8/3/14 Update from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition

Monday, August 4th, 2014

We hope to post updates every week or few weeks about the struggle to END long term solitary confinement. If you have any feedback for how we can improve these updates, or information you’d like to see, please let us know.

IN THIS UPDATE:

Weekly Meetings

Recent News Articles

Upcoming Events

 

  1. Weekly Meetings: The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition meets every Monday night in Oakland (and on the phone).
  • The sole purpose of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition is to amplify the voices of California prisoners as they strive to achieve their Five Core Demands. The Coalition consists of family members, formerly incarcerated people, lawyers, organizations, and individuals who stand in solidarity with the hunger strikers. This weekly meeting focuses primarily on planning, promoting and reporting on actions and events directly related to the struggle for the Five Demands (primarily, to end long term solitary confinement), including prisoner updates and legal and media strategies and reports.

 

  1. Recent Newsletters, News Articles & Videos
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pz3syET3DY “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” 7/20/14 – This 20 minute segment covers solitary confinement and mass incarceration in general in the United States. Great video to share with your friends & family who aren’t paying attention to the prison crisis.

 

 

  • PRISON CENSORSHIP:
    Thanks to everyone who submitted a public comment about CDCr’s proposed censorship rules. Here is some news coverage:

 

  • August 2014 Issue of ROCK!

 

  1. Go to our CALENDAR to post or find upcoming prisoner solidarity and movement building events throughout California or any location.

 

  • “SAVE THE DATE” September 6, 2014 for an event in Oakland to commemorate the end of last summer’s prisoner hunger strike, the largest in U.S. history. We will have more information soon.

In solidarity,
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS)


Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike Suspended After 63 DAYS

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

From their hospital beds the hunger strikers remain steadfast in their cause: “Administrative detention contradicts democratic and humane values, especially in the arbitrary way that Israel uses it, as there is no justification. There should be strong resistance by everyone in prison or outside against this policy because it greatly harms people, their dignity, family and children.”

Hunger Strike Suspended

Wednesday, June 25 2014:  The Palestinian “Prisoners Center for Studies” has reported that hunger striking Palestinian detainees, held by Israel under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, announced suspending their strike after reaching an agreement with the Israeli security officials, and Prison Administration officials.

detaineessick.jpg

In a statement, the detainees said that, as the Israeli aggression escalates against the Palestinian people, and in an attempt to give the families of the detainees some relief, following 63 days of hunger strike carried out by their detained family members, a decision was made to suspend the strike.

“To grant our families some relief, especially before the holy month of Ramadan starts, and following 63 days of ongoing hunger strike, we have decided to suspend our strike”, the statement reads, “We held meetings with Israeli officials, and will release details of the agreement after all hospitalized hunger strikers are discharged”.

On his part, former political prisoner and the head of the Detainees Center for Studies, Ra’fat Hamdouna, stated that the talks between the representatives of the detainees and the Israeli officials lasted until dawn hours.

He said the suspension of the strike is based on an agreement obliging Israel to stop the endless renewals of Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial.
Hamdouna added that the agreement includes, but not limited to, the following points:

1. Israel to stop the ongoing and open-ended renewals of Administrative Detention orders.

2. Renewals of such orders should not exceed one year.

3. Any renewal after that should be based on official charges, filed against the detainees, not the usual “secret files” that the neither the detainees, nor their lawyers have access to.

Lawyer Ashraf Abu Sneina, and the following detainees – representatives of the detainees committee; signed the statement;

Abdul-Jaber Foqaha, Mahmoud Shabana, Sufian al-Wahadeen, Fadi Hamad, Fadi Amro, Ashraf Asfour, Daoud Hamdan, Abdul-Razeq Farraj, and Salem Dardasawy.  Signed on June 25, 2014.

http://www.imemc.org/article/68227
International Middle East Media Center

 

Hunger Strikers Continue their Battle of Empty Stomachs Despite Daily Humiliation and Threats of Force-Feeding

