[Ppnews] Medical Conditions Reach Crisis in Pelican Bay Hunger Strike

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 12 16:12:19 EDT 2011


For Immediate Release--July 12, 2011

Medical Conditions Reach Crisis in Pelican Bay Hunger Strike

Advocates Demand Access to Strike Leaders, Negotiations

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

What: Press Conference
When: Wednesday, July 13; 11:00am
Where: San Francisco California State Building, 
at Van Ness Ave. and McAllister Street

Oakland—According to advocates working on behalf 
of prisoners on hunger strike at Pelican Bay 
State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU), 
medical conditions for many strikers have 
deteriorated to critical levels, with fears some 
prisoner could start to die if immediate action 
isn’t taken.  Prisoners at Pelican Bay have been 
on hunger strike for nearly two weeks and have 
been joined by thousands of other prisoners 
throughout California’s vast prison system.  Some 
of their main demands revolve around health 
conditions in Pelican bay’s Security Housing 
Unit, while the entire California prison system 
is under federal receivership due to grave health 
conditions throughout its facilities.

A source with access to the medical condition of 
the hunger strikers, who asked to remain 
anonymous told lawyers with the Prisoner Hunger 
Strike Solidarity coalition that health of the 
prisoners on hunger strike is quickly and 
severely deteriorating, saying, “All of the 
medical staff has been ordered to work overtime 
to follow and treat the hunger strikers. Some 
[strikers] are in renal failure and have been 
unable to make urine for three days.  Some are 
having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, 
which can be fatal if not treated. The staff has 
taken them to the [prison hospital] and given 
them intravenous glucose when allowed by the 
prisoners. A few have tried to sip water but are 
so sick that they are vomiting it back up.”

Prisoners participation in the strike in other 
prisons in California have also reported that 
medications, including those for high blood 
pressure and other serious conditions, are being 
withheld from prisoners on strike.  Some 
prisoners have participated for limited periods 
of time or have joined other prisoners in 
“rolling” strikes, due to their already poor medical conditions.

“This situation is grave and urgent,” says Carol 
Strickman, staff attorney for Legal Services for 
Prisoners with Children and a legal 
representative of the Prisoner Hunger Strike 
Solidarity coalition. “We are fighting to prevent 
a lot of deaths at Pelican Bay. The CDCR 
[California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation] needs to negotiate with these 
prisoners, and honor the request of the strike 
leaders to have access to outside mediators to 
ensure that any negotiations are in good faith.”

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition 
is urging journalists to do further investigation 
into the health conditions at Pelican Bay, while 
also pushing state politicians to visit the 
prison itself.  The coalition is also encouraging 
members of the public to pressure Gov. Brown and 
the CDCR to negotiate with the prisoners. Taeva 
Shefler of the Prison Activist Resource Center, 
another member of the solidarity coalition says, 
“The question for the CDCR is: will they continue 
to jeopardize prisoners’ health and safety rather 
than sit at the same table and talk?”

Hunger strike supporters will hold an emergency 
press conference Wednesday at 11:00 am outside 
the State Building in San Francisco. Supporters, 
including family members of those held at Pelican 
Bay, will also continue to hold rallies and other events in the coming weeks.

For information on upcoming events, visit 
<http://www.prisonerhungerstikesolidarity.wordpress.com>www.prisonerhungerstikesolidarity.wordpress.com




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