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Prisoners in Washington state to join July 8 strike called by California prisoners

June 26, 2013

by Diana George, Free Us All Coalition

Seattle, Washington (June 26, 2013) – Prisoners in the state of Washington will go on strike on July 8, 2013, refusing to work on that day. Some prisoners in Washington, including some in juvenile facilities, have vowed to join the nonviolent strike. The strike’s aim is two-fold: to show support for the hunger strikers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to join California prisoners in protesting long-term solitary confinement and other human rights abuses in U.S. prisons.

Washington State DOC patchThe Washington prison strike on July 8 will coincide with hunger strikes and work stoppages at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California, and at least four other prisons in California. The California prisoners’ demands include an end to long-term solitary confinement and to such practices as “gang debriefing.”

To gain release from solitary confinement, California prisoners are pressured to “debrief,” denouncing fellow prisoners as gang members, who are then punished with solitary confinement. Some California prisoners have been held in isolation for more than 30 years; the strike’s aim is to end this torture.

The California prison strikes will be the third such strike to occur in the last three years. On July, 1, 2011, 6,600 prisoners in the state of California went on a nonviolent hunger strike that began in Pelican Bay State Prison and spread to other facilities in the state. Later that year, their demands still unmet, nearly 12,000 California prisoners resumed the hunger strike in September and October 2011.

This year’s call for a strike includes nonviolent work stoppage by prisoners in the general population, alongside the hunger strikes of those prisoners in solitary confinement. In California, as in Washington, work stoppages are slated to include all work, including tasks essential to the day-to-day functioning of the prisons, increasing the strike’s impact.

Diana George of the Free Us All Coalition in Washington can be reached at diana.george@gmail.com. To learn more, she recommends http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/ and http://solitarywatch.com/2013/06/01/gao-report-questions-widespread-use-of-solitary-confinement-in-federal-prisons/.

 

8 thoughts on “Prisoners in Washington state to join July 8 strike called by California prisoners

  1. Roland ware

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  2. Cammie

    The picture with the needs to be removed or a disclaimer provided that they have no connection to this strike. I am confused why it was even used. What does the UBB and them getting an education have to do with the strike?? This picture and the fact they were students in University Beyond Bars has no connection with this article and the strike. I hope that the writer of this story redacts the photo out of respect and concern for what misconception some individuals and WA DOC will have on these men. I cant say much for UBB's position in support of this strike, however I hope they did not give you permission to use this photo or provide you with misinformation for their own gain. They should know better. If you took this picture off of the internet for use with the story on your own, I ask you to really think about the adverse effect this could have on these men in connection to something they have no connection too.

    Reply
  3. Diana George

    I'm the author of the story, and I agree with Cammie in everything she says. I did not submit the photo, only the text. The four men pictured have nothing to do with story, and it would be extremely unfortunate for them to suffer any adverse consequences by being associated with this story.

    I don't know anything about University Behind Bars, myself, and have no idea what its position on the strike is, if indeed UBB has any position on it.

    I agree with Cammie, please remove this photo. (I don't think a disclaimer is enough; there's a disclaimer there now, and it doesn't do enough to dissociate these men from this story.)

    Reply
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  5. Scorned

    The right middle man is the man that murdered my pregnant sister in 2001. The fact that he has 60+ years without the possibility of parole and is allowed to waste my tax dollars getting an education that will have no relevance to him when he is released at the age of 81 infuriates me!! I don't care what these prisoners think about their work load, if they hadn't committed such crimes to land them in prison then perhaps I'd give a rats behind about their human rights.

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