pro­test a vio­la­ti­on of his First Amend­ment Rights, we think it’s time for Go­ver­nor Pat Quinn to know what’s going on at fa­ci­li­ties in his state. Once he’s aware, a chat bet­ween the Go­ver­nor and Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail Su­per­in­ten­dent Mike Wa­ter­worth would li­kely bring a swift end to the book ban—and to Kevin’s hun­ger strike.
Click here to ac­cess Quinn’s on­line con­tact form. Plea­se send a po­li­te mes­sa­ge no­ti­fy­ing him of what’s going on, along with a re­quest that he in­ter­ve­ne im­me­dia­te­ly.


24. oc­to­ber 2013:
Kevin Ol­liff is on hun­ger strike until the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail book ban is re­ver­sed.
It has been over 6 weeks since Micha­el Wa­ter­worth ban­ned all books from en­te­ring the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail. The psy­cho­lo­gi­cal toll of life in a cell wi­thout any way to pass the time has been ne­ar­ly in­suf­fe­ra­ble, as they are forced to waste away wi­thout even the most basic form of men­tal sti­mu­la­ti­on.
Today Kevin an­noun­ced that he is pre­pa­red to go wi­thout food until the book ban is lif­ted. The hun­ger strike is ef­fec­tive as of mid­ni­ght, Wed­nes­day night.
What you can do
Con­ti­nue to call Micha­el Wa­ter­worth and the jail re­pea­ted­ly, this time with the added word of cau­ti­on that they will soon have a sick and dying pri­so­ner if they do not undo the ban. Kevin is pre­pa­red to go the dis­tan­ce and not eat until the jail al­lows pri­so­ners ac­cess to books.
Jail: 309-​467-​2116
She­riff Pier­ce­all: 309-​467-​2375
Why did the jail ban books?
The ban was in­sti­tu­ted hours after Tyler & Kevin’s book wish list was pos­ted on­line. The book ban was not the re­sult of any rule vio­la­ti­on or taken as a prac­tical
me­a­su­re, and ap­pears to be pu­re­ly pu­ni­ti­ve in re­s­pon­se to the at­ten­ti­on Kevin & Tyler have re­cei­ved.
The jail’s only at­tempt at an ex­pla­na­ti­on has been to say the jail li­b­ra­ry is full. This trans­pa­rent at­tempt to di­stract from the issue does not even ad­dress the book ban, in which books are no lon­ger al­lo­wed to be mai­led in di­rect­ly to pri­so­ners. The ca­pa­ci­ty of the li­b­ra­ry is not at issue.
How law­less is Micha­le Wa­ter­worth and his jail?
They have ban­ned books.
They admit they read at­tor­ney-​cli­ent pri­vi­le­ged mail bet­ween pri­so­ners and their la­wy­ers.
They steal out­go­ing mail which do­cu­ments pri­so­ner abuse.
They lie to the media and con­cer­ned peop­le who call the jail.
Who is re­s­pon­si­ble?
A proud law man (who does not re­spect the ac­tu­al law) named Micha­el Wa­ter­worth is so­le­ly re­s­pon­si­ble for im­ple­men­ting the dra­co­ni­an ban on books. He is also re­s­pon­si­ble for al­lowing guards to read at­tor­ney-​cli­ent pri­vi­le­ged mail, and all other abu­ses ta­king place. He lied to Tyler & Kevin that he would undo the book ban if they were pa­ti­ent, pla­ca­ting them long en­ough for the media at­ten­ti­on to die down, at which point he re­negged on his pro­mi­se.
Ad­dres­sing Micha­el Wa­ter­worth’s lies, preemp­tive­ly.
Plea­se note Micha­el Wa­ter­worth is tel­ling the media and others that the pri­so­ners have ac­cess to a li­b­ra­ry of books. This is 100% false and has been con­fir­med re­pea­ted­ly by Tyler & Kevin over the past 6 weeks.
Some jail staff have sta­ted that they do not read and don’t un­der­stand why pri­so­ners would want books. The jai­lers being open­ly il­li­te­ra­te goes a long way towards ex­plai­ning why a jail would deny pri­so­ners books, and the cul­tu­re of ignoran­ce Tyler & Kevin are now at the mercy of.
Plea­se con­ti­nue to call the jail and the media
It is cru­ci­al we con­ti­nue to put a spot­light on the out of con­trol Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail. De­mand Kevin, Tyler, and all pri­so­ners are al­lo­wed ac­cess to books, and that the com­mu­ni­ty in Wood­ford Coun­ty is aware of the stain on them made by this jail.
Jail: 309-​467-​2116
She­riff Pier­ce­all: 309-​467-​2375
Write Kevin and let him know he is sup­por­ted du­ring this hun­ger strike
While Kevin is on hun­ger strike and en­du­ring this dif­fi­cult strugg­le to re­claim a basic right, plea­se send him let­ters of sup­port.
And plea­se in­clu­de in every let­ter in­ter­net prin­touts of in­te­res­ting ar­ti­cles or other ma­te­ri­al he can read (they can re­cei­ve rea­ding ma­te­ri­al prin­ted off the in­ter­net).
(And don’t for­get about Tyler).
Note Kevin’s legal name is Kevin John­son.
Kevin John­son #4565
Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail
111 E Court St.
Eu­re­ka, IL 61530

Tyler Lang #4564
Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail
111 E Court St.
Eu­re­ka, IL 61530


22. oc­to­ber 2013:
FBI using di­vi­de and con­quer tac­tics in at­tempts to ques­ti­on fri­ends of Kevin & Tyler.
Be aware: The FBI has been ques­tio­ning (and more often, at­tempt­ing to ques­ti­on) se­ver­al fri­ends of Tyler & Kevin in the Los An­ge­les area. While this is not re­mar­ka­ble in any po­li­ti­ci­zed case, there are two im­portant ele­ments here that make this la­test round of ques­tio­ning no­ta­ble:
The FBI is at­tempt­ing to turn fri­ends against Kevin: Un­for­t­u­n­a­te­ly, at least one per­son has un­wi­se­ly spo­ken to the FBI. Los An­ge­les FBI agents pul­led one of the ol­dest tricks in their book: Using dis­in­for­ma­ti­on to build ne­ga­ti­ve fee­lings against Kevin to make the per­son being ques­tio­ned more wil­ling to talk. While this trick should be trans­pa­rent, its worth re­pea­ting: The FBI isn’t just al­lo­wed to lie, they usual­ly do. “Di­vi­de and con­quer” wouldn’t be such a well-​worn tac­tic if it didn’t work. Don’t be one of the peop­le to fall for it.
The FBI has al­lu­ded to per­ju­ry char­ges for those who talk: FBI agents told the per­son who spoke with them they al­re­a­dy knew the an­s­wers to ever­y­thing they asked, in­di­ca­ting a pos­si­ble in­ten­ti­on to file per­ju­ry char­ges if co­ope­ra­tors give the “wrong” an­s­wers. If ever there was a more gla­ring re­a­son to not speak with the FBI, this is it: They want you to talk so they can put you in pri­son.
There is never any in­cen­ti­ve to speak with the FBI. They will use your “co­ope­ra­ti­on” to put you in pri­son.


