[Ppnews] Statement Suspending the Third Hunger Strike in CA prisons

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 5 12:59:45 EDT 2013


Oakland---Supporters and advocates of hunger striking prisoners will 
gather at the California State building in downtown Oakland on Thursday 
at 10am to deliver this important message from prisoners at Pelican Bay 
State Prison to the public.

Today marks the 60th day they have gone without food in protest of the 
torturous conditions of solitary confinement. Their statement comes amid 
growing international condemnation of California's practice of solitary 
confinement, as well as the commitment of California Senate and Assembly 
Chairs of Public Safety Loni Hancock and Tom Ammiano to convene a series 
of hearings in response to the strikers' demands that would "address the 
issues that have been raised to a point where they can no longer be 
ignored."

Legal representatives have reported that strikers were able to have an 
unprecedented meeting with fellow prisoners at Pelican Bay where they 
reached consensus on moving forward in their struggle to end torture in 
California prisons, and toward reducing violence among prisoners.  Their 
advocates are encouraging communication between strikers at Pelican Bay 
and their fellow prisoners who were forcibly removed to New Folsom in 
the past weeks.

Members of the strikers' legal, media, mediation teams, along with 
members of their family and activist support networks will also make 
statements at today's rally.

_
_

_Statement Suspending the Third Hunger Strike_

Greetings of Solidarity and Respect!

The PBSP-SHU, Short Corridor Collective Representatives hereby serve 
notice upon all concerned parties of interest that after nine weeks we 
have collectively decided to suspend our third hunger strike action on 
September 5, 2013.

To be clear, our Peaceful Protest of Resistance to our continuous 
subjection to decades of systemic state sanctioned torture via the 
system's solitary confinement units is far from over. Our decision to 
suspend our third hunger strike in two years does not come lightly. This 
decision is especially difficult considering that most of our demands 
have not been met (despite nearly universal agreement that they are 
reasonable). The core group of prisoners has been, and remains 100% 
committed to seeing this protracted struggle for real reform through to 
a complete victory, even if it requires us to make the ultimate 
sacrifice. With that said, we clarify this point by stating prisoner 
deaths are not the objective, we recognize such sacrifice is at times 
the only means to an end of fascist oppression.

Our goal remains: force the powers that be to end their torture policies 
and practices in which serious physical and psychological harm is 
inflicted on tens of thousands of prisoners as well as our loved ones 
outside. We also call for ending the related practices of using 
prisoners to promote the agenda of the police state by seeking to 
greatly expand the numbers of the working class poor warehoused in 
prisons, and particularly those of us held in solitary, based on 
psychological/social manipulation, and divisive tactics keeping 
prisoners fighting amongst each other. Those in power promote mass 
warehousing to justify more guards, more tax dollars for "security", and 
spend mere pennies for rehabilitation--all of which demonstrates a 
failed penal system, high recidivism, and ultimately compromising public 
safety. The State of California's $9.1 billion annual CDCR budget is the 
epitome of a failed and fraudulent state agency that diabolically and 
systemically deprives thousands of their human rights and dignity. 
Allowing this agency to act with impunity has to stop! And it will.

With that said, and in response to much sincere urging of loved ones, 
supporters, our attorneys and current and former state legislators, Tom 
Ammiano, Loni Hancock, and Tom Hayden, for whom we have the upmost 
respect, we decided to suspend our hunger strike. We are especially 
grateful to Senator Hancock and Assembly Member Ammiano for their 
courageous decision to challenge Governor Brown and the CDCR for their 
policies of prolonged solitary confinement and inhumane conditions. We 
are certain that they will continue their fight for our cause, including 
holding legislative hearings and the drafting legislation responsive to 
our demands on prison conditions and sentencing laws. We are also 
proceeding with our class action civil suit against the CDCR.

The fact is that Governor Brown and CDCR Secretary Beard have responded 
to our third peaceful action with typical denials and falsehoods, 
claiming solitary confinement does not exist and justifying the 
continuation of their indefinite torture regime by vilifying the 
peaceful protest representatives. They also obtained the support of the 
medical receiver (Kelso) and Prison Law Office attorney (Spector---who 
is supposed to represent prisoners interests, and instead has become an 
agent for the state) to perpetuate their lie to the public and to the 
federal court--that prisoners participating in the hunger strike have 
been coerced---in in order to obtain the August 19, 2013 force feeding 
order.

We have deemed it to be in the best interest of our cause to suspend our 
hunger strike action until further notice.

We urge people to remember that we began our present resistance with our 
unprecedented collective and peaceful actions (in tandem with the 
legislative process) back in early 2010, when we created and distributed 
a "Formal Complaint" for the purpose of educating the public and 
bringing widespread attention to our torturous conditions.

After much dialogue and consideration, this led us to our first and 
second hunger strike actions in 2011, during which a combined number of 
6,500 and 12,000 prisoners participated. We succeeded in gaining 
worldwide attention and support resulting in some minor changes by the 
CDCR concerning SHU programming and privileges. They also claimed to 
make major changes to policies regarding gang validation and indefinite 
SHU confinement by creating the STG/SDP Pilot Program. They released a 
few hundred prisoners from SHU/AD SEG to general population in the 
prison. But in truth, this is all part of a sham to claim the pilot 
program works and was a weak attempt to have our class action dismissed. 
It didn't work.

In response we respectfully made clear that CDCR's STG-SDP was not 
responsive to our demand for the end to long term isolation and solitary 
confinement and thus unacceptable. (See: /AGREEMENT TO END HOSTILITIES - 
/http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/agreement-to-end-hostilities.pdf/)/

Our supporting points fell on deaf ears, leading to our January 2013 
notice of intent to resume our hunger strike on July 8, 2013 if our 
demands were not met. We also included Forty Supplemental Demands.

In early July, CDCR produced several memos notifying prisoners of an 
increase in privileges and property items, which are notably responsive 
to a few of our demands, while the majority of our demands were 
unresolved, leading to our third hunger strike, in which 30,000 
prisoners participated and resulted in greater worldwide exposure, 
support and condemnation of the CDCR!

 From our perspective, we've gained a lot of positive ground towards 
achieving our goals. However, there's still much to be done. Our 
resistance will continue to build and grow until we have won our human 
rights.

Respectfully,

For the Prisoner Class Human Rights Movement

Todd Ashker, C58191, D1-119

Arturo Castellanos, C17275, D1-121

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), C35671, D1-117

Antonio Guillen, P81948, D2-106

And the Representatives Body:

Danny Troxell, B76578, D1-120

George Franco, D46556, D4-217

Ronnie Yandell, V27927, D4-215

Paul Redd, B72683, D2-117

James Baridi Williamson, D-34288. D4-107

Alfred Sandoval, D61000, D4-214

Louis Powell, B59864, D1-104

Alex Yrigollen, H32421, D2-204

Gabriel Huerta, C80766, D3-222

Frank Clement, D07919, D3-116

Raymond Chavo Perez, K12922, D1-219

James Mario Perez, B48186, D3-124





-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20130905/4e4d5407/attachment.html>


More information about the PPnews mailing list