Gearing up for Round 2 of Hunger Strike, CDCR Threatens Strikers

On Monday, September 26th, prisoners at both Pelican Bay & Calipatria will resume the hunger strike to stop the torturous conditions of Security Housing Units (SHUs).

Prisoners first went on hunger strike on July 1st for nearly four weeks, until the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) agreed to begin implementing some of the prisoners’ five core demands. The strike became one of the largest prison strikes in California history–stretching across a third of the California’s prisons (at least 13 State prisons), including more than 6,600 prisoners at its height. However, the CDCR’s response has been inadequate to say the least, giving prisoners & their families false hope of timely substantial change and an end to torture. For a detailed summary of the CDCR’s response to the strike, and why Pelican Bay prisoners are resuming it, read “Tortured SHU Prisoners Speak Out: The Struggle Continues.”

CDCR officials seem to be preemptively cracking down on prisoners in anticipation of the strike and have publicly said they were preparing to take harsh actions against strikers. Illustrating the CDCR’s hard-line stance, Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan said in a recent interview, “If there are other instances of hunger strikes, I don’t think the Department will approach it the same way this time around.”  

Lawyers who have recently visited Pelican Bay have taken testimony from SHU prisoners who have been retaliated against by prison officials for their participation in this summer’s strike. “Prisoners are receiving serious disciplinary write-ups, usually reserved for serious rules violations, for things like talking in the library or not walking fast enough,” says Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, “It’s clear that prison officials are trying to intimidate these men and to make them ineligible for any privileges or changes that may be forced by the strike.”

  • Above: 128 Write-ups are delivered to strike participants & can result in denied parole, in-prison job loss & more

It’s these sorts of responses from the CDCR & forms of retaliation that show us prisoners are not recognized & treated as human beings, are constantly abused & tortured by the CDCR, and that the CDCR has no intention of stopping this. The prisoners clearly have no other recourse but to risk their lives, again.

13 thoughts on “Gearing up for Round 2 of Hunger Strike, CDCR Threatens Strikers

  1. Pingback: Gearing up for Round 2 of Hunger Strike, CDCR Threatens Strikers | Life Unlimited

  2. Pingback: CA Hunger Strike Resumes September 26th! « The Czech

  3. I was at Pelican Bay today and was told the latest report on the upcoming hunger strike to commence September 26 2011…. the guys are being threatened with lockdowns and having their property taken from them if the commence to not eat in protest….

    there are a palette of sweatsuits mailed in they are refusing to distribute to the prisoners. You would think by the attitudes of the guards, they were getting paid extra to make the lives of prisoners this much more difficult. not one effort is beign made on the side of the employed to “do the right thing” and treat these men better than mad dogs.

  4. Starting Monday, September 26, 2011, I will be joining the hunger strike in support of my son who has fallen into this prison industry. I will be having toast & water in the A.M., & in the P.M., while mid-day I will eat a small nutritious meal in consideration of my age (61 yrs. old). God help us all in our quest to have all human beings treated with dignity and given their civil rights. This prison industry is not above the law.

  5. Pingback: Information on Round 2 of Hunger Strike in California. « furbirdsqueerly

  6. UPDATE as of the day before the 2nd round of hte hunger strike… this is what is going on with the battle front of CDC and the Pelican Bay prisoners:

    the hunger strike has provoked CDC to do things like take away visits and personal affects like TVs.
    Sweatsuits mailed to prisoners have NOT been handed out and are being withheld as more retaliatory punishment to prisoners.
    Mathew Cate and Scott Kernan REFUSE to communicate with prisoners’ lawyers and will not play in a manner that notes any human concern, They have LIED to the prisoners and are DEMANDING the prisoners give up all demands. they are REFUSING to honor anything they have promised the prisoners and are telling them one thing while telling the public something else entirely.
    The Prisoners are tired of being lied to and will ONLY communicate to the Governor
    IF YOU: have any compassion and heart at all, you will take ALL EFFORTS to communicate to Governor Brown and, like the prisoners, not waste your time with the CDC heads. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE… DEMAND CATE AND KERNAN BE FIRED!!! and take on no replacement other than compassionate players.

    SHU WIFE Betty

  7. I was up at Pelican Bay this weekend as well. As a wife of an inmate who has served almost 16 years in an “indeterminate” SHU term, I am sickened by the thought that these men are willing to undergo another Hunger Strike. Many of these inmates have not fully recovered from the last hunger strike as far as their health is concerned. Yet, they are willing to risk their lives to show tax payers that their money is not doing much except support torture and inhumane treatment. Mr. Kernan is not only (not qualified) to do his job, but (incapable) of doing it. Kernan has avoided answers to relative/pertinent questions presented at the State hearing on 8-23-2011 and to this day has made no significant adjustments on how SHU terms will be re-evaluated. Sure CDC granted some colored pencils and sweats, but the demands that were most relevant in this hunger strike such as; reform to gang validation and indeterminate SHU sentences have not been discussed. Although I fear for the lives of all those participating in this hunger strike, I will make sure their voices are heard. I know it is much easier to believe all these men deserve to be treated horribly than to believe we support a system that has no boundaries and promotes torture and deprivation tactics in order to maintain the biggest union in the state of California….yes that is the prison system. Do research people; don’t trust what anyone says as the truth until you discover it on your own. There is a huge injustice going on in our prisons today and I will make sure the truth is revealed to all the tax payers and voters in California. Do the right thing and get involved. Write and call your elected officials today.

    Patricia Aguilar

      • .Yes Betty I believe Kernan and Cate need to be fired not just for not doing their job but for wasting our taxpaying money on their salaries while they sit back and do nothing all day long. NOW that’s a joke and a great injustice to all Californians. Question of the day: How many representatives does it take to fix a broken prison system????? I would support this hunger strike EVEN if my husband wasn’t a participant because two wrongs do not make a right. If you don’t like that in the US everyone including inmates have the right to basic human rights consider living in another country where that doesn’t apply.

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