13. oc­to­ber 2013:
Big push to have book ban lif­ted.
Five weeks after being in­sti­tu­ted, the book ban at Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail is wea­ring on Tyler & Kevin, and the bo­re­dom is ta­king a psy­cho­lo­gi­cal toll.
We are as­king sup­por­ters to place mas­si­ve pres­su­re on the jail to re­ver­se this point­less ban that is cau­sing Kevin & Tyler un­ne­cessa­ry psy­cho­lo­gi­cal torment and al­most un­be­ara­ble bo­re­dom.
We have tried for weeks to work with the jail, to no end. So we are try­ing a new ap­proach.
Micha­el “Mike” Wa­ter­worth, the per­son re­s­pon­si­ble for the book ban, so we are as­king ever­yo­ne let him know the spot­light is on him. Call now to let him know the world is still watching as he con­ti­nues to let pri­so­ners waste away wi­thout books, lie about their ac­cess to them, and in­flict this cruel and un­pro­vo­ked pu­ni­ti­ve me­a­su­re on pri­so­ners who have bro­ken no rules.
Jail: 309-​467-​2116
She­riff Pier­ce­all: 309-​467-​2375
Four ways to make your calls ef­fec­tive:
Call mul­ti­ple times. If you call once, plea­se call back two or three more times.
Call both num­bers.
Re­mind them de­ny­ing pri­so­ners books is il­le­gal.
Re­mind them Kevin and Tyler’s sup­por­ters are not going away until the book ban is lif­ted.
Call vo­lu­me has a big im­pact: 100 of their sup­por­ters cal­ling 3 times a day for the next 3 days is ne­ar­ly 1,000 calls. It only takes a mi­nu­te.
The la­test on the book ban
For 5 weeks Kevin & Tyler at­temp­ted to re­me­dy this un­ne­cessa­ry pu­ni­ti­ve me­a­su­re from the in­si­de, by wor­king with Micha­el Wa­ter­worth, the per­son in char­ge with day to day ope­ra­ti­ons. After weeks of tel­ling them to “be pa­ti­ent” and that he’s “wor­king on it,” Wa­ter­worth re­cent­ly de­cla­red flat­ly that the book ban would not be re­ver­sed.
What’s worse, after tel­ling Kevin Ol­liff for weeks that his hands were tied and his su­pe­ri­ors were re­s­pon­si­ble for the ban, this week he told Kevin the de­ci­si­on was his and the book ban would re­main (i.e. that he had lied).
Wa­ter­worth doesn’t even seem to be­lie­ve that his book ban is il­le­gal (read one la­wy­ers ana­ly­sis of the book ban here).
We have in the past re­fer­red to the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail as a law­less ope­ra­ti­on, and the more learn the more true this is. For ex­amp­le, a ve­te­ran guard at the jail ad­mit­ted open­ly that all at­tor­ney-​cli­ent pri­vi­le­ged legal mail is read by the guards. This is a fla­grant vio­la­ti­on of the law.
Plea­se start the calls now
Jail: 309-​467-​2116
She­riff Pier­ce­all: 309-​467-​2375
Let’s hold this law­less jail ac­coun­ta­ble.


13. oc­to­ber 2013:
On Wed­nes­day, Kevin and Tyler had a pre-​tri­al court ap­pearan­ce. There were no major de­ve­lop­ments, but here is a syn­op­sis of what took place:
First, we are re­al­ly ex­ci­ted to an­noun­ce that Kevin & Tyler have new at­tor­neys, who ap­peared in court and of­fi­ci­al­ly took over the de­fen­se from the pu­blic de­fen­der (who had been de­fen­ding them so far). They are hard wor­king at­tor­neys from Chi­ca­go who are com­mit­ted to figh­ting hard for Kevin and Tyler, and they are in good hands.
Kevin’s at­tor­ney re­cei­ved some evi­dence being used against him from the po­li­ce on his case, and ano­ther piece of evi­dence from the State’s At­tor­ney.
The next court date was set for No­vem­ber 6. They ac­tual­ly have a trial date set for No­vem­ber 18, alt­hough that date is ex­pec­ted to be pus­hed back.
Their at­tor­neys had a visit with both of them after the court date. Both were said to be in good spi­rits. They said the food si­tua­ti­on has im­pro­ved great­ly. Tyler is play­ing a lot of chess and cards. They’re still being re­fu­sed ac­cess to books, and the bo­re­dom has been stren­uous on both of them.


02. oc­to­ber 2013:
For over a month now, Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail has blo­cked books sent by fa­mi­ly and fri­ends from re­aching in­ma­tes. This means that not only Kevin and Tyler, but every other in­ma­te, has had zero ac­cess to new rea­ding ma­te­ri­al sent from the outside—we don’t need to tell you that this is a se­rious vio­la­ti­on of their First Amend­ment rights.
[Un­for­t­u­n­a­te­ly, this kind of thing is not un­pre­ce­den­ted. Read more here, here, and here.]
Grie­van­ces have been filed by Kevin, of­fi­ci­als have been con­tac­ted by liai­sons, and still there’s been no mo­ve­ment from Su­per­in­ten­dent Mike Wa­ter­forth or She­riff James Pier­ce­all to lift this ar­bi­tra­ry ban.
SO START CAL­LING. Plea­se con­tact the jail and (po­li­te­ly!) ask when the in­ma­tes will be al­lo­wed to start re­cei­ving books again. Let them know that you’re con­cer­ned about this in­frin­ge­ment on free speech, and that you’ll con­ti­nue to call to check back about the book ban.
Jail: 309-​467-​2116
She­riff Pier­ce­all: 309-​467-​2375
In other news, Kevin and Tyler are ea­ting well, which they’re ob­vious­ly happy about. (So we know Wood­ford Coun­ty can be wor­ked with, given the 180-​de­gree turn-​around with re­gard to their meals.) They’re await­ing their Oc­to­ber 9th pre-​tri­al, and in the me­an­ti­me are rea­ding your let­ters and wha­te­ver de­cent books they can find, and watching too much TV. And as al­ways, they’re gra­te­ful for your sup­port.
Fi­nal­ly, we have a fund­rai­sing goal of $1,000 for the month of Oc­to­ber. Let’s do this for our fri­ends.


