Revolution #240, July 24, 2011
From the National Religious Campaign Against Torture:
TORTURE IS A MORAL ISSUE
The following is the text of a notice that the National Religious Campaign Against Torture sent out to its 9,000 members in California.
Dear NRCAT Supporters in CA:
Hunger strikes are the last resort of prisoners protesting inhumane conditions of confinement. We have seen that happen at Guantánamo, and now it is happening at Pelican Bay State Prison in northern California, where hundreds of prisoners are held in prolonged solitary confinement, a form of torture.
Prisoners across the state launched a hunger strike on July 1, demanding changes for prisoners in long-term solitary confinement in the “Special Housing Unit” (SHU). Conditions are so bad they have preferred to starve themselves to death rather than live another week in such torturous conditions and let future prisoners endure the same conditions.
As people of faith committed to ending torture, we must support this call as a part of our work to end the use of prolonged solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
After two weeks, at least 200 prisoners continue their hunger strike at Pelican Bay, where medical staff reported earlier this week:
"The prisoners are progressing rapidly to the organ damaging consequences of dehydration. They are not drinking water and have decompensated rapidly. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up. Some are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for 3 days. Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated."
Please take action today to prevent these prisoners from dying!
Send an e-mail to Governor Brown
urging that the hunger strike be addressed in a humane and rational way.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has so far refused to negotiate with either the prisoners or their outside mediation team and refused to end even the most egregious injustices or improve conditions. If CDCR continues on this path, prisoners may die in the coming days.
Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity is coordinating the statewide campaign to support the prisoners and providing up-to-date information. You can also read the prisoners' five core demands and their "formal complaint," which lays out the foundation for the demands. Amplify your voice - send a message to your friends.
Thank you for taking action today.
Director for Program Coordination
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