Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hungerstrike Update

Hungerstrike News
August 2, 2011 No. 11

Support and Resistance Expand

drawing by
Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, who has been held in segregation in the Virginia prison system since 1994. To see more of Rashid's artwork and writings, see www.rashidmod.com
August 1, Prisoner Hungerstrike Solidarity:
Today supporters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New York are holding rallies and speak-outs as part of a national day in support of the hunger strike, asking for all five core demands to be met, and for no retaliation against any and all prisoners who participated in the strike.
Supporters are also continuing to show support by participating in rolling fasts, writing letters to legislators, and words of encouragement and support to prisoners. Last week, more than 150 religious communities of Roman Catholic nuns mailed in letters of support of the prisoners’ requests to the governor of CA. The communities ranges from the Congregation of St. Joseph to the Loretto Sisters to the Sisters of Mercy. Each religious community represents from 100-18,000 nuns nationally and internationally. These representatives say: “We are with each of the prisoners and their supporters and loved ones in this struggle and extend our prayers of love, peace and support.”
Tactics of extreme isolation, social deprivation and torturous conditions are used throughout the US. [At least 60 super-maximum security prisons are operated in 44 states of the US]. People locked up throughout all prisons continuously resist repression and torture everyday, often working together in forms of both spontaneous and well-organized massive resistance.
Days within the Hunger Strike in CA ending, the Department of Corrections in Indiana put all the state prisons on lock-down in response to a stabbing no doubt instigated by guards. Prisoners in Indiana’s SHU joined together in resistance once the prison administration cut off all electricity and water in the prisons.
As we approach the 40th Anniversary of the Attica Rebellion this September, we’re reminded of the decades before us of prisoners working together across prison-manufactured racial divisions, resisting brutal conditions of isolation, torture and imprisonment. We’re reminded of the long and tireless fight for humanity to be recognized. The hunger strike that started at Pelican Bay and swept across CA’s prisons system has rejuvenated years and years of anti-prison and human rights’ work throughout the US and internationally, galvanizing support and collaboration inside and outside prison walls.


Indiana:  Solidarity with Wabash Valley SHU Protests!

Call-in today, Tuesday, August 2nd.  Wabash Valley administration can be reached at (812) 398-5050.   The Indiana Department of Corrections commissioner can be reached at (317) 232-5711On the morning of 7/16, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood was stabbed by other prisoners.  The attack took place at Pendleton Correctional Facility in the Maximum Security area of the prison.  The administration used the stabbing as a justification for putting every prison in the state on lockdown and conducting system-wide searches, raids, and beatings.  Since the lockdown began, inmates at the Secure Housing Unit at Wabash Valley had been denied access to water for bathing, sanitation, and cleaning their cells.

In response, a protest took place at the SHU last week.  Inmates initiated a response to the administration's refusal of basic sanitation needs. The inmates flooded the range and have begun a campaign of noise disturbance.  In response, the guards cut off all water and electricity to the SHU...

Inmates threw a t-shirt over the security camera on the range and bombarded the guard pod with feces and piss thrown from their cells: “If we have to live in filth, so do you.”  Electricity and water were turned back on at 4 am, after many hours without either. Their demands for sanitation and clean water were finally addressed later that evening.

As a condition of coming off this brutal lockdown, the prisoncrats have instituted an intervention by the Internal Affairs Security Threat Group officers to subject the entire prison to interrogations and forced debriefing, including photographing of tattoos and forced declarations of organizational allegiances. The prison officials have said that they won't come off lockdown until everyone has been subjected to these measures.

Struggles in prison can't sustain themselves if, on the outside, they only encounter the deadening silence of social submission.  By remaining passive on the outside, we give the prison system more room to do whatever it wants to the prisoners in struggle.  The inmates at Wabash Valley are protesting to end the system-wide lockdown, to defend their access to basic needs and their dignity.  Without solidarity, this protest could be drowned in beatings and blood, so let's break the social silence that allows the Secure Housing (isolation) Units and prison to play their normal, murderous role.  Indeed, raids against the rebellious blocks are ongoing right now.

Close the Secure Housing Units and isolation regimes – Isolation is always torture!

Solidarity with the hunger strikers in California prisons and the protests spreading in the Indiana prison system!

