MindFreedom International co-sponsored and supported vigils to remember Esmin Green, who died so publicly in a psychiatric emergency room. Here are updates.
Courtesy N.Y. Civil Liberties Union
Updates about Esmin Green
“We The People” holds protest and vigil to remember this “murder by neglect” two years ago, for info click here.
19 June 2009 – We the People holds one-year-later memorial vigil about Esmin.
For media coverage on 19 June about Esmin Green, including quoting vigil participant, click here.
14 August 2008 – UPDATE – PsychRights has requested that New York’s chief medical examiner investigate the possibility that psychiatric drugs may have played a role in Esmin Green’s death. Read the news release here.
25 July 2008 Vigil Updates:
TORONTO: Link to photos from Esmin Green Vigil in Toronto:
ART INSTALLATION: An artist created an art installation in memory of Esmin.
A vigil was also held in Seattle, WA, USA.
WE THE PEOPLE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lauren J. Tenney, MA, MPA, Psychiatric Survivor
VIGIL TO MOURN THE LOSS OF MS. ESMIN ELIZABETH GREEN AND CONDEMN VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
WE THE PEOPLE Call for an End of Abuse, Torture, and Neglect in the Wake of Ms. Green’s Death While Detained at Kings County Hospital Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Room.
Advocates, human rights activists, and community members are holding a vigil and demonstration to mourn the death of Ms. Esmin Elizabeth Green. WE the PEOPLE are calling attention to the reported horrific inactions and complete neglect that Ms. Green was subjected to while detained at the Kings County Hospital Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Room, 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203.
According to the Associated Press, after being involuntarily committed to the institution, Ms. Green sat waiting for a bed to become available for nearly 24 hours before she collapsed on to the floor. She lay there helpless for nearly an hour until she received medical attention, which came too late[i]. Further, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union, facility staff possibly falsified documents, stating that Ms. Green was “up and went to the bathroom” and was “‘sitting quietly in the waiting room’ – more than 10 minutes after she last moved”[ii]. The surveillance tape shown on CNN Video portrays Ms. Green dying on the floor as people pass her by[iii]. In fact, on the Internet, one can find a mass of comment on this tragedy by individuals all over the world – a question repeatedly asked, “Where is the humanity?”
All people must be treated with dignity, humanity, and respect. We must not tolerate violations of human rights that individuals who are assigned psychiatric labels often endure.
We ask you, wouldn’t you be depressed and possibly even ‘agitated’ if you were going to lose your home and employment? Reportedly, this is what led to Ms. Green’s commitment[iv]. Any one of us could be labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis and subjected to inhumane ‘treatment’ if we are thought to be ‘agitated’, particularly if we are poor.
How many more people labeled with “mental illness” will be subjected to torture and neglect before something is done to protect human rights within psychiatric systems? David Oaks, Executive Director of MindFreedom International states, “I encourage us all to reflect on the need for a deep nonviolent revolution in the field of mental health, far beyond the “reforms” that have gotten us to where we are today, with televised death via neglect of a mother of six”.
In 1875, a New York Times article cites abuses of inmates at the Kings County Asylum, spurred by Mr. Nelson Magee, a former inmate. Then-Commissioner Norris reacts to the investigation, “This sort of thing is very common among lunatics; they are always imagining themselves in great danger of being killed by their keepers”v. How many more centuries have to go by before action is taken to end these abuses and neglect?
WE the PEOPLE stand for change. We have been abused by the psychiatric system. Our brothers and sisters continue to be abused and murdered, as evidenced by Ms. Green’s untimely demise. Massive human rights violations happen every day in psychiatric institutions but this horrific inaction was captured on videotape. We will call attention to the every day tortures committed in the name of psychiatric “help” including diagnosing life’s challenges as ”illness,” forced pharmaceuticals, restraint, seclusion, and electric shock treatment (ECT) with a Vigil to honor Ms. Green’s memory beginning at 2 PM.
There are many questions as to what led to Ms. Green’s death. Was it in any way related to the toxic and debilitating drugs that people labeled with “mental illness” are intimidated, coerced, and forced into taking? A thorough investigation is necessary to determine the extent of the torture, ill treatment and other human rights violations involved in this case and in the practices of the institution as a whole. We must stand united to demand social justice, equal rights, and environments free from torture and detention.
On July 25, 2008, we invite all people to join us and stand united in support of the demand that everyone receive the full benefit of their human rights and the preservation of their liberty, dignity and respect.
Who: All People.
What: Candle Light Vigil to mourn the loss of Ms. Esmin Elizabeth Green and condemn violations of human rights.
Why: WE THE PEOPLE call for an end of abuse, torture, and neglect in the wake of Ms. Green’s Death on June 19, 2008, while detained at Kings County Hospital Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Room.
Where: Kings County Hospital Center, Psychiatric Emergency Room, Building G. 606 Winthrop Street Brooklyn, NY 11203
Date: July 25, 2008
Time: 5 PM – 10 PM, Candle Light Vigil, 8:30 PM
We welcome your involvement as an organizational co-sponsor or an individual endorser of this effort. If you would like to speak at this event, please contact us.
WE THE PEOPLE
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Contact: Lauren J. Tenney
Contact: David W. Oaks
[i] Retrieved July 8, 2008 from
[ii] Retrieved July 8, 2008 from
[iii] Retrieved on July 8, 2008 from
[iv] Retrieved July 8, 2008, from
[v] Retrieved July 9, 2008 from