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“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.”—Karl Marx
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Sign and Help Publish Emergency Call! to Stop Torture in U.S. Prisons

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Sign and Help Publish 

Emergency Call! to Stop Torture in U.S. Prisons 

in the Los Angeles Times

$25,000 Needed by Early July, 2013

 

“People who are locked down in segregation units of this society’s prisons, condemned as the ‘worst of the worst,’ are standing up against injustice, asserting their humanity in the process.  We must have the humanity to hear their call, and answer it with powerful support!”

Emergency Call! Join Us in Stopping Torture in U.S. Prisons!

 

Sign the Emergency Call! Join Us in Stopping Torture in U.S. Prisons! here

Donate to Help Publish the Emergency Call! here

 

People in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in CA have announced they are prepared to resume their Hunger Strike on July 8, 2013.  They are encouraging prisoners nationwide to join them in acting to shine a spotlight on the horrific conditions faced by those held in long term solitary confinement; and in acting to STOP them.

More than 80,000 people in prison in the US are held in long term solitary confinement.  They spend 22 hours or more each day in small, windowless and sometimes soundless cells. They are placed in solitary arbitrarily and have no channels to challenge being put there. Many are denied human contact for months, years or even decades.  These conditions fit the international definition of torture, and studies have found that these conditions can drive people insane.

12,000 California prisoners stood up to change these conditions by going on a hunger strike in 2011. They suspended that hunger strike when the authorities agreed to improve conditions.  But authorities haven’t improved the conditions, and the prisoners have declared that they will once more put their lives on the line.

WE MUST HAVE THEIR BACKS!  Long term solitary confinement is a horrific injustice. United Nations experts on torture have called on all countries to end it, but the US has arrogantly rejected these calls.

The authorities hope to isolate the prisoners and crush their hunger strike.  We must not allow this to go down.  We must reject the authorities’ justifications for the horrors they are perpetrated – that these prisoners are brutal thugs, “the worst of the worst,” and deserve the treatment they are subjected to and that these conditions are required to keep society safe.  And we must reject the morally unconscionable stance of doing nothing while this torture is happening because it isn’t affecting “us.”  Instead we must stand with the prisoners who are standing up.

The publication of the Emergency Call in the Los Angeles Times will make this torture more widely known in society.  Itmoral clarity on the utter unacceptability of torture must reach millions. Help raise the $25,000 needed to get it published by early July, 2013.

The widespread torture in US prisons MUST END! Will you join us in standing up to it?  Will you sign this Emergency Call! and spread it to others?  Will you make a generous financial contribution to publish the Emergency Call and encourage others to do so as well?  Will you join Cornel West, Bill Ayers, Luis Valdez, Cynthia McKinney, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Chuck D, Marjorie Cohn, Carl Dix, Peter Schey, Robin DG Kelley, Blase Bonpane, Wayne Kramer, Rev. George F. Regas, Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ and scores of others to Stop Torture in U.S Prisons?

You can donate online at http://stopmassincarceration.net/donate, or send a check payable to “Alliance For Global Justice,” a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization, with “Stop Mass Incarceration” on the memo line to:

Stop Mass Incarceration Network
P. O. Box 941
Knickerbocker Station
New York, Ny  10002

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No to Torture in U.S. Prisons – Support the Hunger Strikers

On July 8, 2013, prisoners in Pelican Bay SHU will resume their hunger strike. The leaders of the hunger strike have called on prisoners across California and across the country to join them on a  nationwide prison hunger strike/work stoppage,  with a proposal to other prisoners to develop their own plans and lists of demands pertinent to the conditions of their confinement.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has organized Days of Solidarity with the hunger strikers over the weekend of June 21,22 and 23rd, and is circulating an EMERGENCY CALL! JOIN US IN STOPPING TORTURE IN U.S. PRISONS!, which we are calling on people to sign and to donate to raise $25,000 to have the statement published in the Los Angeles Times. Additional information on SMIN’s plans for supporting the hunger strike can be found here.

I intend to have more to say on this in the coming days and weeks…

-Gregory

 

From the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement:

Written June 20, 2013 – The principal prisoner representatives from the PBSP SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement do hereby present public notice that our nonviolent peaceful protest of our subjection to decades of indefinite state-sanctioned torture via long term solitary confinement will resume on July 8, 2013, consisting of a hunger strike and work stoppage of indefinite duration until CDCR signs a legally binding agreement meeting our demands, the heart of which mandates an end to long term solitary confinement, as well as additional major reforms.

Our decision does not come lightly. For the past two years we’ve patiently kept an open dialogue with state officials, attempting to hold them to their promise to implement meaningful reforms responsive to our demands. For the past seven months we have repeatedly pointed out CDCR’s failure to honor their word – and we have explained in detail the ways in which they’ve acted in bad faith and what they need to do to avoid the resumption of our protest action.

On June 19, 2013, we participated in a mediation session ordered by the judge in our class action lawsuit, which unfortunately did not result in CDCR officials agreeing to settle the case on acceptable terms. While the mediation process will likely continue, it is clear to us that we must be prepared to renew our political non-violent protest on July 8 to stop torture in the SHUs (Security Housing Units) and Ad-Segs (Administrative Segregation) of CDCR.

Thus we are presently out of alternative options for achieving the long overdue reform to this system and, specifically, an end to state-sanctioned torture, and now we have to put our lives on the line via indefinite hunger strike to force CDCR to do what’s right.

We are certain that we will prevail … the only questions being: How many will die starvation-related deaths before state officials sign the agreement?

The world is watching!

Onward in Struggle and Solidarity.

Todd Ashker

Arturo Castellanos

Ronald Dewberry, aka Sitawa

Antonio Guillen

 

The  statement from the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement was published on Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity.

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