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Vegan Prisoner in Multnomah County Jail needs our letters NOW!

Today I received a letter dated 11-9-05 from eco-defense prisoner Steve (Stephen) Marshall. Steve is being held in Multnomah County Jail in Portland, Oregon while awaiting trial. He is accused of planning to destroy equipment belonging to a quarry company, which he allegedly claimed is polluting a river.
Because of his beliefs against cruelty to animals, Steve does not eat any animal products. Steve's diet has been a huge issue the entire time he has been in custody, and he has continually struggled to get vegan food. He has repeatedly been denied vegan food, and has often gone hungry rather contribute to the oppression of animals.

Staff at Multnomah County jail have been telling Steve for a month that
they were "working on" implementing a vegan diet for him. They even asked him for names and addresses of "Leaders" they could contact to verify his dietary needs. (Steve gave them my name and address, but they never contacted me.) On November 9th, the jail's chaplain told Steve that in order to get vegan meals, a prisoner at the jail has to "have a recognized religion." Since Steve is not claiming religious reasons for wanting vegan food, but his "own beliefs against animal cruelty," they are denying Steve the diet he needs.

Steve is not going to give in and eat animal products if the jail refuses
to provide vegan food. His beliefs are too strong! If the jail refuses
to provide him with adequate, nutritious vegan food, Steve is going to try
to live off whatever comes on his meal tray that does meet his dietary
needs. It is likely that he will lose a lot of weight and even become
sick, rather than eat (as he put it in his letter to me) "dead flesh."

I have written a letter to Captain Jim Turney, the facility commander at
Multnomah County Jail. That letter follows this message. Please print
out the letter, sign it, and mail it to Captain Turney. Better yet, write
a letter in your own words telling Captain Turney why it is important that
Steve be provided with a vegan diet. If you are a vegan, tell Captain
Turney why it is important that human beings not oppress other animals.

Perhaps you could send Captain Turney some literature telling of the
horrors of the meat, diary, and egg industries, or send him your favorite
vegan recipe so he will have some ideas of what Steve should be fed. If
you would rather call the jail, the telephone number is 503-988-3689. I
found a general e-mail address for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. It is  webmaster@mcso.us; it might be helpful to put Captain Turney's name in the subject line.

Please take a few minutes to help Steve in whatever way you can. He is a really nice guy and seems to truly care about the environment and animals. He hasn't even been convicted of a crime, but jail officials are demanding that he go against his values so that he does not starve.

Also consider sending Steve a card or a letter. In the letter I received today, he wrote, "I love mail. It's the best thing in here!" His contact
information is as follows:

Stephen Marshall
691374 MCDC
1120 SW 3rd
Portland, OR 97204

Thank you,
Chantel

=====================
SAMPLE LETTER:


Monday, November 21, 2005

To: Facility Commander Captain Jim Turney
Multnomah County Detention Center
1120 SW 3rd
Portland, OR 97204

Dear Captain Turney:

I am writing to you regarding a prisoner held at the Multnomah County
Detention Center, Stephen Marshall (#691374). It has come to my attention that Mr. Marshall is being denied a vegan diet because he does not claim affiliation with a "recognized religion."

Because of his beliefs against cruelty to animals, Mr. Marshall does not
eat any animal products. Throughout his time in custody in the state of
Oregon, he has repeatedly been denied vegan food, and has often gone
hungry rather contribute to the oppression of animals.

Mr. Marshall is not going to give in and eat animal products if your
facility refuses to provide him with vegan food. His beliefs are too
strong! If your facility refuses to provide him with adequate, nutritious
vegan food, Mr. Marshall is going to try to live off whatever comes on his
meal tray that does meet his dietary limitations. It is likely that he
will lose a great deal of weight and even become sick, rather than eat
dead flesh. This must not happen! Mr. Marshall's health and well-being
cannot be jeopardized! It is imperative that he be fed a nutritionally
sound diet that does not include animal products.

It is not right that although Mr. Marshall has not even been convicted of
a crime, jail officials are demanding that he go against his values so
that he does not starve.

I request that you investigate this situation at once and see to it that
Mr. Marshall immediately begins receiving an adequate, nutritious diet
that does not include animal products.

Sincerely,

difficulty getting email address 21.Nov.2005 13:04

trying

I called the sheriff's department to get that Turney fellow's email address. I had to talk to a couple of haughty types who said they don't give out email addresses because they're personal. Trying to tell them that these people's email addresses, being in the service of public business in the county system, are not private met with indignation.

Go to the top 24.Nov.2005 07:46

Mult

Send an email to Diane Linn  Diane.M.Linn@co.multnomah.or.us and don't forget to let her know how her employees in the Corrections dept are treating the public they are supposed to serve.

