The California Prisoner’s Hunger Strike Continues

[While the strike at Pelican Bay Prison has concluded, the struggle for justice there and throughout the California Prison System continues.  In several prisons, the hunger strike continues.  Here is a letter from a hunger striker at Tehachapi Prison, reporting on the hunger strike there. — Frontlines ed.]

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Voices from Solitary: Letter from a California Prison Hunger Striker

July 24, 2011
by Sal Rodriguez

The following letter was sent by a hunger striker at California Correctional Institution (CCI) Tehachapi, one of three state prison containing an all-solitary Security Housing Unit (SHU). The letter was written by an SHU inmate to his girlfriend, who forwarded it to Solitary Watch for publication. It is dated July 21, after the writer had been refusing food for three weeks.

I am glad the word is out, I’m just saddened that I don’t see anything on the news of our struggle. As far as we last heard it’s been like 12 prisons that are involved. Here there are a lot of people on strike — all races, Pelican Bay and Corcoran for sure.

As far as commissary, that’s a negative. It is CDC policy to search our cells and remove all store when hunger strikes begin, and they did so here.

All they do is weigh us and take our vitals (blood pressure, temp., and heart rate), but of course they weigh us in chains to weigh us down and they allow the c/o’s to operate the scale. I am at 171 on my last weigh-in, down from 185. They attempt to take my blood, which I refuse; I’m weak as it is, if I do that I’ll fall out.

They truly don’t care and they are perfectly content in watching us pass rather than admit fault and make changes to a policy that is brutal and baseless. I can’t take my medication anymore because I have to take it with food… I asked for help and they just ignored me. Continue reading