Environment Magazine

Kevin Johnson Moved to Isolation Unit: Day 7 of Hunger Strike

Posted on the 30 October 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

Kevin-TylerJail threatens to begin force-feeding as Kevin is moved to solitary confinement.

from Support Kevin and Tyler

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.

Tyler Lang and Kevin Olliff are two Los Angeles animal rights activists who were arrested in rural Illinois for “possession of burglary tools.” After a traffic stop in which they refused consent to a police search, their car was searched anyway. Inside, police allege they found bolt cutters, wire cutters, muriatic acid, ski masks, and cammo clothing.

Police believe these items were “burglary tools” intended to be used in a crime, and arrested Kevin and Tyler. The two are held on felony charges which carry up to 3 years in prison. They have remained in jail since their arrest on August 14th.

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.

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 [email protected].

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).


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

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