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It is my sincere hope this letter will be received in the same spirit of appreciation and cooperation in which it is written. First and foremost, I wish to acknowledge the courage and independent thinking and actions you demonstrated in the unannounced visit to inspect the conditions of confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit and speak with the strike leaders.
On Monday, July 8, California prisoners launched their third hunger strike in two years, protesting conditions in the Security Housing Units, where thousands of prisoners are held in segregation units designed to limit communication. While the largest one-day participation of the prior two strikes rose to over 11,000, Monday’s strike began with a historic 30,000 people inside California’s prisons refusing breakfast and lunch.
When we, the prisoners housed in the Corcoran ASU, initiated a hunger strike to protest against the inhumane conditions and constitutional violations we faced, prison officials responded with retaliation and indifference. Their intent was clear: to set an example of what would occur if these protests that had been rocking California prisons this past year continued.