16. sep­tem­ber 2013:
In the first re­la­tive­ly good news since their in­c­ar­ce­ra­ti­on, we’re happy to re­port that Kevin and Tyler are now get­ting the vegan meals they’ve been re­ques­ting for over three weeks.
Short­ly after phone calls to the jail stop­ped last week, a nut­ri­tio­nist was sent to see Kevin and Tyler in order to talk about what kinds of food the jail could serve them. Now the guys are get­ting sim­ple but ade­qua­te meals with more ve­ge­ta­bles, fresh fruit, and pea­nut but­ter sand­wi­ches. This is a re­li­ef to ever­yo­ne and a step for­ward in ma­king their de­ten­ti­on more liva­ble.
A less-​en­cou­ra­ging up­date: Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail’s in­co­ming book ban is still in ef­fect with no talk of being lif­ted, and Kevin and Tyler are very quick­ly run­ning out of rea­ding ma­te­ri­al. While some parts of the po­pu­la­ti­on (both in­ma­te and outside) may be con­tent to watch TV or read mys­te­ry no­vels all day, Kevin and Tyler are not. They’re try­ing to use this time to edu­ca­te them­sel­ves fur­ther, and jail’s blan­ket book cen­sorship pro­gram is a vio­la­ti­on of their (and other in­ma­tes’) rights.
We’re wait­ing a litt­le lon­ger to see if Su­per­in­ten­dent Mike Wa­ter­forth lifts this ban, so plea­se con­ti­nue to hold your calls. In the me­an­ti­me, as al­ways, you can sup­port Kevin and Tyler by wri­ting let­ters, sharing their story and con­tact info, and do­na­ting to their com­mis­sa­ry and legal fund. More up­dates are co­ming soon, so stay tuned.
Thanks for ever­y­thing you’re doing. Kevin and Tyler send their love and gra­ti­tu­de.


12. sep­tem­ber 2013:
UP­DATE, Sep­tem­ber 12th: We’re as­king that ever­yo­ne stop cal­ling the jail, tem­pora­ri­ly.
The bulk of the is­su­es are still un­re­sol­ved, but we are as­king for a brief mo­ra­to­ri­um on calls and con­tac­ting the media on be­half of Tyler & Kevin.
We’ll keep ever­yo­ne app­rai­sed of pro­gress if and when it hap­pens. This is not over and plans are in place to deal with the is­su­es re­la­ted to books, food, and email if this is not re­sol­ved soon. Plea­se check back.
Me­anw­hi­le, plea­se focus your sup­port on get­ting let­ters and com­mis­sa­ry funds to Kevin and Tyler. They’re still de­nied ac­cess any­thing be­si­des bi­bles and pop fic­tion, and have li­mi­ted com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ac­cess, so this is the best way to sup­port them.
They re­al­ly thank ever­yo­ne for the huge sup­port they’ve re­cei­ved du­ring this hard time.


