[Marxism] 9/18 Emergency Pelican Bay Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Demos-NYC

John A Imani johnaimani at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 15 17:19:55 MDT 2011


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Bail Out the People Movement 
To: johnaimani at earthlink.net 
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2011 2:28 PM
Subject: 9/18 Emergency Pelican Bay Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Demos


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                        Call for EMERGENCY DEMOS IN SOLIDARITY WITH PRISONERS AT PELICAN BAY

                        MONDAY, JULY 18
                        Organize a Solidarity Demo in your area!
                        IN NEW YORK CITY:
                        11:30am-1pm
                        At the California State Franchise Office
                        (Tax Collection Office for the State of California)

                        1212 6th Ave. between 47th & 48th

                        In Manhattan, NYC

                        Take F or D to 48/50 Rockefeller Center


                        TELL GOV. JERRY BROWN, PRESIDENT OBAMA & THEPELICAN BAY PRISON OFFICIALS: 
                        NEGOTIATE WITH THE HUNGER STRIKERS NOW! 
                        MEET THE PRISONERS DEMANDS! NO MORE DEATHS AT PELICANBAY! 
                        END INHUMANE PRISON CONDITIONS AT PELICAN BAY & NATIONWIDE
                        Right now there are 200 prisoners at Pelican Bay on a hunger strike.  They are experiencing life-threatening health conditions according to an urgent update received by the Hunger Strike Prisoner Solidarity Coalition and from medical personnel at the prison. The California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation continues to refuse to negotiate. It is urged that phone calls be made to the following authorities immediately, demanding they enter into negotiations before they have (more) deaths on their hands: Gov. Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841, fax 916-316-0558; CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate: 916-323-6001; Pelican Bay State Prison Warden Greg Lewis: 707-465-1000 x 9040; and Ombudsman Ralyn Conner: 916-324-6123. See prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com for updates.

                        “The prisoners are progressing rapidly to the organ damaging consequences of dehydration. They are not drinking water and have decompensated rapidly. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up. Some are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for 3 days. Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated.“ 

                        SHU prisoners at Pelican Bay have said they are willing to risk their lives and will continue to strike until their demands are met. The CDCR continues to refuse to negotiate.

                        How you can help save these heroes lives: 

                        1. Make phone calls per the request of the Solidarity Committee (info below).

                        2. Attend the Rally in NYC, Monday, July 18, or ORGANIZE ONE IN YOUR AREA. (PLEASE LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR DEMO PLANS AND REPORT ON HOW IT GOES AT  iacenter.org/comments or bailoutpeople.org/cmnt.shtml 

                        3. Sign the prisoners' online petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/support-prisoners-on-hunger-strike-at-pelican-bay-state-prison

                        Please make these calls and demand that the authorities enter into negotiations before they have (more) deaths on their hands: 

                        Governor Jerry Brown – (916) 445-2841, fax (916) -316-0558; CDCR Secretary Mattrew Cate – (916) 323-6001;Pelican Bay State Prison Warden Greg Lewis (707) 465-1000 x 9040; and Ombudsman Ralyn Conner (916) 324-6123. 

                        New York Rally called by International Action Center & the Bail Out the People Movement. For more info call 212.633.6646 or visit www.iacenter.org or bailoutpeople.org

                        The five core demands of the hunger strikers, as listed on http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/the-prisoners-demands-2/ are:

                        1. Eliminate group punishments. Instead, practice individual accountability. When an individual prisoner breaks a rule, the prison often punishes a whole group of prisoners of the same race. This policy has been applied to keep prisoners in the SHU indefinitely and to make conditions increasingly harsh.

                        2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. Prisoners are accused of being active or inactive participants of prison gangs using false or highly dubious evidence, and are then sent to longterm isolation (SHU). They can escape these tortuous conditions only if they "debrief," that is, provide information on gang activity. Debriefing produces false information (wrongly landing other prisoners in SHU, in an endless cycle) and can endanger the lives of debriefing prisoners and their families.

