Friday, October 14, 2011

Pelican Bay Prisoners Stop Strike, Others Continue

Families, Advocates Rally for Prison Hunger Strikers
Pelican Bay Prisoners Stop Strike, Others Continue

California - Immediately following a 10:30 am
press conference Friday morning, family members,
and advocates will gather at the California State
Building in San Francisco for a rally to show
continued support for hunger strikers at Pelican
Bay State Prison who just stopped their strike,
and for strikers at other California prisons who
continue to refuse food. Family members of hunger
strikers, along with members of the mediation
team working as part of the Prisoner Hunger
Strike Solidarity coalition to push the
California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (CDCR) to negotiate with strikers,
will report on the latest developments in the
strike that has gripped the California prison system.

The past three weeks has seen widespread
participation in a renewed hunger strike
originally initiated at Pelican Bay State
Prison's Security Housing Unit (SHU) this past
July. Hunger Strikers in SHUs across California,
joined by thousands of prisoners from
Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) Units and
from prisons' general population, have rallied
around demands that include calls for an end to
the brutal conditions of solitary confinement, as
well as an end to widely denounced gang
validation and debriefing processes that have
been used by the CDCR to keep prisoner in SHUs
for as many as 20 years. On Thursday, prisoners
in Pelican Bay's SHU stopped their strike when
the CDCR agreed to take steps toward a sweeping
review of SHU facilities and the individual cases
of thousands of prisoners held in SHUs across
California. Prisoners at no less that two
prisons Calipatria and Saalinas Valley
prisons remain on strike for the time being.

"We have word that prisoners at Pelican Bay are
feeling empowered by the strike across California
and its pushing CDCR to negotiations," says Jay
Donahue of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
Coalition. "But we still have prisoners on
strike demanding change, and we still need to
hold the CDCR accountable to the promises it has
made. So, we will rally to continue our support
for all these prisoners, and will continue to
help them win their demands. In many ways, this
is just the beginning."

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