[Ppnews] CDCR Threatens Crackdown of Prisoner Hunger Strike, Bans Lawyers

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 30 16:02:02 EDT 2011

For Immediate Release – September 30, 2011

CDCR Threatens Crackdown of Prisoner Hunger Strike, Bans Lawyers
Mediation Team Appeals to Governor for Action

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

California – With the hunger strike continuing to 
spread from Pelican Bay and Calipatria State 
Prisons to at least 6 other prisons, the 
California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation has threatened to crack down on 
the at least 6,000 participants, including 
sending prisoners to solitary confinement.  The 
CDCR also faxed expulsion orders to two mediation 
team lawyers, notifying them that they had been 
banned from all prisons pending an investigation 
into whether or not they had “jeopardized the 
safety and security of CDCR” 
institutions.  Meanwhile, the prisoner-selected 
mediation team that has been trying to negotiate 
with the CDCR since the strike was initiated in 
July sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, demanding 
a meeting and lodging their vehement objections 
to the actions of CDCR officials.

“This is very worrisome to say the least,” says 
Carol Strickman, one of the mediation team 
lawyers banned from CDCR facilities.  “We have 
been receiving steady reports from prisoners of 
CDCR intimidation and retaliation leading up to 
the strike.  Now, we have the CDCR threatening 
prisoners and cutting off contact with our legal 
team.  We obviously don’t want to imagine the 
worst, but we are legitimately concerned about 
violence on the part of the prison administration.”

In a letter sent to Gov. Brown this morning, 
mediators laid out the prisoners’ demands and 
said that prison officials’ inaction at the 
negotiation table and threats to prisoners 
“clearly demonstrate the unwillingness of CDCR 
officials to address the prisoners’ demands 
adequately.”  Mediators are asking for a meeting 
with Brown, saying, “We are ready to bring forth 
specific proposals that will make the current 
proposed reforms complete and bring California in 
line with best practices nationwide.  We can and 
must end torture in California’s prisons now.”

Support for the hunger strike continues to grow 
nationally and internationally.  “The strike is 
growing throughout the California for Security 
Housing Units, from Administrative Segregation 
Units, throughout the general population. 
Prisoners are becoming more and more united in 
their opposition to the horrendous conditions 
they are forced to endure at all levels of the 
prison system,” said Manuel La Fontaine, of the 
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition. “And 
as their strike grows, so does the support coming 
from outside the prison walls.  People see this 
as a human rights issue, and so no level of 
repression on the part of the CDCR will stop 
people all over the world from fighting to help 
these prisoners win their demands.”

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