April 28, 2014: This post is chock full of resources and various updates, downloads of recent newsletters, new media articles and PBS specials about solitary confinement, exciting upcoming events with Lynne Stewart, and information on our weekly meetings.
Thanks to all the outcry about the recent cell raids in Corcoran SHU, we believe they have stopped, according to a letter from the person who alerted us originally.
We still encourage you to send criticisms regarding the Security Threat Group/Step Down Program regulations, even though the official deadline is over. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc to email@example.com.
Upcoming events throughout California, in New York, and in Wisconsin can be found in the calendar at https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/take-action-2/
National Lawyers Guild Honors Prison Hunger Strikers
On the evening of April 5th, hundreds gathered in downtown Oakland for the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter’s (NLGSF) annual fundraising dinner. The Testimonial Dinner, as it’s called, increasingly brings in community-members and activists involved in grassroots struggles in addition to the lawyer, legal worker and law student members of the organization. This year, the NLGSF honored California Prison Hunger Strikers and the coalition (PHSS) of family members, activists, and friends who supported the strikers.
The assembled crowd was able to hear directly from those inside California prisons. Azadeh Zohrabi, a member of PHSS and the NLG, read a statement by hunger striker representative Antonio Guillen from the podium. His comments started “with raised fist, I demand my rights as a man and as a human being!” … Read the entire article HERE.
See a photo of the award here.
This packet is intended to be a resource to help folks involved in different forms of anti-prison work. The packet contains information on prison officials, ranging from wardens to medical officers, at major prisons in California. There is a specific focus on prisons that have participated in the hunger strikes over the past few years and are classified as higher “security levels” and include solitary confinement. The hope is that this packet will help make your advocacy easier.
Materials for Torture Awareness Month
from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT)
June is Torture Awareness Month, a time to remember the 27th anniversary of the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture and honor survivors of torture.
We are pleased to be able to provide you with a toolkit to help you and your congregation or faith group plan educational, advocacy and worship events. You can download the toolkit at www.nrcat.org/June2014Toolkit.
Alert: New CDCr Regs-
What’s on the List of BANNED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS?
Below are links to the documents about the regulation changes:
Working to Extend Democracy to All
New ACLU Report Examines Devastating Impact of Solitary Confinement on Women
On April 24th, the ACLU released Worse than Second Class: Solitary Confinement of Women in the United States. Recognizing that women in solitary are often ignored, the report examines the gendered impact of solitary and issues a series of recommendations. These recommendations assume that vulnerable populations will continue to be incarcerated and focus on ameliorating the harmful effects of solitary.
Recent Articles on Solitary Confinement
“Thinking outside the box” Why Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall is considered a model facility when it still places youth in 23-hour isolation, sometimes for days on end
“Creating Monsters: How Solitary Confinement Hurts the Rest of Us” A new PBS documentary takes us inside a Maine prison, where inmates and officials are locked in a grim and self-defeating embrace.
“New Corrections Chief in New York City, Known for Solitary Confinement Reforms, Faces Steep Challenges on Rikers Island”
The Colorado bill on exclusion of prisoners with serious mental illness from solitary confinement moved forward in the House April 23rd. AP covered it as a national story.
LOCKED UP IN AMERICA Frontline, PBS April 22 & 29
see the trailers here http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/locked-up-in-america/
Solitary Nation, aired April 22: an up-close, graphic look at a solitary confinement unit in Maine’s maximum security prison.
Prison State, airing April 29: follows four residents of a housing project in Louisville, Ky., as they cycle in and out of the state’s jails.
Celebrations of Life and Struggle
Bay Area Tour Schedule
Welcome Home Lynne Stewart!
Join Lynne Stewart, Pam Africa & Ramona Africa*
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal! Free all political prisoners! End racist mass incarceration! Abolish the death penalty! Stop police brutality and murder!
Friday, May 2, San Francisco: 6:00 pm, 518 Valencia St., SF (near 16th St.)
Hosts: National Lawyers Guild, Freedom Archives, Gray Panthers
Saturday, May 3, San Jose: 5:30 pm Reception; 7:00 pm Rally, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 405 South 10th St., San Jose
Hosts: San Jose Peace & Justice Ctr., NLG South Bay, South Bay Committee Against Political Repression
Sunday, May 4, Oakland: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Rally, Celebrate Mumia’s 60th Birthday, Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street, Oakland (between Broadway and Telegraph Ave.)
Donation $10, $5 students and unemployed
Hosts: Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal & Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Monday, May 5, San Rafael: 7:00 pm, First United Methodist Church, 9 Ross Valley Drive, San Rafael
Host: Marin Peace & Justice Coalition
Tuesday, May 6, Sacramento: 5:30 pm Reception; 7:00 pm Rally, Southside Park Co-Housing Common Room, 434 T Street, Sacramento
Hosts: Sacramento Area Peace Action, Sacramento-Sierra Foothills WILPF, NLG, Sacramento
*Pam Africa and Ramona Africa will join the tour for May 2-4 only.
Sponsors: Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal • Lynne Stewart Defense Committee • KPFA
Tour Endorsers: International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal • The MOVE Organization • SF Bay Area National Lawyers Guild • Middle East Children’s Alliance • United National Antiwar Coalition • Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal • World Can’t Wait • Freedom Socialist Party • Marin Peace and Justice Center • Peninsula Peace and Justice Center • Sacramento Area Peace Council • SF Gray Panthers • Socialist Action • International Action Center • Freedom Archives • Peace and Freedom Party of California • Socialist Organizer • South Bay Committee Against Repression • Sacramento-Sierra Foothills Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom • National Lawyers Guild Sacramento • Sacramento Area Peace Action • Prison Radio • California Coalition for Women Prisoners • Socialist Viewpoint magazine • Workers World Party • ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Repression) •Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Universalist Unitarians • Stop Mass Incarceration Network• Revolution Books • Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored • Bay Area Solidarity • Ecumenical Peace Institute • Justice for Palestinians • Campaign to End the Death Penalty • National Lawyers Guild, Sacramento • Kevin Cooper Defense Committee • Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition •
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition WEEKLY MEETINGS
Every Monday night in Oakland there are coalition meetings.
The sole purpose of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition is to amplify the voices of California prisoners as they strive to achieve their Five Core Demands. The Coalition consists of family members, formerly incarcerated people, lawyers, organizations, and individuals who stand in solidarity with the hunger strikers. This weekly meeting focuses primarily on planning, promoting and reporting on actions and events directly related to the struggle for the Five Demands (primarily, to end long term solitary confinement), including prisoner updates and legal and media strategies and reports.