Revolution #241, July 31, 2011
July 26, 2011: Important Update on Prison Hunger Strike
Posted July 26, 2011
Since the prison hunger strike ended at Pelican Bay State Prison on July 21, there have been reports that prisoners at other prisons remain on a hunger strike. It is important to monitor the status of these prisoners, there is a real need to find out the medical condition of all the prisoners who participated in the strike, and people must demand that there be no retaliation to any of the participants in this courageous hunger strike. (See "Prisoners at Pelican Bay End Hunger Strike… The Struggle Against the Inhumanity of Solitary Confinement Continues.")
On July 22, the L.A. Times reported that: "California corrections officials acknowledged more than 500 inmates continue to refuse meals at three other state prisons. More than 400 inmates remain on hunger strike at the California State Prison in Corcoran, more than 100 at the California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi and about 29 at Calipatria State Prison, said prison spokeswoman Terry Thornton."
On Monday, July 25, organizers from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity wrote:
"Thousands of prisoners across California have been on hunger strike for nearly 4 weeks now in protest against the use of solitary confinement following a call by prisoners in the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU). Though the prisoners in Pelican Bay have ended their protest following a number of apparent concessions by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), prisoners in at least three other California state prisons, CCI Tehachapi, Corcoran and Calipatria, continue to refuse food.
"The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition has called for all outside supporters to continue pressure on the Prison and State authorities to keep to their promises and to continue negotiating with the prisoners and their representatives. This is essential given the hostile CDCR statement announcing the end of the Pelican Bay hunger strike, where they rehearse the same lies about the protests being 'ordered by prison gang leaders' and adding that hunger strikes 'are a dangerous and ineffective way for prisoners to attempt to negotiate.' This statement deliberately ignored the Tehachapi, Corcoran and Calipatria hunger strikers and carried an implied threat of retribution against those who have taken part in the protests so far."
These prisoners are heroically taking a stand, in the most isolated, inhumane conditions, to refuse to be treated like animals. Because of this, a light is being shined on the torture and inhumanity going on behind these prison walls. And people on the outside have the moral responsibility to act in a way commensurate with the justness of the prisoners' demands. There continues to be a need for rallies, press conferences, letters to prison officials and the governor of California, and statements of support for the prisoners' demands. People from many different walks of life must demand an end to the inhumanity of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
As a statement from prisoners in Corcoran prison put it:
"It is important for all to know Pelican Bay is not alone in this struggle and the broader the participation and support for this hunger strike and other such efforts, the greater the potential that our sacrifice now will mean a more humane world for us in the future."
Stayed tuned to revcom.us for updates.
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