Protest in solidarity with Pelican Bay hunger strike



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Philadelphia Weekly did a piece on our protest.

A cluster of 30 protesters outside City Hall shout “Education, not incarceration,” but their voices are drowned out by a grid-locked 18-wheeler blaring its horn on 15th Street. One protester pulls out a megaphone. If only he can get his voice heard, he can draw attention  Sinerji Notebook Tamiri to what he calls a longstanding human-rights violation now spiraling out of control: the frequent and arbitrary use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, which is considered by the United Nations to be a form of torture.

 

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Change.org provides an overview as to just what the hunger strikers are trying to achieve.

 

Prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison (California) began an indefinite hunger strike on July 1, 2011 to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment.  The hunger strike was organized by prisoners in an unusual show of racial unity.  The hunger strikers developed five core demands.  Briefly they are [see original post for details]:

1. Eliminate group punishments. 

2. Abolish the debriefing policy Nedir and modify active/inactive gang status criteria.


3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to longterm solitary confinement. 

4. Provide adequate food. 

5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates. 

For more information and continuing updates, visit Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidary Blog

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The Nation describes the situation as getting serious.

Prisoners in California are taking part in an “indefinite” hunger strike that could prove fatal if something isn’t done soon. Many participants “are experiencing irregular heartbeats and palpitations, some are suffering from diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia,” according to the Bay Area group Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity (PHSS), which is in touch with the inmates’ lawyers and family.

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The Prison Activist Resource Center has all sorts of contact information and flyers on the situation.

 

Update: Woo-hoo!!!

Pelican Bay Prison Hunger Strike Ends: Prison Strike Leaders Declare It a ‘Success’