24 June 2014, Occupied Ramallah – One hundred Palestinian administrative detainees continue their 62nd day on hunger strike in protest of the policy of administrative detention, which has denied them their right to know their charges or stand trial.
Solidarity strikers stopped their strikes due to their deteriorating health conditions and the Israeli Prison Service’s (IPS) refusal to negotiate with the hunger strikers. Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association is deeply concerned about the deteriorating health conditions of the hunger strikers, especially in light of the degrading and inhumane treatment they are subjected to in Israeli prisons and hospitals.
“Difficult and Humiliating” Daily Suffering
 
Signed affidavits from several detainees has confirmed the continued policy of shackling the hunger strikers in hospital 24 hours a day with their legs tied to the bed continuously and one hand shackled to the bed for 12 hours (from 7PM to 7AM) every night. Prisoners have also described the horrific and degrading conditions they are subjected to in order to use the restroom or shower. The intentionally humiliating process has been described by a hunger striker in Barzilai Medical Center.  …..
Read the full article at Addameer

Addameer’s summary on administrative detention:
Administrative Detention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that the hunger strikers be released immediately.

http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=703
from ADDAMEER (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association


Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike Suspended After 63 DAYS

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

From their hospital beds the hunger strikers remain steadfast in their cause: “Administrative detention contradicts democratic and humane values, especially in the arbitrary way that Israel uses it, as there is no justification. There should be strong resistance by everyone in prison or outside against this policy because it greatly harms people, their dignity, family and children.”

Hunger Strike Suspended

Wednesday, June 25 2014:  The Palestinian “Prisoners Center for Studies” has reported that hunger striking Palestinian detainees, held by Israel under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, announced suspending their strike after reaching an agreement with the Israeli security officials, and Prison Administration officials.

detaineessick.jpg

In a statement, the detainees said that, as the Israeli aggression escalates against the Palestinian people, and in an attempt to give the families of the detainees some relief, following 63 days of hunger strike carried out by their detained family members, a decision was made to suspend the strike.

“To grant our families some relief, especially before the holy month of Ramadan starts, and following 63 days of ongoing hunger strike, we have decided to suspend our strike”, the statement reads, “We held meetings with Israeli officials, and will release details of the agreement after all hospitalized hunger strikers are discharged”.

On his part, former political prisoner and the head of the Detainees Center for Studies, Ra’fat Hamdouna, stated that the talks between the representatives of the detainees and the Israeli officials lasted until dawn hours.

He said the suspension of the strike is based on an agreement obliging Israel to stop the endless renewals of Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial.
Hamdouna added that the agreement includes, but not limited to, the following points:

1. Israel to stop the ongoing and open-ended renewals of Administrative Detention orders.

2. Renewals of such orders should not exceed one year.

3. Any renewal after that should be based on official charges, filed against the detainees, not the usual “secret files” that the neither the detainees, nor their lawyers have access to.

Lawyer Ashraf Abu Sneina, and the following detainees – representatives of the detainees committee; signed the statement;

Abdul-Jaber Foqaha, Mahmoud Shabana, Sufian al-Wahadeen, Fadi Hamad, Fadi Amro, Ashraf Asfour, Daoud Hamdan, Abdul-Razeq Farraj, and Salem Dardasawy.  Signed on June 25, 2014.

http://www.imemc.org/article/68227
International Middle East Media Center

 

Hunger Strikers Continue their Battle of Empty Stomachs Despite Daily Humiliation and Threats of Force-Feeding

24 June 2014, Occupied Ramallah – One hundred Palestinian administrative detainees continue their 62nd day on hunger strike in protest of the policy of administrative detention, which has denied them their right to know their charges or stand trial.
Solidarity strikers stopped their strikes due to their deteriorating health conditions and the Israeli Prison Service’s (IPS) refusal to negotiate with the hunger strikers. Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association is deeply concerned about the deteriorating health conditions of the hunger strikers, especially in light of the degrading and inhumane treatment they are subjected to in Israeli prisons and hospitals.
“Difficult and Humiliating” Daily Suffering
 
Signed affidavits from several detainees has confirmed the continued policy of shackling the hunger strikers in hospital 24 hours a day with their legs tied to the bed continuously and one hand shackled to the bed for 12 hours (from 7PM to 7AM) every night. Prisoners have also described the horrific and degrading conditions they are subjected to in order to use the restroom or shower. The intentionally humiliating process has been described by a hunger striker in Barzilai Medical Center.  …..
Read the full article at Addameer

