[Pnews] Detainees Enter 8th Day of Hunger Strike, ICE Continues Retaliation

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 4 11:29:29 EST 2015

December 4, 2015

*As Detainees Enter 8th Day of #Freedomgiving Hunger Strike, Protests 
Prompt Candidate Response, ICE Continues Retaliation *

/O’Malley Calls for End to Detention, Sanders Issues Support, //Clinton 
Pivots to Beltway Talking Points/

/“Generic pledges of future positions are inadequate when there are 
people in detention literally starving to be free right now.” – Fahd 
Ahmed, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)/

Citing that leading Democratic candidates have made promises of reform 
in the future, #Freedomgiving hunger strike 
rallied at Hillary Clinton’s office yesterday demanding that she and the 
other candidates speak out on the current crisis in detention.

Before the rally, *Fahd Ahmed*, executive director of Desis Rising Up 
and Moving explained, “People seeking safety in the US who instead find 
themselves locked behind bars have refused their meals for the past 
week. The fact that they have not been released after as much as two 
years in detention is a failure of the immigration system. If the 
candidates don’t speak out on their behalf we are also witnessing a 
failure of humanity. Bernie Sanders started a petition for refugees 
coming to the US but what about the ones already in detention here?”

*The Sanders campaign was the first to respond, issuing **a statement* 
support while protesters were still picketing *saying, “…These aspiring 
Americans should not be criminalized, subjected to dehumanizing solitary 
confinement or indefinitely detained. The United States must meet our 
international responsibilities to families seeking refuge…”


*O’Malley’s representative went further* 
telling the Huffington Post, “We have to end immigrant detention, 
period.*This is a symptom of the larger problem, which is that we are 
inhumanely detaining, without due process, thousands of immigrants that 
should not be in those conditions.”

*However, while a representative from the Clinton campaign greeted the 
protesters on the street, the campaign **dodged supporting the strikers’ 
directly or addressing the current crisis they are blowing the whistle 
stating, “We listened to their stories, and are inspired by the 
important role that activism plays to implement change on behalf of 
immigrant families. Hillary Clinton believes our immigration enforcement 
and detention system must be humane, and ensure the dignity, safety, and 
well-being of every human being.”

“We weren’t asking Clinton about her beliefs, we were asking if we 
should believe the sincerity of her support for the immigrant 
community,” responded *Marisa Franco*, director of the #Not1More 
Campaign supporting the strike. “The hunger strike is a test of this 
country’s character, a test of the immigration system’s fairness, and it 
is a test of the candidates actual commitment to our issues.”

*The Candidates’ statements came amongst rising concerns for hunger 
strikers well-being as they enter day 8 of the #freedomgiving hunger 
strikes that have grown to seven facilities and more than 150 
asylum-seekers from Africa and South Asia refusing meals*. Despite ICE’s 
public statements expressing concern for their safety, in both Theo Lacy 
in Orange County, CA and Etoway in Alabama, strikers have reported 
participants being placed in solitary confinement as punishment for 
their whistleblowing activity. In Etowah, participants report disturbing 
medical abuse including the forced catheterization of one man.

Protesters held signs outside Clinton’s office that read “Freedom is 
more important than food,” and “We’re prepared to die here just not in 

*Fahd Ahmed*, director of DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving added, “The 
hunger strikers show that current immigration policy is cruel and 
unusual punishment that no one should be subjected to. People seeking 
safety should not be subjected to the dangerous neglect and intentional 
abuse they’re experiencing in detention.”

Reported Hunger Strike Participants Include:

Etowah (AL) – 40 detainees

Theo Lacy (CA) – 36 detainees

Otay (CA)  – 18 detainees

Adelanto (CA) – 8 detainees

Aurora (CO) – 13 detainees

South Texas (TX) – 17 detainees

Krome (FL) –  15 detainees

More details at: 

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