WHEREAS, a hunger strike was started by inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison on July 1, 2011 to protest the conditions in the Security Housing Unit. According to a statement written by the inmates they have declared a hunger strike, “in order to draw attention to, and to peacefully protest, twenty-five years of torture via [California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation]‘s arbitrary, illegal, and progressively more punitive policies and practices.”
WHEREAS, inmates in prisons across California have joined the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike
WHEREAS, conditions in the Security Housing Unit are akin to torture – prisoners in the SHU are confined to cement cells with metal doors for more than twenty-two hours a day, with no real access to natural light or human contact. Many spend years locked up in these conditions.
WHEREAS, the prisoners on hunger strike have issued 5 just demands: 1) Eliminate Group Punishment; 2) Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria; 3) Comply with recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement; 4) provide adequate food; and 5) expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates.
WHEREAS, the medical conditions for many strikers have deteriorated to critical levels, with fear some prisoners could start to die if immediate action isn’t taken.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that UAW 2865 supports the demands of the inmates in California’s prisons on hunger strike.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that UAW 2865 2865 will advertise its support for the hunger strikers on its website.
BE IT EVEN FURTHER RESOLVED, that UAW 2865 will send out an action alert to its membership encouraging members to call both California Governor Jerry Brown and their legislators to urge them to make sure that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation negotiates with the prisoners immediately and in good faith, before prisoners are force-fed or die. The email will also urge UAW 2865 members to sign the petition in support of the hunger strikers at http://www.change.org/petitions/support-prisoners-on-hunger-strike-at-pelican-bay-state-prison.