Addameer’s summary on administrative detention:
Administrative Detention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that the hunger strikers be released immediately.

http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=703
from ADDAMEER (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association


From Palestine to Pelican Bay, prisoners and their loved ones fight for justice and freedom

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
June 18, 2014

by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
[Full Article includes solidarity actions you can take]

“Our message to the world is that we are peacefully resisting our arbitrary detention, despite the threat the hunger strike imposes on our health … Our bodies are weak, but our determination to end injustice and achieve our demands has never been stronger … According to international law, the occupation’s practice of administrative detention is arbitrary and violates all international human rights regulations and laws that call for respecting human beings, their rights, freedom and lives …

“Without international and media pressure, nothing will change. The humanitarian side of the issue should be revived; it is not a matter of numbers and years. There are children, sons and daughters, parents and families that are suffering from the raids, arrest processes and administrative detention renewals and everything else that is directly connected to these conditions.” – Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, Day 55, June 17, 2014

SIGN PETITION HERE: http://ymlp296.net/xgmmbeyhgmguu

From California to Palestine to Guantanamo, prisoners are resisting the torturous conditions to which they were never sentenced. On July 8, 2013, 30,000 prisoners across California began a hunger strike and work stoppage protesting long-term solitary confinement and horrific prison conditions. The day after, Palestinian former political prisoner Sheikh Khader Adnan, whose 66-day hunger strike protesting being detained without charge, attracting worldwide attention, wrote in support of the California hunger strikers:

“The policy of isolation is a cheap weapon in the hands of those who hold power. The policy of isolation is used against American citizens who are victims of the political, economic and social order/system that thrives on greed, discrimination and the deprived, including the African-Americans and Palestinian resistors such as Sameeh Hamoudeh and Sami Al-Aryan …

“Hunger strikes are a courageous step and a real tool for all those who are deprived of their rights to lift the existing oppression, and I hope that these prisoners will gain their rights and their demands. Today, the hunger strikes of the Palestinian prisoners inspire those who are detained to engage in hunger strikes to guarantee that they are treated humanely and with respect and dignity.”

Now Palestinian prisoners are in acute need of our support. Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons launched an open-ended mass hunger strike on April 24, 2014. Since then, detainees have been subsisting on only water and salt. This is the latest in a series of mass and individual hunger strikes since 2011 protesting Israel’s policy of “administrative detention,” whereby Israel holds Palestinian men, women and children without charges or trial, or the opportunity to hear the evidence against them.

The Israeli military commander issues detention orders for periods of one to six months, which can be renewed indefinitely. In its indeterminate length, lack of due process or transparency, and its use as punishment for political activity, administrative detention resembles California’s Security Housing Units (SHU).

Administrative detention has been used against tens of thousands of Palestinians; detention is a constant threat in Palestinian daily life. Random incarceration and torture are used to collectively punish Palestinian people, as they seek to survive and resist Israeli military occupation and colonization. …

Read the full article at San Francisco Bay View

http://sfbayview.com/2014/from-palestine-to-pelican-bay-prisoners-and-their-loved-ones-fight-for-justice-and-freedom/


From Palestine to Pelican Bay, prisoners and their loved ones fight for justice and freedom

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
June 18, 2014

by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
[Full Article includes solidarity actions you can take]

“Our message to the world is that we are peacefully resisting our arbitrary detention, despite the threat the hunger strike imposes on our health … Our bodies are weak, but our determination to end injustice and achieve our demands has never been stronger … According to international law, the occupation’s practice of administrative detention is arbitrary and violates all international human rights regulations and laws that call for respecting human beings, their rights, freedom and lives …

“Without international and media pressure, nothing will change. The humanitarian side of the issue should be revived; it is not a matter of numbers and years. There are children, sons and daughters, parents and families that are suffering from the raids, arrest processes and administrative detention renewals and everything else that is directly connected to these conditions.” – Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, Day 55, June 17, 2014

SIGN PETITION HERE: http://ymlp296.net/xgmmbeyhgmguu

From California to Palestine to Guantanamo, prisoners are resisting the torturous conditions to which they were never sentenced. On July 8, 2013, 30,000 prisoners across California began a hunger strike and work stoppage protesting long-term solitary confinement and horrific prison conditions. The day after, Palestinian former political prisoner Sheikh Khader Adnan, whose 66-day hunger strike protesting being detained without charge, attracting worldwide attention, wrote in support of the California hunger strikers:

