[Pnews] Prisoner Hunger Strike Fight Moves to Federal Court in Oakland Today 1pm

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 26 12:01:08 EDT 2013


*September 26, 2013*

*As Prisoner Hunger Strike Fight Moves to the Courts, Community Rallies 
in Support*

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
<tel:510%20444%200484>

*What:  Press Conference, Rally, **Oral Argument in /Ashker v. Brown/ 
<http://ccrjustice.org/pelican-bay>
When:  Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
Where:  Oakland Federal Building, Clay Street, Oakland, CA, 94612*

Oakland—In the wake of one of the largest hunger strikes in US history, 
prisoners will continue their fight in the courtroom Thursday 
afternoon.   Lawyers will present oral arguments in Ashker v. Brown 
<http://ccrjustice.org/pelican-bay>, a federal lawsuit on behalf of 
prisoners at the Pelican Bay State Prison in California. They will be 
seeking to certify a class of all prisoners serving indeterminate terms 
at the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU), and a subclass of all 
prisoners who have been held at the Pelican Bay SHU for more than 10 
years.  Supporters will hold a press conference and rally at the Federal 
Building in Oakland before today's proceedings.

Three weeks ago prisoners suspended a hunger strike after refusing food 
for 60 days in protest of the torturous conditions of solitary 
confinement in California prisoners.  At its peak, 30,000 prisoners from 
over 20 prisons in California were on hunger strike, demanding an end to 
indefinite solitary confinement; fundamental changes in the draconian 
policies used to keep prisoners in solitary;  an end to collective 
punishment of prisoners by guards and prison officials; provision of 
adequate and nutritious food; and access to programs and 
services.  Despite continuous attacks against strikers by the California 
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), prisoners garnered 
unprecedented international support for their peaceful protest and 
decided to suspend their strike after working with legislators to 
convene special hearing by the state senate and assembly’s Public Safety 
Committees on California’s human rights violations of prisoners being 
held in solitary.

“This lawsuit is an import step in our loved ones’ fight to end the 
torture of solitary confinement,” said Marie Levin of the Prisoner 
Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, whose brother Sitawa Jaama is one of 
the lead plaintiffs in the case and has been a key spokesperson for his 
fellow prisoners on hunger strike. Says Levin, “By winning  class 
certification during tomorrow’s proceedings, the number of prisoners who 
will have access to this legal venue will increase, and so will their 
chances of ending solitary confinement.  As always, we will be with them 
here in the courts, in the legislature, or out in the community.  We 
will use every venue available to us, until the torture is ended.”

Marie Levin, along with lawyers, and activists will be available for 
interviews throughout the day.

###



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