[Pnews] Hunger Strike Continues at Northwest Detention Center; ICE and GEO retaliate with threats of solitary confinement

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 28 17:04:11 EST 2018


December 27, 2018


Contact:  Carly Brook carlybrook329 at gmail.com 
<mailto:carlybrook329 at gmail.com>206-697-2749

Hunger Strike Continues at Northwest Detention Center; ICE and GEO 
retaliate with threats of solitary confinement; Caravan Members Arrive 
to NWDC


Tacoma WA --  Up to 32 hunger strikers continue into the 13th day of 
food refusals in protest of deplorable conditions and abuse they face at 
the Northwest Detention Center, despite threats of solitary confinement 
and force feeding.  The long list of abuses reported at the Northwest 
Detention Center include food served spoiled or with maggots and other 
bugs, payment of only $1 per day, harassment from guards, and repeated 
denial of adequate medical attention.


This round of hunger strikes began on Tuesday, December 11, when up to 
40 immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma began 
refusing meals to protest the abhorrent conditions they face. People 
from additional pods joined the protest, and as of Friday, 32 were 
reportedly refusing food. One detained activist listed the group’s 
demands as follows: “I am part of a group of detainees that are going to 
go on hunger strike as the only way to protest and shine a light on the 
abuses that we suffer here. We are going on strike because: 1) the abuse 
of the NWDC Director; 2) The abuse of the guards; 3) The lack of medical 
attention; 4) the bad food; 5) the salary of a $1 per day; and 6) that 
they rob our property.”


Strikers have reported threats that they will be force fed and sent to 
solitary confinement if they continue to strike or strike again in the 
future. Nevertheless, detained activists in two pods continue to refuse 
food. “The persistence of these activists in the face of retaliation 
just goes to show how bad conditions really are in the detention 
center,” states NWDC Resistance member Andrea Marcos. One hunger striker 
released this statement, illustrating the lack of medical care in the 
facility and retaliation people detained face for speaking out about 
these conditions, “I have had a throat infection for more than 15 days 
and they have only given me salt and ibuprofen. Recently, myself and 
others from our pod have been receiving medical treatment from the 
officers. We went on a hunger strike and I lost more than 15 pounds and 
I plan to continue the strike. It is not fair that they decreased our 
food, and threatened to remove our tablet, TV and phone yesterday. An 
officer threatened to send me to a "punishment cell" for not wanting to 
eat breakfast.”


This strike is the latest in a series of strikes protesting conditions 
inside this notorious facility. It follows the November 24th death of 
hunger striker Amar Mergensana 
<https://crosscut.com/2018/11/asylum-seeker-dies-10-days-after-hospitalization>while 
in ICE custody in Tacoma. The Department of Homeland Security Office of 
Inspector General has opened an investigation into the circumstances 
leading up to Mergensana’s death.


NWDC Resistance invites Tacoma residents to support detained activists 
at a Solidarity Rally outside the Northwest Detention Center on Sunday 
Dec. 30 from 1:30-4:30 PM, calling on GEO Group not to retaliate with 
the use of solitary confinement, threats of force feeding, or otherwise 
violating detainees’ free speech rights. 
https://www.facebook.com/events/394069814663522/The group continues to 
urge Governor Jay Inslee to visit people detained in his state and hear 
their concerns first-hand.


For live updates, visithttps://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/.


###

NWDC Resistanceis a grassroots collective led by undocumented immigrants 
and U.S. citizens located in Tacoma, Washington. It is an unincorporated 
association formed for the purposes of confronting human rights 
violations at the Northwest Detention Center and dedicated to ending the 
detention and deportation of immigrants.<http://www.nwdcresistance.org/>


www.nwdcresistance.org <http://www.nwdcresistance.org/>

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863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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