10. sep­tem­ber 2013:
After a swarm of phone calls, Su­per­in­ten­dent Mike Wa­ter­forth (fresh off his va­ca­ti­on) had to hold a press con­fe­rence to de­fend the in­ma­te mis­t­re­at­ment going on at his jail. The re­sul­ting news story was en­t­i­re­ly one-​si­ded and mis­re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve. Read the ar­ti­cle its­elf and our re­but­tal here.
Kevin and Tyler’s preli­mi­na­ry hea­ring was yes­ter­day, but as an­ti­ci­pa­ted, not much re­sul­ted aside from more court dates. A pre-​tri­al is set for Oc­to­ber 9th; the ac­tu­al trial is set for No­vem­ber 18th.
The one other de­ve­lop­ment we’ve heard of from the prelim was that they’ve both been in­dic­ted on one char­ge only, “pos­ses­si­on of bur­gla­ry tools.”
Late last week, in a dan­ge­rous pu­ni­ti­ve me­a­su­re cle­ar­ly tar­ge­ted at Kevin and Tyler, the jail su­per­vi­sors re­vo­ked email ac­cess from the en­t­i­re in­ma­te po­pu­la­ti­on. Ab­rupt­ly ta­king it from ever­yo­ne in order to pu­nish a few (not for be­ha­vio­ral in­frac­tions, but for the sup­port they’re get­ting from fa­mi­ly and fri­ends) crea­tes a hos­ti­le at­mo­s­phe­re for the tar­gets of the me­a­su­re—and the jail knows this.
While Kevin and Tyler have re­gained ac­cess to their com­mis­sa­ry funds, re­quests for a doc­tor, and right to file grie­van­ces—they’re STILL not re­cei­ving ade­qua­te meals and in­co­ming books are still ban­ned (Tyler is re­por­ted­ly on his last book, which means his choices will soon be nar­ro­wed to pop fic­tion and bi­bles).
We an­ti­ci­pa­te a big an­noun­ce­ment to roll out to­mor­row. Plea­se stay tuned. And plea­se keep sprea­ding the word.
Re­al­ly, SEND LET­TERS. Wi­thout email now and with re­stric­ted phone ac­cess, this is their only ac­cess to the outside world. Show them and the jail of­fi­ci­als that Kevin and Tyler have a huge com­mu­ni­ty sup­por­ters.


10. sep­tem­ber 2013:
Tu­es­day morning, the Pe­o­ria Jour­nal Star news­pa­per pu­blis­hed a story about Kevin, Tyler, and their tre­at­ment at the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail (“Web­site ac­cu­sa­ti­ons spur phone calls to Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail“). Pro­blem was, they got al­most ever­y­thing wrong.
They paper also made the mis­ta­ke of lin­king to this site, so that we are able to tell their re­a­ders what a poor re­porting job was done. We are gra­te­ful for the chan­ce to ad­dress its re­a­dership di­rect­ly.
Six ex­am­ples of slop­py re­porting in the Pe­o­ria Star ar­ti­cle
The re­por­ter never con­tac­ted this site, nor any spo­kes­per­son for Kevin & Tyler. Get­ting both sides of the story is fun­da­men­tal to any re­porting done with in­te­gri­ty. We’re sure Laura Nigh­ten­ga­le is not proud to admit: She never con­tac­ted us.
De­s­pi­te this web­site fea­turing hea­vi­ly in the ar­ti­cle, we were never con­tac­ted. In­s­tead, she re­li­ed en­t­i­re­ly on quo­tes from the po­li­ce.
Star­ting with that blun­der, it should come as no sur­pri­se the ar­ti­cle avo­ided ade­qua­te­ly and di­rect­ly ad­dres­sing any of Kevin & Tyler’s grie­van­ces.
The ban on ac­cess to com­mis­sa­ry and pho­nes was not ad­dres­sed (as of yes­ter­day, these were res­to­red, pre­s­u­m­a­b­ly due to outside pres­su­re and media sc­ru­ti­ny).
The ar­ti­cle did not ad­dress the jail-​wi­de ban on in­co­ming books which took place hours after their wish list was made pu­blic. The issue was skir­ted by the ar­ti­cle, which sta­ted there is a “jail li­b­ra­ry” (a cart of books with most­ly bi­bles and fic­tion) – a point en­t­i­re­ly un­re­la­ted to the ban on in­co­ming books.
The ar­ti­cle sta­tes they are re­cei­ving vegan meals. They are not re­cei­ving vegan meals. No one makes up lies about being star­ved for fun. As con­fir­med by Kevin & Tyler daily, they con­ti­nue to not be pro­vi­ded vegan meals.
There was no at­tempt to coun­ter the re­vo­king of Kevin & Tyler’s abi­li­ty to file grie­van­ces, and there were no quo­tes from the po­li­ce ad­dres­sing this.
The re­por­ter did not chal­len­ge the po­li­ce on jail guard Den­nis Wertz’s overt thre­ats to Kevin Ol­liff that he have this web­site taken down or his com­mis­sa­ry and email would be taken away (which they sub­se­quent­ly were).
The only part the po­li­ce were ho­nest about is the ban on email, which they admit was in­sti­tu­ted after the “dis­rup­ti­ve re­s­pon­se” (phone calls to the jail) crea­ted when Tyler & Kevin emai­led in­for­ma­ti­on about the book ban and in­a­de­qua­te food.
Hol­ding jour­na­lists ac­coun­ta­ble
This is where it be­co­mes pro­ble­ma­tic for a re­por­ter to speak only to one side (the po­li­ce): When these in­ac­cu­ra­cies in slop­py re­porting are able to be poin­ted out pu­bli­cly, and by those who can speak to the facts. That is, those who ac­tual­ly speak with Kevin & Tyler daily. Again, we were never con­tac­ted to coun­ter state­ments from the po­li­ce with Kevin & Tyler’s own words.


