Urgent support needed: California Prison Hunger Strikers in Deteriorating Health
Urgent efforts are underway in solidarity with the prison hunger strikers in Pelican Bay Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU}. As prisoners across California are refusing food in further acts of solidarity, the health of over 200 hunger strikers is rapidly worsening. Support for this hunger strike is at a crucial point, where we need to pressure the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to negotiate with the prisoners immediately. Call the CDCR and urge them to negotiate NOW. Also call your legislators and urge them to make sure the CDCR negotiates with the prisoners in good faith. Click here for more info, including a sample script and phone numbers.
Here’s why I’m against widespread incarceration, the conditions that these guys are subjected to, are actually more heinous crimes than the crimes to which so many of have been forced to plead. Just like in the movies, people really do get put into jail because the state creates a system which is predatory on the accused. Under the guise of the public defender but often private attorneys as well, the options are laid out to scapegoat these victims, isolate them, and dispense legal advice which virtually guarantees incarceration, especially when they already have a record or aren’t white or aren’t employed.
A DIRECT CALL FOR A STATEWIDE WORK STRIKE SUPPORTING THE HUNGER STRIKE TO ABOLISH SHU POLICIES
(Submitted July 12, 2011)
An indefinite hunger strike has kicked off on July first by Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisoners. They have been joined by prisoners in the Corcoran and Folsom SHUs. Huge amounts of domestic and foreign support have been organized for these prisoners. In order to win this struggle, however, every available resource must be brought into play. We are at a historical juncture in which prisoners can take control over their lives, to have some say in the conditions of their existence, or else continue to be mere pawns acted upon by external forces and watch things get even worse.Starting IMMEDIATELY defendants/prisoners can start the process of improving their conditions of existence by implementing a peaceful work strike in every prison in the state. Defendants may draft demands as each facility sees fit, but the first demand on the list must be to implement the core demands of the prisoners in the SHUs.
Why do we spend so little of the state’s resources on preventing incarceration?
The longest prison work strike in U.S. history was at the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla in 1978—it lasted 47 days. It resulted in the release of the Walla Walla Brothers from the SHU, the Director of Corrections Harold Bradley being fired, the warden removed, and the associate warden of custody transferred to a youth facility. Work strikes can result in positive change!
In the recent Georgia strike prisoners in every prison went on a statewide peaceful work strike. The prisoners were supported by their families and friends who helped spread the word of the planned strike between prisons, and who found supportive groups in a wide variety of communities to bring information about the prisoners’ conditions and attention to their demands. Plaintiffs/prisoners want you to do the same thing here in California It is up to you to get this message to everyone you trust at your prison and to spread the word across all yards. You are being asked to tell other prisoners that starting IMMEDIATELY, no work will be performed.
No work means no kitchen, no hospital, no anything, no exceptions!! Moreover, there must be no violence. Anyone advocating violence is a provocateur; listening to such people will only result in defeat. The struggle must be solid and protracted. Plaintiffs on the outside will provide support by amplifying your voice. If you are not the person to get this done, then give this document to someone you think is. Let’s recap:
1. Effective IMMEDIATELY prisoners initiate a peaceful work stoppage at all prisons.
a. Nobody works; no exceptions.
b. The Walla Walla record is 47 days (it will take time to change public consciousness).
c. There must be no violence at all, in any way.
d. The first demand must be to eliminate indefinite SHU placement and the validation process.
e. First demand amended is “debriefing” as it is known in SHU prison policy, will no longer be tolerated or permitted and considered a crime committed by the institutions that seek it as a means of control.
2. The strike is over when prisoners win, or are defeated.
a. If local demands are not met the strike may continue at that individual facility.
The first step of becoming a part of prisoner history is to communicate the essence of this document to others on the inside. This message is going into prisons across the state, by this and other means. This is NOW a nationwide effort!! please repost repost repost!!!! Send this out to everyone in every prison by every means possible. MORE ABOUT CURRENT PRISONER HUNGER STRIKE at redwoodcurtaincopwatch.net and prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com
Loni Hancock is pushing for moratorium on capital punnishment in Cali. Apparently, there have been some recent studies on the current death row inmates and their cases.
Get this, her objection and the main point of her article printed by the Bay Guardian, is that California can save money with life imprisonment. How can a system that calculates fiduciary costs to the exclusion of human suffering ever be reformed? The basic premise is evil.