As much as the State wants us to forget, we want to remember. We held a noise demonstration outside the Santa Cruz county jail on Saturday, October 8th in solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners across California. People walked through downtown passing out flyers of the prisoners demands and then met up with about 35 more people outside of the courthouse. We marched to the jail, chanting.
"Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons!"
"Santa Cruz to Pelican Bay, fighting back is the only way!"
"In every city, In every town, bulldoze prisons to the ground!"
We went onto the jail property. We hit the fences with black-flagged-dowels and read a speech while someone inside the women's detention center flashed her lights on and off in rhythm with the drums -- we were heard. We circled the jail to the front office, banging on the walls and doors while chanting and yelling. There were no encounters with the police and we left after half an hour.
text from flyer:
OVER 12,000 PRISONERS IN CALIFORNIA ARE PARTICIPATING IN A HUNGER STRIKE resisting the conditions of torture in the SHU (Security Housing Unit long term solitary confinement.) The strike has spread to over 14 prisons. Many people on hunger strike are willing to die for more liveable conditions.
THE PRISONERS’ DEMANDS:
1. End Group Punishment & Administrative Abuse
2. Abolish the Debriefing Policy, and Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria
3. Comply with the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006 Recommendations Regarding and End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement
4. Provide Adequate and Nutritious Food
5. Expand and Provide Constructive Programming and Privileges for Indefinite SHU Status Inmates.
In July 6,000 prisoners were on hunger strike with the same demands. The CDCR (California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation) has since only made conditions worse for the strikers.
We want to let prisoners know they are not alone. We are inspired by prisoners collectively resisting the state's most brutal institution. This powerful act of defiance strengthens any struggle for freedom.