7 People Lock Down in Oakland in Solidarity with California Prisoners

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Seven activists locked down at the State Building on Aug, 5th, the 29th day of a California prisoner hunger strike.  More than 30,000 prisoners are on hunger strike with 5 core demands.

After locking themselves to the main entrance of the Elihu M. Harris State Building in downtown Oakland for several hours, protesters moved inside the building, where they were arrested.   Protesters said their action was in support of prisoners on strike throughout California and demanded that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Governor Brown enter into direct negotiations with strikers.  “Solitary confinement is widely and internationally recognized as torture,” Said the prostesters.  “The hunger strikers and their family members are making a powerful and inspiring stand for dignity in the face of this inhumane treatment.  We stand with them. Governor Brown and the CDCR, negotiate immediately to meet their five demands.”

Monday’s protest comes on the heels of weekend rallies in support of hunger strikers in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and in front of the notorious San Quentin State Prison.   Families of Solano Prisoners, the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children also held a protest at Solano State prison to protest CDCR attempts to transfer prisoners from Solano to Pleasant Valley and Avenal prisons, despite an ongoing active Valley Fever epidemic at those facilities.

A recent statement by the Short Corridor Collective at Pelican Bay State Prison states, “We are being tortured each day by state officials (Governor Brown, his appointee CDCR Secretary Beard, and all his underlings). Increased retaliation has been perpetuated upon defenseless and starving prisoners who only seek what any human being strives for—humane treatment, dignity, equality, and justice for our families, loved ones, and ourselves. These are the fundamental rights of all people, including those incarcerated by the state.”

As people on strike record losing over 30 pounds, communications from inside indicate that people are being punished through denial of necessary medication, further isolation, and cruel treatment like blowing cold air into freezing cells.

For more information on the hunger strike: http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com