“The policy of isolation is a cheap weapon in the hands of those who hold power. The policy of isolation is used against American citizens who are victims of the political, economic and social order/system that thrives on greed, discrimination and the deprived, including the African-Americans and Palestinian resistors such as Sameeh Hamoudeh and Sami Al-Aryan …

“Hunger strikes are a courageous step and a real tool for all those who are deprived of their rights to lift the existing oppression, and I hope that these prisoners will gain their rights and their demands. Today, the hunger strikes of the Palestinian prisoners inspire those who are detained to engage in hunger strikes to guarantee that they are treated humanely and with respect and dignity.”

Now Palestinian prisoners are in acute need of our support. Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons launched an open-ended mass hunger strike on April 24, 2014. Since then, detainees have been subsisting on only water and salt. This is the latest in a series of mass and individual hunger strikes since 2011 protesting Israel’s policy of “administrative detention,” whereby Israel holds Palestinian men, women and children without charges or trial, or the opportunity to hear the evidence against them.

The Israeli military commander issues detention orders for periods of one to six months, which can be renewed indefinitely. In its indeterminate length, lack of due process or transparency, and its use as punishment for political activity, administrative detention resembles California’s Security Housing Units (SHU).

Administrative detention has been used against tens of thousands of Palestinians; detention is a constant threat in Palestinian daily life. Random incarceration and torture are used to collectively punish Palestinian people, as they seek to survive and resist Israeli military occupation and colonization. …

Read the full article at San Francisco Bay View

http://sfbayview.com/2014/from-palestine-to-pelican-bay-prisoners-and-their-loved-ones-fight-for-justice-and-freedom/


Palestinian Prisoners In 57th Day of Hunger Strike

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Administrative detainees on hunger strike issue their will as they stand “at the edge of death”

by Shahd Abusalama, Wed 06/11/2014

Palestinians in Gaza City have launched a solidarity hunger strike in a sit-in protest outside the Red Cross. (Ahmad Abu Hussein)

Palestinians in Gaza City have launched a solidarity hunger strike in a sit-in protest outside the Red Cross.
(Ahmad Abu Hussein)

Our Palestinian detainees have been battling the Israel Prison Service (IPS) with their empty stomachs since 24 April, embarking on the longest-known mass hunger strike in the history of the Palestinian prisoners movement. Hunger is the only remaining weapon they can use against the IPS and its well-armed Israeli occupation soldiers.

They launched this hunger strike to call for an end to their detention with no charge or trial based on secret “evidence” submitted to a military court that is kept from the detainees and their lawyers — an unjust policy that Israel calls administrative detention.  …

Despite the chains and the prisons’ bars and walls, this is a will from those who are standing at the edge of death to the guards of our homeland, Palestine. …

Full ARTICLE with PRISONERS’ LETTER HERE (letter smuggled out June 8, 2014)

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/shahd-abusalama/administrative-detainees-hunger-strike-issue-their-will-they-stand-edge-death


Palestinian Prisoners In 57th Day of Hunger Strike

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Administrative detainees on hunger strike issue their will as they stand “at the edge of death”

by Shahd Abusalama, Wed 06/11/2014

Palestinians in Gaza City have launched a solidarity hunger strike in a sit-in protest outside the Red Cross. (Ahmad Abu Hussein)

Palestinians in Gaza City have launched a solidarity hunger strike in a sit-in protest outside the Red Cross.
(Ahmad Abu Hussein)

Our Palestinian detainees have been battling the Israel Prison Service (IPS) with their empty stomachs since 24 April, embarking on the longest-known mass hunger strike in the history of the Palestinian prisoners movement. Hunger is the only remaining weapon they can use against the IPS and its well-armed Israeli occupation soldiers.

