July 12 Update: Prisoner Hunger Strike

URGENT: MEDICAL
CONDITIONS REACH CRISIS IN PELICAN BAY HUNGER STRIKE

According to a source at Pelican Bay State Prison, who prefers to be anonymous, the medical conditions for many strikers have deteriorated to critical levels, with fears some prisoners could start to die if immediate action isn't taken. For at least 200 prisoners in the SHU at Pelican Bay, medical staff have stated:

"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."


Since the hunger strike has spread to at least a third of CA's prisons, family members have informed Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity of their loved one's conditions. They have reported hunger strikers have lost 20-30 pounds, are incredibly pale, and that a number of prisoners fainted and/or went into diabetic shock during family visits this past weekend. Some prisoners have been taken to the prison hospital in at least Corcoran and Pelican Bay.

 


TODAY: Take Action! Call NOW!

Governor Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841                                                                             "Hi my name is _________ . I'm calling about the statewide prisoner hunger strike that began at Pelican Bay. I support the prisoners & their reasonable "five core demands." I am alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating medical conditions of the hunger strikers & the inaction of the CDCR. I urge you to make sure the CDCR negotiates with the prisoners immediately & in good faith, before prisoners are force-fed or even die. Thank you."

***Also call your legislators and urge them to make sure the CDCR negotiates with the prisoners in good faith.***

CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate: 916-323-6001
"Hi my name is _____. I'm calling about the statewide prisoner hunger strike that began at Pelican Bay. I support the prisoners & their reasonable "five core demands." I am alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating medical conditions of the hunger strikers & the inaction of the CDCR. I urge the CDCR to negotiate with the prisoners immediately & in good faith, before prisoners are force-fed or even die. Thank You."

Other Ways to Support the Hunger Strike:

 

The prisoners need international support! No matter where you are geographically, you can help amplify the prisoner's voices and demands:

 

  • Check out the blog and Attend Solidarity Events & Demonstrations!
  • Sign the online petition! 
  • Organize a Solidarity Event/Action in a city or town near you!
  • Share this information with everyone you know through phone calls, emails, facebook, twitter, and more!
  • Use grassroots & mainstream media to raise awareness and amplify the prisoner's demands!    
  • If you have a loved one locked up and want support contacting them about the hunger strike, reach out to the coalition by sending an email to prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com. It is important that they have updates on the status of the hunger strike both at Pelican Bay and across California, including how people are showing solidarity & support for the hunger strike outside. 

 

 

Thank you for your support!

 

 

In Struggle,

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity*  


For Immediate Release--July 12, 2011

 

Medical Conditions Reach Crisis in Pelican Bay Hunger Strike


Advocates Demand Access to Strike Leaders, Negotiations

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
Office: 510 444 0484
Cell: 510 517 6612



What: Press Conference
When: Wednesday, July 13; 11:00am
Where: San Francisco California State Building, at Van Ness Ave. and McAllister Street





Oakland—According to advocates working on behalf of prisoners on hunger strike at Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU), medical conditions for many strikers have deteriorated to critical levels, with fears some prisoner could start to die if immediate action isn’t taken. Prisoners at Pelican Bay have been on hunger strike for nearly two weeks and have been joined by thousands of other prisoners throughout California’s vast prison system. Some of their main demands revolve around
health conditions in Pelican bay’s Security Housing Unit, while the entire California prison system is under federal receivership due to grave health conditions throughout its facilities.



A source with access to the medical condition of the hunger strikers, who asked to remain anonymous told lawyers with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition that health of the prisoners on hunger strike is quickly and severely deteriorating, saying, “All of the medical staff has been ordered to work overtime to follow and treat the hunger strikers. Some [strikers] are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for three days. Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated. The staff has taken them to the [prison hospital] and given them intravenous glucose when allowed by the prisoners. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up.”



Prisoners participation in the strike in other prisons in California have also reported that medications, including those for high blood pressure and other serious conditions, are being withheld from prisoners on strike. Some prisoners have participated for limited periods of time or have joined other prisoners in “rolling” strikes, due to their already poor medical conditions.



“This situation is grave and urgent,” says Carol Strickman, staff attorney for Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and a legal representative of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition. “We are fighting to prevent a lot of deaths at Pelican Bay. The CDCR [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] needs to negotiate with these prisoners, and honor the request of the strike leaders to have access to outside mediators to ensure that
any negotiations are in good faith.”

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition is urging journalists to do further investigation into the health conditions at Pelican Bay, while also pushing state politicians to visit the prison itself. The coalition is also encouraging members of the public to pressure Gov. Brown and the CDCR to negotiate with the prisoners. Taeva Shefler of the Prison Activist Resource Center, another member of the solidarity coalition says, “The question for the CDCR is: will they continue to jeopardize prisoners’ health and safety rather than sit at the same table and talk?”
Hunger strike supporters will hold an emergency press conference Wednesday at 11:00 am outside the State Building in San Francisco. Supporters, including family members of those held at Pelican Bay, will also continue to hold rallies and other events in the coming weeks. 



For information on upcoming events, visit www.prisonerhungerstikesolidarity.wordpress.com

*Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is a coalition based in the Bay Area with international supporters of prisoner rights advocates, lawyers, community members and anti-prison activist organizations. The coalition and hunger strike
was initiated by prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison. Coalition partners include: Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, All of Us or None, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, California Prison Focus, Prison Activist Resource Center, Critical Resistance, Kersplebedeb, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Revolution Newspaper, American Friends Service Committee, BarNone Arcata, and a number of individuals throughout the United States and Canada. To get in contact with the coalition, email: prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com. For more info, check out our blog