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My journey began in the mid-1980s, when folks in my community began to hear about a “supermax” prison that would be built in nearby Crescent City, California. At that time, my colleague Tom Cairns and Mike Da Bronx, my husband, and me were busy at KHSU producing a weekly radio show called Alternative Review. In 1990, I would get one of the first letters from that place, Pelican Bay State Prison. It came from a young man named Troy Williams. He liked my radio show.
Families of loved ones on hunger strike in Pelican Bay SHU have successfully regrouped and found a new recipient for a campaign to donate their loved ones’ food symbolically: a local soup kitchen in Crescent City. The symbolic donation says a lot to counter the perception they’re all “the worst of the worst.” It shows they’re human beings at their best, thinking of others and being generous even despite their own circumstances.