As we wrap up 2013, we reflect on the amazing work that has taken place this year in the movement to end torture and abuse in California prisons. Since 2011, our coalition has been at the forefront of the solidarity movement to support the courageous hunger strikers. These prisoners endured a series of hunger strikes in protest of the intolerable practice of long term solitary confinement in California.
Looking Back: Highlights from 2013
Over 30,000 prisoners refused food this year in the largest prisoner protest in history. Their protest resulted in unprecedented media coverage, a visit to California by Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, a promise by legislators to take action on the issues addressed in the 5 Demands, and the strengthening of their own resolve and solidarity. But the struggle is far from over.
This year, our coalition launched the Stop the Torture Campaign, a Human Rights Pen Pal Program and an Emergency Response Network. We mobilized thousands of people nationwide to support the 5 demands when the prisoners began their third hunger strike. We participated in outreach and public education by participating in events like the screening of Herman’s House at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary and the UC Student Association Lobbying Conference. We held an art show in San Francisco featuring work from dozens of artists in the SHU.
The hunger strike was suspended by strikers in September after 60 long days when legislators vowed to hold hearings and address long term solitary confinement. The first legislative hearing was on October 9th. Our coalition affiliates organized rides, speakers and hundreds of people to rally at the state capitol and pack the hearing room.
Marie Levin emceeing the rally before the the Joint Legislative Hearing on the SHU. October 9, 2013. Sacramento, California
Looking Forward: Your Support Matters!
The next hearing is scheduled for February 11th in Sacramento. We need your support to seize this opportunity to make an impression on the legislators and the world, show the urgency of the situation, and make an impact for our people in the SHU.
In addition, our coalition will continue to engage in our day to day work including prison visits, public education, pen pal program, monthly newsletters and advocacy letters.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 to support this work
$200.00 covers the cost for legal visits with 15-20 people
$100.00 covers the cost of printing our monthly newsletter for prisoners
$75.00 covers the cost of mailing our monthly newsletter to prisoners
Any amount you can give is a tremendous help. Thanks for your generosity.
Click HERE to donate online. Please indicate that the donation is for PHSS under “Special Instructions”
Tax deductible contributions can be mailed to:
Checks to: California Prison Focus for PHSS
1904 Franklin St. Suite 507, Oakland, Ca. 94612