Hunger Strikers at Pelican Bay End Strike After Nearly 3 Weeks, Strike Continues at Other Prisons

Mediators who met with hunger strike representatives at Pelican Bay, one of whom had been transferred to Corcoran due to the strike, confirm that prisoners there have decided to stop their hunger strike after nearly 3 weeks. The prisoners have cited a memo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) detailing a comprehensive review of every Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisoner in California whose SHU sentence is related to gang validation. The review will evaluate the prisoners’ gang validation under new criteria and could start as early as the beginning of next year. “This is something the prisoners have been asking for and it is the first significant step we’ve seen from the CDCR to address the hunger strikers’ demands,” says Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, “But as you know, the proof is in the pudding. We’ll see if the CDCR keeps its word regarding this new process.”

The mediation team stated that while the memo indicates statewide changes in the gang validation process for SHU prisoners, the CDCR did not address the status of hunger strikers at Calipatria or Salinas Valley prisons, who are not SHU prisoners. All sources say that at this point, these prisoners will continue to refuse food and stand behind the 5 core demands for all prisoners in California. A recent letter from a prisoner at Calipatria states “Men have…placed their lives on the line in order to put a stoppage to all these injustices we are subjected to day in and day out. People would rather die than continue living under their current conditions. …It is a privilege, an honor to be a part of the struggle, to be a part of history for the betterment of all those inside these cement walls… I will go as far as my body allows me to go.”

Gang validation is a practice that the CDCR uses throughout California prisons.  Hundreds of prisoners who have been validated at Calipatria have been held in Adminstrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) for as long as four years, awaiting transfer to Pelican Bay.


20 thoughts on “Hunger Strikers at Pelican Bay End Strike After Nearly 3 Weeks, Strike Continues at Other Prisons

  1. Reading from a prisoner”…“Men have…placed their lives on the line in order to put a stoppage to all these injustices we are subjected to day in and day out. People would rather die than
    continue living under their current conditions. …It is a privilege, an honor to be a part of the struggle, to be a part of history for the betterment of all those inside these cement walls… I will go as far as my body allows me to go….” makes me admire this man’s courage and desire to serve. I honor you, my brother.

  2. God I pray that CDC keeps it’s word…They haven’t in the past…I’ve been through it in the hole doing small SHU terms for riots where all we were asking for is 3 showers a week and the store for cosmetics we were supposed to have coming and we boarded up our cells to disrupt count until the warden told us we would get the above- We didn’t, he lied, Wasco D yard building 5 ad-seg overflow…

  3. Pingback: Hunger strikers at Pelican Bay end strike after nearly three weeks; strike continues at other prisons | San Francisco Bay View

  4. I think it is a mistake to discontinue the strike before the CDC actually acts on demands. A hunger strike is the prisoner’s only source of power. The CDC will drag its feet and do nothing and prolong the suffering the minute that power is suspended. There is no reason why most of the demands cannot be met immediately.

  5. Should people still be calling the governor’s office to demand that CDCR actually *keep* their word this time? In 2002, people at Pelican Bay’s SHU held a hunger strike that lasted 3 weeks. The CDCR promised to review and change its debriefing process. That did not happen. Would continued public pressure help ensure that the CDCR keeps its word this time?

  6. I am proud that my son is one of those men who,having lost every civil liberty along with basically everything else,still have the strenght of character to stand up for something bigger than himself.My heart ache that there is so little I can do for him since I don’t even live in California.These struggle has been long overdue.Stay strong brothers,I admire you and am with you in spirit.

    • God bless you for your words Paola…I am writing the hunger strikers in Pelican Bay, as I am a former prisoner myself for drug charges. I started writing while in prison for 10 years and am now self published on amazon. If you want, give me his address and I will write him also. If you also want and can afford to send him the book I wrote, go to amazon-glenn langohr. blessings

  7. Pingback: Voices from Solitary: “We Will Not Stop Until We Are Heard” « Solitary Watch

  8. I too am concerned that the CDC may not keep it’s word. And I don’t know why they need til the beginning of the year to start “reviewing” inmate’s files. Vicki’s questions/suggestions (above) seem to be a very good way to proceed. Maybe a consistent, unending and organized campaign to continue the great work already done: petitions, phone calls, e-mails, etc. Would it be a good idea to request/demand regular updates from the CDC as to their progress?

    1. Repeal the authority of the governor’s power to grant clemency and any sentencing commutations in the State of California.
    2. Create a new clemency law that supersedes all known and unknown laws in the State of California dealing with clemency and commutation.
    Under this new clemency law a new clemency board shall be created to handle all requests for clemency, commutations and compassionate prisoner releases in California. At least one mini clemency board shall be established in every county in the State of California to handle considerations for clemency, commutation and compassionate releases do to possible injustice on the part of the State, including prison overcrowding.
    Five citizens who reside in the county where the inmate was convicted will judge cases only from that same county. If these citizens agree to sit on a clemency board for up to one week (or longer if agreed) they will be paid for their services the sum of $100.00 a day. By random selection using current voter rolls in their county, board members will be pre screened and must have no felony conviction on record for ten consecutive years before sitting on any panel. The board members will review inmate request for early release, reduction of sentence and or clemency. While in session, they may review many request for that week’s session. Private Citizens, prisoner rights groups and professionals in the field may also petition the board on behalf of an inmate. The citizens of the California Clemency Board will have the power to release any qualified prisoner (once every seven years per individual) reduce his or her sentence, give a citizen reprimand with a granted release attached to serious consequences or do nothing when the board rules that the prisoner was not unjustly treated by the prison system or judicial process.
    The California Clemency Board will also have the power to grant clemency for humanitarian reasons and release nonviolent prisoners under established guidelines when prison overcrowding is at unsafe levels. Any county who receives a clemency release shall also receive from the prison budget the sum of $8,000.00 or 1/6 the current California prison incarceration rate per release for rehabilitation services. The county must have State approved rehabilitation services in place to receive these prison budget funds. And the released must register with the county rehab within 30 days of release.

