by Susan Tipograph
Wednesday, 05 March 2008
We must be on the front lines for our freedom fighters!
Many of you know or know of Robert Seth Hayes, a former Black Panther
Party member who has been incarcerated in New York State for 35
years. Seth has diabetes and hepatitis C and he has received
shockingly poor medical care. Recently, his diabetes has been out of
control and for the last two months he has had an infection on his
toe which has gone untreated. Despite the fact that his blood sugars
have been often sky-high, in the eight years that he has been
diagnosed with diabetes, he has never seen an endocrinologist or
I have just written a letter to Brian Fischer, commissioner of the
New York Department of Correctional Services - at Building 2, 1220
Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12226 - and other DOCS officials
demanding in summary that a) Seth's toe infection get dealt with
immediately and b) he is seen and his care supervised by an outside
diabetes specialist. If they cannot do it at Wende or in the Buffalo
area, he should be transferred to a facility where that can happen.
I have also sent that letter with a cover letter asking for help to a
number of New York state legislators who have previously proven
helpful or serve on committees where they should. These legislators
include, in the Senate, Thomas Duane and Eric Adams of the Committee
on Corrections and, in the Assembly, Jeffrion Aubry, chair, Committee
on Corrections; Keith L.T. Wright, Committee on Corrections; Richard
N. Gottfried, chair, Committee on Health. Contact information can be
found on the websites of the Senate and Assembly.
Starting Feb. 26, 2008, please write letters to Brian Fischer to
insure that Seth gets the care that he requires. Also, please contact
the legislators I mentioned - along with any others that you think
could or should be helpful - and request that they take action to
insure that Seth gets the care that he needs and requires. If any of
you have personal or professional relationships with these
legislators, please impress upon them the urgency of this request.
Please pass this request along as widely as possible. If there are
other political, community and religious leaders or any others who
could be helpful, please reach out to them. I am on my own and my
resources are limited, so anything that you can do will be a great help.
If you can, send me a copy of any correspondence so that I can keep
it in my records and send it along to Seth. In my experience,
individual letters, particularly those from people of influence,
rather than form letters or petitions, make the most difference.
Thanks so much.
Susan Tipograph can be reached at 350 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY 10013.