Thursday, July 21, 2011

Urgent Prisoner Hunger Strike Update

Dear Friends,

As you might have already heard, the CDCR
released a press statement today claiming the end of the Hunger Strike.

This statement has yet to be validated by a single external source.

Until we receive real confirmation from prisoners
and the appointed mediation team, now is not the time to let up our pressure.

(from 7/20/2011)

In order to break the strike and dwindle support for it, the CDCR has:
* enticed prisoners into not fasting before
the strike began
by releasing a 4th of July Menu, including food
that prisoners have never seen before in prison
* continuously down-played participation and support in regards to numbers
* has been withholding information in regards
to prisoners' medical status and other details on
the strike from press, media, advocates, family members and prisoners
* guards marched down prison halls announcing
the strike was over and the demands were met
* not followed medical protocol, including
distributing prescribed medication
* told the Federal Receiver's office all
prisoners were refusing medical care, therefore
the Federal Receiver's office does not need to
follow protocol and weigh prisoners or do medical examinations until later
* denounced family members, friends,
prisoners, and lawyers speaking out about the
urgent medical crisis as prisoners experience
symptoms of severe dehydration due to no food for
weeks and torturous conditions
* said the strike is led by vicious gang
members to justify torture and discourage wide-range support
* hanging up and/or disconnecting when
supporters call-in urging the CDCR to negotiate
* claiming they cannot implement the changes
asked for in the demands, when they are basic
standards even in other Supermax prisons Pelican Bay was modeled after
* thrown hunger striking prisoners not yet in
the SHU and Ad-Seg units into solitary
confinement as punishment for supporting the strike
* transferred hunger strikers to other
prisons we've heard from the Receiver's Office of
hunger strikers being transferred from Pelican
Bay to Corcoran, and Corcoran to Pelican Bay
* continuing to deny mail, the primary source of much needed human contact
* and many more tactics we have yet to hear
due to extreme isolation and surveillance
Despite these attempts, the hunger strike led by
prisoners to change prison conditions and outside
support for this courageous action has only
grown.Thousands of people worldwide are
supporting the strike by calling the CDCR and
legislators to negotiate with the prisoners
immediately, in good faith, before people die and
medical conditions get even worse.
For more information:

(510) 444-0484

Thank you for your support!

In Struggle,
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity*
Vigil at the Alameda County Court House, 1225 Fallon St, Oakland
Thursday, July 21, 2011, 5pm

Oakland - Prisoners families and community
members will hold a vigil in support of the
Pelican Bay Hunger Strike at the Alameda County
Court House this evening as hunger strikers
across California continue to refuse food in the
fourth week of the strike. With the infirmary at
Pelican Bay full and strikers continuing to
suffer the effects of not having eaten for nearly
a month, the vigil will highlight both the strong
community support for the prisoners on strike as
well as the lack of response to the strike on the
part of the California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation (CDCR). "We've held rallies,
we've called Governor Brown, people have
mobilized internationally to show that we condemn
the torturous conditions at Pelican Bay and yet
the CDCR and the Governor aren't acting," says
Dolores Canales whose son is on hunger strike in
the Pelican Bay Secure Housing Unit (SHU). "I
have every reason to believe that the state of
California would rather see our sons, brothers
and husbands die than address their demands."

The hunger strike, now 21 days old, began at
Pelican Bay State Prison on July 1st and quickly
spread throughout 13 other California prisons
including Pelican Bay, Corcoran, Tehachapi,
Calipatria and Folsom. A report this week in the
LA Times indicated that despite requests by a
journalist to speak to some of the strikers
directly, he was not granted access. Ron Ahnen,
president of California Prison Focus states, "The
CDCR does not want the media or the general
public to see what is going on at Pelican Bay.
The system that purports to create safety for the
people of California is literally trying to pull the wool over our eyes."

Last week, the prisoners on strike at Pelican Bay
unanimously decided to continue striking rather
than acquiescing to a statement by the CDCR that
did not address any of their demands. While
reports from family members and others in
communication with the prisoners say they remain
committed to the strike, the state of
negotiations between the prisoners and CDCR is unclear.

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition
will continue to hold rallies and vigils in the
coming weeks. For updates on the hunger strike
and associated events, please visit

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