Prisoners at Pelican Bay End Hunger Strike, Declare Victory– Lawyers & Mediators Share Messages from Hunger Strike Leaders

For Immediate Release – July 22, 2011

Press Contact: Molly Porzig

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

510-444-0484

650-380-4107 cell

 

What: Press Conference

Where: California State Building, 1515 Clay St, Oakland

When: 11am, July 22, 2011

 

Oakland – Lawyers, mediators and prisoner’s family members will hold a press conference on July 22, 2011 at the California State Building in Oakland announcing that prisoners at Pelican Bay have ended a hunger strike that began on July 1st. The prisoners collectively decided to end their strike when presented with an offer by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) meeting at least one of their demands. “The prisoners have been offered cold weather caps, calendars and the possibility of some educational opportunities in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU),” says Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children who spoke by phone with four of the hunger strike leaders today, “They understand this is a victory not just because of the concessions that were offered, but because the tremendous international outcry around the conditions at Pelican Bay has made it possible to move towards lasting changes for prisoners across California.”

 

The strike, which lasted three weeks, received broad international support and prompted California lawmakers to initiate hearings on conditions in the SHU, including the practice of long-term solitary confinement. “While the strike might be over, conditions at Pelican Bay and around California remain deplorable,” says Emily Harris, coordinator of Californians United for a Responsible Budget. “The culmination of this hunger strike must be viewed in light of the fact that the CDCR is in federal receivership because it provides substandard medical care to prisoners. This will be an ongoing struggle.”

 

The Pelican Bay prisoner hunger strike has been one of the largest and longest strikes by prisoners in California history, with more than 6,600 prisoners participating at the height of the strike. A source at the Associated Press notified supporters that prisoners at Calipatria, Corcoran and Tehachapi state prisons remain on strike as of July 21st.Manuel LaFontaine, an organizer with All of Us or None, points out “This strike has been really significant in terms of the media attention it has received but more importantly because it marks a shift in terms of “business as usual” for the CDCR.”

 

Advocates and lawyers will continue to monitor conditions in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison and encourage ongoing review of conditions of confinement in all California prisons.

 

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3 thoughts on “Prisoners at Pelican Bay End Hunger Strike, Declare Victory– Lawyers & Mediators Share Messages from Hunger Strike Leaders

  1. Power to the people, but it is a pathetic comment on American justice that over 6,000 ptrisoners had to go on a three week hunger strike to get calendars. California corrections officials should be ashamed of themselves. The prisoners who united for a cause should be proud. The unity is the real win.

  2. I do not understand what was meet and what was settled . Can someone give me a clear understanding ? Plus i still don not trust all the different sources .Thanks

  3. Pingback: Totally not an essay I wrote a while ago (PRISON) | phil Gr33n S33s Things

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