Tags Pelican Bay State Prison
Tag: Pelican Bay State Prison
Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal shares some thoughts on the hunger strike at Pelican Bay State Prison and one of the strikers' demands: sunlight.
Sympathy for the prisoners on hunger strike in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison is limited due to the widely held impression that these men — and indeed most supermax prisoners — are the “worst of the worst.” According to conventional wisdom, in order to land in the most secure units in the prison system, these men must have committed terrible crimes in the first place ...
I am writing because it is a matter of life and death and I am afraid. I have been on a mediation team for the last couple of weeks on behalf of the prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison and the talks have broken down. Prisoners in Pelican Bay have not eaten in 18 days. I am afraid that the only one who can stop people from dying at this time is the governor.
How long does it take for a man on hunger strike to starve to death? The answer depends on what kind of physical shape that man was in to begin with. In 1981, it took the 10 Irish Republican hunger strikers – who were drinking water – from 46 to 73 days to die in Britain's Maze Prison outside Belfast. Will it come to this is California? Based on the response so far from the state, it appears that it could.
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.
Support for the hunger strike grows with solidarity actions across the U.S. and Canada this past weekend. A series of noise demonstrations outside jails, detention centers and prisons occurred internationally in St. Louis, New York City, Oakland, Los Angeles, Montreal and Kitchener, Ontario.
Ask anyone who has ever been on a hunger strike; the process of intentionally starving oneself is a very painful ordeal. And yet, there are places on this planet where the idea of death is preferable to continuing down a path that offers no hope or relief from suffering. I live in such a place; I know.
What exactly is a hunger strike? It is when someone, or a group of people, will choose death over their current living conditions. But not an unknown pointless death; instead, they will commit a long, grueling, public death designed to create change.
This is a call for all prisoners in security housing units, administrative segregation, and general populations, as well as the free oppressed and non-oppressed people, to support the indefinite July 1 peaceful hunger strike in protest of the violation of our civil and human rights here at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit.
Celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Bay View by sending its love and light to a prisoner behind enemy lines. One prisoner writes, “The Bay View has been a source of inspiration and life for me. It enables me to see people still care and Blacks are still fighting for justice.”
Although on a very small scale (which by no means diminishes the deed), we, the people, have wrought a revolution – “a sudden and momentous change in a situation” – and accomplished in 12 days what the powers that be have repeatedly told us would never happen.
President Barack Obama has clearly stated, “We don’t torture.” Oh, yes we do. Big time. A myriad of studies have clearly shown that human beings are social creatures – making prolonged isolation torture.