by: Danny Murillo on August 7th, 2013 | Comments Off
The prison hunger strike that has been taking place throughout various state prisons in California for 31 days now originated in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison. The inmates at this facility are held in long-term solitary confinement, under conditions of extreme sensory deprivation. Some prisoners have been held under these conditions for over 20 years.
The hunger strike intends to bring an end to the torturous conditions that exist inside the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison. Inmates in other prisons in California have participated in the hunger strike along with the hunger strikers in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison. These prisoners have also issued their own demands to bring change to the torturous conditions that exist within the prison system of California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Some of these demands are as simple as weekly phone calls or the ability to send a photo to their families once a year. All of the strikers’ needs are united by five core demands, which seek to bring fairness and human decency into the CDCR.
The protest is a follow-up to hunger strikes in 2011. At that time, the CDCR promised to reform their policies – and never followed through. This time many prisoners have vowed not to eat until they have a legally binding agreement from the CDCR.
I support the hunger strike because it is an act of resistance by those the system has cast off as less than human and unworthy of human dignity. The hunger strike/work stoppage is a call to action that crosses racial and geographical lines against the torture tactics the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) is inflicting on those it holds in Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) and in the Security Housing Unit (SHU). It is also a call to action against the validation process, a racist policy that is used to justify the placement of our brothers in the torture dungeons of Ad-Seg and the SHU.