Message from Stephen Marshall 26.Nov.2005 07:19

reposting from a list

10-27-05

Dear BTC gang!

How you all doing? I'm in Multinomah County now awaiting trial on December
6th. Listen, I'm having some issues on my vegan diet - they are having
trouble believing I'm vegan! I am asking if you could all send Multinomah
County a couple letters regarding myself and my vegan diet. That would be a
great help!

So yea, other than that I'm just hanging out writing poetry and keeping a
smile on my face. Has the Fall edition of the newsletter come out yet? The
Winter? Also, can you help me get in touch with the Earth
Liberation Prisoner Support Network? I have not received a newsletter from
them lately either. And last but not least, I need help getting my new
address out to the public. This is all I need. I know it's a big list but I
need big help.

So yea, I'll throw some poems in here too. Maybe they will end up in a
newsletter.

Well hey I don't have much else to write about now. Thanks for everything,
your support and all, it means a lot!

Yours in struggle,

Steve Marshall
#691374
MCDC
1120 SW 3rd
Portland, OR 97204

Poem: Lyrical Activism

Lyrical activism
Something straight, its from my heart
It helps hold me together
While they're tearing me apart

From my prison cell
I'll fight tyranny with rhymes
A thorn in the side of the beast
While I do my time

They can take my freedom
But they can't have my spirit
I will let my feelings flow
Through these poetic lyrics

Screaming through pencil point
Protesting in inks
I will make it known to all
Just how the hell I think

All my thoughts on oppression
Lost inside my mind
Are scribbled on some paper somewhere
That someday I'll find

I pour my heart onto parchment
My thoughts turn into pages
I have to keep on writing
It's how I let out my rage

My writings represent feelings
That I hold deep inside
And while I'm wanting to explode
I still remain dignified

I'm stuck on Lymericks
Lymericks stuck on my fight
I speak about what I know
Deep in my heart what is right

I remain raging out at pencil point
making thoughts words with lead
It's the only thing I have
to ease the pressure in my head

AP story about Stephen Marshall 27.Nov.2005 08:20

www.registerguard.com

Portland jail won't cater to vegan prisoner
The Associated Press

Published Friday, November 25, 2005 in The Register Guard

PORTLAND - There should be some Thanksgiving leftovers at the Justice Center Jail.
Stephen Marshall, 20, who is accused of eco-sabotage, has asked for vegan meals (no meat, eggs or dairy) since he arrived at the jail in August.

Jail officials have refused to adhere to his dietary wishes, and are offering him turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving.

Marshall probably won't eat too much.

``It's a huge problem,'' said Lt. Michael Shults, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, which operates the county jails.

``There's always somebody coming in and saying, `I can't eat that.' Once you give someone one thing and somebody else another, we're running a full scale buffet, which is very expensive.''

The jail's kitchen provides custom meals only for religious or medical reasons. Marshall cites no religious conviction, only his beliefs against animal cruelty.

Marshall's attorney would not allow his client to discuss his dietary needs. But Chantel Guidry, a Lawrence, Kan.-based member of the prisoner support network Anarchist Black Cross, is leading a letter-writing campaign to get Marshall his vegan diet.

Guidry says Marshall survives on whatever vegan items arrive on his tray, and she is concerned about the effect on his health.

``It is not necessary that Mr. Marshall lose a great deal of weight and risk his good health just because he is not a member of an accepted religion,'' Guidry wrote in a letter dated Monday to the Justice Center jail captain.

Marshall is accused of plotting to blow up trucks and equipment belonging to Morse Bros., which he claimed is polluting a stream in Washington County. He has a Dec. 6 trial date in federal court.
As of last week, the county was providing special diets for about 10 percent of the total jail population.

Shults said a panel of chaplains, including Muslim and Buddhist clerics, helps screen religious dietary requests. ``Portland is a very diverse community,'' Shults said. ``We decided to go out and ask for help.''

My letter to Diane Linn 27.Nov.2005 10:09

--

Dear Commisioner Linn:

Would you please tell your employees in the County Jail to get off their high horses and feed our vegan prisoners the food they need? There are tons of vegans in the Portland area, and more all the time. Feeding a vegan prisoner isn't all that hard, and they shouldn't need to be following any religious doctrine or have a doctor's note to get their needs filled. If, God forbid, I were ever held in the county jail, I would starve if I didn't have vegan food to eat. That's not because my morals are so strong I couldn't be tempted away from the narrow path or because I was stubborn, but because I simply can't stand non-vegan food and would get really ill from eating it.

Vegan food is simply food without animal products in it, and there is more of that around than there is animal food. Please see to it that the Sheriff's Department and the jail employees stop being jerks and enter the 21st century. Thanks.

Vegan Prisoner Support Network 28.Nov.2005 15:46

beagle

check out this website and then contact them about Stephen Marshall