across race lines

Youth Justice Coalition Oct. 10, 2012 STATEMENT TO THE STREETS & ALL YOUTH LOCK-UPS

Statement to the Streets and All Youth Lock-ups

Last summer, people held in the SHU - Security Housing Unit - at Pelican Bay State Prison declared a hunger strike to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions inside. The hunger strikespread to more than 7,000 people locked up in California prisons. People from all "sides" - blacks,whites, Asians, Surenos and Nortenos put all politics behind and came together to demand their human rights.

On this day, October 10, 2012, the men in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay are againleading all of us. They have called for "an end to all hostilities" within our state's prisons and jails. After doing so much time, the men in the Pelican Bay SHU have realized that they are being recycled over and over through the same dead-end system. For all of us, there must be a cut off point - a time at which we stop participating in our own destruction.

As young people who have experienced bloodshed on the streets of Los Angeles, and the violence and humiliation within juvenile halls, Probation camps and Division of Juvenile Justice Youth Prisons, we are also calling for an end to the war between the youth.

Dept. of Corrections LYING About Prisoner Hunger Strike / 21st Day of Strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JULY 21, 2011

Prisoners In Solitary Confinement On 21st Day Of Hunger Strike

Department of Corrections Is LYING About the Strike & Prisoners' Medical Conditions!

"The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has been lying to the public, lying to the media, and lying to prisoners,"  says Verbena Lea of Redwood Curtain CopWatch. Now, the CDCR has issued a bogus press release claiming that the prisoner hunger strike in the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU is over. The media has an ethical responsibility to investigate the truth when the CDCR attempts to make such a false claim. The prisoner hunger strike against the torture of the SHU began on July 1, 2011 and is still going strong despite serious medical problems experienced by the prisoners. The CDCR has proven that it cannot be trusted or relied upon for genuine information.

 

The CDCR has refused to act in good faith, instead deliberately making false and misleading statements, and hiding information- in attempts to downplay the strength of the prisoners' nonviolent hunger strike, end the strike without meeting the prisoners' demands, deceive legal advocates, and suppress support for striking prisoners which has spread internationally.

CDCR has consistently tried to break the strike in these ways:

  • enticed prisoners into not fasting before the strike began by releasing a “4th of July Menu,” including food that prisoners have never seen before in prison

  • continuously down-playing participation and support in regards to numbers. 

  • told prisoners at Calipatria that the strike was over and the demands met more than a week ago, when this was not true

  • refusing to disclose accurate, if any, information about the striking prisoners' medical status and other details on the strike from press, media, advocates, family members and prisoners

  • violating medical protocol, including not distributing prescribed medication

Why Prisoners are Protesting

Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Units Peaceful Protest Hunger Strike Starting July 1, 2011  [VIDEO below]

By James Crowford, Mutop DuGuya (a/k/a Bow Low)
It is important for readers to understand the cruelty of the policy sanctioned by the state that allows the CDCR to place men/women under an indeterminate SHU program only on the word of a prison informer—where there is no offense, no violence, nor any gang or criminal activity. Yet prisoners who are held in indeterminate SHU are held, well, indefinitely—for the rest of their lives in SHUs and Adjustment Centers across the state, and even on Death Row if validated as a gang member.