[Ppnews] Prisoners Across at Least 6 California Prisons Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 5 14:36:08 EDT 2011


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—July 5th, 2011

Prisoners Across at Least 6 California Prisons Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

Strike Could Involve Thousands of Prisoners

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
Office:  510 444 0484
Cell:    510 517 6612

Oakland— More than 100 hours into an indefinite 
hunger strike started at Pelican Bay State 
Prison’s Security Housing Unit, prisoners in at 
least 6 state prisons have joined in, with 
participation potentially growing into the 
thousands.  Hunger strikers at Pelican Bay and 
other prisoners participating are protesting the 
conditions in the Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Unit (SHU).

Dozens of U.S.-based and international human 
rights organizations have condemned Security 
Housing Units as having cruel, inhumane, and 
torturous conditions. SHU prisoners are kept in 
windowless, 6 by 10 foot cells, 23½ hours a day, 
for years at a time. The CDCR operates four 
Security Housing Units in its system at Corcoran, 
California Correctional Institution (CCI), Valley 
State Prison for Women (VSPW) as well as Pelican Bay.

As of Tuesday morning, advocates had confirmed 
hunger strike participants at Corcoran and CCI, 
as well as Folsom, Centinela, and Calipatria 
State Prisons. Despite the Hunger Strike 
spreading, the CDCR claimed in an LA Times 
article this past weekend that less than two 
dozen prisoners were on hunger strike.

“The CDCR is not following its own protocol 
around hunger strikes, but we have evidence that 
thousands of prisoners across in at least 6 
prisons in California could be participating in 
the strike.  We think that CRCR knows this and is 
purposefully withholding information,” said Carol 
Strickman, staff attorney at Legal Services for 
Prisoners with Children and legal team 
representative for Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity.

In a statement released from Corcoran Prison’s 
SHU, prisoners said, “It is important for all to 
know Pelican Bay is not alone in this struggle 
and the broader the participation and support for 
this hunger strike and other such efforts, the 
greater the potential that our sacrifice now will 
mean a more humane world for us in the future.”

A recent prisoner work strike in Georgia drew 
support from thousands of prisoner across at 
least 5 prisoners – the largest prisoner strike 
in US history.  And at the Lucasville, OH State 
Prison this January, three hunger strikers won 
far-reaching changes to prison policy concerning 
conditions for prisoners on death row.  “Given 
what’s happening in California prisons 
themselves, its no surprise we’re seeing 
organized action here too,” said Taeva Shefler 
from Prison Activist Resource Center. “The US 
Supreme Court – not just liberal activists– has 
agreed that California prison conditions amount 
to cruel and unusual punishment.  This growing 
Hunger Strike is the culmination of decades of 
abuse, neglect, foot-dragging, and incompetence 
by an unbroken sequence of CDCR administrations.”

Actions in more than 12 cities are scheduled to 
happen throughout this week to show support for 
the Hunger Strike, and an end to indefinite 
Solitary Confinement, gang validation and 
inadequate food and medical care as administrative punishment.





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