The Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition yesterday provided the following information, based on reports from the mediation team chosen by the prisoners:

This afternoon leaders of the Pelican Bay hunger strike unanimously rejected a proposal from the CDCR to end the strike. In response to the prisoners’ five, straightforward demands, the CDCR distributed a vaguely worded document stating that it would “effect a comprehensive assessment of its existing policy and  procedure” about the secure housing units (SHUs). The document gave no indication if any changes would be made at all.

While the CDCR has claimed that there is no medical crisis, mediators report that the principal hunger strikers have lost 25-35 pounds each and have underlying medical conditions of concern. Despite the promises from the federal Receiver overseeing the CDCR, no one has received salt tablets or vitamins.

The hunger strike is now in its third week and shows no signs of weakening. In fact, the settlement document distributed last night to all hunger strikers at Pelican Bay prison, resulted in some people who have gone off the strike to resume refusing food. Hundreds of prisoners at Pelican Bay remain on strike, with thousands more participating throughout the CA’s 33 prisons. Advocates and strike leaders dismiss the false claims that the strike is being orchestrate by prison gangs…

According to mediation team [member] Laura Magnani, “From day one. the CDCR has demonstrated it’s inability to resolve this situation. We call on Gov. Brown to step in and negotiate in good faith to bring this situation to a just resolution.” Strike supporters plan to flood the Governor’s office with phone calls and emails, echoing the striker’s demands.

“Given how basic the strikers’ demands are, it is immoral that the CDCR would insult these men with such poor faith proposal,” states mediator Dorsey Nunn.

According to the San Francisco Bay View:

Dorsey Nunn, executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and a member of the prisoner-selected mediation team, says that leaders are determined to keep up their strike. But he worries about the CDCR’s willingness to move negotiations forward.

“Both parties are dug in,” says Nunn. “The CDCR is not offering anything substantial, and the strikers aren’t receiving anything substantial. So they’ll keep going. And we don’t know how long it’ll be before people start dying”…

Nunn says the team will continue to urge the CDCR to negotiate in good faith: “The strikers’ demands are so minimal, they want to have hope like anyone else. The CDCR could end the strike by providing even a little bit of hope for these prisoners.”

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