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Jailed animal rights activist goes on hunger strike in Illinois

Update, November 1st: After 8 days without food, the book ban was lifted and Kevin ended his hunger strike.

Kevin Olliff is on hunger strike until the Woodford County Jail book ban is reversed.

Background: 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.

From Support Kevin and Tyler (.com)

“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 reneged 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

  • 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″