Dr. Antonio Martinez & Gregory Koger on the California Prison Hunger Strike and Torture in U.S. Prisons
On July 8, 2013, over 30,000 prisoners in over two-thirds of California’s prisons began a hunger strike to demand an end to the systematic torture they face through long-term solitary confinement. Prisoners in several other states have joined them in work stoppages and hunger strikes. 2.3 million people are in prison in the U.S. and over 80,000 prisoners are held in solitary confinement in the United States – under conditions that amount to torture under international law.
- Dr. Antonio Martinez, a psychologist with the Institute for Survivors of Human Rights Abuse and co-founder of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture. Dr. Martinez has been recognized by UNESCO for his lifelong work treating survivors of torture and human rights abuses.
- Gregory Koger, torture survivor who spent over six years in solitary confinement in Illinois prison. He is a revolutionary who works with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and has spoken in universities and high schools regarding torture in U.S. prisons. Mr. Koger – a jailhouse lawyer in prison and a member of the National Lawyers Guild – was a homeless teenager in a street gang when he was sent to an adult maximum security prison; he transformed himself in solitary confinement and has dedicated his life since his release to opposing injustice. He will be joining the hunger strike on July 23 when he faces a court hearing to jail him to serve an unjust 300-day sentence for recording a statement against censorship on an iPhone at a public meeting of the “Ethical” Humanist Society of Chicago. More details on his case available at www.dropthecharges.net
During the initial California prison hunger strike in July 2011, Mr. Koger organized a Forum on the California Prison Hunger Strike and Torture in U.S. Prisons. Dr. Martinez spoke at that Forum, and compared the widespread, systematic use of torture in U.S. prisons to experiences of torture in other countries: “What I hear here is very similar to what I hear about the torture chambers in Guatemala, in Colombia, in Chile. Actually in Chile, Pinochet was more humane. They allowed people to be among others, they allowed some music, they allowed some type of interaction and they allowed more generous visits. And that was Pinochet. So what does that say about us as a society where all these things are the rule and not the exception? …”
Listen to the July 19, 2013 interview: Gregory Koger and Dr. Antonio Martinez – CA Prison Hunger Strike & Torture in U.S. Prisons (also Carl Dix on Trayvon Martin & Amina from Revolution Club LA) – The Michael Slate Show – KPFK Pacifica Radio LA 90.7 FM
Listen to the July 16, 2013 interview: Gregory Koger and Dr. Antonio Martinez – CA Prison Hunger Strike & Torture in U.S. Prisons – Worldview with Jerome McDonnell WBEZ NPR
Listen to the July 11, 2013 interview: Gregory Koger and Dr. Antonio Martinez – CA Prison Hunger Strike – Cliff Kelley Show WVONPosted in Thoughts
Tags: 300 day sentence, Albany Park Art Festival, California, Cliff Kelley, Dr. Antonio Martinez, Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago, gregory koger, hunger strike, iPhone, Jerome McDonnell, KPFK, Los Angeles, Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, mass incarceration, Michael Slate, NPR, Olmo, Pacifica Radio, Pelican Bay, prison, psychologist, Shroud of Sorrows, solitary confinement, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, The Cliff Kelley Show, torture, U.S., UNESCO, WBEZ, Worldview