URGENT - Support the Prisoners Hunger Strike! 9-27-11

Discussion at Revolution Books Tuesday September 27 at 7 pm

Hunger Strike resumes —Support the Just Demands of the Pelican Bay Prisoners
(Who are the REAL criminals?)

Representatives of prisoners who went on a 20-day hunger strike in July at the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, declare that the prisoners will resume their hunger strike on September 26. It is urgent that people support the prisoners & speak out against prison authorities' attempts to retaliate against the prisoners. People on the outside have the moral responsibility to act in a way commensurate with the justness of the prisoners’ demands and the urgency of the situation. What people on the outside do will be a big factor in what happens when the prisoners resume the hunger strike.
Mon 26, 3:30pm Panel in Support of the Prison Hunger Strike
UC Hastings B. Mayer Lounge, 198 McAllister St, San Francisco.
Speakers: legal professionals, activists, former inmates, family members of SHU prisoners 
Tues 27, 5pm    
Emergency March and Rally, Civic Center, S.F. 
Tues 27, 7pm  Discussion - "Support the Hunger Strike! Who are the Real Criminals?"
Revolution Books, Berkeley
2425 Channing - 510.848.1196 
Weds 28, 11-1pm
Protest at CDCR Headquarters - Sacramento
(carpool from W. Oak BART 9:30am sharp) 
Thurs 29, 5pm    
Vigil - 14th and Broadway, Oakland 
Sat-Sun, Oct 1-2    
Caravan to Pelican Bay to support prisoners
call for details 510-926-5207
         Wed, Oct 5th, 12 noon-2pm
          Protest outside CDCR Headquarters. 1515 S St, downtown Sacramento. For carpooling and                               transportation needs from the Bay Area, please contact: 415.238.1801 or prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@ gmail.com

The prisoners are demanding to be treated like human beings, that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) end their barbaric, inhumane conditions of imprisonment, particularly in the SHUs, including solitary confinement, which is a form of torture.

The CDCR is not only refusing to meet the prisoners’ demands—it is retaliating against those who participated in the strike and mounting a public relations campaign to defend the barbaric conditions in the SHU. CDCR officials have indicated in statements to the media that they won’t allow the kind of mass defiance and solidarity exhibited by hunger strikers at Pelican Bay to happen again.

Come to a discussion with Revolution reporters.  Read articles from Revolution here. Some points for discussion:

* who are the real criminals – someone who robs or brutalizes an individual – or a ruling class that robs and brutalizes whole countries, whole peoples, and who maintains a whole system of torture here and globally?

* people say the masses have to take responsibility and get out of the criminal life – yet when they do, like the prisoners have, and acted selflessly for others, and risked their own lives in a NON-VIOLENT struggle – then the system attacks them for doing this! So the system doesn’t want them to change and more importantly wants to crush an example of people lifting their heads and acting in new ways.

* this relates to the point - the deep exposure - what kind of system spends more to incarcerate people than to educate and enlighten them - NOT a system interested in peoples transforming themselves

* why did these youth have the “choices” that they were confronted with – to hurt someone to maintain their own self respect? To rob someone or starve themselves? Why were these the choices they were given in life? What system gave them those choices? No matter what people have done, they’re human beings and deserve dignity and respect – it is wrong to distance yourself from them, and to accept the system’s verdict that they’re animals and anything goes — this is Nazi and genocidal ideology and it’s being promoted daily by this system.

Support the hunger strike and the demands of the prisoners:

Widely distribute Revolution newspaper, on the street, in schools, among all sections of the people. Post articles from the paper online including on social media such as Facebook.
Stay tuned to Hunger Strike Coalition website(prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com) for updates on the strike and mobilizations in support of the prisoners. Wherever you are, organize demonstrations or press conferences, including outside prisons, in support of the prisoners.
Ex-prisoners and family members: Come together, form networks of support for the hunger strike, speak out.
Students and professors: Make the strike a major issue on the campus—everyone needs to know about this. Reach out to those studying and working on issues of mass incarceration, prison conditions, criminal justice, police brutality, racism and national oppression—encourage them to take this up. Organize and demonstrate in support of the strikers.
Many more statements of support for the hunger strike, including prominent people and academics, are urgently needed. Send to Revolution newspaper at rcppubs@hotmail.com or submit a comment at revcom.us.
Many more religious forces, including those who have spoken out against torture, need to be mobilized to speak out and oppose the conditions in the SHU.
More human and legal rights organizations need to get involved in this issue and struggle. It is unconscionable to stand aside from blatant torture going on within the U.S. while condemning other regimes around the world.
CDCR must give journalists full access to the prisons and the prisoners, including hunger strikers—in order to report the truth about the conditions in the SHUs and the prisons, and so the voices of the prisoners can be heard. Students, photographers, and journalists: contribute toRevolution’s coverage—sharing photos, research, suggestions and correspondence.

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