Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hunger Strike Ends ?

Prisoners at Pelican Bay End Hunger Strike, Declare Victory
Lawyers and Mediators Share Messages from Hunger Strike Leaders

For Immediate Release – July 22, 2011
Press Contact: Molly Porzig
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
What: Press Conference
Where: California State Building, 1515 Clay St, Oakland
When: 11am, July 22, 2011
Oakland – Lawyers, mediators and prisoner’s family members will hold a press conference on July 22, 2011 at the California State Building in Oakland announcing that prisoners at Pelican Bay have ended a hunger strike that began on July 1st. The prisoners collectively decided to end their strike when presented with an offer by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) meeting at least one of their demands. “The prisoners have been offered cold weather caps, calendars and the possibility of some educational opportunities in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU),” says Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children who spoke by phone with four of the hunger strike leaders today, “They understand this is a victory not just because of the concessions that were offered, but because the tremendous international outcry around the conditions at Pelican Bay has made it possible to move towards lasting changes for prisoners across California.”
The strike, which lasted three weeks, received broad international support and prompted California lawmakers to initiate hearings on conditions in the SHU, including the practice of long-term solitary confinement. “While the strike might be over, conditions at Pelican Bay and around California remain deplorable,” says Emily Harris, coordinator of Californians United for a Responsible Budget. “The culmination of this hunger strike must be viewed in light of the fact that the CDCR is in federal receivership because it provides substandard medical care to prisoners. This will be an ongoing struggle.”
The Pelican Bay prisoner hunger strike has been one of the largest and longest strikes by prisoners in California history, with more than 6,600 prisoners participating at the height of the strike. A source at the Associated Press notified supporters that prisoners at Calipatria, Corcoran and Tehachapi state prisons remain on strike as of July 21st.Manuel LaFontaine, an organizer with All of Us or None, points out “This strike has been really significant in terms of the media attention it has received but more importantly because it marks a shift in terms of “business as usual” for the CDCR.”
Advocates and lawyers will continue to monitor conditions in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison and encourage ongoing review of conditions of confinement in all California prisons.
Recent Media Coverage
Wednesday's demo in Providence, RI


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Upcoming Events
(next 72 hours)
In the US:
July 23, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Day 23 Hunger Strike Support Rally:  @ CIM 14901 Central Ave Chino CA 91710 (we will probably arrive by 8:00 a.m.)
Please note the the rally at Chino has been canceled.
Los Angeles
July 22, 9:00AM-5:00PM - All Day Action - Downtown Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan State Building,300 South Spring St (between 3rd and 4th st),Los Angeles, CA 90013(@ 5pm march to LA County Jail)
July 22, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. @ Los Angeles Co Jail 441 Bauchet St LA 90012( be prepared to walk thru the streets of Los Angeles @ 8:30 p.m. to pass out info flyers and get petitions signed)
Sat. July 23: From Supermax to Supermax – Rally 2:00-4:00 pm at Ohio’s supermax, Ohio State Penitentiary, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd., Youngstown, OH 44505. Followed by a reception, discussion and DVD on physical & psychological torture USP at Marion. Come to St. Augustine’s Church, 614 Parmalee Ave., Youngstown, OH 44510.
If you are organizing an event in your area, let us know!
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