They launched this hunger strike to call for an end to their detention with no charge or trial based on secret “evidence” submitted to a military court that is kept from the detainees and their lawyers — an unjust policy that Israel calls administrative detention.  …

Despite the chains and the prisons’ bars and walls, this is a will from those who are standing at the edge of death to the guards of our homeland, Palestine. …

Full ARTICLE with PRISONERS’ LETTER HERE (letter smuggled out June 8, 2014)

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/shahd-abusalama/administrative-detainees-hunger-strike-issue-their-will-they-stand-edge-death


Thanks to Suns of Liberty Mint, our IT Sponsor this month!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Much love goes to our friends active at Suns of Liberty Mint, who agreed to cover CopBlock.org’s server & Cloudflare costs for the month of June and July!

Suns of Liberty Mint, if you’re not familiar, mint .999 fine silver, in divisible quarter ounce (Fine Silver Quarters), ounce, and soon, tenth-ounce pieces. They were also a sponsor of last year’s Police Accountability Tour. They’re now offering a “goodbye” discount for 2013 Fine Silver Quarters, which will cease production on June 15th.

http://SunsofLibertyMint.com/Goodbye

sunsoflibertymint-2013-goodbye-copblock

This arrangement for IT sponsorship with Suns of Liberty Mint was reached after the post COPBLOCK.org ALERT – Help support server upgrade cost, was made live a week ago, which noted:

Currently CopBlock.org exists on a shared server with only 4 GB of memory. Considering our tremendous growth in the past few months, we found it necessary to transition to an enterprise-level dedicated server. This new server has 64 GB of memory and should serve us well into the future.

In order to get the best deal, we’re paying for a year up-front. If you have the means and interest, there are many ways you can help to help offset costs:

Just to give you an idea of the bang-for-your-FRN – if you donate 32-FRNs that would keep CopBlock.org online for one week (server hosting + Cloudflare at ~5-FRNs/week).

We were hoping to raise 1,500-FRNs to cover IT costs for the year (as we could get a less-expensive server rate paying in advance).

The two month IT sponsorship from Suns of Liberty Mint, coupled with the support from many individuals, brought us to about 2/3 of the goal, which we’re happy with as other things are in the works, and we’ve already heard from another doer active in the police accountability sphere with interest in being CopBlock.org’s IT sponsor in the future.

For transparency and to share the love,  individual donors were:

  • Erik J. – who donated 50-FRNs
  • Bronson A. – who donated 25-FRNs
  • Carl S.  – who donated 4.55-FRNs
  • Lee S. – who donated 30-FRNs
  • Aaron S. – who donated 50-FRNs
  • Senseless – who donated 30-FRNs
  • Michael C. – who donated 20-FRNssunsoflibertymint-copblock-it-graphic-yellow-320-90
  • Ashton W. – who donated 20-FRNs
  • Terri K. – who donated 50-FRNs
  • Lee C. – who donated 15-FRNs
  • Christy L. – who donated 10-FRNs
  • Edward B. – who donated 50-FRNs
  • Steven A. – who donated 10-FRNs
  • Vincere – who donated 40-FRNs
  • Paul W. – who donated 105-FRNs
  • Warren G. – who donated 40-FRNs
  • Xuezhou W. – who donated 25-FRNs
  • Anthony W. – who donated 32-FRNs
  • two anon Bitcoin donations ~32-FRNs

Thanks to each and every one of y’all for the help! If we ever cross paths and you want a hug, let me know!

In exchange for the IT sponsorship, there’s now a Suns of Liberty Mint graphic on the right sidebar of CopBlock.org.

Also, from time to time, we will include the banner below in posts made live to the site to help make more folks in the police accountability network aware of Suns of Liberty Mint and what they offer (if you’re new to the conversation of silver, precious metals, federal reserve notes, etc., you may want to check out this write-up).

sunsoflibertymint-copblock-it-graphic-600-90

Ademo Freeman, currently the Director of Operations of Suns of Liberty Mint, and founder of CopBlock.org, had this to say about this working relationship:

Suns of Liberty Mint is proud to be the IT Sponsor of the month for CopBlock.org because CopBlock.org is a much needed resource for people with policing issues today. Suns of Liberty Mint hopes that by alleviating some of the fixed costs at CopBlock.org this will allow additional donations to be use for more grassroot, on the ground, outreach and education.

It’s also a great opportunity for CopBlock.org readers/supporters to learn about sound money, barter and precious metals. Just in case something other than Federal Reserve Notes are required for exchanges in the future.

