Action Alert: Protest disciplinary actions against California prison hunger strikers


On July 8, 2013, more than 30,000 California prisoners initiated a peaceful hunger strike in protest of the torture of long-term solitary confinement and inhumane living conditions to which they are subjected inside security housing units (SHU) throughout the state. Sixty days – and one death – later, prisoners suspended the strike.

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition has issued the following call for action in response to the California Department of Corrections Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s retaliations against prisoners who participated in the mass hunger strike.

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CDCR RETALIATES AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTEST WITH ACCUSATIONS OF SERIOUS RULE VIOLATIONS (115 WRITE-UP)

The hunger strike was a non-violent and peaceful protest of resistance against the violence and torture perpetrated against prisoners by prison staff. Prisoners all over the world use hunger strikes to affirm their humanity. Hunger striking is a time-honored form of peaceful protest, going back hundreds – perhaps thousands – of years. It allows nonviolent dissent for people who lack viable methods to obtain redress of grievances.

Every person who participated in this summer’s peaceful protest of refusing meals has received a 115 write-up, accusing him of committing a serious rule violation for his participation in the hunger strike. This is a continuation of CDCR’s attacks on the nonviolent protest.

A 115 WRITE-UP CAN EXTEND SOLITARY CONFINEMENT PERIOD AND RESULT IN DENIAL OF PAROLE

A 115 is serious. It can result in extending a prisoner’s period of solitary confinement by years, in the imposition of penalties like television restrictions, or in becoming the basis for denying parole.

If the 115 is gang-related, the results are even worse: it can be used to validate a prisoner as a gang member or associate. Validation can cause the prisoner to be moved to the Security Housing Unit (the “SHU,” aka solitary confinement), or to be kept longer in the SHU. Officials at California State Prison Corcoran, and possibly at other prisons, encouraged prisoners to stipulate that they had participated in the hunger strike, in exchange for a lesser 115 penalty. But that stipulation included a phrase acknowledging that the hunger strike was organized or directed by prison gangs, leading to grave repercussions for participants throughout the system.

Keeping people in solitary confinement for more years, because they peacefully protested solitary confinement, is outrageous! This is a symptom of the unjust retaliation that CDCR is perpetuating against hunger strikers.

TELL CDCR THAT THE PRACTICE OF ISSUING 115 WRITE-UPS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE HUNGER STRIKE IS OUTRAGEOUS

Please contact M. D. Stainer, Director of the Division of Adult Institutions at CDCR. Your voice needs to be heard by the people making decisions! Tell him to end this policy of punishing people for refusing their meals in nonviolent protest, and to reverse the 115s that were given out. Let him know that you are distressed to hear that about his policy of issuing 115 write-ups, further oppressing the peaceful hunger strikers.

M.D. Stainer, Director
Division of Adult Institutions
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
P. O. Box 942883
Sacramento CA. 94283
(916) 445-7688
Michael.Stainer@cdcr.ca.gov

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