We were recently pointed towards an incredible struggle that we, sadly, had no prior knowledge of. The incredible strength of the Pelican Bay hunger strikers is compounded by the near-total blanket silence from the media.
Prisoners in Californian ‘Supermax’ prisons have been hunger striking, for basic human rights, and against torture, for almost a month now. However their campaign has been taking place for over 2 years, just part of a long history of collective struggles against repressive prison systems in the US.
They have, quite powerfully, revealed the ways that prison officers systematically use solitary confinement and the withdrawal of food as a means of torture.
The prisoners have issued 5 clear demands, which you can read here. Appallingly, one of the demands is actually for prisons to comply with the US federal government’s OWN commission from 2006, to prevent the abuse of solitary confinement and group punishment.
The campaign is being regularly updated, and its worth spending a good few hours reading through the material on there.
One of the main tactics the campaign is promoting is for people to ring up the California State Governor, Jerry Brown, to protest. This might be difficult for those of us based in the UK.
However, we can very easily sign the petition to show solidarity, share the testimonials and the campaign page itself, as well as offering donations for campaign material and actually writing to the strikers and prisoners themselves.
Maximum solidarity from the UK and Defend the Right to Protest. Victory to the hunger strikers!