Tens of thousands of prisoners in Security Housing Units (SHU’s) and Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg’s) in this country face the most brutal, inhumane conditions of solitary, long-term confinement and denial of other basic human rights. Twice in the last few months, California prisoners in such horrendous conditions, along with others not in solitary, launched hunger strikes—each lasting three weeks. Over 6,500 prisoners took part in the first strike, nearly 12,000 during the second. They are demanding to be treated as human beings; and an end to barbaric, inhumane conditions and long-term solitary confinement – In a word - as defined by the U.N. - TORTURE!
Think about everything that makes you human... that keeps you physically and mentally alive... that connects you with the world and other people... that gives you a reason to live, to love, to learn and think.... All this is what the SHU tries to extinguish. In the SHU you're locked up in a small, windowless concrete cell 23 hours a day, with minimum human contact and maximum sensory deprivation, for years and, in many cases, decades.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), fully backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, has not only reneged on promises made to end the first hunger strike, and now that the second hunger strike is now over for the time being, it has now viciously intensified their almost unimaginably cruel treatment with even greater repression and violence against those who participated in the non-violent action – banning their lawyers, denying medical care, restricting letters and political literature, taking away their meager property, and manufacturing “Rule Violations” that could mean many more years in the SHU!
On October 14, four people conducted non-violent civil disobedience protests in support of the prisoners’ hunger strike – Larry Everest, Joey Johnson and Maryann, in front of CDCR Headquarters in Sacramento, and Keith James at the State Building in Los Angeles. They called for the prisoners’ demands to be met, and an end to retaliation against prisoners who were still on hunger strike or who had taken part in the hunger strike. All were arrested. While the system prosecutes protesters engaging in non-violent civil disobedience, the CDCR is allowed to retaliate against non-violent hunger strikers and continue to hold prisoners in conditions of isolation and solitary confinement amounting to torture. This, too, is outrageous and we demand that any legal action against these individuals be dropped immediately!
All of us have a moral responsibility to stand up for the basic rights and humanity of those held in SHU Hell-Holes as well as all those behind bars, to build a determined movement outside prison walls demanding CDCR grant the prisoners' just demands and immediately halt its retaliation against hunger strikers.
Drop Legal Actions against the 3 supporters of the Prison Hunger Strikers
On October 14, four individuals – one at the State Building in Los Angeles and three in front of CDCR Headquarters in Sacramento – conducted non-violent civil disobedience protests in support of the prisoners hunger strike. They called for the prisoners’ demands to be met, and an end to retaliation against prisoners who were still on hunger strike or who had taken part in the hunger strike.
All were arrested. The three in Sacramento were arrested on 5 charges each. We oppose the prosecution of protesters engaging in non-violent civil disobedience, especially while the CDCR is allowed to retaliate against non-violent hunger strikers and continue to hold prisoners in conditions of isolation and solitary confinement amounting to torture.
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity supports people who stand with the prisoners and non-violently protest to support them. We demand that any legal action against these individuals be dropped immediately.