From the new September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
Los Angeles–On Aug. 13, 30 youths, mostly young women, gathered at the County Twin Towers Prison to support the Pelican Bay prisoners’ hunger strike. With the drumbeat and the performance of Aztec dancers, the protesters held individually made signs that read: “Prisoners are human beings, give them their rights”; “We stand in solidarity for prisoners’ human rights”; “L.A. Prisons = torture chambers”; “Calif. Dept. of Correction’s negotiations are not reasonable enough”; and “Justice for California prisoners–this is my brother, he’s starving and being tortured in Corcoran SHU.”
As the July-August News & Letters article “Pelican Bay SHU on hunger strike” states: the prisoners are being physically and psychologically tortured.
A Firedoglake flyer listed the five Basic Core Demands From Pelican Bay Prisoners as:
1. Eliminate group punishment of prisoners of a race when an individual of that race breaks a rule.
2. Abolish “debriefing” (snitching, or forcing information on active/inactive prison gang status).
3. End long-term (10-40 years) isolation/solitary confinement.
4. Provide adequate (healthy) food and sanitary conditions.
5. Provide and expand constructive programs including education, religious and other activities, allow self-help, and provide warm clothing in bitterly cold cells or exercise rooms.
All these demands are already allowed in other Supermax prisons.
During the demonstration, a protester was also organizing a trip to Sacramento to protest and address the legislators and the governor on the violation of prisoners’ civil and human rights.
–Human Rights Activist