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Inside California’s Prison Hunger Strike


Statement by Brutha Sitawa: "I would like to reiterate that the Agreement to End All Hostilities, August 12, 2012, is significant for all prisoners because CDCR has encouraged prisoners in their 33 prisons to not only engage in self-destructive behavior but have also helped heighten racial hostilities - the catalyst for internal warfare, racial warfare and gang warfare. all of which all has been magnified inside the prisons and throughout our communities."

"We decided to address these contradictions head on by engaging in a dialogue that was meaningful, sincere and honest with each respected entity. We realized that our responsibility was to end actions that were contrary to the growth and development of each and every prisoner..."

Sitawa Jaama has been held in the "Security Housing Unit" (SHU) of California's Pelican Bay State Prison for 29 years. Along with hundreds of other prisoners throughout the California prison system Sitawa has been on hunger strike for 43 days. Sitawa is a member of the Short Corridor Collective, an interracial group of prisoners based in the Pelican Bay SHU. The Short Corridor Collective has been influential in calling for 3 hunger strikes in the past 2 years, as well as authoring the 'Agreement to End Hostilities' document (Full PDF), a political call for prisoner unity, and an end to all violence between different groups of prisoners throughout the state, from maximum security prisons to county jails.

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Prisoner Hunger Strike: Day 44 - Outrage Over CDCR Force Feeding Plans

"CDCR justifies asking for the order to force feed by claiming that the widespread hunger strike is 'orchestrated' by gangs, that the massive participation and support for the demands is coerced and that prisoners have signed 'do not resuscitate' directives under duress," according to Claude Marks of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. "This order violates all international laws and standards and gives the medical director of each prison authority to violate human rights laws instead of reasonably negotiating with prisoners." Thousand of prisoners have united to challenge the torture of prolonged isolation, demanding an accountable process to challenge the gang validations that have kept them in security housing for decades.

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Related Articles: Action Alert: We need a Emergency Hearing to address the Hunger Strike | My Friend Todd Ashker, Hunger Striker at Pelican Bay

Previous Features: Latest on California Prisoners' Hunger Strike | Largest Prisoner Rights Protest in California History Ongoing