    3. Create a State elected administrator to handle the financial responsibilities of the board, ensure that prisoner request are delivered to the county level in a timely manner and make rulings on fairness or fraud in the clemency board. THE CITIZENS OF THE CALIFORNIA CLEMENCY BOARD AND NOT THE ELECTED OFFICIAL WILL HAVE THE FINAL SAY ON CLEMENCY.
    Special note:
    California Clemency Boards is not a get out of jail free card for those bent on committing crime and has many safe guards to prevent abuse of this new clemency process.

  10. Federal prosecutors are doing what the people feel powerless to stop, with the scare tactics aimed at California medical marijuana dispensaries of this past week as reported by Don Thompson, AP Feds vow crackdown on Calif. pot operations. I believe differently about the power of the people.
    Though I am only using the marijuana issue for my point, I believe this would also be a better approach then a hunger strike, which no one cares about; simply, connect the plight of those in solitary confinement with something that people care about, which is organ donation. The death penalty campaign where I see a light at the end of that tunnel could also benefit from a boycott campaign of this nature.
    If you know someone who has called medicinal marijuana a “Life saver”, then you should change your DMV status from “Yes” to “No” for organ donation at your local office, understanding, that taking this stand could actually one-day increase organ donations.
    Check the statistics Though it might seems small, we should keep in mind that sometimes, it is the little things we do or do not do that make all the difference in the world. By starting small, you will be surprised how you can reach the highest. Sure it’s radical but do you want change or not.
    I am not a marijuana user so why should I care. Smoking marijuana kept me from losing my mind 29 years ago. I do admit that I would be still smoking today if it had not been for the fact that I did become paranoid, which I claim was not the weed but other things I was dealing with at that time in my life. Furthermore, I have already mentioned to my doctor that if I were to come down with something like cancer, I will be smoking weed and not taking something like chemotherapy.
    People in congress, too old and set in their ways to change, are ruining this country with its policies. Therefore, concerned Americans need to help avoid another government led crisis. The people who will inherit this country should recognize the warning sign as in the protest on Wall Street and likewise act. In other words, stop America from sounding an alert of “I’ve fallin and I can’t get up.”
    A response at the local DMV with signs that read, “I am changing my organ donor status to ‘no’ until further notice” or “Just say No to Organ donation” would be a good start to, answer the federal prosecutors, which is long overdue.
    There is enough evidence to support the fact that marijuana helps sick people and those who need it should, not be held hostage by those who want it, or the federal out-dated laws that are being abused do to the willingly ignorant who enforce these laws.
    I am calling out all who support the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, those opposed to the death penalty, those who believe Three Strikes is bad law and prison reformers of all causes to, take this stand and organize at local DMV offices throughout the state. Make it known that tactics of this out of control federal government policies, will not be tolerated any longer.
    Finally, once the fight is won for the legal right to, get high if you will; those of you who are not an organ donor like myself, or those who have a “No” status on record with the DMV for donating organs, pledge to become an organ donor as will I.

  11. Pingback: Medical Condition of Hunger Strikers Deteriorates, Some Days Away From Death (Updated) | Haiti Chery

  12. Pingback: California Prison Hunger Strike Ends, Conditions of "Immense Torture" Continue | | UTILITY DOCUMENTSUTILITY DOCUMENTS

  13. Pingback: PPOTR Dispatch #12: Interview with Isaac Ontiveros, Director of Communications for Critical Resistance « Prison Photography

  14. AS OF TODAY< OCTOBER 23rd,
    the guys aRE BEING SEVERELY PUNISHED for the 115s they got while on the hunger strike,. losing up to 90 days of yard, canteen TV and anything else they can throw at them.
    The prison and all its lovely staff are doing what they can to get these guys to flip in anger so they can take away their chance of going mainline…. this shit is FAR from over…. if you want ot see some serious changes, then YOU need to continue to make noise and let the public officials ( state assembly members etc) KNOW the guys are being treated even worse than before.

    • Thanks for the info Betty Bianca! I know what it is like to a lesser extent having done 2 mickey mouse 6 month SHU terms. I want to set up a protest in Laguna Beach against the prison union if you are interested. I wrote the hunger strikers at the Bay, so maybe we can get some of their families involved. Now that I’m out of prison, I am a published author so I can get a bunch of media to show up. Let me know. Here is a link to my books-

  15. Pingback: Solidarity With The Prisoner Hunger Strikers. « furbirdsqueerly

  16. Not Just a Number

    He lies awake, thinking of his loved ones. He has not felt the sun on his face for over 8 years, nor has he felt his mothers kind touch. “Everyday in here is like the movie “Groundhog Day”, it’s a constant cycle of nothing,” he tells me. He treats himself to one cup of coffee a week because the cost for one is so high.
    He doesn’t remember what the ocean smells like or the taste of slurpies; he was 15 when he went in and will most likely never leave. He will never fall in love, get married or get an education. He will never “debrief” for fear of his family’s safety and because to hold onto his values remains his only control.
    This young, intellegent and compassionate man is my dear friend and inspiration. Like you, he is a person. He and all the others in the Pelican Bay S.H.U don’t deserve the inhumaine treatment they endure daily.
    It has been 3 weeks since I have had contact from him. I worry, for him, and his family. What kind of unknown retaliation is he being subjected too?
    Please, support positive change, stop human suffering. If we can do it for other countries around the world, why not start at home?

    For my Michael.

  17. Pingback: California, al via lo sciopero della fame dei detenuti in isolamento | Le persone e la dignità

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