Down with prison-society!

In support of the prisoners' struggle, an Anarchist Solidarity Initiative in Bloomington is making the following call:

For active and subversive solidarity with the prisoners, to be practiced by whoever feels affinity with their struggles.

For specific call-in days on Monday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 2nd. Wabash Valley administration can be reached at (812) 398-5050.   The Indiana Department of Corrections commissioner can be reached at (317) 232-5711

  • We demand, in solidarity with the prisoners:
  • A restoration of access to water and sanitation.
  • An end to the system-wide lockdown and brutal searches.
  • An end to forced debriefing and interrogation.
  • That no prisoner faces repercussions for their participation in protests.

The Department of Corrections is constantly planning to expand the prison system.  Last year, it contracted with GEO Group to build a new private prison.




Recent Media Coverage

Needless to say, a link to an article does not imply endorsement.




Upcoming Events
(next week)
Rolling Fast in solidarity with California prisoners! To make a powerful statement of solidarity, we are calling for a 23-day rolling fast, August 1-23, to parallel the 20-day fast the prisoners took in July. Can you fast for one or two days in August to show your solidarity with these brave prisoners and send the message to California prison officials that the world is watching? Contact Alice Leibowitz, aliceactivist@gmail.com, to commit to a date.
In the US:

August 4: WEEKLY VIGIL IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE HUNGER STRIKERS. Come out and stand in solidarity with prisoners hunger striking at Pelican Bay State Prison and other prisons across California. We will meet from 5-7pm in front of the Alameda County Courthouse–1225 Fallon St., near Lake Merritt bart station and downtown Oakland.
Friday, August 5th 6:30-8:30 pm: Demonstration to Support the Demands of the Hunger Strikers! Cornor of Bethel & Hotel. March begins at 8pm. The purpose is to disseminate the demands to the thousands of people who attend the monthly Art Walk, and to build support in Hawai`i for the demands of the hunger strikers.  Other events are being planned.
August 4 at 7pm: California Prison Hunger Strike & Torture in U.S. Prisons Forum. Grace Place, 637 S Dearborn Street, Chicago.
New York
New York City
Thursday, August 4th 6:30-8 pm: Solidarity Picket at Harlem State Office Building (corner 125th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Harlem). To build support for the five demands established by the Pelican Bay strikers, and raise awareness of the conditions shared by people incarcerated in New York State. For information about the action, please contact: nyc@nodeathpenalty.org
In Canada
August 5, 12–1.30 pm: Picket at the American Consulate. 1155, rue Saint-Alexandre, corner Rene Levesque, metro Place des Arts. For more info, contact: montrealcontreprisons@gmail.com
If you are organizing an event in your area, let us know!
Demonstration in front of the California Tourist Office in London, England. The protest in solidarity with the California hunger-strikers was organized by the Brighton Anarchist Black Cross, and was joined by comrades from the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group.
If you'd like photos of your actions to appear in Hungerstrike News, just send us an email...

Hungerstrike News can be reached at hstrikenews@yahoo.ca

Build for Legislative Hearing on Torture & the SHU at Pelican Bay, August 23!

Committee Chair Tom Ammiano has scheduled this hearing at the request of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.  The legislative committee will hear testimony from speakers called by both sides.  There will also be a comment period when family members and others can speak.  The Prisoner Hungerstrike Solidarity Coalition urges everyone concerned about the torturous conditions in California’s prisons to attend this hearing.  People will be coordinating transportation from all over California. We are still in the planning stages, but know already that we want a huge turn-out.  Perhaps there will also be a rally, march, etc.  More information coming soon! Please stay tuned. For more information, email prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com or call: 510. 444.0484.

Throughout the month of July, 2011, thousands of prisoners across California participated in a hunger strike against torturous conditions at Pelican Bay State Prison's Security Housing Unit.
Hungerstrike News has documented their struggle and the actions of those who stood in solidarity with them, and will continue to support the struggle for the Five Demands.

Secretary Matthew Cate
1515 S Street
TEL: (916) 323-6001
Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
CDCR Public Affairs Office: (916)445-4950

If you have a website or blog and would like to help promote Hungerstrike News, get in touch.
follow Hungerstrike News on twitter:


No comments:

Post a Comment