[Ppnews] Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Supporters Hold Vigil

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jul 28 12:06:45 EDT 2011


Media Advisory – July 28th, 2011

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Supporters Hold Vigil
Supporters Continue Pressure CDCR to Meet Prisoners' Demands

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
Office: 
<http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/pelican-bay-hunger-strike-supporters-hold-vigil-no-response-from-cdcr-on-deteriorating-health-strike-enters-3rd-week/510-444-0484>510-444-0484

Vigil & Community Gathering
Alameda County Court House, 1225 Fallon St, Oakland
Thursday, July 28th, 2011, 5pm

Oakland – On Thursday, July 28th at 5pm, family 
and community members continue weekly vigils in 
support of the four-week hunger strike that swept 
across California’s prisons this July. Amidst 
harsh medical conditions and an upcoming 
legislative hearing on Pelican Bay's Security 
Housing Units in Sacramento this August, family 
and community members are skeptical of the 
California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation's ability to effectively respond 
to the system-wide strike that included at least 
6,600 prisoners.  These families and supporters 
say they will continue to pressure lawmakers to 
implement substantial changes to CDCR policy.

Hunger strike leaders confirmed an agreement was 
reached with the CDCR to end the strike in 
exchange for cold weather caps, wall calendars, 
proctored exams for correspondence courses, and a 
promise for the CDCR to consider more substantial 
changes to policies, particularly surrounding the 
prison's controversial gang validation and 
debriefing practices. In a written statement 
explaining why they accepted the CDCR’s offer, 
hunger strike leaders report “Several top CDCR 
administrators sat across the table from us and 
made assurances that they are in the process of 
making meaningful changes right now, and will 
make effective change a priority in the future, 
while providing regular updates and engaging in additional dialogue.”

Lawyers and family members have visited some of 
the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay and report 
prisoners are recovering from severe dehydration 
and serious health issues related to refusing 
food for more than 3 weeks. Julie Tackett, a 
close friend and advocate of a Pelican Bay hunger 
striker, reports her friend Bryan was transferred 
to an outside hospital after having a heart 
attack and several seizures due to an electrolyte 
imbalance caused by fasting. Tackett told 
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity “The medical 
conditions of the prisoners on hunger strike 
speak to the torturous conditions of the prison 
system as a whole, and the CDCR’s inability to 
fix the problems it creates. Thousands of 
prisoners have risked their lives to make a 
change, and these changes still need to be made.”

Supporters pledge to continue the prisoners' 
action by preparing for a legislative hearing on 
CDCR’s policies and conditions of the Security 
Housing Units (SHU) that will be held in 
Sacramento on August 23rd. Advocates and lawyers 
say the legislative hearing will be a major arena 
to hold the CDCR to its agreement. Carol 
Strickman, a lawyer on the solidarity coalition's 
mediation team, says “The hunger strikers have 
effectively brought torturous conditions to the 
public’s attention worldwide, and have exposed 
the brutal conditions of the California prison 
system.” Strickman continues, “It’s now up to 
supporters everywhere to match the courage of the 
hunger strikers and to make sure the CDCR upholds its promise.”

Public support for the strikers and their demands 
has been strong with more than 50 events held in 
multiple cities across the United States and 
internationally during the past four weeks. 
Rallies and vigils in support of the hunger 
strikers will continue in the coming weeks 
nationally. For updates on the hunger strike and 
associated events, please visit 
<http://www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/>www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com. 




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