Media Advisory – July 14, 2011
Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
What: Community Vigil
Where: Alameda County Court House, 1225 Fallon St, Oakland
When: Thursday, July 14, 2011, 5pm
Oakland – on Thursday, July 14th at 5pm, family and community members will hold a vigil in support of hunger strikers at Pelican Bay State Prison, and other prisons around California. The vigil will highlight the rapidly deteriorating health of the hunger strikers, and protest the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s reaction to the strike.
“Our loved ones up in the SHU are literally starving themselves to death because of the conditions they experience on a daily basis at Pelican Bay and elsewhere,” says Jessica Escobar a spokesperson with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, “What is it going to take to get the CDCR to act on these prisoners’ demands? This is about ending torture and supporting prisoners’ basic rights as human beings?”
The hunger strike, which began at Pelican Bay on July 1st, has spread throughout California’s prison system, and will enter its 3rd week this Friday. Lawyers and family members have visited some of the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay and report that the prisoners remain unwavering in their commitment to continue the strike until their demands are met, but have lost considerable weight and have suffered other serious health effects. “The prisoners that I and other lawyers have met continue to stand by their five core demands which include an end to long term solitary confinement,” says Carol Strickman a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, “some of these individuals have been confined in the SHU for years and for them to continue to refuse food for two weeks is really a testament to the deplorable conditions at Pelican Bay.”
Public support for the strikers and their demands has been strong with events being held in multiple cities across the United States and Canada throughout this past week. The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition will continue to hold rallies and vigils in the coming weeks. For updates on the hunger strike and associated events, please visit www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com.