Make some noise: International solidarity for Pelican Bay Hunger Strike!


by PrisonerHungerStrikeSolidarity

July 4, 2011 – Support for the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike is strong and expanding as people inside and outside prison all over the world are connecting the Pelican Bay hunger strike to local struggles against powerlessness and inequality.

How have people been showing support for the hunger strike?


Inside prison

Prisoners across the U.S. are showing their solidarity with the Pelican Bay SHU prisoners by joining the hunger strike for varying lengths of time – including prisoners in Corcoran, Folsom, CCI Tehachapi, Calipatria and Centinela State Prisons in California and Ohio State Penitentiary – or by bravely writing statements and letters or calling people outside to relay messages to the Pelican Bay hunger strikes. These messages will be delivered to the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay during the next round of visits.

Prisoners at Collins Bay Federal Penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario, began a work strike on June 28 demanding an end to overcrowding at the prison and are protesting worsening conditions. Federal prison restructuring and increasing criminalization has caused double bunking at many prisons that is intensifying tensions inside and outside prisons.

Supporters in Ontario are linking the struggles at Collins Bay to prisoners’ struggles at Pelican Bay. On the morning of Monday, July 4, a banner was dropped off a building overlooking City Hall in downtown Kingston, Ontario.

Outside prison

Families and loved ones of prisoners have been organizing outside of Pelican Bay, sharing information with each other before visiting with their loved ones inside. Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc danzers from Los Angeles are up in Crescent City in front of the prison to support the hunger strikers with ceremony.

Outside Corcoran State Prison, where prisoners have joined the Pelican Bay hunger strike in solidarity, families and community members have been rallying to show their support, as well as sharing information before visiting their loved ones.

A growing number of supporters internationally are joining the prisoners on a hunger strike by fasting for various amounts of time.

In Seattle, Washington, a group of people equipped with a mobile sound system met in front of the King County Juvenile Detention Center in the Central District of Seattle. The group played music, banged on pots and pans, and made speeches – including the demands from Pelican Bay and how King County and Pelican Bay are connected – through megaphones in front of the prison cells.

At one point, all the occupants in the cells along the southern end of the Detention Center were banging on the walls and windows of their cells, responding to the cheers and words from outside. The event lasted for an hour and there were no arrests, despite a large police presence.

Deaths in Custody Watch Committee in Western Australia also supports the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike, dedicating an action in Perth on July 3 for NAIDOC Week, a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander survival.

Make sure to check out the actions page for upcoming rallies and events to show your support, help circulate the online petition, and call the CDCR and California elected officials and urge them to honor the prisoners’ demands!



  1. I understand that’s theres a lot of negative people commenting. But obviously the ones doing the strike are not rapist there people thathave made mistakes there fighting for rights … foood , talking to people, clothes ..there treated like animals the ones who should be there are child molesters but yet we have one in every corner registered sex offenders …

  2. My cousin told me about this, and the whole prison-for-profit fiasco is a crying shame. my wife works with Pelican Bay diversionairies of all colors. even as a 'privileged white male' in America, i know i could wind up in prison on the sorriest pretext, or for no reason at all without recourse — as have more than one of my relatives, and many of my friends. the PB hunger strike has my full support.

  3. One of the suggestions on the Actions page is to calls to elected officials to get them to take a public stand. I just called the Department of Corrections and "Rehabilitation," Leno and Ammiano. The man at the Dept. sounded like they were getting calls, and he listened, but in a hostile way. Seems like Leno and Ammiano aren't getting a lot of calls, and neither have made a public statement. Their offices sounded more open, so here are the numbers:

    Department of Corrections and "Rehabilitation" – 916-323-6001

    Sen. Mark Leno – 916-651-4003
    SF office – 415-557-1300

    Asm. Tom Ammiano – 916-557-3013
    SF office – 415-319-2013

    other San Franciscans have:

    Sen. Leland Yee- 916-651-4008
    SF office – 415-557-7857

    Asm. Fiona Ma – 916-319-2012
    SF office – 415-557-2312

  4. Murders, Rapist, and child molesters go hungry stop the presses. What they are not telling you is they are eating their inmate canteen purchased food up to $130 a month stuffed or sewn in their mattress. All the while they refuse state food what a sham. If you libs want to help do this…when they parole pick them up at the prison gate take them home feed them, cloth them, and care for them. Let them play with your children and watch your house and then you will know what being a victim is all about. Wake-up?

  5. The Supreme Court upheld the Constitution and California will have to reduce the number of prisoners it packs in like cattle at feedlots. Let's hope the Court reviews the horrific gulag conditions of solitary confinement in California.

    FOLLOW THE MONEY. Who profits from failed criminal justice and horrifically overcrowded prisons that are bankrupting states across the nation?

    District attorneys and prosecutors who are promoted for winning cases and harsh sentences at any cost;

    Tough-on-crime scare tactic politicians hoping for votes;

    Guard employee unions;

    For-profit-contract-bed-privatized-corporation prisons that make more money when people return to prison rather than when they are reformed;

    Parole department in California where everyone released is on parole;

    Three strikes law that sends people to prison for 25+ years over petty crimes such as stealing a pizza;

    The bail bond industry that benefits from unnecessary criminal justice practices that increase incarceration;

    Serving high carb, low protein food that hurts prisoners' health and increases payments to medical providers;

    Private corporations that raise heck when prisons try to contract for prison labor that would provide jobs and experience for prisoners;

    The box that must be checked on government, employment, and rental forms when someone has a "record" even if they have been crime-free for years. (BAN THE BOX);

    The list goes on…..

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