[Ppnews] Monday - Sacramento Hunger Strike Rally at CDCR Headquarters

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 18 10:54:06 EDT 2011


For Immediate Release – July 18, 2011

Hunger Strike Rally at CDCR Headquarters

With Strike in Third Week, CDCR Continues to Reject Prisoner Demands

Press Contact: Jay Donahue
Office: <tel:510-444-0484>510-444-0484

CDCR Headquarters, 1515 S St, Sacramento
Monday July 18th, 2011, 1pm

Oakland – Prisoners’ families and community 
members will gather at 1pm today outside the 
California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation (CDCR) headquarters in Sacramento 
to rally in support of prisoners on hunger strike 
at Pelican Bay State Prison. Last week the 
leaders of the strike decided to continue 
striking because the CDCR failed to address any 
of their five core demands during negotiations. 
The strike, now in its third week, is reaching a 
critical point with reports of dozens of striking 
prisoners being taken to the infirmary because of 
irregular heartbeats or fainting.  Most prisoners 
have lost 20-35 pounds. “What’s most troubling is 
that the CDCR has not offered anything 
substantial in response to the prisoner’s 
demands, which include an end to long term 
solitary confinement,” says Carol Strickman, a 
lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with 
Children and member of the Prisoner Hunger Strike 
Solidarity legal team.  Strickman also notes, 
“Some of these guys have been in the Security 
Housing Unit (SHU) for 20 years or more and are 
suffering the severe affects of being locked in a 
6 x 10 concrete cell for 23 ½ hours a day. What 
they are asking for are basic human rights.”

At least 400 prisoners at Pelican Bay continue to 
refuse food and thousands more around the state 
are striking in solidarity, including CCI 
Tehachapi, Corcoran, Centinela, Calipatria, RJ 
Donovan, San Quentin, Valley State Prison for 
Women, and Folsom, making it the largest hunger 
strike in the history of the embattled California 
prison system. The system, under federal 
receivership, has been court ordered to release 
33,000 prisoners because of medical neglect 
caused by severe overcrowding. “We are urging our 
state representatives and Governor Brown to step 
in and force the CDCR to recognize the prisoners’ 
demands,” says Manuel LaFontaine, an organizer 
with All of Us or None, “The California prison 
system is already responsible for prisoner deaths 
because it provides substandard medical care. 
California’s lawmakers need to step up and take 
action against the situation at Pelican Bay.”

Mediators and lawyers who have spoken with hunger 
strikers at Pelican Bay say they remain committed 
despite having not eaten for 18 days. Some have 
said they are willing to strike to the death 
unless their demands are met. Dorsey Nunn, a 
member of the mediation team points out, “The 
hunger strikers believe that this is the only way 
they can get the CDCR to rectify the conditions 
they are experiencing in the SHU. They believe they have no other recourse.”

Supporters of the strikers will continue to hold 
rallies and events to highlight the situation at 
Pelican Bay and to show solidarity with the 
prisoners. For more information and regular 
updates, visit 
<http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/>prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com.



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