Sunday, July 24, 2011

The End of the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike: Interview with Hunger Strike Mediator, Laura Magnani.

On this edition of "On the Block Radio," we speak with Laura Magnani, regional director of the American Friends Services Committee (AFSC) and one of the five mediators who communicated with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on behalf of striking prisoners during the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike that began on July 1st.

She discusses the lead up to the end of the strike and the work that former SHU hunger strikers and their outside supporters will be engaged in since the ending of the strike in the interest of bringing change to what they consider to be oppressive conditions in California State prisons.

Interview_with_Laura_Magnani.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pelican Bay State Prison Hunger Strike: Response from the California Prison System.

We speak with Terry Thorton, spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the California Prison System) about the hunger strike launched on July 1st by Pelican Bay State Prisoners housed in the prison's Security Housing Unit (SHU).

In a statement published under the byline SHU Short Corridor Inmates, Pelican Bay Prison, in the summer 2011 edition of California-based Prison Focus, the following demands were listed as goals of the hunger strike:

--Individual accountability.

--Abolish the Debriefing Policy, Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria.

--Comply with the U.S. commission 2006 Recommendations Regarding an End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement

--Provide Adequate Food

--Expand and Provide Constructive Programming and Privileges for Indefinite SHU Status Inmates

Prison Focus, Summer 2011.

Thorton responds to the demands and recent reports on the deteriorating health of hunger strikers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pelican Bay State Prison Strike: Update.

We speak with Taeva Shefler of the Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition about recent developments in the hunger strike that was launched on July 1st by prisoners confined to the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. The following five conditions have been listed as the core demands of strikers in statements made by Pelican Bay SHU prisoners explaining the goals of the strike:

1) Eliminate group punishments
2) Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria
3) Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons
(2006) regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement
4) Provide adequate food
5) Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates."
--from the Human Rights Coalition PA Prison Report

She discusses reports of the spread of the strike into the general population at Pelican Bay and into other prisons in California and how women in California's prisons have responded to the hunger strike.