CDCR has negotiated and met Calipatra ASU hunger strikers’ humane demands

by Kendra Castaneda

On Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, CDCR Secretary Beard ordered a special transfer for my loved one and five other men in the Calipatria ASU to Tehachapi SHU during Day 32 of the hunger strike. A van pulled up to the ASU building, the six men had one hour to pack their belongings, and a van and three police escort cars drove for seven hours straight to Tehachapi SHU in an attempt by CDCR to break the hunger strike and remove the main reps.

Calipatria-State-Prison-CaliforniaOn Friday, Aug. 9, I called the administrative assistant to Warden Frank Chavez at Calipatria State Prison informing him I knew what CDCR had done. Lt. Silva, a former institutional gang investigator (IGI), who now serves as both administrative assistant and public information officer, said: “Well, your loved one is not here anymore. Therefore, you won’t be having anything more to do with Calipatria.”

I explained that I have volunteered to speak on behalf of the Calipatria hunger strikers in ASU and he was going to listen to every word I had to say about negotiating and the hunger strike and that he was going to contact Secretary Beard and CDCR spokesperson Terry Thornton as well. I told him that if CDCR did not start negotiating with Calipatria ASU men within the next few days for their humane demands to be met, then they will have to negotiate with me. I asked him to relay my message to the warden at Calipatria and to CDCR in Sacramento right away.

On Aug. 13, Warden Chavez started to negotiate with the hunger strikers in ASU, and on Thursday, Aug. 15, he went into the ASU and spoke directly with the men, while calling Sacramento during the negotiations.

Calipatria Warden Frank X. ChavezIt’s now confirmed: On Aug. 15, Calipatria ASU hunger strikers successfully negotiated their humane demands and CDCR Sacramento and Warden Frank Chavez agreed in writing with ALL of what the men in ASU had asked for. Installing the pull-up bars they requested, however, will take time, but the process will be set in motion.

On Aug. 13, Warden Chavez started to negotiate with the hunger strikers in ASU, and on Thursday, Aug. 15, he went into the ASU and spoke directly with the men, while calling Sacramento during the negotiations.

The Calipatria ASU hunger strikers had also included in their demands the five core demands at the heart of the hunger strike but did not attempt to negotiate them, as that is the role of the Pelican Bay reps and the mediation team. The main reps there had suggested that all the prisons submit demands based on their unique needs to their wardens. The demands negotiated by the Calipatria ASU hunger strikers had been submitted in response to that suggestion.

It’s now confirmed: On Aug. 15, Calipatria ASU hunger strikers successfully negotiated their humane demands and CDCR Sacramento and Warden Frank Chavez agreed in writing with ALL of what the men in ASU had asked for.

I hear the agreement has been put into writing and signed. I should be receiving a letter by Monday explaining what was agreed to in detail and hopefully a statement from the ASU hunger strikers.

To make sure CDCR spokesperson Terry Thornton and Secretary Beard understand the significance of the Calipatria agreement and its consequences, I sent them this message today:

5.0.2P1You have successfully negotiated with the Calipatria State Prison hunger strikers and have met the majority of their humane demands; the hunger strikers have resumed eating but only under certain conditions:

CDCR, you have by this Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, to start negotiations with the Pelican Bay State Prison main reps, mediation team and attorneys on the five core humane demands. Then you have no later than Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, to have successfully negotiated and come to an agreement in writing signed by CDCR that the majority of the five core demands have been met.

The Calipatria ASU hunger strikers had also included in their demands the five core demands at the heart of the hunger strike but did not attempt to negotiate them, as that is the role of the Pelican Bay reps and the mediation team.

If by this Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, CDCR has not successfully negotiated with the Pelican Bay main reps, mediation team and attorneys and if nothing has been put into writing that the five core demands have been met, prisoners at Calipatria State Prison are going to voluntarily resume their hunger strike on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013.

You do not have much time to negotiate and meet the five core demands, CDCR. You better get crackin’.

Sincerely,

Kendra Castaneda

Kendra Castaneda can be reached at kendracastaneda99@gmail.com.