[Pnews] Hunger Strikers Call for May 1st Rally at the Northwest Detention Center

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 23 19:39:50 EDT 2014

For immediate release:

April 23, 2014

Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando (206) 251-6658

               Alex West (508) 246-8341

Hunger Strikers Call for May 1st Rally at the Detention Center; Chicken 
Pox Outbreak Alarms Those in Women’s Unit

Tacoma, WA--Hunger strikers, continuing their strike now for more than 
forty days, have called for a rally outside the Northwest Detention 
Center (NWDC) on May 1st at noon, a historical day of action for 
immigrant and worker rights. Ramon Mendoza Pascual and J. Cipriano Rios 
Alegria remain under solitary confinement due to their participation in 
the strike. Mr. Rios Alegria was taken to a legal visit on Easter Sunday 
in leg shackles, which remained on throughout his visit. (see attached 
picture) Nevertheless, he remains positive and hopes to hear the support 
of people outside the detention center on May 1st. Mr. Mendoza Pascual 
has now been on hunger strike 43 out of the last 48 days.

An outbreak of chicken pox has spread through the women’s area of the 
NWDC, alarming the captive women. The women had seen Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement (ICE) and GEO Group guards wearing protective masks 
in the unit for four days, but were told that the guards were trying to 
avoid the flu. Only upon preparing for legal visits on Sunday were 
several women finally told that they were exposed to chicken pox and 
that there was an outbreak in their unit, and instructed to wear masks 
when visiting with outside legal representatives. They had not 
previously been informed of this and were given no access to protective 
measures or offers of vaccination.

Army veteran Hassall Moses was released from solitary confinement this 
past week, following widespread outcry at this retaliatory measure. Mr. 
Moses had been accused of calling for a work stoppage and spent nearly 
one month in 24-hour lockdown as a result. He has called for people to 
gather outside the NWDC on May 1st, a national day of immigrant 
advocacy, and hopes that supporters will not only address issues of 
detainee treatment like better food and access to medical care but also 
appropriate compensation for work done by the detainees inside the NWDC, 
who currently are paid $1 per day of work. He says that “as you rally 
outside, we'll do our best to support you from in here.”

Momentum has been growing across the country to support the hunger 
strikers in the NWDC, as well as to push for an end to deportations and 
an end to abusive prison labor practices. In Alabama, prisoners have 
launched a work strike to combat what has become a slave labor system, 
as well as overcrowding and lack of access to healthcare. Yesterday, 
three dozen Indian asylum seekers ended a 10-day hunger strike in El 
Paso, Texas, to protest what has become their six month of detention 
through ICE with no foreseeable end. The May 1st rally at the NWDC will 
run from noon to 1pm on May 1st, at which time participants are 
encouraged to head to Seattle for an annual May Day March and Rally.

Petition on behalf of Hunger Strikers and latest releases available at: 

Fund to support the families of human rights hunger strikers: 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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