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Tag: California prison hunger strike
On April 21, I finally got to see Charlie Hinton’s “Solitary Man” play at the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley. It was so much more than a cultural experience. The play was gripping, emotional and real, with jazz trumpet sprinkled in. The panel powerfully reflected the layers of pain, survival and resistance in the prison movement. And the event, a benefit for the San Francisco Bay View, was a moving tribute to Mary and Willie Ratcliff’s devotion to their invaluable newspaper.
Prison family members, formerly incarcerated persons, opponents of solitary confinement and mass incarceration and others in Pennsylvania will be fasting and making calls to Gov. Corbett and Department of Corrections Secretary Wetzel on July 8 to join the California Families Against Solitary Confinement and supporters around the country and the world in commemorating the one-year anniversary of the California prison hunger strike.
Tomorrow, California lawmakers will hold a hearing about the use of solitary confinement inside its state prison system. February marks seven months since people incarcerated throughout California embarked on the mass hunger strike that has drawn legislative attention to prison conditions. The CDCR released new proposed regulations around its gang policies, and it points to changes already made. Accounts from former hunger strikers suggest that change is slow in coming.
On Oct. 9, Chas was featured on the TVOne show Verses and Flow with his poem “Collect Call” about his mother. It’s an emotional editorial on having his family split by the U.S. concentration camp system aka the prison industrial complex’s war on the domestic Black community. This poem is especially timely coming on the heels of the monumental California Prison Hunger Strike of ‘13.
As prisoners enter their 46th day of the massive California prison hunger strike, supporters continue to condemn Monday’s controversial court order that authorizes force feeding of strike participants and that disregards their medical wishes. The order has emboldened prisoners to continue their strike, while others have decided to rejoin the strike in response to the CDCR attack.
Unjustified imprisonment and torturous living conditions have prisoners hunger striking all over the world. Many people who read the Bay View on the regular are aware of the California prison hunger strike, which has been going on for over a month now and started with over 30,000 prisoners statewide participating. But many know nothing about another prison hunger strike that is going on simultaneously on a U.S. military base in Cuba.
The 30,000 prisoners who have launched a hunger strike in the prisons of California in the United States are our brothers and sisters. All these men and women who refuse to be silent, who are right to rebel, who defend their dignity by defying a powerful government to which the European governments have bowed down deserve the respect and admiration of the whole world.
On Monday, July 8, California prisoners launched their third hunger strike in two years, protesting conditions in the Security Housing Units, where thousands of prisoners are held in segregation units designed to limit communication. While the largest one-day participation of the prior two strikes rose to over 11,000, Monday’s strike began with a historic 30,000 people inside California’s prisons refusing breakfast and lunch.
KPFA is not living up to its own creed when it ignores the fact that there are more Black people in prison now than were in slavery in 1850. The station is vacillating on whether or not to grant three hours of special coverage to the California prison hunger strike. Pacifica and KPFA are definitely ruining their brand of “progressive” radio with this racist activity. I want to thank all of you who signed the petition to restore me to the airwaves and contacted management at the station and the network on my behalf. But we can’t stop. We must loosen the grip of racism that is killing KPFA.
Hozel Blanchard is the father of a prisoner in Calipatria State Prison who recently expired after the historic California prison hunger strike under mysterious circumstances. Why would a prisoner who helped lead two hunger strikes and was looking forward to an imminent parole date kill himself?
About two weeks ago, the IGI (Institutional Gang Investigator) searched my cell in SHU and confiscated my Bay View newspapers, saying they are contraband if any articles speak on George Jackson or Black August. They said that the newspaper with said articles would be used to re-validate me at my six-year review. I should not be penalized for a newspaper article.
Don’t let the California prison hunger strike and the support that flowed from various media outlets, including the Bay View, go for nothing. All prisoners are obligated to contribute in some way. Get organized, develop a plan, stick to the plan and make it happen. Don’t give up! We cannot stop now.