Yesterday, mediators who met with representatives of hunger striking prisoners in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison confirmed that the prisoners in the unit have decided to end their three-week-old strike. According to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition, “The prisoners have cited a memo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) detailing a comprehensive review of every Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisoner in California whose SHU sentence is related to gang validation. The review will evaluate the prisoners’ gang validation under new criteria and could start as early as the beginning of next year.” Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, said, “This is something the prisoners have been asking for and it is the first significant step we’ve seen from the CDCR to address the hunger strikers’ demands. But as you know, the proof is in the pudding. We’ll see if the CDCR keeps its word regarding this new process.”
The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition also reports: “The mediation team stated that while the memo indicates statewide changes in the gang validation process for SHU prisoners, the CDCR did not address the status of hunger strikers at Calipatria or Salinas Valley prisons, who are not SHU prisoners. All sources say that at this point, these prisoners will continue to refuse food and stand behind the 5 core demands for all prisoners in California.”
Written on the 11th day of the hunger strike, October 6th, the following letter is from a Calipatria State Prison hunger striker. Hundreds of inmates at Calipatria have taken part in this hunger strike, including a significant number of general population inmates. Many of those in Calipatria’s segregation unit are awaiting transfer to Corcoran or Pelican Bay State Prison to serve terms in the Security Housing Units. An Administrative Segregation inmate, the writer reaffirms his commitment to the fulfillment of the hunger strike demands and laments the indifference of the prison staff to the plight of the hunger strikers.
I joined my second hunger strike on September 26th 2011. I am proud to say that today, October 6th 2011 I have successfully completed 11 days without ingesting any food. I have to admit this hunger strike has not been anything nice. 11 days without eating is very difficult but nonetheless it is worth it. To some this is not only a sacrifice but a burden, a nightmare they wish to escape from.
Not ME! Men of respect, men of honor, have committed their lives to the struggle. Literally placed their lives on the line in order to put a stoppage to all these injustices we are subjected to day in an day out. People would rather die than continue living under their current conditions. That why to me, it is a privilege, an honor to be apart of the struggle, to be apart of history for the betterment of not only “me” but for all those inside these cement walls… I have joined this second hunger strike once again full heartedly with a smile on my face. I will go as far as my body allows me to go.
Very sad to report that prison officials here at Calipatria are not taking this hunger strike very seriously. In fact to them it’s a joke. Day 11 and still no word of positive progress and no talk of peaceful negotiations so this mass hunger strike could come to an end. We are left in our cold cells to starve without any care or word from these prison officials. Rumor is we have radios approved and this ASU is in fact designed for T.V. capability. Two (2) engineers…made it clear that all these chases in this ASU are equipped with Coaxial antennas for TV’s already. They even called [an] ASU Sgt….to show him so that they (Calipatria Prison) wont be able to LIE. Radios that are supposedly ‘approved’ is a fat lie because there is nothing (memorandum) on paper stating this is true.
Many people have gone ‘Man Down’ and the way C/O’s and medical staff respond to these man downs are very sad to see.
99% of the time it takes prison c/o’s and medical staff a very long time to respond to the man downs. Ignoring all the cry for help. Trust me, the inmates can get pretty loud when some one goes man down. There is no excuse for C/O’s and medical staff to respond to man downs very poorly. People could get seriously hurt that way. Then often they close all the doors from the pods (sections) which makes it difficult for them to hear when one is screaming for help but the tower officer could hear everything. They just ignore the man down’s and takes awhile to report it.
Horrible job and treatment we are receiving during the hunger strike. We are told by medical staff that we must lose 5 % of our body weight/become malnourished, fall-out or sick before they can/will provide us with any treatment. CDCR policy states otherwise! Medical physicians take an oath to prevent illness and to protect life, yet everyday my body is deteriorating and the only treatment i am offered is advice to “eat something” in other words i am being told to give up my First Amendment Right to peacefully protest doesn’t not deny me my Eighth Amendment to adequate medical care.
I have to say by the looks of things, this is going to be a long ride. Nonetheless, i am ready and all i have to say about this poor treatment and all the silence from the prison officials is BRING IT!!!
WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE ARE HEARD!