Thursday, July 21, 2011

Support the Pelican Bay Prison Hunger Strike, July 2011
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Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, Served 2 years in Fort Leavenworth Military Prison for refusing to go to Vietnam in 1970 says:
The people on hunger strike in the prisons in California have stood up and declared that they are human beings, not animals, and that they refuse to submit to the torture being enforced by the California Dept of Corrections.
The hunger strikers have put their lives on the line to fight to achieve their demands, and we must support them.  They are asserting their humanity and thru doing that, they are challenging us to reclaim our own humanity—by refusing to allow torture to be carried out in the prison system in our name.

Prisoners at Pelican Bay SHU Announce Hunger Strike
Revolution newspaper received a copy of the “Final Notice: PBSP SHU D-Corridor Hunger Strike” written by prisoners in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison. This notice calls for a hunger strike, to start on July 1, 2011, and includes five core demands, which in summary are:
1. End “group punishment” where an individual prisoner breaks a rule and prison officials punish a whole group of prisoners of the same race.
2. Abolish “debriefing” and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. False and/or highly questionable “evidence” is used to accuse prisoners of being active/inactive members of prison gangs who are then sent to the SHU where they are subjected to long-term isolation and torturous conditions. One of the only ways these prisoners can get out the SHU is if they “debrief”—that is, give prison officials information on gang activity.
3. Comply with recommendations from a 2006 U.S. commission to “make segregation a last resort” and “end conditions of isolation.”
4. Provide Adequate Food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food. They want adequate food, wholesome nutritional meals including special diet meals and an end to the use of food as a way to punish prisoners in the SHU.
5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates—including the opportunity to “engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities...” which are routinely denied. Demands include one phone call per week, one photo per year, 2 packages a year, more visiting time, permission to have wall calendars, and sweat suits and watch caps (warm clothing is often denied even though cells and the exercise cage can be bitterly cold).