Props too for helping make the server transition go to our bud Alex W., those at Liberty Web Alliance, and others behind the scenes!

liberty-web-alliance-copblock-300

It’s situations such as these – when we collaborate to achieve a shared, positive goal – in this case, to ensure that ideas can be shared to demystify the police state and empower and connect folks who know that badges don’t grant extra rights, really underscores the statement: You are the network.

Traffic to CopBlock.org, Jan. 2010 - May. 2014

Traffic to CopBlock.org, Jan. 2010 – May. 2014

We are together making a difference, no doubt about it. Let’s keep it going!

 

Thanks to Suns of Liberty Mint, our IT Sponsor this month! is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Northwest Detention Center Hunger Strike Ends after 56 Days – Collective of Detainees Releases Statement

Monday, May 5th, 2014

AFTER 56 DAYS, NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER HUNGER STRIKE CONCLUDES; NEWLY FORMED COLLECTIVE OF DETAINEES RELEASES STATEMENT

Tacoma, WA, May 5, 2014 – The wave of hunger strikes that first began on March 7th at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), a federal facility owned by the GEO Group and under the authority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has concluded. In a communication dated May 1st, the newly formed “Collective of NWDC-T Detainees,” informed their supporters that they have completed this stage of their struggle. Full text of statement, with Spanish-language original, is below; pdf of original available upon request. The letter, titled, “Assessment of one phase of struggle” documents the retaliation suffered by the peaceful whistle-blowing hunger strikers during the March 27th wave of the strike. Describing “rigged hearings under false accusations with no respect for due process” and “sentences of 2 to 30 days” of solitary confinement suffered by the hunger strikers, the Collective also affirms their commitment to their initial demands, including a call for an end to deportations and for bold action by President Obama.

The hunger strike, which at its height included 1200 detainees, garnered local, national, and international media attention, and exposed the deplorable conditions in the facility, one of the largest detention centers on the West Coast. A February 24th #Not1More action outside the gates of the NWDC, where protesters blocked deportation buses and vans, inspired those held inside to take action of their own in the form of the hunger strike. Jose Moreno, among those on the GEO Group-marked van protesters stopped on the 24th, helped organize the hunger strike before being released on bond. Since his release, he has continued to lead the support efforts for those still imprisoned. Hearing of the end of the strike, Mr. Moreno stated, “Abuses that have been happening for years have now come to light. We are still in the struggle, and although the strike has ended, this isn’t over.”

Among the strike’s most important victories was an end to the silence surrounding the conditions of detention and deportation in this corner of the country. Despite being located in a little-trafficked industrial zone, the strike drew hundreds of supporters to multiple rallies outside the prison and inspired a similar action in a GEO Group immigrant detention facility in Conroe, Texas. Ernestina Hernandez, the wife of one of the men deported from Conroe for engaging in the hunger strike, began a hunger strike of her own outside the gates of the White House, bringing the peaceful protest tactic to the President’s front door.

Throughout the strike, ICE and GEO Group abuses continued to come to light. Among these are serious workplace injuries suffered by detainees laboring for $1/day; possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars of unaccounted telephone funds held back by the facility upon detainees’ deportations; and the use of solitary confinement and prison transfers in response to detainees’ peaceful protest. Also spotlighted were organizations that profit from the detention center. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, headquartered in Seattle, has become a target of hunger-strike supporters and others, due to their investment in GEO Group, and pressure continues for them to divest their holdings in the private prison company.

While ICE remains unresponsive to many of the hunger strikers’ demands, others are taking action as a result of the strike. Following a visit to the facility, where he met privately with hunger strikers and listened to their stories and demands, U.S. Representative Adam Smith drafted legislation, set to be introduced this week, which aims to create statutory standards for the treatment of immigrant detainees.

In their statement, the strikers emphasized that the 56-day hunger strike was only the beginning, stating that, “The fortifications, the walls that attempted to contain our participation have cracked and with ever growing unity we will finish knocking them down; the voice that initially struggled to filter out is now heard with greater firmness and clarity.”

