|Courage to Resist has issued a statement supporting the prisoners in California state prisons, in particular the supermax at Pelican Bay in Crescent City, who are engaged in a hunger strike to protest degrading and inhumane treatment. |
Courage to Resist would like to extend support for those prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison and all prisoners who are suffering unjust and atrocious confinement conditions. As you may or may not know, accused Wilileaks whistle blower, Private First Class Bradley Manning, was held in similar solitary confinement conditions for nearly a year. Bradley Manning was subject to complete isolation 23 hours a day in a 6ft by 12ft windowless cell. Despite the recommendations of military psychiatrists, Bradley Manning was arbitrarily placed on suicide watch in which he was stripped of his clothing and bedding, made to stand at attention nude in the morning and evening, forced to wear an uncomfortable suicide smock and subject to many other humiliations and torments. These conditions amounted to physical and psychological torture.
For years prisoners throughout the California and United States prison system have been subject to similar unjust and atrocious confinement conditions. These injustices will no longer be tolerated. Right now thousands of prisoners hunger striking in Pelican Bay State Prison and in prisons across California and the country are demanding to be treated humanely with dignity and respect. We demand the same. We stand with the prison hunger strike and require that the prisoners’ five simple and reasonable core demands be met. 1. The end of Group punishment (e.g. all black inmates having visitation cut off regardless of actual affiliation with 'problem' prisoner); 2. Abolishing of the de-briefing process (forcing prisoners to 'identify' other 'gang members' even with lack of sufficient evidence to prove original gang affiliation, which by the way gets whomever is named thrown into the Security Housing Units); 3. End long term solitary confinement (a practice which is known to cause long term, debilitating physical and psychological effects); 4. Adequate and nutritious food; 5. Provide constructive programming and privileges (in essence live up to the term rehabilitation).
Courage to Resist stands with dozens of U.S.-based and international human rights organizations that have condemned Security Housing Units as having cruel, inhumane, and torturous conditions. This struggle parallels the issues of Bradley Manning and the persecution he himself faced. PFC Manning knows firsthand the cruelty of solitary confinement and unjust arbitrary punishment. Fortunately after much pressure, outrage and protest, Bradley Manning’s conditions have improved after being moved to a separate military prison. We still demand accountability for the conditions Bradley was held in, the dropping of all charges against him, and an entire end to pre-trial confinement. We call upon the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to immediately listen to and negotiate with the striking prisoners in meeting their demands. We support and are with all prisoners who are the subjects of injustice.
Freedom for Bradley Manning and Justice for all prisoners!