This is an urgent and extreme situation and your voice needs to be heard.
This is the most significant act of prisoner resistance in 40 years, since the Attica Uprising. By the prison authorities’ own figures, the hunger strike, which began on July 1, has involved 6,600 prisoners at 13 prisons. As of today, many prisoners are continuing the hunger strike at Pelican Bay and other prisons. The hunger strike comes in response to conditions in the Security Housing Units (SHU) of extreme isolation, brutality, deprivation—conditions so severe they violate the US Constitution and international laws on torture. Very significantly, the strike has brought together Black and Latino prisoners who are normally set against each other. They are asserting their own humanity and challenging others to reclaim their humanity by standing with them. – No human being should be tortured. – Some of these prisoners are willing to die unless their demands to end inhuman treatment are met. – The prison authorities are refusing to meet any of the demands.
In the next 72 hours, we need to bring public awareness and public outcry about this situation to a new level, involving respected voices of conscience, or people are going to die. Some of the hunger strikers are already in renal failure.
“Our indefinite isolation here is both inhumane and illegal and the proponents of the prison industrial complex are hoping that their campaign to dehumanize us has succeeded to the degree that you don’t care and will allow the torture to continue in your name. It is our belief that they have woefully underestimated the decency, principles and humanity of the people. Join us in opposing this injustice without end. Thank you for your time and support.” —Statement from inmates at Corcoran State Prison
The prisoners are counting on people of conscience to act now. Write your own statement of support for the hunger strikers.
1. Email your statement back to me so it can be widely circulated right away to the prisoners, supporters and media. 2. Send hard copy of the statement to: — Secretary Matthew Cate, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 1515 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 — Governor Jerry Brown, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814 3. Send your statement to the media.
To see the 5 core demands of the prisoners, go here. http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/the-prisoners-demands-2/
For more information on the hunger strike, go to Revolution newspaper, http://revcom.us/
LA Times http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0706-hunger-strike-20110706,0,3504424.story
Raymond Lotta, [email protected]