[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
By Paige St. John
September 5, 2013, 9:41 a.m.
SACRAMENTO -- The end to California's 60-day prison hunger strike
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
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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