The hunger strike is now entering its fifth week. I'm still on vacation, but didn't want this day to pass without pointing out Jeffrey Beard's take on the strike:
We are talking about convicted murderers who are putting lives at risk to advance their own agenda of violence.
Here's Dan Walters' commentary.
There are also some important statements on this Facebook page to counter Beard's commentary. I reproduce verbatim Tom Ammiano's:
I have read Secretary Beard’s claims in the LA Times and I have visited the SHU. On the one hand, the CDCR told me its isolation policies have put a stranglehold on gang leaders’ control. On the other hand, now they say gang leaders are calling the shots in the hunger strike despite their isolation. Which is it? They told us everyone in the SHU was a validated gang member, but when they reviewed cases, they cleared scores of prisoners of gang affiliation. We find it difficult to take CDCR’s claims about the hunger strike at face value. It would be easier to know if prison media access policies were better, as would have been the case under my bill vetoed by the Governor last year. Even so, one thing is clear: The isolation policies are of dubious benefit and they are an international embarrassment. I realize these prisoners have been convicted of terrible things, but I don’t have to believe everything they say to know that we must change our correctional practices. Taxpayers should not be funding indefinite isolation that is condemned in other countries as a human rights abuse.