Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hunger Strike, Day Six: 7,667 Inmates on Strike, CDCR Threatens Repercussions

Reuters Los Angeles reports:

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed that 7,667 inmates in 24 prisons and one out-of-state unit had missed nine consecutive meals, the benchmark used by the state's prison system for recognizing a hunger strike. 

That is well below the 12,421 inmates out of a total prison population of more than 130,000 that officials had confirmed were striking on Thursday in an what the Los Angeles Times said marked the largest prison hunger strike in California history. 

California prison officials have threatened to impose disciplinary measures on inmates who take part in what the prison system has termed as illegal "mass disruptions." 

Officials have not specified what privileges could be taken away from inmates, but on Friday they said visitors would be allowed into state prisons as usual this weekend. They said the prison system was not negotiating with the strikers.

While 7,667 is a lot less than the original 12,421, it is important to keep in mind that it is also more than the number of strikers in any of the previous strikes. Obviously, the folks who continue the strike are the folks that are most committed to achieving its goals; we have no breakdown by institution, but it is probably reasonable to assume that SHU inmates have the least to lose.

What can you do?

1. Many people still don't know about the hunger strike. Make it a topic of conversation this weekend.
2. Join the human rights pen pal program and cheer up a hunger strikers with letters from the outside.
3. Donate to support the folks helping and visiting inmates at Corcoran.

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