Revolution #241, July 31, 2011

July 25, Sacramento, California

Rally to Support Prisoner Hunger Strikers

Posted July 26, 2011

From a reader:

For the second Monday in a row, prisoners’ families, ex-prisoners and activists converged on Sacramento, determined to step up the fight around the five core demands of the courageous hunger strikers. People were determined to continue to fight for the prisoners, their demands, and an end to their isolation and torture. Heeding the words from the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike leadership who declared that “This is only the first quarter of the game,” those present were full of determination and fighting spirit to take the battle broader and higher.

There was a strong contingent from Los Angeles, joining people from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. A woman, after visiting her husband in Calipatria State Prison—as close to Mexico as Pelican Bay is to Oregon—drove with her friends all night to make it to this rally. Another woman, a mother of a Pelican Bay SHU prisoner, has been active in building support in L.A. from the very first day of the Hunger Strike. She spoke powerfully of the importance of the strike and the courage of the prisoners, and called on people to continue building the struggle for all prisoners and all people.

The demonstration was led by huge banners, signs and chants in support of prisoners as human beings. We first surrounded the entrance of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and then headed off to the State Capitol. People spoke of how Governor Brown’s silence on the demands and treatment of the prisoners equals complicity with torture—that he could end immediately. A delegation of families and ex-prisoners again met with an aide to the governor. One of the mothers presented an envelope to be delivered to Jerry Brown containing 50 statements from prominent artists, actors, intellectuals and writers, all in support of the prisoners, their five demands and an end to their isolation and torture.

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