The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross wants to update people to the ongoing situation in the California Prison System. As much publicity, support, and solidarity as these prisoners can get the better. These prisoners are bravely fighting inhumane and tortuous prison conditions, including the use of Security Housing Units (SHUs).
Here is an update from the Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity group:

On Monday, September 26th, prisoners at both Pelican Bay & Calipatria will resume the hunger strike to stop the torturous conditions of Security Housing Units (SHUs).

Prisoners first went on hunger strike on July 1st for nearly four weeks, until the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) agreed to begin implementing some of the prisoners’ five core demands. The strike became one of the largest prison strikes in California history–stretching across a third of the California’s prisons (at least 13 State prisons), including more than 6,600 prisoners at its height. However, the CDCR’s response has been inadequate to say the least, giving prisoners & their families false hope of timely substantial change and an end to torture. For a detailed summary of the CDCR’s response to the strike, and why Pelican Bay prisoners are resuming it, read “Tortured SHU Prisoners Speak Out: The Struggle Continues.”

CDCR officials seem to be preemptively cracking down on prisoners in anticipation of the strike and have publicly said they were preparing to take harsh actions against strikers. Illustrating the CDCR’s hard-line stance, Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan said in a recent interview, “If there are other instances of hunger strikes, I don’t think the Department will approach it the same way this time around.”

Lawyers who have recently visited Pelican Bay have taken testimony from SHU prisoners who have been retaliated against by prison officials for their participation in this summer’s strike. “Prisoners are receiving serious disciplinary write-ups, usually reserved for serious rules violations, for things like talking in the library or not walking fast enough,” says Carol Strickman, a lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, “It’s clear that prison officials are trying to intimidate these men and to make them ineligible for any privileges or changes that may be forced by the strike.”

and a letter from the Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity group:

On Monday, September 26th, prisoners at  Pelican Bay & Calipatria State prisons will resume the hunger strike that started on July 1st.

The strike lasted nearly four weeks, as thousands of prisoners refused food to protest the torturous conditions and practices of the California Department of Corrections (CDCR).

After weeks of inadequate & bad-faith negotiations with CDCR officials, prisoners have decided the only way to get the changes they need is to risk their lives again.

CDCR officials have been preemptively cracking down on support & participation for the hunger strike.

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is calling on supporters everywhere to help amplify the voices of prisoners on hunger strike once again. Please help us use any & all forms of social media to make the voices of the hunger strikers loud & clear.

In Solidarity,

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

*Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity is a coalition based in the Bay Area with international supporters of prisoner rights advocates, lawyers, family & community members and anti-prison activist organizations. The coalition and hunger strike was initiated by prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison. Coalition partners include: Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, All of Us or None, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, California Prison Focus, Prison Activist Resource Center, Critical Resistance, Kersplebedeb, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, American Friends Service Committee, and a number of individuals throughout the United States and Canada. Check out a growing list of over 200 organizations internationally that have signed-on in support of the hunger strike. To get in contact with the coalition, email: prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity@gmail.com

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