In June 2011 groups in the Bay Area supported a hunger strike by some California prisoners protesting conditions in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay. The first hunger strike kicked off on July 1st and was followed by the second one in October of 2011. During the first hunger strike (HS1) the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) publicly admitted that there were 6,600 prisoners on hunger strike in 13 prisons. The number of participants in HS2 peeked at nearly 12,000 (11,898 according to the Office of the Special Master, and slightly less than that, 11,619, according to CDCR’s own figures). Each HS went on for three weeks. There was no food stashed, as CDCR’s written policy is to remove all food from the cell of any prisoner on HS.
To date the CDCR has not met the prisoners’ quite reasonable demands. On August 12, 2012, California’s leading prisoners issue an “Agreement to End Hostilities”, which was signed by the leadership of all racial groups, and which called for the cessation of all gang hostilities throughout the state. So far that call has been honored. Prisoners are not fighting each other. Instead they are preparing to struggle for justice.
The unified leadership of all races and gangs have issued a call for more than a HS. On July 8th 2013 all prisoners in As Seg and SHU units are to stop eating. All mainline (general population) prisoners are instructed to withhold their labor, without which the prisons cannot function. During HS1 and HS2 there was massive outside support, especially in the Bay Area but to a lesser degree in every major California city. Hunger Strike 3 (HS3) and Work Strike 1 (WS1) will be kicking off in less than two months. The leadership of that struggle has asked for support not only from prisoners in other states, but from community activists from across the nation.
Radical Prisoner Support Portland (RPSP) is starting up as a Portland, OR-based group initialized by members of Blazing Arrow Organization (BAO), Oregon Jericho and Portland Anarchist Black Cross
Our idea is to forge a local Portland/NW regional coalition and network of individuals, organizations, movements and affinity groups around the next upcoming Pelican Bay Prisoner Hunger Strike in Crescent City California starting on July 8th 2013. The goal is to promote the hunger strike far and wide as well as promoting direct action. Working closely with folks in the NW we are hoping to participate in action alerts, having presentations and political education events a well as national days of action. Please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you and/or your group is interested in participating and/or co-sponsoring. We hope to hold weekly meetings as well as educational events starting in early June. We anticipate national conference calls as well as resolutions for groups and individuals to endorse.
Phone: (503) 893-2914