06. sep­tem­ber 2013:
Today, both Kevin & Tyler had their email, com­mis­sa­ry, and phone taken away in ex­pres­sed re­ta­lia­ti­on for the outside sup­port they’ve re­cei­ved. And it gets worse. As pu­nish­ment, the jail has also taken away their right to see a doc­tor and file grie­van­ces – both fla­grant­ly il­le­gal moves. Yet more scan­dal: A jail staff mem­ber war­ned Kevin Ol­liff two days ago they would im­po­se this pu­nish­ment if he didn’t have this web­site taken down.
The Wood­ford Coun­ty jail is out of con­trol and cri­mi­nal, and they are at­tempt­ing to cut off Kevin & Tyler’s com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on to the outside world to keep an­yo­ne from knowing what they are doing. To say this has back­fired is an un­der­state­ment, be­cau­se now they have esca­la­ted a sim­ple re­quest for books and food to so­me­thing that is le­gal­ly ac­tio­nable.

Keep the pres­su­re up
We are wor­king to get names of the peop­le re­s­pon­si­ble and post them here so they can be pu­bli­cly ac­coun­ta­ble. For now, we ask that ever­yo­ne keep the pres­su­re on the jail.
Call the jail: 309-​467-​2116 is the num­ber. Tell them to pro­vi­de Tyler & Kevin with vegan food, and res­to­re their ac­cess to doc­tors, the phone, email, com­mis­sa­ry, and books.
Call the she­riff: She­riff James Pier­ce­all, 309-​467-​2375. Let him know what his hap­pe­ning in his jail, and ask what he’s going to do to cor­rect it.
Call the mayor: Scott Punke, 309-​467-​2113. Let him know Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail has tur­ned into a law­less ope­ra­ti­on and in­form him of all the de­tails, es­pe­ci­al­ly that pri­so­ners are being de­nied ac­cess to me­di­cal care as pu­nish­ment.
Here is a run­down of the events so far:
- From day one, the jail has re­fu­sed to serve them vegan meals. They have been in jail for 3 weeks.
- Just after Kevin & Tyler’s book wish lists were pos­ted, the jail de­cla­red a ban on all books in the jail.
- After a flood of phone calls, a jail staff­per­son told both Tyler & Kevin on Tu­es­day that if the calls didn’t stop, they would take away ever­y­thing they could from both of them, in­clu­ding phone calls and com­mis­sa­ry.
- Also on Tu­es­day, a staff­per­son told Kevin John­son he would be pu­nis­hed if this web­site (de­tai­ling the jail’s mis­deeds) wasn’t taken down.
- On Thurs­day morning, every pos­si­ble thing that could be taken from them, was: Email ac­cess was cut off, phone re­vo­ked, and com­mis­sa­ry was taken away.
- In ad­di­ti­on, they had both their abi­li­ty to file grie­van­ces cut off, and their abi­li­ty to see a doc­tor.

