by Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
In October 2017, the two-year period expired for the court to monitor the Ashker v. Governor settlement to limit solitary confinement in California. Since then, the four drafters of the Agreement to End Hostilities and lead hunger strike negotiators – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco and Todd Ashker – have all been removed from general population and put in solitary in administrative segregation units, based on fabricated information created by staff and/or collaborating “inmate informants.”
In Todd Ashker’s case, he is being isolated “for his own protection,” although he does not ask for nor desire to be placed in isolation for this or any reason. Sitawa has since been returned to population but cannot have visitors.
Please contact CDCr Secretary Scott Kernan and Gov. Edmund G. Brown and demand CDCr:
- Immediately release back into general population any of the four lead organizers still held in solitary;
- Return other Ashker class members to general population who have been placed in ad seg;
- Stop the retaliation against all Ashker class members and offer them meaningful rehabilitation opportunities.
Secretary Kernan prefers to be contacted by mail to 1515 S St., Sacramento 95811. If you call 916-324-7308, press 0 for the Communications Office. Email email@example.com and cc: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. by mail: State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814; by phone: 916-445-2841; by fax: 916-558-3160; or by email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/.
As a result of the administrative reviews established after the second prisoner hunger strike in 2011 and the Ashker settlement of 2015, California’s SHU population has decreased from 3,923 people in October 2012 to 537 in January 2018. Returning these four men and many other hunger strikers back to solitary in the form of ad seg represents an intentional effort to undermine the Agreement to End Hostilities and the settlement, and return to the lock ‘em up mentality of the 1980s.
Sitawa writes: “What many of you on the outside may not know is the long sordid history of CDCr’s ISU [Institutional Services Unit]/ IGI [Institutional Gang Investigator]/Green Wall syndicate’s [organized groups of guards who act with impunity] pattern and practice, here and throughout its prison system, of retaliating, reprisals, intimidating, harassing, coercing, bad-jacketing [making false entries in prisoner files], setting prisoners up, planting evidence, fabricating and falsifying reports (i.e., state documents), excessive force upon unarmed prisoners, [and] stealing their personal property.”
Returning these four men and many other hunger strikers back to solitary in the form of ad seg represents an intentional effort to undermine the Agreement to End Hostilities and the settlement, and return to the lock ‘em up mentality of the 1980s.
CDCr officials are targeting the Ashker v. Governor class members to prevent them from being able to organize based on the Agreement to End Hostilities and to obstruct their peaceful efforts to effect genuine changes – for rehabilitation, returning home, productively contributing to the improvement of their communities and deterring recidivism.
Read statements from the reps:
Joint Statement from the four – Don’t let CDCR reverse our hunger strike-won legal victory
Arturo – Statement by Arturo Castellanos
Todd – We stand together so prisoners never have to go through the years of torture we did (with Open Letter to Gov. Brown, California legislators and CDCR Secretary Kernan)
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity (PHSS) is a coalition based in the Bay Area made up of grassroots organizations and community members committed to amplifying the voices of and supporting the prisoners at Pelican Bay and other California prisons as they strive to win their hunger strike demands. Email email@example.com and visit http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/, where this story first appeared.