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Support Pelican Bay SHU Prisoners'  Five Core Demands (hunger strike)
  • Petitioning Jerry Brown

This petition will be delivered to:

Governor of California
Jerry Brown
Sec'y of CDCR (California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation)
Jeffrey Beard

Support Pelican Bay SHU Prisoners' Five Core Demands (hunger strike)

    1. Marilyn McMahon
    2. Petition by

      Marilyn McMahon

      Oakland, CA

In 2011, prisoners locked in the Security Housing Units (SHUs) at Pelican Bay and other California prisons went on hunger strike to protest the torturous conditions of solitary confinement.  During two different waves of hunger strikes at least 12,000 prisoners participated in the strike.  The strike received widespread support from outside prisons, and daily national and international media coverage.

Two years later, the brave actions of the hunger strikers and public pressure has helped ignite awareness about torture and solitary confinement inside prisons, and compelled the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to promise meaningful reforms. But  the CDCR has failed to make good on its promises. New regulations potentially empower prison officials to use even broader guidelines for locking people in the SHU—possibly resulting inmore prisoners being condemned to horrors of solitary confinement. There is still nothing to prevent CDCR from keeping a person locked in solitary indefinitely.

On July 8, Prisoners at Pelican Bay and other prisons will resume their hunger strike (this time their protests will include work stoppages as well) unless the California Governor Jerry Brown and the CDCR take decisive action to meet their demands. We must pressure the state of California to address the strikers’ demands, and to stop its practice of long-term solitary confinement!

 The Pelican Bay Five Core Demands:
1. Eliminate group punishments and administrative abuse.  
2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. 
3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons recommendations and end long-term solitary confinement.  
4. Provide adequate and nutritious food.  
5. Create and expand constructive programming.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 17,500 signatures
    2. 30,000 Calif. prisoners begin new hunger strike!

      Marilyn McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      Thirty thousand California prisoners stopped eating yesterday, in an enormous peaceful protest that shows their grave determination to end the torture of decades-long isolated confinement (decades without hugging their spouses or children, without speaking to them on the phone, without fresh air or sunshine, without normal conversation).

      With our support, the hunger strike can win a victory for human rights in California! Please sign the NEW petition at:

      Keep informed about the prisoners' protest and how you can help stop California's cruel and extreme long-term solitary confinement--check out the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity blog, at: http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/

      The blog will list rallies and other events in support of the hunger strikers and their demands. Join us!

    3. Reached 15,000 signatures
    4. Seeing no progress, PBSP prisoners prepare for another hunger strike

      Marilyn McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      In January, the four main spokesmen for the Pelican Bay hunger strikers of 2011 wrote an open letter to the governor of California , Jerry Brown, and the secretary of the CDCR (Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation), Jeffrey Beard. They announced a deadline of July 8, 2013--more than two years after their first hunger strike began!--for the CDCR to meet their reasonable "five core demands." Otherwise, they said, prisoners would have no choice but to begin another hunger strike.
      Find a link to their letter at: http://www.prisons.org/hungerstrike.htm
      Though the letter includes 40 "supplemental demands," the prisoners still emphasize the 5 core demands. The supplemental demands merely spell out more clearly core demand #5 and add some demands of prisoners not in solitary confinement.

    5. Corrected link

      Marilyn McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      The previous post had an erroneous link. More info about the prisoners' struggle is at: http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/

      Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

      amplifying the voices of CA prisoners on hunger strike


      Marilyn McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      The Pelican Bay hunger strikers' representatives announced Thursday that they were ending the hunger strike triumphantly after CDCR committed to a comprehensive examination of whether prisoners were properly held in SHU.

      CDCR committed to reviewing the "gang-validation" decisions of every validated prisoner in SHU. As the hunger strikers have demanded, the criteria used will be based on individual behavior, rather than mere association. Prisoners wrongly held in SHU will be released to general population. Prisoner rights advocates believe that many prisoners have been falsely validated, estimating about 50% of them.

      The prisoners also verified that the CDCR is continuing work on long-needed reforms, including an alternative to the despised "debriefing" ("snitching") program.

      The hunger strikers were on their 18th day without food, barely two months' after a 20-day hunger strike in July.

    7. Prisoners in their 3rd week of resumed hunger strike

      Marilyn McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      Prisoners at Pelican Bay and prisons around California resumed hunger striking on September 26, 2011 because the CDCR has not adequately addressed their 5 core demands regarding conditions in Security Housing Units. At one point comprising at least 12,000 prisoners in 13 prisons, hundereds continue to strike. The CDCR has met their peaceful resistance with retaliation, barring family and legal visits, issuing disciplinary measures and using sensory deprivation techniques such as turning on the air conditioning and witholding medications and water in an effort to break the strike.

    8. Pelican Bay Strikers Face Retaliation

      Nadra Kareem Nittle
      Petition Organizer

      Pelican Bay Strike has resumed but prison officials are reportedly cracking down on participants.

    9. Hunger Strike to Resume

      Nadra Kareem Nittle
      Petition Organizer

      Prisoners will resume hunger strike on Sept. 26 until demands are met.

    10. Dept. of Corrections likely to change policies by year's end.

      Nadra Kareem Nittle
      Petition Organizer

      Prisoners may have demands met.

    11. Reached 10,000 signatures
    12. Hunger strike ends, struggle for prisoners' human rights continues!

      Marilyn S. McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      Prisoners agreed to end the HS in exchange for good-faith gestures from CDCR and promises that their major demands would be addressed in coming months. Only continuing public pressure on Gov. Brown & CDCR will assure these policy changes are made!

    13. Reached 9,000 signatures
    14. Pelican Bay inmates agree to end 3-week hunger strike

      Sarah Ryan
      Campaigns Strategist and Coordinator

      Inmates at California’s highest-security lockup agreed to end a three-week hunger strike that appeared to be gathering momentum despite an apparent lack of concessions from corrections officials.

    15. Reached 8,000 signatures
    16. Reached 7,000 signatures
    17. 6600 prisoners joined hunger strike

      Marilyn S. McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      After initially giving misinformation, CDCR admits that over the weekend there were 6600 prisoners at THIRTEEN PRISONS on hunger strike!
      The count will fluctuate day to day as some end five-day fasts & others just learn of the HS and join it.

    18. Reached 4,000 signatures
    19. Hunger Strike Spreads Beyond Pelican Bay

      Marilyn S. McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      Prisoners at several other California prisons have joined the hunger strike, including Corcoran, Centinela, Calipatria, Folsom, and California Correctional Institution (Tehachapi).

    20. Solidarity rallies being organized internationally

      Marilyn S. McMahon
      Petition Organizer

      Rallies in solidarity with the prisoners are being organized in San Francisco, Toronto, New York, Vancouver, Eureka-Arcata, Quebec City, Denver, ...

    21. Reached 3,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Gemma Salinas Smith RICHMOND, CANADA
      • 1 day ago

      many years ago i volunteered with m2w2 prison outreach but still my heart goes out to those in prison especially in solitary confinement. i think we need to take a page from norways book regarding treatment of prisoners.

    • Reina Castillo BURBANK, CA
      • 6 days ago

      This is not humane nor cost-effective!

    • ariel bulgara FARMERSVILLE CA, CA
      • 16 days ago

      Its injustice to the people .they are not animals

    • Andrew Gonzales SAN JOSE, CA
      • 17 days ago

      I feel this should change . I think after a while people should be put into a special unit so they can get privelages

    • Gabriel Saillé ARCATA, CA
      • 17 days ago

      Things need to change


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