portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

actions & protests | prisons & prisoners

Support the hunger strike at Pelican Bay prison, starting July 1st.

Hunger strike at Pelican Bay prison, starting July 1st.
Dear Friends and Comrades,

On July 1st, 50-100 prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California will begin an indefinite hunger strike to protest the tortuous and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment. Pelican Bay is notorious for it's repressive methods of solitary confinement (like the SHU, i.e. Security Housing Unit). The CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prides itself on Pelican Bay being "the end of the line," and is part of a continuation since the 1960's of prisons using solitary confinement as a main tactic to crush rebellion and resistance.

As anti-authoritarians and anarchists, this is a crucial moment to show our solidarity with those on the inside who are ready to die in their fight for dignity and the most basic necessities of life that the state continues to deny. This will be the third major hunger strike in a US prison in the past year and those of us fighting on the outside need to make a visible show of support for this wave of prisoner-led organizing.

"The passion for freedom is stronger than any prison"

This is a call out for any and all courageous and creative actions to build our solidarity and confront the prison-industrial complex!

• creative! inspiring! strategic! banner drops, billboard liberation, propaganda distro, flash mobs etc.
• please make sure your action is well documented.
• the prisoners organizing the strike initiated contact with a number of grassroots and anti-prison organizations in the Bay Area to support their action. This led to the formation of Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity which will be providing some infrastructural support during the strike such as legal and medical monitoring and visits. We want to be able to communicate to the prisoners while doing weekly visits during the strike that people outside are supporting them. We want to be able to tell them about the creative ways people are showing their support and amplifying the prisoner's voices. Please send photos, statements, and descriptions (with your strategic discretion) to the coalition through email:  prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com. The coalition will also be updating a page on demo's and actions on the coalition blog so info can go on their too (prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com)
• If it's an action other people can participate in, please let us know a head of time so we can help spread the word through our blog and facebook.
• amplify the voices of the prisoners-- this is a struggle initiated by the prisoners themselves, calling for comrades and allies to make sure their voices are heard outside prison, so solidarity will be stronger when keeping this in mind.

so that would be a great day for an action, as well as one or two days before it. The strike could last for quite a while so it'd be a good idea to stay tuned to the blog for updates on how the strike is developing. There will be rallies internationally on July 9th in San Francisco, Arcata (or outside Pelican Bay), Montreal, Ontario and Vancouver. It'd be great if there are more rallies and demos on that Saturday, and other actions/demos leading up to that day.

If you have any questions or info to share, hit up Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity:  prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—June 29, 2011 29.Jun.2011 21:33

Grave Conditions


Pelican Bay Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike to Protest Grave Conditions

Lawyers, Advocates, Organizations Hold Press Conference, Voice Prisoner Demands

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros

Communications Director, Critical Resistance

Office: 510 444 0484

Cell: 510 517 6612

What: Press Conference

When: Thursday, June 30, 2011, 11:00am

Where: Elihu M. Harris State of California Office Building, 1515 Clay St., Oakland, CA

Oakland—Prisoners at the notorious Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, CA will initiate an indefinite hunger strike on July 1st, 2011 to protest condition in the prison's Security Housing Unit (SHU). Lawyers and advocates who have been in contact with the prisoners will hold a press conference Thusday June 30th at the Oakland Federal Building, at 11am to rally support for the strike and put pressure on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to respond to the prisoners' demands. Prisoners have delivered their demands to Pelican Bay warden Greg Lewis, the CDCR, and to Governor Jerry Brown. Their demands include an end to long-term solitary confinement, collective punishment, and forced interrogation on gang affiliation. The prisoners have also stated that they are willing to give up their lives unless their demands are met.

"The prisoners inside the SHU at Pelican Bay know the risk that they are taking going on hunger strike," says Manuel LaFontaine, of All of Us or None, an organization that supports former prisoners and part of a Bay Area-based Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition supporting Pelican Bay's prisoners. La Fontaine continues, "The CDCR must recognize that the SHU produces conditions of grave violence, such that people lose their lives in there all the time." U.S. and international human rights organizations have condemned Security Housing Units as having cruel, inhumane, and torturous conditions. SHU prisoners are kept in windowless, 6 by 10 foot cells, 23˝ hours a day, for years at a time. The CDCR operates four Security Housing Units in its system at Corcoran,California Correctional Institution, Valley State Prison for Women as well as Pelican Bay.

Recent work and hunger strikes in Georgia and Ohio prisons were successful in both winning some concessions and alerting the public to the conditions inside US prisons. "People who are in prison are already being punished. They are still human beings and should not have to lose their civil and human rights" says Karen Shain, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

Pelican Bay's hunger strike begins amidst the recent landmark Supreme Court ruling condemning California's prison overcrowding and order the reduction of its population by at least 33,000 people. At the center of the overcrowding ruling were dozens of prisoner deaths a year due to the lack of basic medical and other healthcare. Thursday's Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity press conference will touch off several events happening in cities across North America in the coming weeks.

Legal workers, advocates, and experts on the California prison system will be available for comment and interviews.





Oregon Jericho
The Jericho Movement for Political Prisoner Amnesty
P.O. Box 17420
Portland, Oregon 97217

The Criminal Justice System is Breeding Bigger Criminals 29.Jul.2011 14:05


I spent 10 years in California prisons and know the Pelican Bay SHU personally. I wrote a drug war novel Roll Call by Glenn Langohr to show the public the path we are on by incarcerating petty criminals is only breeding bigger ones who are displaced from society when they are released. The U.S is not the leaders of the free world; we are the leaders of the incarcerated world! I started  http://www.lockdownpublishing.com when I got out of prison to help other prisoners change their lives through writing. I pray more people stand up and look at the five demands asking for humane treatment!  http://youtu.be/jEQ8Gh1-bFs Here is the NY Review Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media

A harrowing, down-and-dirty depiction—sometimes reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh's Traffic—of America's war on drugs, by former dealer and California artist Langohr.

I'm also writing over 50 California prisoners to inspire them to turn their lives around through writing. I want interviews and publicity as I am broke out of prison and can't afford the regular channels...
Thank you and God Bless Glenn 949 357 7465

949 357 7465
San Clemente, ca