Kevin and Tyler’s health in dan­ger
As it stands, Kevin & Tyler are re­cei­ving in­suf­fi­ci­ent food, and now are un­able to sup­ple­ment it with com­mis­sa­ry food. And as they are ef­fec­tive­ly being star­ved, they are also un­able to seek me­di­cal help.
As their si­tua­ti­on wor­sens, they are un­able to get word out of their con­di­ti­on, be­cau­se all means of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on have been cut off. It is vi­tal­ly im­portant that we esca­la­te pres­su­re on the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail now.
The world is watching
Now Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail’s mis­deeds have a world­wi­de au­di­ence. This is not going away for them, de­s­pi­te their at­tempt to crea­te an in­for­ma­ti­on black­out by cut­ting off out­go­ing com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on for Kevin & Tyler.
We are com­pi­ling names of the pu­blic ser­vants re­s­pon­si­ble and will post soon, so the world can know who is be­hind this.
We are mo­ving for­ward with legal re­me­dies on this end. We need ever­yo­ne out there to keep up the pres­su­re with phone calls.
Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail: Your cri­mi­nal ac­tions now have a world­wi­de au­di­ence. Your fee­b­le at­tempt to cut off Kevin & Tyler’s com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on chan­nels and prevent the pu­blic from knowing what you’re doing has fai­led. The spot­light is on you.
Jail: 309-​467-​2116
She­riff: She­riff James Pier­ce­all, 309-​467-​2375
Mayor: Scott Punke, 309-​467-​2113


04. sep­tem­ber 2013:
Both re­cei­ving in­suf­fi­ci­ent food
De­s­pi­te over two weeks of at­tempt­ing to re­me­dy the si­tua­ti­on from the in­si­de, the jail con­ti­nues to dis­re­gard their need for vegan food. They have been forced to pick out small amounts of vegan food from their meals, and many meals pro­vi­de not­hing that is vegan. The jail has been un­re­s­pon­si­ve to their con­sis­tent re­quests, and its time for these re­quests to start co­ming from the outside.
Gi­ving the jail a free edu­ca­ti­on in how to treat pri­so­ners
With a jail as small as Wood­ford Coun­ty, it is li­kely they are not aware what it means to tar­get pri­so­ners who have mas­si­ve outside sup­port. To­ge­ther, we can edu­ca­te them.
All calls to the jail should (po­li­te­ly) let the jail know that:
-The jail should allow books to its pri­so­ners (like ne­ar­ly every other jail in the coun­try).
-​Ke­vin & Tyler should be pro­vi­ded vegan food.

Plea­se call the jail now: 309-​467-​2116

If the re­s­pon­se you re­cei­ve from the jail is un­sa­tis­fac­to­ry
Call the she­riff and let him know what the jail (that is under his su­per­vi­si­on) is doing, and ask what he is going to do to cor­rect it.

She­riff James Pier­ce­all: 309-​467-​2375

Phone calls achie­ve re­sults. Many small batt­les like these have been won for pri­so­ners through phone calls from the outside. Thanks for sup­porting Tyler & Kevin.


04. sep­tem­ber 2013:
Hours after pos­ting Hours after pos­ting Kevin Ol­liff and Tyler Lang ’s book wish list so they can pass their time in jail pro­duc­tive­ly, the jail an­noun­ced a new rule: Books are no lon­ger al­lo­wed in the en­t­i­re jail.
This is a trans­pa­rent at­tempt to tar­get Kevin and Tyler. In a jail with less than 20 peop­le, word is that they are the only two pri­so­ners who have been re­cei­ving books from the outside.
Small jails such as the Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail are not used to pri­so­ners who have tre­men­dous outside sup­port, and will li­kely need a po­li­te re­min­der that the world is watching. We are pl­an­ning to deal with this un­pro­vo­ked tar­ge­ting of Kevin & Tyler ag­gres­si­ve­ly and will be pos­ting up­dates short­ly.
Until this is re­sol­ved, plea­se hold off on sen­ding books.
Plea­se send Kevin & Tyler a let­ter of sup­port (in­clu­de your email ad­dress if you wish to cor­re­spond via email):
Kevin John­son #4565
Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail
111 E Court St.
Eu­re­ka, IL 61530

