Support the Hunger Strikers in Winning their Demands!
The US imprisons over 2.5 million people in jail, prisons, detention centers and juvenile halls, about 150,000 of whom are CA prisoners.
In July and September of 2011, tens of thousands of prisoners in at least 13 of California’s state prisons joined in solidarity across boundaries of race & geography to protest the torturous conditions in Security Housing Units (SHU) by going on hunger strike. Click here for Facebook event
CA Hunger Strike: 5 Core Demands
1. End Group Punishment & Administrative Abuse
2. Abolish the Debriefing Policy & Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status
3. End Long‐term solitary confinement
4. Provide Adequate & Nutritious Food
5. Expand & Provide Constructive Programming for Indefinite SHU
What is the SHU?
• California’s maximum security units.
• Prisoners are kept in solitary confinement, many for decades.
• Cells 6 x 10 ft, windowless.
• No human physical contact, work or communal activities.
• Exercise is limited to 1 hour per day in a concrete yard.
• The SHU has been characterized as “inhumane and degrading”
by the United Nations.
• Solitary confinement, even or brief periods of time, has been shown to cause or exacerbate serious mental health problems.
While hunger strikers recover from two rounds of the historic strike, supporters outside need to send a clear message of support to the CA legislature and continue building pressure to fully implement the five core demands.
Let’s jam the CA Legislature’s communication with overwhelming support for the hunger strike! A Call or letter for every CA prisoner!
Look up your state representative here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html
SAMPLE PHONE SCRIPT*:
“Hello, my name is ____________and I’m a resident of CA. I am calling in support of the hunger strike that spread across CA’s prison system. Thousands of prisoners went on hunger strike in July and Sept/Oct to protest torturous and inhumane conditions in Security Housing and Administrative Segregation Units in CA prisons. I strongly urge you to:
1. Visit Security Housing Units (SHUs) and Administrative Segregation Units (Ad-Seg) and speak to prisoners who participated in the hunger strike;
2. Attend any informational meetings or legislative hearings about prison conditions and the hunger strike where the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition may be presenting;
3. Hold the CDCR to its commitment to the hunger strikers by revising the regulations in a meaningful way;
4. Demand that CDCR treat the prisoners as stakeholders in its process to develop these regulations;
5. Vote for the repeal of the prison media ban (AB 1270).
“Dear Assembly Member/Senator ______________,
I am writing to you in strong support of the hunger strike that spread across California’s prison system the Summer and Fall of 2011. As you may be aware, prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) in Pelican Bay State Prison started a continuous hunger strike on July 1st, 2011 to protest conditions that have been characterized by the United Nations as “inhumane and degrading”. In the summer, 6,600 prisoners in at least 13 prisons participated in the strike. When the strike resumed in September/October, participation nearly doubled reaching 12,000 prisoners in state prisons. While the strike has successfully exposed the CDCR’s inhumane conditions, the prisoners’ five core demands have yet to be implemented. I strongly urge you to:
-Visit Security Housing Units (SHUs) and Administrative Segregation Units (Ad-Seg) and speak to prisoners who participated in the hunger strike;
-Attend any informational meetings or legislative hearings about prison conditions and the hunger strike which the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition may be presenting;
-Hold the CDCR to its commitment to the hunger strikers by revising their regulations in a meaningful way;
- Demand that CDCR treat the prisoners as stakeholders in its process to develop these regulations;
-Vote for the repeal of the prison media ban (AB 1270).
If you need more information about the hunger strike and the torturous conditions Security Housing and Administrative Segregation Units, visitwww.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
For regular updates on the CA Hunger Strike and the work outside to support the strikers, visit: prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com
How to Support 150,000 Calls for CA Prisoners:
1. Forward the 150,000 Calls materials on to everyone you know! (use email blasts, facebook, twitter, etc)
2. Coordinate a mailing & calling party in your neighborhood
3. Pass out fliers about the 150,000 Calls drive at events (download full-page flier here; half-page here)
4. Go door-knocking in your neighborhood with copies of the open letter & ask people to sign it. (If you collect letters and mail them in one envelop you can save on postage!)
5. If you visit people in prison, pass out copies of the open letter and/or fliers outside the prison about the 150,000 Calls drive to family and friends visiting their loved ones.
What other creative ideas do you have to make 150,000 calls on the CA Legislature in support of the hunger strike?
*You do not need to be a CA resident (or citizen) to support. The goal is to jam up legislators’ communication systems and show them how much support the hunger strikers (and all prisoners) have.*
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity