May Day for Ray. On Friday, 1 May 2009, in St. Paul, Minnesota, MindFreedom will hold a peaceful protest of Ray Sandford’s ongoing court-ordered involuntary outpatient electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. (Updated with new speakers list!)

Ray Sandford has had more than 40 involuntary, outpatient electroshocks.

Update: Below release is new speakers list!

To download a PDF of this news release click here.
To download a PDF of a protest flyer with photo of Ray click here.
For more info go to

May Day for Ray!

On Friday, 1 May 2009

MindFreedom International announced that it will peacefully protest the ongoing forced electroshock of Ray Sandford, a 55-year-old resident of Columbia Heights, Minnesota. The protest will take place inside the Rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota on Friday, 1 May 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


A six-month campaign to stop Sandford’s electroshocks has gained international attention. Sandford has been shocked more than 40 times on an outpatient basis under a court order even though he and his family have clearly stated his desire not to be shocked. Sandford lives in a residential group home and is under the general guardianship of Lutheran Social Services.

“It’s amazing that a man who is supposedly being protected by Minnesota court-appointed guardians and who has been represented in court hearings by a Minnesota public defender is suffering this kind of human rights violation,” said Al Galves, PhD, a member of the MindFreedom board of directors.

Friday’s protest will feature a number of speakers including David Oaks, Executive Director of MindFreedom from Oregon; Al Galves, a retired psychologist from New Mexico; Louisa Bouta, a long-time activist for psychiatric rights in Minnesota; David Culver, a disability advocate; and Daryl Trones, a mental health advocate.

Galves said that electroshock — also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT — subjects the patient to as much as 600 volts of electricity for between one-half and four seconds. “It disables the brain,” Galves said.

MindFreedom International is an independent nonprofit coalition of psychiatric survivors and others who advocate for the increased availability of safe, humane and effective care for people who are experiencing psychiatric emergencies and who oppose involuntary treatment.  MindFreedom can be contacted at

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  • David W. Oaks, MindFreedom Director, from Oregon.
  • Louisa Bouta, long-time psychiatric rights activist.
  • Al Galves, PhD, psychologist, mental health consumer, from New Mexico.
  • Daryl Trones, mental health activist. 
  • David Culver, disability advocate. 
  • Janet Saugstad, survivor of Veterans Adm. treatment for “mental illness” and their tenacity in hanging on to every person they get into their system. She has a B.S. in Journalism and is a member of many writers’ groups. Janet has authored two books: Games Therapists Play: How Punitive Diagnoses Allow the Fracture of Patient, Civil, And Human Rights — With Impunity, and Naked in the Parade, a story of a woman’s trip through the mental health system.
  • Amy Storbakken psych survivor, now working as a Home Health Aide in the system. She will present some alternative healing modalities such as essential oils, flower essences, and nutritional products.
  • John Wilson, was caught up in the m.h. system as a young man. Now running for Minneapolis mayor in 2010 starting a third third party.


Ray Sandford’s psychiatrist, Dr. Dean K. Knudson, has announced he intends to quit as Ray’s psychiatrist because of public pressure. But Dr. Knudson has still not been replaced, and Ray’s next forced electroshock is still scheduled for mid-May. 

You can peacefully increase that public pressure now!

Please forward this news release to all appropriate places on and off Internet, especially interested media, individuals and groups in MINNESOTA.

Please print out, copy and post, the flyer and news release for the protest here:

To download a PDF of this news release click here.
To download a PDF of a protest flyer with photo of Ray click here.

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