MEDIA ADVISORY–JULY 15, 2011
Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros/ Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
Office: 510 444 0484
Cell: 510 517 6612
California—This afternoon representatives of the Pelican Bay hunger strike unanimously rejected a proposal to end the strike from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). In response to the prisoners’ five, straightforward demands, CDCR distributed a vaguely worded document stating that it would, “effect a comprehensive assessment of its existing policy and procedure” about the secure housing units (SHUs). The document gave no indication if any changes would be made at all.
While the CDCR has claimed that there is no medical crisis, mediators report that the principal negotiators have lost 25-35 pounds each and have underlying medical conditions of concern. Despite promises from the federal Receiver overseeing CDCR, no one has received salt tablets or multiple vitamins.
The hunger strike is now in its third week and shows no signs of weakening. In fact, the settlement document distributed last night to all hunger strikers at Pelican Bay prison, resulted in some people who had gone off the strike to resume refusing food. Hundreds of prisoners at Pelican Bay remain on strike, with thousands more participating throughout California’s 33 prisons. Advocates and strike representatives dismiss the false claims that the strike is being orchestrated by prison gangs.
International solidarity with the striking prisoners also continues to mount with demonstrations and messages emerging from the US, Canada, Turkey and Australia. According to mediation team member Laura Magnani, “From day one, the CDCR has demonstrated its inability to resolve this situation. We call on Gov. Brown to step in and negotiate in good faith to bring this situation to a just resolution.” Strike supporters plan to flood the Governor’s offices with phone calls and emails, echoing the strikers’ demands.
“Given how basic the striker’s demands are, it is immoral that the CDCR would insult these men with such poor faith proposals,” stated mediator, Dorsey Nunn.