Numbers of hunger strikers began to drop this week after the CDCR intensified retaliation on the strike. The hunger strike representatives at Pelican Bay who were kept in the D Corridor of the SHU were moved to Administrative Segregation at Pelican Bay. Lawyers who were finally able to have one visit last week (after some lawyers of the prisoners’ mediation team have been banned) report that the CDCR has the air conditioning on high in 50 degree weather. The hunger strike representatives continue to be willing to risk their lives in order to win the 5 core demands.
The CDCR’s numbers also appear to be low due to guards falsifying records of hunger strikers. At Calipatria, for instance, hunger strikers report they were finally given their liquids after filing medical requests (even though they were still denied liquids for the first several days of the strike). Now, however, guards have been delivering liquids on the prisoners’ food trays. Once strikers take the liquids off of the trays, the guards record they are not striking (CDCR counts strikers based on who touches the state-issued food trays and who doesn’t).
Medical conditions are also worsening for strikers throughout the state. We’ve received reports that after 12 days of no food, prisoners are once again losing severe weight and fainting. One hunger striker at Pelican Bay was denied his medication and consequently suffered from a heart attack and is now is an outside hospital in Oregon.
Family & community members continue to support the hunger strikers by holding rallies, community events and vigils, publicizing the courageous action inside prison and building pressure on representatives to intervene in the CDCR’s handling of the strike.
Families of SHU prisoners are calling for supporters everywhere to hold mass vigils in support of the hunger strikers on Thursday nights. If you can organize a vigil in your community, please email prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity[at]gmail.com. For more events, check out our events page here.
Hip hop community,
support our hunger strike!
by Mutope Duguma, s/n James Crawford, for the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement
We prisoners held in Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (PBSP SHU) seek support from all hip hop celebrities, fans and supporters to assist us in shutting down all solitary confinement units – i.e. Administration Segregation (Ad-Seg), SHU and Maximum Security units and the like – that hold New Afrikan prisoners and other races in solitary confinement indefinitely.
We embarked Sept. 26, 2011, on a peaceful hunger strike here in PBSP and throughout the state of California in order to obtain our civil and human rights. We are being denied our five core demands (submitted prior to the first phase of the hunger strike in July).
Prisoners are being held in solitary confinement indefinitely on the word of a prison debriefer – i.e., snitch, informer, rat, turncoat – or some false prison gang validation. Therefore, we seek your support and give you all the right to advocate on our behalf:
JT The Bigga Figga
And all the original hip hop heads etc.
We ask that you all support us in our struggle to be liberated from these man-made torture chambers by doing the following:
1. Support the peaceful hunger strike by having your fans contact the governor of California, Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr., and the president of the United States of Amerika, Barack Obama, to end torture in California prisons, where prisoners are held indefinitely in solitary confinement – in PBSP SHU, Corcoran SHU, New Folsom SHU and Tehachapi SHU.
2. Donate $10 or more to our Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition, via California Prison Focus’ PayPal account, which can be accessed at www.prisons.org, and mark it for the hunger strike coalition, or mail your donation to California Prison Focus, 1904 Franklin St., Suite 507, Oakland CA 94612. Watch our blog, www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com, for information.
3. All of you have power, and that power is in your voice. We ask that you lend that power to our hunger strike. Yes, we will make the sacrifices. There are countless prisoners held in solitary confinement throughout this nation, who come from exclusively poor communities, being tortured. Contact the following New Afrikan prisoners who have been held in SHU since as long ago as 1976 to 2011:
Mutope Duguma, s/n James Crawford, D-05996, PBSP, D-1-117, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Michael Mutawally Cooperwood, C-46411, PBSP, D-1-214, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Abdul Olugbala Shakur, s/n J. Harvey, C-48884, PBSP, D-4-212, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
James Baridi Williamsun, D-34288, PBSP, D-4-107, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Yafeu Iyapo-I, s/n Leonard Alexander, B-73388, PBSP, D-3-104, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Marcus Tashiri Harrison, H-54077, PBSP, D-3-122, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Abasi Ganda, s/n Clyde Jackson, C-33559, PBSP, D-2-101, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Kubaua Gitu, s/n Rubben Williams, B-72882, PBSP, D-2-121, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
Paul Redd Jr., B-72683, D-2-117, PBSP, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532
J. Heshima Denham, J-38283, COR SHU, 4B-1L-46, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran CA 93212
Michael Zaharibu Dorrough, D-83611, COR SHU, 4B-1L-53, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran CA 93212
It is important that you in the public know that all of us come from the very communities you all come from. Unfortunately, we have been held in these solitary confinement units from 10 to 40 years, simply put, for nothing. The CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) has used every strategy and tactic to get us to debrief, as the only way for us to get out of solitary confinement.
