This message is from MindFreedom International:
This is an update to an earlier Shield Alert by MFI that was distributed last week
MindFreedom International (MFI ) and Roads to Freedom Center for Independent Living (RTFCIL) are jointly searching for a Pennsylvania-based attorney willing to conduct parallel legal actions in tandem with a potential Department of Justice (DOJ) complaint in relationship to the guardianship abuse of David Italiano, an elderly person with disabilities who was disappeared in Pennsylvania's broken guardianship system.
MindFreedom has been advised by several attorneys, including Jim Gottstein, founder of PsychRights, that if we leverage enough people power while pursuing parellel legal action, we can not only help find and free David, we may be able to help in the larger battle to expose guardianship abuse and help psychiatric survivors, the elderly, and people with disabilities enjoy the freedoms they were promised by the Olmstead Ruling.. This is important because Olmstead says that a person has the right to live in the least restrictive setting in their communities.
If you read David Italiano's story HERE on our website or in one of our previous Shield alerts and you took the time to sign the petition, thank you!
If you have not signed the petition already, please take the time today to sign it HERE! To date, we have acquired nearly 600 signatures This is fantastic and is about 40-50 signatures per day. With your continued help we can reach 1,000 signatures by Monday!
Then, we will work to get to 10,000 by working with our partner organizations such as Open Excellence, Centers for Independent Living, PsychRights, Rethinking Psychiatry, and others.
The strong cross disability alliances that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are well documented. Let's continue to honor one another as human beings, and not let our labels, physical limitations, or perceived challenges define us or divide us!
If you signed the petition already, consider revisiting the petition site HERE to share with your friends! (basic instructions for sharing are below if you scroll down).
It is critical to maintain pressure on lawmakers and David's guardians.
Tom Olin, well known activist in the early days of the battle to pass Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stated.
"Time could be running out for David Italiano!" Each day that he remains hidden and locked up increases the risk to his person!"
Ron Bassman, Executive Director of MindFreedom, states
"As someone who was forcibly institutionalized in a psychiatric facility I can tell you from experience that time is not the same for someone who is in an institution"
Time is of the essence! Please act today!
Some of you who are familiar with David's story may recall that we cannot confirm if David has been subjected to fraudulent psychiatric labeling or forced drugging/shock but we do know that he is being institutionalized against his will and that his guardian has forbiddent to communicate with the outside world.
Unfortunately, these kinds of abuses are common in congregate living facilities. Individuals who are elderly or disabled, like many psychiatric survivors, are at also risk of guardianship abuse. What is happening to David, could happen to you!
Why is the agency serving as his guardian stonewalling reasonable requests from his advocates/supporters to speak to him? What are they hiding? Please support our efforts to keep up the heat until we find and free David and help MFI expose the dangers of an unchecked guardianship system!
It is imperative that he be given back his phone and let his supporters know he is OK. After confirming his well being to our satisfaction, we must then renew our efforts to have David's voice be heard so that his decisions are supported.
Please help us reach 1,000 signatures by Monday. I you have not already shared the petition with your friends, do so today.
To share the petition with your friends, go to the petition site HERE and click on 'comment' which enables you to share why you are signing. Then, click on the Twitter or Facebook icon which will appear to the right of your comment. It's that easy! Be a part of the conversation. You can also post your comments on our website HERE
Even if you are not registered as a Shield supporter, as someone who supports the values of MFI please consider signing this petition and promoting it with everyone who you know. If you would like to be added to the list of people who receive Shield alerts, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put 'Add me to the Shield list' in the subject heading. If you would like to enroll in Shield click HERE
MindFreedom International staff