Tre Arrow's supporters haven't been able to visit or even talk to him by phone since he was confined to the hospital unit. His family and lawyer report he remains shackled to a hospital bed, and he is too weak to walk and can barely stand up. Tre's sister is flying in from California this week, and his next hearing is scheduled for August 26, if he lives that long.
It is horrifying to realize that the authorities may allow Tre to die of starvation, even though it's easily within their power to give him the food he needs. I want Tre's friends and supporters to consider the appropriate response if this actually comes to pass. I want Tre to be remembered in a way that's fitting, and I want his work to continue.
Last year 169 people died in Canadian prisons, mostly because of things like unsterilized needles and lack of condoms, which cause killer diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. Activists have been fighting for the basic human rights of prisoners for decades, but have little to show for it. Allowing prisoners to die suits the system just fine.
We need a place for our anger and grief.
Canadian Press (syndicated news) writes:
Fugitive U.S. environmentalist hospitalized
VANCOUVER -- An American environmentalist wanted in the U.S. on charges of fire-bombing logging and concrete trucks is down to 85 pounds and is under guard in a Vancouver-area hospital, his lawyer said yesterday. Michael Scarpitti, 30, went on a hunger strike this spring and recently spent time in solitary confinement for hoarding vegetables in his B.C. jail cell.
He is seeking bail while fighting extradition to the U.S.
Scarpitti, who goes by the name Tre Arrow, made the FBI's 10-most-wanted list for allegedly setting fires at an Oregon sand and gravel company and a logging firm in 2001. He was arrested in Victoria in March for allegedly trying to shoplift a pair of bolt cutters.
Since then, Scarpitti has applied to become a refugee in Canada.
The vegan spent five days in solitary confinement in North Fraser Pretrial Centre recently when he was caught with a stash of raw food in his cell. Jail authorities forbid the practice of hoarding vegetables because they can easily be made into moonshine.
"They can't move him,' lawyer Alexandra Janse said outside court yesterday after her client's bail hearing was adjourned to Aug. 26.