Since we refuse to be emasculated and become the prison stoolie for the prison gang intelligence unit, CDCR has sanctioned the torture of each and every last one of us. Therefore, we prisoners, all races, decided to come together in order to end this cruel and unusual punishment.
Yes, many of you have heard or know firsthand of the horror stories CDCR officials have used to propagate us to the world in order to label us the “worst of the worst” held in Pelican Bay state prison solitary confinement units. Yet ALL RACES – i.e., New Afrikans, Mexicans South and North, and whites etc. came together to end and fight against the torture we all have endured for 21 years here at PBSP SHU by way of a peaceful hunger strike, which we intend to carry out indefinitely.
END SOLITARY CONFINEMENT THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA and THIS NATION!
We, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, George Franco, Arturo Castellanos and Todd Asker, the four principle negotiators and representatives of the Pelican Bay hunger strike, are requesting for all bodies and minds who are participating in the Sept. 26, 2011, human rights movement to be mindful that we prisoners are in a protracted struggle so that no other prisoners will be held in solitary confinement. All California-held prisoners can be subjected to inhumane, torturous and intentional harsh treatment by CDCR officials, enforced by their subordinates, if the use of solitary confinement is not stopped.
For this struggle to go forward, we need supporters to donate $10 or more to our prisoners’ cause, to shut the SHUs and all solitary confinement units within the state of California and spread this resistance across the U.S. by way of peaceful hunger strikes and other peaceful demonstrations.
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is a coalition of non-profit organizations that have been working many years on prisoner rights issues and shutting solitary confinement units throughout California and the U.S. We prisoners appreciate and continue to need their legal support.
Note: California Prison Focus is the member of the coalition responsible for meeting with the spokesmen for the prisoners. Donations will be used to travel to Pelican Bay once a week and to travel to the other SHUs as often as possible this winter in order to report to the state legislature and to protect the spokesmen as much as possible. Each trip costs $300 to $400 for two investigators for two days for gas and lodging only.
Saturday October 8th from 12:00 to 3:30 p.m: social gathering and potlock with Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition members, local activists, friends and family members of incarcerated loved ones in California prisons, to meet and socialized. Come and join us and share your favorite treat with us. Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster Street, Oakland, CA.
Thursday, October 13, 5-7 p.m.: Vigil at 24th & Mission, SF.
Thursday, October 20, 5-7 p.m.: Vigil at Fruitvale BART, Oakland.
Saturday, October 8, 6:30pm: Noise Demonstration in solidarity with hungerstrikers. Marching from Louden Nelson Park to County Jail. Bring Noisemakers! Click here for mor info.
Saturday, October 8, 11am-2pm: Letter and card writing for PPs, POWs, and prisoners on hunger strike in California. @ Zuccotti Park (Liberty Street and Broadway, New York, New York). Organized by Anarchist Black Cross NY and Resistance in Brooklyn.
This list is of upcoming events we know of. If you are organizing an event in your area, let us know!
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 documented their struggle and the actions of those who stood in solidarity with them.
As we enter this new period, Hungerstrike News will continue to support the prisoners and report on their struggle.
Has Your Mail to Someone in Prison Been Refused?
From Julie Tackett:
Having your mail rejected is one of the most upsetting things to have happen when you have a loved one in prison. Whether is just a mistake on your part, a concerted effort cut family bonds or blatant retaliation for things like the Hunger Strike, it will help to keep track of trends. I have a spread sheet to record mail rejected by CDCR. I will watch for trends of increased rejections by facility, type of rejections, reasons for rejections, and otherwise keep an eye on things.
Palestinian Prisoners on Hungerstrike in Israeli Prisons
Isolation torture is a worlwide scourge, often directed at political prisoners and others who resist oppression. In some contexts these people are accused of being "gang members", in others they are accused of being "terrorists". In all cases, this dehumanization is used as a justification for the unjustifiable: the purposeful attempt to scientifically drive a human being insane.
As of September 27, Palestinian prisoners have begun a hunger strike against the abusive conditions they are made to suffer. Their demands are:
"1. End the solitary confinement and isolation of our comrade, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the PLO Central Council, Ahmad Sa'adat, Abu Ghassan.
2. End the policy of isolation for all prisoners;
3. End the policy of systematic humiliation by the occupation army against the Palestinian people at checkpoints and crossings, particularly targeting visitors to prisons, and end the arbitrary denial of visits to the prisoners, especially the prisoners from the Gaza Strip. End the humiliation and abuse of prisoners during transfer."