Tyler Lang #4564
Wood­ford Coun­ty Jail
111 E Court St.
Eu­re­ka, IL 61530


14. au­gust 2013:
Kevin John­son (Kevin Ol­liff) and Tyler Lang are ani­mal rights ac­tivists who were ar­rested on Au­gust 14 in rural Il­li­nois on char­ges of „pos­ses­si­on of bur­gla­ry tools.“ Visit their sup­port web­site for up­dates: http://​supportkevinandtyler.​com
Two Los An­ge­les ani­mal rights ac­tivists – Kevin Ol­liff and Tyler Lang – have been ar­rested in rural Il­li­nois. They are being char­ged with “pos­ses­si­on of bur­gla­ry tools,” a fel­ony.
Many de­tails are not known, and there are some we can­not post pu­bli­cly yet, but here is what we can say right now:
The two were pul­led over late on the night of Au­gust 14th in rural Roano­ke, Il­li­nois. After re­fu­sing con­sent to a se­arch, the po­li­ce se­ar­ched their car any­way. In­si­de, po­li­ce al­le­ge they found bolt cut­ters, wire cut­ters, mu­ria­tic acid, ski masks, and cammo clot­hing.
There is no evi­dence lin­king them to any crime or in­ten­ded crime, nor were they ar­rested on an­yo­ne’s pro­per­ty, and their his­to­ry as ani­mal ad­vo­ca­tes is the only basis for these se­rious fel­ony char­ges.
They were sub­se­quent­ly ar­rested for “pos­ses­si­on of bur­gla­ry tools, ” for the wire cut­ters and bolt cut­ters. The po­li­ce have not yet spe­cu­la­ted what they be­lie­ve the in­ten­ded “bur­gla­ry” tar­get was. We will give more de­tails once we are able.

Kevin & Tyler have their next court date set for Sep­tem­ber 9th. This is just a preli­mi­na­ry hea­ring and we’re not yet sure what will tran­spi­re at this ap­pearan­ce, but it is li­kely there will be some more news to re­port after this date. Check back for up­dates.

Plea­se send Kevin & Tyler a let­ter of sup­port (in­clu­de your email ad­dress if you wish to cor­re­spond via email):

Kevin John­son #0327873943
EU­RE­KA, IL 61530-​1252

Tyler Lang #0821889409
EU­RE­KA, IL 61530-​1252

Tyler being held in se­gre­ga­ti­on
We got word that Tyler Lang is being held in “ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­ve se­gre­ga­ti­on” for an un­known re­a­son. This is a type of con­fi­ne­ment ge­ne­ral­ly re­ser­ved for high-​risk pri­so­ners or those who are being pu­nis­hed. We’re told he is being held in a small cell block with three other pri­so­ners se­pa­ra­te from the rest of the po­pu­la­ti­on. It is pos­si­ble this is being done be­cau­se the jail is so small, it is the only way to keep Kevin and Tyler apart.
In other news re­gar­ding Tyler, he is not being given vegan food. So far, he has been sustai­ning him­s­elf off food purcha­sed from the jail com­mis­sa­ry, which is ex­pen­si­ve. He is at­tempt­ing to re­me­dy the pro­blem from the in­si­de, howe­ver calls to the jail may be ne­cessa­ry in the near fu­ture.

Bail for Kevin and Tyler set at $100,000 & $200,000
After in­iti­al­ly being held wi­thout bail, Kevin Ol­liff and Tyler Lang had their bail amounts set today.
The bail hea­ring shed some light on how the courts and law en­force­ment may be trea­ting this case. After the local pro­se­cu­tor in­iti­al­ly asked for much lower amounts, the judge went bey­ond even what he re­quested and set bail for Tyler Lang at $100,000, and Kevin Ol­liff at $200,000.
This amount is ex­or­bi­tant for a “bur­gla­ry tools” char­ge. In Il­li­nois, $15,000 bail is the stan­dard for Class 4 felo­nies.
Until bail can be ar­ran­ged, Kevin and Tyler re­main in jail.

About Kevin Ol­liff
Kevin is a 25 ye­ar-​old ac­tivist from Brent­wood, Ca­li­for­nia. A vegan since age 15, Kevin has been in­vol­ved in nu­me­rous ani­mal rights cam­paigns since the mid-​2000s, in­clu­ding vegan ou­t­reach, an­ti-​vi­vi­sec­tion work, and a tour with the Sea She­pherd.