12 noon press conference, with Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, people formerly Incarcerated in California Dept. of Corrections (CDCR) SHUs, SHU inmates’ families, and other voices of support and conscience.
If you want to go and need a ride, let us know at the contact number. If you can give a ride, please let us know as well. Most of us are meeting at the MacArthur BART Station @ 8am, but let us know if that doesn’t work for you and we’ll see what we can do.
The Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, in support of the California Prison Hunger Strikers and their 5 Demands invite the public to visit an installation of a life-sized mock Security Housing Unit (SHU) Cell on the California State Capitol South Steps in Sacramento.
This stark multimedia installation will allow visitors to acquire a tactile and visceral understanding of the reality of solitary confinement that over 4,000 California prisoners have endured for years and decades, and why this is cruel and unusual punishment deemed torture by the UN and human rights groups. The installation includes images of SHU cells and prisoners and moving testimony from prisoners and others.
On July 8, 2013, 30,000 California prisoners began a hunger strike to end the torture of solitary confinement and for their basic rights and humanity. Their central demand is “comply with the recommendation of the U.S. Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement.” Now, 100’s of prisoners have gone over one month without food and many more in many prisons have supported the strike and gone on and off the hunger strike since its beginning. Millions throughout society support the prisoners, including prominent voices such as Jay Leno, Danny Glover, Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Bonnie Raitt and Gloria Steinem; yet Governor Jerry Brown and the California Dept. of Corrections refuse to meet their just demands, have retaliated against the hunger strikers, and have publicly vilified the prisoners and the hunger strike. In a July 6 opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, CDCR secretary Jeffrey Beard claimed that the notorious SHU “is not ‘solitary confinement.’”
On July 5, Amnesty International stated that “rather than improving,” conditions in California prisons “have actually significantly deteriorated:” On July 22, 2013, Amnesty International called California Prisons and the CDCR’s response to the hunger strike an “affront to human rights.”
The Stop Mass Incarceration Network states “This is an EMERGENCY! One hunger striker, Billy ‘Guero’ Sell, has already died. Many more people need to stand NOW with the prisoner hunger strikers!”