Support the Prisoner Hunger Strike -
Demand an End to Torture
October 13th Rally in Solidarity
A Reading of Prisoners' Letters
Thursday Oct 13th 3:00–7:00pm Urgent RALLY In Solidarity With Prisoner Hunger Strike!
In front of the Humboldt County Courthouse and Jail!
825 5th St. Eureka, CA
Wear Orange, if possible!
Support California prisoners on day 18 of their historic hunger strike. Students and professors, family members with loved ones in prison, members of the legal, human and civil rights community -- join us in reading prisoner letters, spreading the word, and visibly supporting the prisoners on hunger strike. Please forward this call widely, announce in classes, post on Facebook, and text your family and friends. Also, email or bring messages of support to be read at the rally. Similar rallies and events for the hunger strikers and their demands are occurring simultaneously in other locations on Thursday, October 13th.
Think about everything that makes you human... that keeps you physically and mentally alive... that connects you with the world and other people... that gives you a reason to live, to love, to learn and think.... All this is what the SHU tries to extinguish. In the SHU you're locked up in a small, windowless concrete cell 23 hours a day, with minimum human contact and maximum sensory deprivation, for years and sometimes decades.
"I'm ready to take this all the way," says J. Angel Martinez, one of the strike representatives at Pelican Bay State Prison. "We are sick and tired of living like this and willing to die if that's what it takes."
Over 6,500 prisoners across California went on hunger strike from July 1 to July 20, demanding to be treated as human beings; and an end to barbaric, inhumane conditions and long-term solitary confinement -- a form of torture. Prisoners resumed the hunger strike on September 26, with nearly 12,000 joining, because the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) reneged on its promise to meet their 5 demands. (Prisoners' demands )
The CDCR, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is retaliating against hunger strikers. "We're freezing,"strike representative Ron Yandell told an attorney, as quoted in the New York Times. "The air-conditioner is blowing. It's like arctic air coming through, blowing at top speed. It's torture. They're trying to break us." Cruel retaliation by the CDCR also includes forbidding visits by family members of hunger strikers and from lawyers working with the hunger strikers. Absolute isolation.
On October 4, Amnesty International called for "swift implementation of reforms to California security housing units," and condemned "conditions in the SHUs at Pelican Bay and other facilities, where several thousand prisoners are held in isolation, confined to windowless cells for more than 22 hours a day, with minimal human contact and no work, recreational or educational programs."
Letters from prisoners testify to their deep humanity and potential to become emancipators of humanity. One prisoner wrote: "our sacrifice now will mean a more humane world for us in the future...many of the conditions for prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay are really better than SHU prisoners in Pelican Bay.”
All of us have a moral responsibility to stand up for the basic rights and humanity of those held behind bars, and build a determined movement outside prison walls demanding CDCR grant the prisoners' just demands and immediately halt its retaliation against hunger strikers.
This rally and letter reading has been initiated Redwood Curtain CopWatch and Peoples' Action for Rights and Community (PARC) and other supporters of the prisoner hunger strike. Contact: Verbena 707.633.4493
For more information on the hunger strike, see: