Associated Press gave national coverage to a MindFreedom protest to support in Minnesota for the human rights of Ray Sandford: may Day for Ray. Activists from four states protested Ray Sandford’s ongoing court-ordered involuntary outpatient electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. [Update: 10 May 2009.]

Al Galves, PhD, of New Mexico spoke at the protest inside the Rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol.

Update: On 10 May 2009, the Associated Press gave national coverage to the  MindFreedom protests about Ray, click here:

For more info go to

Friday, 1 May 2009:

     Successful Protest Held Inside Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda to Stop Ray’s Forced Shock

     by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA: For three hours today, several dozen participants successfully held a peaceful MindFreedom International protest of the ongoing forced electroshock of Ray Sandford, a 55-year-old resident of Columbia Heights, Minnesota. The loud protest was held directly inside the majestic Rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Friday, 1 May 2009.

Speakers during a news conference, covered by both mainstream and alternative media, included myself (flying in from Oregon, thanks to donated air ticket by MFI member Darby Penney), plus:

  • Louise Bouta, long-time psychiatric rights activist and electroshock survivor.
  • Al Galves, PhD, psychologist, author, mental health consumer, and MindFreedom board member, from New Mexico.
  • Daryl Trones, mental health activist and father of a psychiatric survivor.
  • Janet Saugstad, author and psychiatric survivor of the Veteran’s Administration.
  • Amy Storbakken psychiatric survivor and promoter of alternative medicine for mental health.
  •  John Wilson, a psychiatric survivor running for Mayor of Minneapolis.
  •  Jennifer Padelford, representing the Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Network of Minnesota, who spoke out about the need to hear the voice of mental health consumers/psychiatric survivors.

Louis Kayser, a MindFreedom member, drove for hours from Iowa to participate saying, “I have always wanted to be in a MindFreedom protest. I want to go to more protests!” Louis made signs for the event, videotaped the news conference, and even carpooled speakers back to their homes.

For a few photographs of the MindFreedom “May Day for Ray” protest inside the Minnesota Capitol Rotunda, click here:

or go here:

A number of speakers told their stories, and expressed their support for Ray, during a public speak out.

Then, after a post-protest lunch, about nine MindFreedom activists visited a number of Ray’s elected officials. The delegation discovered special interest from Ray’s State Representative, Carolyn Laine, who met with the delegation for about half an hour. Ray is a constituent of Rep. Laine, who pledged to work with the new ECT Work Group that has been formed by several mental health agencies because of the Ray Campaign.

See ACTION below about how to thank Rep. Laine!

The reception was much chillier at the office of State Senator Satveer S. Chaudhary, who is supposed to represent his constituent Ray Sandford. To read about Sen. Chaudhary’s “stonewall” positiion on Ray, click here:

or use:

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 Dr. Galves.

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

For a news release and downloadable flyer about today’s protest go here:



Please *THANK* Ray’s elected State Representative Carolyn Laine for personally meeting with the MindFreedom delegation, and agreeing to look into Ray’s human rights!

Show Rep. Laine there is widespread support for her taking action, from throughout the USA and the world!


phone: 651-296-4331

Postal mail:

Rep. Carolyn Laine

407 State Office Building

100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155 USA

For more information on the Ray Campaign see:


SATURDAY, 2 May, 2009, MindFreedom Twin City Affiliate supporters meet in a strategy session at 10:30 am at 1450 West Lake St., Minnesota. All supporters welcome, free.

SUNDAY, 3 May 2009, at 8 am, peacefully leaflet in front of Central Lutheran Church at 333 S. 12th, Minneapolis. This ELCA church is one of ‘owners’ of guardianship services overseeing Ray. (Will LSS let Ray visit with a new psychiatrist on Monday? So far, they are blocking this!)

Then at noon, Sunday, meet at the Green Medicine booth at the enormous MAY DAY PARADE FESTIVAL, ask for Amy. We’re in the program. This is a fun event, so we’re using humor. Prepare to do roving guerilla theater to “Screen for Normality” with Al & David, in a an easy street skit created by clown troupe of Patch Adams. We have doctor outfits for all, and hundreds of flyers about how nobody is normal… and how Ray is getting forced electroshock.


Please forward this alert to all supportive people on and off the Internet, now!



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That means YOUR membership and donation are CRUCIAL to MindFreedom International’s campaigns for human rights alternatives.

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