Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Supporters Rally at CDCR Headquarters As Hunger Strike Enters 10th Day

For Immediate Release - October 5, 2011

Concerns About CDCR Retaliation Heighten

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

What: Rally in Support of California Prisoner Hunger Strike
Where: CDCR Headquaters, 1515 S Street Sacramento
When: 12-2pm, Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sacramento - Family members and supporters of
prisoners on strike throughout California will
rally outside California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
headquarters as the strike enters its 10th day.
Over 1,200 prisoners continue to refuse food in
an effort to force the CDCR to address their five
core demands, in particular those related to long
term solitary confinement, gang validation,
debriefing and group punishment. Over the course
of the last week, nearly 12,000 prisoners
participated in the strike from thirteen
California prisons, as well as California
prisoners housed out of state in Mississippi,
Arizona and Oklahoma, making it one of the
largest prisoner hunger strikes in US history.
"From the very northern most tip to the very
southern most tip of California, prisoners in
Security Housing Units (SHUs), Administrative
Segregation Units (Ad-Seg) and general population
are starving themselves because their human
rights are being violated," says Dorsey Nunn,
executive director of Legal Services for
Prisoners with Children, "We are not going to
stand by while the CDCR tortures our loved ones."

Advocates have significant concerns about some of
the measures that the CDCR is implementing in
response to the strike. "Prisoners are being
denied both family and legal visits, they are
receiving serious rules violations and their mail
is being stopped," says Carol Strickman, a legal
representative of Prisoner Hunger Strike
Solidarity Coalition, "CDCR is clearly trying to
further isolate the hunger strikers in the hopes
of breaking the strike." Other reports indicate
that striking prisoners throughout the system are
being moved into Ad-Seg. "We don't know if they
are being removed from their cells to some other
location or transferred. It's really terrifying
that your loved one could be taken away like that
for participating in a peaceful protest," said
Irma Hedlin, who has family members in the Pelican Bay SHU.

While communication has been limited, recent
letters from hunger strike representatives
indicate that they remain committed to moving
CDCR and winning the five core demands. During
the strike in July, prisoners started to see the
adverse effects of refusing food after about two
weeks. "We know that CDCR tried to minimize and
cover up the fact that prisoners were getting
sick during the July hunger strike," says Laura
Magnani, a representative of the American Friends
Service Committee, "We have every reason to
believe that they will do the same moving
forward, especially given that legal visits have
been barred and family visits have been denied."

Lawyers, mediators and advocates have continually
pressured lawmakers to take action on the strike.
According to coalition representatives, a letter
delivered late last week to Governor Jerry
Brown's office has yet to receive a response. For
more information and continued updates on the
hunger strike, please visit

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