As you know Governor Quinn has proposed closing Tamms supermax. Shutting down this prison would relieve the suffering of some 200 men in Tamms and their families and be a symbol to the rest of the country that these inhumane torture chambers can and should become a thing of the past.

But, there are powerful forces fighting to keep Tamms open and it is going to be a tough battle, with no second chances. We have a matter of 2-3 weeks to really make it happen.

We have come this far because so many of you have contacted your legislators, signed public statements, co-sponsored events and collaborated in dozens of other ways. We are moving a mountain. We need you now more than ever! See the list below for anything you might do!

Sincerely,

James P. Chapman
President – Illinois Institute for Community Law and Affairs

and

Tamms Year Ten
(We are the moms, sisters, dads, and loved-ones of the men at Tamms, the survivors of Tamms, and many many other people working in solidarity with them.)

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WHAT YOU CAN DO AS A GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL

We welcome any help and support from other groups and individuals in the tasks needed to shut down Tamms. Or, start your own initiative!

1. ATTEND THE APRIL 2 TAMMS CLOSURE HEARINGS (see below for full details) If your organization wants to become a co-sponsor of the bus trip, contact Megan Selby at meganselby@gmail.com.

2. ATTEND THE APRIL 4 “I AM A MOM” ACTION (see below for full details) Come and turnout others so the moms are fully supported in their message: this is not about jobs, it is an issue of human dignity.

3. WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS – This is the most important thing you can do! This link makes it so easy: http://tinyurl.com/closetamms. If you happen to have or know one of our *super-target* legislators, then we beg you to help pressure them to close Tamms. (*super-target* legislators list here) Try to extract promises from them that they will fight for closure. We need them to be as committed to closing Tamms as the downstaters are about keeping it open.

4. PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE OPEN AND WE NEED YOURS – The committee making recommendations on closures (GCFA) is now taking public comments. We need hundreds of comments supporting closure. It can be short. But every person who wants Tamms to close must make a comment! Feel free to use our talking points. If you are an organization and can post a statement, even better. (You can also provide written or oral testimony to the committee.) More information on their website here: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/cgfa2006/Upload/FacClosPublicComments.html

5. PROTESTS and RALLIES and PRESS ACTIONS – Hold your own public action on the issue and invite us! You will definitely get press because they want to cover these hearings. (We are so grateful to Illinois Coalition Against Torture for doing just that!) We especially need people outside of Chicago to take initiatives.

6. SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  – Write your local paper and tell them why Tamms should be closed. If you want to write something longer, write an op-ed. Then submit it as a public comment.

7. SOCIAL MEDIA – Join our Facebook groups and help spread the word. Post all the past articles! Help people understand how inhumane it is, and get them talking.
* Join the Facebook closed group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/52368937608/
* Like the Facebook Page and share it: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamms-Year-Ten/316084185105579

THANKS FOR ANYTHING YOU CAN DO!!!  IF TAMMS CLOSES, IT WILL ONLY BE BECAUSE YOU CAME THROUGH RIGHT NOW!

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1. TAMMS CLOSURE HEARINGS  (BUS TRIP IN SOLIDARITY WITH MOMS, SISTERS, AND LOVED-ONES)

WHEN: Hearings are Monday, April 2 at NOON. Hearings will last 3 hours!
Leave Monday around 5:00am in our fine comfortable bus from downtown Chicago and return same day!

WHERE: Educational Center, campus of Shawnee Community College, 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin IL 62992

WHY: Come and turnout your friends and your group! We are going to be outnumbered by thousands of people fighting to keep Tamms open but a very strong presence will make a strong statement!

HOW: Tamms Year Ten and our allies are sponsoring a bus to the hearings. If your organization wants to become a co-sponsor of the bus trip, contact Megan Selby at meganselby@gmail.com.

COST: If you can, please donate at least $30 to support the costs of the bus. However, if you can’t pay, we would be honored to have you and urge you to come! (Sliding scale $0 to $100!)

RSVP: Please let us know that you will be attending as soon as you can so that we reserve the appropriate bus. Email us with all your contact information: tammsyearten@gmail.com.
http://www.facebook.com/events/408348389180081

2. “I AM A MOM” ACTION (WE STAND BY THE MOMS!)

WHEN: Wednesday, April 4 from NOON to 1:00 pm
**PRESS EVENT–PLAN TO BE EARLY–BRING SOME PEOPLE**

WHERE: James R. Thompson Center at 100 W Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

WHAT: We will march peacefully from the IDOC headquarters and governor’s office at the James R. Thompson Center over to AFSCME, Council 31 headquarters at 205 N. Michigan Avenue. We will be lead by the moms, dads, sisters, and other loved-ones of men at Tamms.

WHY: To remind the governor, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the public that closing Tamms supermax is not about jobs, but about human dignity. Our march will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 44th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis, and commemorate his collaboration with AFSCME in their common effort to win rights for striking sanitation workers.

Our marchers will carry signs that read “I AM A MAN” just like those carried in Memphis, but here signifying that men at Tamms, and prisoners everywhere have fundamental human rights. Other signs will read “I AM A MOM” and “I AM A SON” to indicate that the families of men at Tamms are also devastated by the prison’s soul destroying regime of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation.

RSVP: Please let us know that you will be attending so that we will be happy and also so we can get an accurate sign and people count! RSVP to tammsyearten@gmail.com.