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Banner Drop in Solidarity with the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike

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This morning, July 18, 2011, two banners were dropped in Philadelphia in solidarity with the courageous actions of the Pelican Bay hunger strikers and the 6600-plus prisoners throughout the state of California who have joined the strike.

The banners read “Philly Supports the Pelican Bay Prison Strike” and “From CA to PA: Stop Prison Abuse.”

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Philly Supports Pelican Bay Prison Strike
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Philly Supports Pelican Bay Prison Strike
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From PA to CA Stop Prison Abuse
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From PA to CA Stop Prison Abuse

Philly Supports Pelican Bay Prison Strike

This morning, July 18, 2011, two banners were dropped in Philadelphia in solidarity with the courageous actions of the Pelican Bay hunger strikers and the 6600-plus prisoners throughout the state of California who have joined the strike. 

The banners read “Philly Supports the Pelican Bay Prison Strike” and “From CA to PA: Stop Prison Abuse.” 
From PA to CA Stop Prison Abuse!
We hope this action will join the large and growing voice calling on CA Governor Jerry Brown and the CDCR to meet ALL the demands of the hunger strikers.  We also hope that the inspiring actions of the hunger strikers in California will generate increased resistance to solitary confinement and torture in Pennsylvania’s prisons both inside and outside of prison walls.
 
Here in Pennsylvania like California, conditions in solitary confinement units have been abysmal. Prisoners placed in "the hole" experience brutal and dehumanizing conditions designed to break them psychologically and spiritually.

Prisoners in solitary confinement regularly experience:

• 23-hour lockdown behind a solid steel door
• isolation from human interaction
• frequent threat and occurrence of physical torture via prolonged placement in punitive restraint devices
• assault, often with chemical weapons
• mental torture via sensory deprivation and disorienting temperature and light fluctuations, along with rampant psychological neglect
• sexual intimidation and assault.

For more information about the Pelican Bay hunger strike, check out
http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/

No more prisons!

 

Comments

Great support for the Pelican Bay hunger strike!

Dear Philadelphia banner-droppers, Thank you for expressing so visually and eloquently what all who love justice feel: that the prisoners doing years in solitary confinement in Pelican Bay and other California prisons deserve our support. We don't want a society based on torture, and that is what this kind of solitary confinement amounts to.

We can see the essence of what American democracy has become by looking into the prisons. It's long since time for this country to stop the inexorable trend toward increased forms of repression, whether inside or outside the prison walls.

Photoessay

I did a photoessay in the LAVA blog as several members of LAVA showed up to take part in the demonstration.
Rich Gardner
http://www.prawnworks.net/

so very pleased to see other

so very pleased to see other states stepping up to make a difference in solidarity to the end of government supported and sponsored torture of its own citizens.

DYING FOR SUNLIGHT

a commentary by
MUMIA ABU JAMAL
July 15, 2011

Today, at the notorious California super-maximum prison, Pelican Bay, hundreds of prisoners are on a hunger strike. As of July 1, 2011 a number of men ceased eating state meals in protest of horrendously long-term confinement, government repression, lack of programs and the hated gang affiliation rules.

According to California Prison Focus, the health of some the men are dangerously deteriorating. Some have ceased drinking, as well as eating and haven’t urinated in days. Some are threatened by renal failure, which can result in death.

Why? The demands of the strikers seem relatively tame, which gives us some insight into the level of repression. The five core demands are:

1. Individual instead of group responsibility.
2. Abolition of the “gang-debriefing” policy, which endangers both those who debrief and/or their families.
3. An end to long-term solitary confinement.
4. Adequate food, and
5. Constructive programs, such as art, phone privileges and the like.

A sub-demand is adequate natural sunlight – sunlight. There are few things more torturous than dying by starvation. These men are killing themselves potentially for fresh air and sunlight, and about a third of California prisoners, 11 out of 33 prisons, have joined them.

Contact the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition to find out how to support this effort for human rights. On the web at: prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com

From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal.

Pelican Bay hunger strike ends, declared a success

More than three weeks later and after building up great support from activists, academics, celebrities and others in the US and around the world, the leaders of the prison hunger strike in the Pelican Bay supermax prison have brought an end to their strike and have begun to eat again. They emphasize that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has given them a few good-faith token gestures and that the end of this strike is entirely conditioned on achieving the long-term policy changes that they have demanded.

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