Jul 272011

The last weapon against tyranny in prisons

By Beth Connors-Manke

On July 1, a mass hunger strike began in California prisons. The 21-day hunger strike was sparked by the conditions at Pelican Bay State Prison’s security housing unit (SHU), which like the now-defunct Lexington High Security Unit, subjects prisoners to prolonged isolation and psychological torture. Over the course of the strike, thousands of prisoners took part in the resistance movement.

Aerial shot of Pelican Bay State Prison. Photo by Jelson25.

The organizers’ list of demands included the end to select administrative policies such as group punishment and “gang management” in Pelican Bay; the end to long-term solitary confinement; and the end to using food coercively. The strikers also wanted more “constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU status inmates.” Continue reading »