Day 49 – Statement from the Mediation Team

Here we are at Day 49 – what can we say that we haven’t already said? It seems CDCR isn’t doing anything. What are these brave men who have been starving themselves — just a statistic? Is my husband just one of the 50 who’ve been locked up in the SHU for over 25 years? Is he just one of the 20 reps for the hunger strike? One of the 16 who signed the Agreement to End All Hostilities? One of the 16 who was sent to Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) for signing that agreement? One of the 79 still fasting?

CDCR doesn’t see the humanity in all of this; these men are just numbers to them. It is such a business. Our Governor Jerry Brown is considering a prison alliance between a private company and the guards’ union. The bottom line is it’s all about numbers and money, it’s not about human beings and saving lives. What could be more human than what these men are doing? To risk their health and lives to protest decades of abuse of power and to end prolonged solitary confinement? And now CDCR is even trying to take away their intention to continue fasting for as long as it takes for something to change. CDCR is just waiting to stick tubes down their throats and say it’s over and you guys got nothing. They don’t care about the men’s lives, just their power over inmates.

But these men aren’t backing down, so now it’s a stare-down. Why should the men believe CDCR when they say “when you stop hunger striking then we will talk”? The men have come too far to turn around and say we’ll stop, we believe you, when everything CDCR says turns out to be a lie. They stopped in 2011 because CDCR made promises, then nothing happened. So how can these men feel any trust?

Right now, all of our lives are in the hands of CDCR; we’re all at a standstill. We have to sit around and wait – wait for a call to hear that the men have reached their demands and called off their hunger strike or a call that’s going to tell you that your loved one has passed due to starvation.

On behalf of the Mediation Team,
Irene Huerta, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement – mrsghuerta@gmail.com

Hunger Strike Mediation Team
Dr. Ronald Ahnen, California Prison Focus and St. Mary’s College of California
Barbara Becnel, Occupy4Prisoners.org
Dolores Canales, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement
Irene Huerta, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement
Laura Magnani, American Friends Service Committee
Marilyn McMahon, California Prison Focus
Carol Strickman, Legal Services for Prisoners With Children
Azadeh Zohrabi, Legal Services for Prisoners With Children

10 thoughts on “Day 49 – Statement from the Mediation Team

  1. The public outcry beneath articles in media news forums is too quiet. I was able to find about 13 posters here beneath this article by Republican Debra Suanders but they all need votes. A click of your mouse can show editors, Saunders and the lawmakers that voters do care about the hunger strikers. She told a pack of lies here. Silence in news forums makes everything worse. The prison guards didn’t write much this time. They just voted our comments down. The guards know that the war is in the media. We need more people to show up there. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/articleComments/Prison-hunger-strike-a-dangerous-game-4756693.php

  2. I’ve been waiting for that dreaded call since my son got sent to the shu at pelican bay, for being ‘validated’ as a gang member (Aztec drawings,and word of a informant transferred to special needs unit)I have to wonder how they can call my son the ‘worst of the worst’ when he was barely 20 years old when he went in,nearly 10 yes.ago & the only ‘trouble’ he’s had is his disciplinary write up he recently received for participating in the hunger strike ,a peaceful protest for what he believed in and of course of his own free will!!! He does not nor should he along with hundreds of others be there. They take everything away including their dignity…it kills me, that the CDCR is allowed to treat our sons,brothers,fathers, uncles husbands,our loved ones lower then they would treat an animal and get away with it. WHY??? What is going on people?! This TORTURE needs to stop now,don’t wait until it’s too late, when someone he you love is unfortunately caught up in the same.Speak up ,do something now….please demand that the hunger strikers and SHU inmates be treated humanely,it’s been too long since they have been.

    st disciplinary write up for participating in a peaceful protest

  3. So very true Irene, every word of what u said. I saw my cousin last weekend and he couldn’t stop smiling because he got som SUN, just one of the things I take for granted. His smile was like a little kid who just won a baseball game.

    Sent from my iPhone *Liz*

  4. Jerry Brown
    It doesn’t take but some time to sit down and come up with an agreement, yet you continue and for decades ignore the voices of thousands asking you to speak.
    It doesn’t surprise me why they filed against you for the health of human lives.

  5. Pingback: California Courts Rule in Favor of Force Feedings for Hunger Strike Participants | The Prison Issue

  6. you need to tell us how organize and show support!
    this should be all over the news – go to pbs, go to npr, get this out.

  7. Pingback: Prison Hunger Strikes Continue In California | PopularResistance.Org

  8. Pingback: Day 49 of California Prison Hunger Strike: "Our Lives Are in the Hands of CDCR" - Solitary Watch

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