Monday, July 22, 2013

Veterans for Peace support California Prison Hunger Strike

Statewide Prisoner Hunger Strike to Stop Torture, Long-Term Isolation & Indefinite Solitary Confinement in Prisons [link]

2013-07-22 "Local Veterans for Peace Write Governor Brown In Support Of Courageous Prisoner Hunger Strike For Five Human Rights Demands"
Media Contact: Don Swall [707-476-0236] []
"We are... opposed to torture being employed in the form of long-term solitary confinement in CDCR Security Housing Units and other isolation units."
Attached hereto is the Letter, with letterhead and signature. The text of the letter is also below. 
Today, Amnesty International has also issued a press release "USA: End inhumane treatment of California prison hunger strikers" regarding the retaliation by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) against prisoners participating in the peaceful hunger strike. Veterans for Peace in their letter specifically asked for a guarantee that "reprisals against peaceful hunger strikers not be taken," but the CDCR continues to withhold medications, freeze prisoners in their cells, hold prisoners' confidential legal papers, forbid exercise time, and take official disciplinary action against strikers.
Local Veterans for Peace participated in demonstrations in Eureka CA during the 2011 Prisoner Hunger Strike, recently demonstrated outside Pelican Bay on July 8, 2013, when the strike resumed, in solidarity with over 30,000 prisoners taking part, and have helped with informational demonstrations on the Arcata Plaza which occur every Thursday (since early June), "5PM For the 5 Demands."
Please see July 19, 2013 letter below and attached.
Veterans for Peace, Humboldt Bay Chapter 56
July 19, 2013
Dear Governor Brown:
By a unanimous vote of the members present at our monthly membership meeting of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 56, Humboldt Bay, we support the hunger strike currently underway throughout the California State Prison system.
We endorse the prisoners' 5 demands:
1. End group punishment and administrative abuse.
2. Abolish the debriefing policy, and modify active gang status criteria.
3. Comply with the U.S. Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons 2006 recommendations regarding long-term solitary confinement.
4. Provide adequate and nutritious food.
5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for individual SHU inmates.
Veterans for Peace is a global organization of military veterans and allies whose collective efforts are to build a culture of peace by using our experiences and lifting our voices. A culture of peace is at least as important at home as overseas and we call for the immediate end of the inhumane practices currently in use in CDCR Security Housing Units and other isolation units. We request guarantees that reprisals against peaceful hunger strikers not be taken.
We have 90 members in Chapter 56, Humboldt Bay, and 280 chapters throughout the U.S. The VFP is on record in opposition to torture as a tool at institutions from Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib. We are equally opposed to torture being employed in the form of long-term solitary confinement in CDCR Security Housing Units and other isolation units.
[signed] Sincerely, Don Swall

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