                        3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to longterm solitary confinement. This bipartisan commission specifically recommended to "make segregation a last resort" and "end conditions of isolation." Yet as of May 18, 2011, California kept 3,259 prisoners in SHUs and hundreds more in Administrative Segregation waiting for a SHU cell to open up. Some prisoners have been kept in isolation for more than thirty years.

                        4. Provide adequate food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food that do not conform to prison regulations. There is no accountability or independent quality control of meals.

                        5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates. The hunger strikers are pressing for opportunities “to engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities..." Currently these opportunities are routinely denied, even if the prisoners want to pay for correspondence courses themselves. Examples of privileges the prisoners want are: one phone call per week, and permission to have sweatsuits and watch caps. (Often warm clothing is denied, though the cells and exercise cage can be bitterly cold.) All of the privileges mentioned in the demands are already allowed at other SuperMax prisons (in the federal prison system and other states).

                                    
                              Solidarity action July 9 in San Francisco.

                              WW photo: Judy Greenspan 
                        “Picture yourself in a 6-by-10-foot cell, probably ugly drab green, spending 23 hours of your day locked down with no human contact,” stated Linda Evans, former political prisoner and member of All of Us or None, who spent over 16 years incarcerated in U.S. prisons. “Today we need to show unity ... throughout our community,” Evans declared. 

                        Pelican Bay is a maximum security prison located in Del Norte County, along California’s northernmost border with Oregon. The prison, which opened in 1989, has been the object of many lawsuits, including Madrid v. Gomez, a class action which exposed and challenged the torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners incarcerated there. 

                        On July 1, hundreds of prisoners at PBSP went on hunger strike to win five simple but key survival demands: SHU prisoners want an end to group punishment and administrative abuse; the abolition of the “debriefing” policy and modification of active/inactive gang status criteria; CDCR to comply with recommendations regarding long-term solitary confinement; the provision of adequate and nutritious food; and the expansion of programming, correspondence and other privileges for indefinite SHU-status prisoners. 

                        Since the hunger strike began, prisoners at more than 11 other California prisons have joined the protest. Former prisoners and other supporters have also been on solidarity hunger strikes. 

                        According to California Prison Focus, the vast majority of prisoners in the SHU are people of color and more than half are Latino. The SHU is used to lock down prisoner organizers, non-conformers, political prisoners and prisoners who are “alleged” to have gang affiliations. 

                        Once inside the SHU, the prisoner is faced with “debriefing,” that is, either snitching and giving the CDCR more names of prisoners to lock up or not cooperating and then spending years in SHU confinement. Many prisoners have chosen not to debrief and have been locked down in these cement cages for decades. Hugo Pinell, one of the San Quentin Six, has been locked down in the SHU for more than 40 years. 

                        For more information about how to support the PBSP-SHU prisoners in their hunger strike, visit prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com. 

                        It is urgent that we step up our pressure on the California prison system and Gov. Jerry Brown as 200 of thePelican Bay hunger strikers are experiencing life-threatening health conditions as reported by the central clearinghouse of info about the hunger strike, http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com.

                        How you can help save these heroes lives: 

                        1. Make phone calls per the request of the Solidarity Committee (info below).

                        2. Attend the Rally in NYC, Monday, July 18, OR ORGANIZE ONE IN YOUR AREA.  (PLEASE LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR DEMO PLANS AND REPORT ON HOW IT GOES AT iacenter.org/comments or bailoutpeople.org/cmnt.shtml

                        3. Sign the prisoners' online petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/support-prisoners-on-hunger-strike-at-pelican-bay-state-prison

                        Please make these calls and demand that the authorities enter into negotiations before they have (more)deaths on their hands: 

                        Governor Jerry Brown – (916) 445-2841, fax (916) -316-0558; CDCR Secretary Mattrew Cate – (916) 323-6001;Pelican Bay State Prison Wardern Greg Lewis (707) 465-1000 x 9040; and Ombudsman Ralyn Conner (916) 324-6123. 

                        New York Rally called by International Action Center & the Bail Out the People Movement. For more info call 212.633.6646 or visitwww.iacenter.org or bailoutpeople.org

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