Saturday, November 24, 2007

Eric McDavid Update: Hunger Strike Ends, Struggle for Food and Medical Care Continues

Dear friends,

Eric called this morning to tell us that he has ended his hunger strike.
Today marked the two-week point in this leg of his struggle for vegan
food. Further down is a letter he has asked us to send to you.

Thank you all for your support these last two weeks! Based on the jail's
response to our calls, it was clear that they were feeling the pressure.
Unfortunately, this battle is not over. Eric is still requesting vegan
food AND medical care from the jail. We need to keep calling to demand
that he be provided both.

Eric has decided he will finish the commissary food he has left in his
cell, but will no longer be ordering items from commissary. This means
that he will, once again, be subsisting off of what little food he can
pull from his trays. Eric has tried this in the past. In fact, this is
what he was eating before his recent hunger strike. During the two months
he was doing so, he lost 20 pounds and suffered a bout of pericarditis.
Clearly, this is not an acceptable diet.
It is imperative that we keep calling the jail and and demand that Eric
be given food and medical care immediately.

Eric has still not received blood work. The doctors at the jail have told
Eric's lawyer a number of times that the cardiologist was schedule to see
Eric, but this has yet to happen. Eric needs to be given bloodwork, and
to see a cardiologist immediately so they can properly diagnose the cause
of his heart condition.

When Eric was last weighed by the doctors at the jail, he weighed 147
pounds. This is the lowest his weight has been since he entered the jail
, and it is dangerously low for someone of Eric's height and build.

When Scott Jones was interviewed by the press on Tuesday (after a press
conference held by his family, partner and supporters about his hunger
strike – for statements from Eric, his mother, and his partner about his
hunger strike, please visit soon, as these documents
should be posted in the next couple of days), he repeated the jail's oft
repeated lie that the jail does not have the resources to supply Eric with
vegan food. Please remember that this is absolutely false. The jail
provided Eric with vegan food for 16 months, and there is no reason they
cannot continue to do so.

Please keep calling the jail! When you call the Correctional Health
Services Division about Eric's medical situation please request that they
do the following things:

1) Give Eric the treatment they have promised. That means bloodwork and a
visit from a cardiologist. Until they do these things, they will not be
able to properly diagnosis the causes of and provide treatment for his
heart condition.

2) Eric needs to be given full access to his medical records and the
results of these tests.

3) Dr. Dutrick (possibly mispelled), the man in charge at medical
services, should recommend that Eric be given vegan food for medical
reasons (it would obviously improve his health). Scott Jones said in an
interview with the Sacramento Bee that they will give prisoners vegan food
with a doctor's order.

4) Dr. Dutrick should make a recommendation to the jail administration
that inmates who refuse to eat non-vegan food should be given vegan food
for medical reasons (clearly eating is healthier than starving)

The phone number to the Correctional Health Services Division is: (916)
You can also email them at:

When calling the jail administration about vegan food for Eric and future
prisoners, request that they:

1) Provide Eric with vegan food immediately. His health is in very poor
condition – he lost 20 pounds after they cut off his vegan meals, and
suffered another bout of pericarditis – and this could be remedied by
feeding him nutritious, healthy meals. They provided Eric with vegan meals
for 16 months. There is no reason they cannot continue to do so.
(Remember, they always say that they don't have the resources to provide
“special” diets – but this is simply not true.)

2) Change the policy about vegan meals and ensure future access to anyone
that refuses to eat non-vegan food.

3) Jail Commander Captain Scott Jones or Operations Commander Lt. Deputy
Douglas needs to speak with Eric immediately about his requests so they
can begin remedying the situation.

Please continue calling the jail at the numbers below, and make sure you
have Eric's x-reference number handy in case they ask for it (x-ref

Jail phone numbers: 916-874-6752 or 916-874-6905
Chief Deputy, Corrections & Court Services 916-874-5686

Captain Scott Jones: 916-874-5428 (This is the direct line for the jail
commander and it may only be answered during business hours)

You can also request to speak with Jail Operations Commander Douglas, as
he is allegedly the person who will probably make the final decision about
Eric's food.

A Letter From Eric
needing to land ashore & rocky shoals at low tide revealing no beach head,
the search for a harbor elsewhere must ensue… … …

upon reflection i noticed how procedure and policy had removed the humyn
element in how the jail handled hunger strikes (as much as there was one
in the first place), how my hospitalization was becoming unavoidable
(irking at my just say no instincts 2 western “medicine”), & most
important of all = something’s not feeling right in the direction i was
moving. these relations have brought me 2 the point where i’ve decided 2
no longer protest in this fashion; in the spring of 06 it brought forth
growth, seems like the soils of fall 07 may require a different type of
seed. i also fully acknowledge that some cycles are meant 4 others 2
complete but i still have some time left within these walls. my intent
was 2 B treated humanely in an inhumane system, perhaps that was my
mistake – oh well = live, learn, adapt, think about it, think about it
again & give it 1 more go (emphasis on the adapt bit)

i wish 2 thank from the depths of my being all those who have supported
me over the last 2 weeks with letters & contacting the jail on my behalf.
i especially want 2 thank my partner, family and SPS for all their
energies & support.

Much love and solidarity,


Find Your Joy

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