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A coalition of unemployed African American laborers gathered in front of California state Sen. Allen Lowenthal's office in Long Beach to demand his support for SB 292, the bill to fast track AEG's Farmers Field project which would create tens of thousands of good jobs.
California spends millions of dollars every year guarding physically incapacitated prisoners. California has a $10 billion budget deficit. California taxpayers will spend nearly $2 billion to pay for the health care needs of state prisoners. A large percentage of those funds are used for a small group of severely incapacitated inmates.
So far, the state’s plan for reducing the prison population relies heavily on simply shifting prisoners from state lockups to county jails and out-of-state rental space. But many other states are setting examples that California could follow.
The historic prisoner hunger strike led by 11 now “shrunken” but alive Pelican Bay Prison inmates advocating human rights, peace and justice continues at several prisons, according to officials, prisoners’ families and prisoner attorney Marilyn McMahon. Hunger strikers' families and supporters will rally in Sacramento again Monday, noon-4 p.m.
At least 400 prisoners at Pelican Bay continue to refuse food and thousands more around the state are striking in solidarity, making it the largest hunger strike in the history of the embattled California prison system. “We are urging our state representatives and Gov. Brown to step in and force the CDCR to recognize the prisoners’ demands,” says Manuel La Fontaine.
With the Pelican Bay prison hunger strike entering its third week, mediators reported Thursday that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has responded to pressure from strikers and outside supporters, beginning initial negotiations with strike leaders in the prison’s Security Housing Unit, along with an outside mediation team. Some of the strikers’ health has deteriorated to near-fatal levels. Many fear that time is running out.
Medical staff at Pelican Bay State Prison say that the health of at least 200 hunger strikers in the SHU is rapidly worsening. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up. Some are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for three days. Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated. Families witnessed their loved ones faint or go into diabetic shock in visiting rooms over the weekend.
CURB is sending a strong message from different parts of the state to Gov. Brown and the state legislature, calling for the state to take active steps to end its participation in the 40-year-old “war on drugs” and to prioritize vital social services over prison spending.
On May 23, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision ordering California to release tens of thousands of inmates from its overcrowded prisons on the grounds that their living conditions – including lethally inadequate healthcare – were so intolerable as to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Jackie Williams, resident and garden keeper at Alice Griffith housing project, loves her job and loves where she lives, but she doesn’t believe that she will be able to keep these things when the developers come and tear down what she has called home for over 30 years.
The Budget for Humanity, recently released by Californians United for a Responsible Budget's (CURB) calls for drastic reductions to the prison population and an end to prison construction and to cuts in education, health and housing through more aggressive taxation of corporations and the wealthy.
Oakland voters who thought they would be spared catastrophic budget cuts by voting for the Democrats and Oakland’s Jerry Brown feel abandoned and double-crossed by the latest round of budget cuts supported by Democrats.
The Black population in San Francisco drastically declined when urban renewal, Redevelopment and the gentrification of the Fillmore/Western Addition started in the ‘60s, bulldozed the hearts of African Americans, many forced to move out of the City.
Join the rally Tuesday, Feb. 22, 12 noon, on the north steps of the Capitol in Sacramento to oppose California budget cuts to CalWORKS and MediCal that will have a deadly impact on children and families.