[Ppnews] How the strike ended: A meeting in the law library

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 5 13:55:53 EDT 2013


  How the strike ended: A meeting in the law library

http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-how-the-strike-ended-a-meeting-in-the-law-library-20130905,0,4794759.story

By Paige St. John

September 5, 2013, 9:41 a.m.

SACRAMENTO -- The end to California's 60-day prison hunger strike 
<http://www.latimes.com/topic/crime-law-justice/prisons/california-prison-hunger-strike-%282013%29-EVGAP00080.topic> 
ended after a rare meeting among inmates who have spent years -- some 
decades -- in isolation, one of their lawyers says.

In a call with inmate advocates Tuesday, state prison officials began 
discussing small changes in living conditions for those held in solitary 
confinement.

The next day the four leaders of the prolonged hunger strike asked 
prison guards to set up a meeting with the handful of core organizers 
still housed in isolation units at Pelican Bay State Prison near the 
Oregon border, said inmate attorney Anne Weills.

Weills said prison officials agreed. The strike leadership and 14 of 
their organizers -- representing four main ethnic and racial groups in 
California prisons -- were assembled in the prison's law library to 
discuss whether it was time to end the protest.

"So they had this meeting, which was extraordinary," said Weills, who 
was at the prison where she had been meeting with protesters to discuss 
their federal litigation over prolonged solitary confinement.

"They met collectively and talked about why the strike should end and 
the accomplishments they'd made, the willingness [of lawmakers] to have 
the hearings," she said. "They broke up into their various groups, and 
they voted, and voted to end the strike there."

Afterward, Weills said, the Pelican Bay inmates were allowed to place a 
call to other strike leaders who had been moved, along with the bulk of 
remaining 100 hunger strikers, to California State Prison outside of 
Sacramento. She said she was told there were similar discussions, and a 
similar vote, to end the protest.

"So we left on a very high note," Weills said.

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