[Pnews] Fourth Hunger Strike Started in the Northwest Detention Center

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 9 14:33:00 EDT 2017


For Immediate Release August 9th, 2017

*Fourth Hunger Strike Started in the Northwest Detention Center*

/Facility in “Modified Lock Down” Since Saturday /

Tacoma, WA – Yesterday, August 8th, 20 people inside the Northwest 
Detention Center (NWDC) started another hunger strike, the fourth this 
year alone, demanding to be released from segregation and for all people 
detained be released to their families and communities starting 
with people that are not deportable, those that should be covered under 
the Convention Against Torture, and those that have waiting for 
a response on their case for more than 1 year.

This most recent hunger strike is in response to the increasingly 
appalling actions of the GEO Group, the private prison contractor who 
runs the NWDC facility.  People in one unit were retaliated against for 
protecting each other from GEO guard’s assaults, threats and 
intimidation. Yesterday at 11am, the whole unit was dismantled, 20 of 
those were sent to solitary confinement, accused of “starting a 
riot.” The rest were sent to a different unit. The hunger strike began 
yesterday at 11am, and will not end until the 20 in solitary confinement 
are sent back to general population.

On Friday, August 4^th,  a GEO guard assaulted a youth, who came to the 
country as an unaccompanied minor, and was transferred to the facility 
once he turned 18.  When people vocally protested the assault, GEO 
locked down a part of the facility, disallowing people to use the 
phones, lawyers were not allow to visit, and the lights where turned off.

Since Saturday August 5th, the whole facility has been in “modified 
lockdown,” people inside have reportedly been restricted from talking to 
each other, have limited access to phones, and are taken one at the time 
to receive medications among other restrictions.

One hunger strike organizer recently was threatened recently by 
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) with indefinite detention if he 
did not stop organizing. ICE and his parole officer made it clear if he 
did not stop organizing hunger strikes, they would transfer his back and 
forth between facilities, “Why threaten me this way when ICE and GEO 
both claim we are detainees, not prisoners?” said the person threatened 
by authorities.

In a recent tour of the NWDC facility for legal groups, ICE admitted to 
transferring people from one facility to another as retaliation for 
organizing.

The complete list of demands follows:

Immediate release of all people detained – to be released to their 
families and communities starting with

  * people that are not deportable,
  * those that should be covered under the Convention Against Torture,
  * those that have been waiting for a response on their case for more
    than 1 year
  * ICE and GEO: train officers on people and social skills, and how to
    de-escalate difficult and violent situations
  * Allow contact visits at least every 90 days considering people
    deported won’t be able to see their families ever again

A community solidarity vigil is scheduled to support the people on 
hunger strike in the Northwest Detention Center today Wednesday August 
9^th .

*WHAT*: All day vigil in solidarity with hunger strikers demanding: 1) 
Their immediate release and 2) No ICE retaliation

*WHO*: Supporters and allies of those in detention at NWDC

*WHERE*: NWDC 1623 E J St, Tacoma WA

*WHEN*: Wednesday August 9th starting at 2PM ending at 8PM PST

For live updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/ 
<https://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/>

###

/NWDC Resistance is a volunteer community group that emerged to fight 
deportations in 2014 at the now-infamous Northwest Detention Center in 
Tacoma, WA as part of the #Not1more campaign, and supported people 
detained who organized hunger strikes asking for a halt to all 
deportations and better treatment and conditions./

/Maru Mora Villalpando <maru at latinoadvocacy.org>/
//


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