STATEMENT FROM HUNGER STRIKERS:
Assessment of one phase of struggle

Today, May 1st, a 30-day hunger strike came to a conclusion. It had a prelude of 72 hours of fasting begun on March 27th, occurring in a climate of persecution, harassment and application of disciplinary punishments, invented and prefabricated by personnel from GEO (the private company that runs the Northwest Detention Center - Tacoma “NWDC – T”), with the goal of stopping us from adding our voice to the voice of those on the outside clamoring for Not1More, stop deportations, end the destruction of families, deferred action for all, yes to immigration reform; despite suffering through rigged “hearings” under false accusations, with no respect for due process, taking out of context the actions of the “accused,” impeding free exercise of ideas and the exercise of freedom of expression, as well as the right to information. In an atmosphere of voluntary and strictly peaceful action, they unleashed a chain of “disciplinary sanctions,” applying isolation and segregation to the participants who were on rolling fasts and hunger strikes, from March 24 until April 2nd, with an eye towards the great action on April 5th. These resulted in sentences of 2 to 30 days of punishment, with which they attempted and are attempting to discourage our unity in becoming a single voice regardless of whether we are on the inside or on the outside. With certainty we affirm that they did not succeed in containing and silencing the voice of those on the inside, the voice of the detained. They did not succeed in hijacking our emotions or our disposition to struggle despite drastically limiting our rights and falsely accusing us of insurrection. The campaign to marginalize us carried out by a cruel and unscrupulous bureaucracy that represents immoral and indecent interests cannot contain a just struggle that uses peaceful methods to make itself heard.

The fortifications, the walls that attempted to contain our participation have cracked and with ever growing unity we will finish knocking them down; the voice that initially struggled to filter out is now heard with greater firmness and clarity. With dignity, with self-respect, we are honored to signal that we are also present and that we add ourselves to the work yet to come until we succeed in NOT ONE MORE person added to the deportation statistics, and NOT ONE MORE FAMILY destroyed, and NOT ONE MORE IMMIGRANT with their American dream cut short and treated like a second class citizen.

Our voice is added to the single voice that is part of the echo that is heard in the White House and in Capitol Hill.

To those who join forces with this struggle today.

To those who cry out in different plazas and streets today.

To those who have opened their hearts to a just cause.

To those who add their pen, their voice, their image, their untiring support, their now inseparable company.

To the girl, the boys, and the youth who exercise solidarity and love of their peers.

TO ALL OF YOU THANK YOU FOR NOT LEAVING US ALONE.

We will not let you down and we will carry out our contribution so that we signal to history, as many millions of immigrants have done before, that we too added to the strength and greatness of this GREAT COUNTRY.

We reiterate to Mr. President Barack Obama that he be bold and honor his word.

We send a signal to Congress to rise to the challenge of what is justly and morally asked of them.

NOT ONE MORE! YES WE CAN!

- Collective of NWDC-T Detainees

——————————–

ORIGINAL SPANISH-LANGUAGE VERSION OF STATEMENT:
Balance de una etapa de lucha

Hoy 1o de mayo se concluye una huelga de hambre de 30 días, con un preludio de 72 hrs de ayuno iniciado el 27 de marzo y que en un clima de persecución, hostigamiento y aplicación de correctivos disciplinarios, inventados y prefabricados por parte del persona de GEO (compañía de la iniciativa privada que administra el Northwest Detention Center – Tacoma “NWDC –T”), en un afán de impedir que sumemos nuestra voz a la voz de los que afuera claman Ni1Mas, alto a las deportaciones, no a la destrucción de familias, acción diferida para todos, si a la reforma migratoria; a pesar de padecer “audiencias” amañadas bajo acusaciones falsas, sin respetar el debido proceso, sacando de contexto acciones de los “acusados”, impidiendo la libre asociación de ideas y el ejercicio de la libertad de expresión así como el derecho a la información, ello en un ambiente personal voluntario y estrictamente pacifico, desencadenaron una ola de “sanciones disciplinarias” aplicando aislamiento y segregación a participantes en ayunos y huelgas de hambre, escalonadas del 24 de marzo al 2 de abril, con miras al gran acto del 5 de abril, y que implicaron sentencias de 2 a 30 días de castigo, que procuraban y procuran desalentar nuestra integración para volvernos una sola voz, sin importar si estamos afuera o adentro; con certeza afirmamos que no lograron contener y acallar, la voz de los de adentro, la voz de los detenidos, no lograron confiscar nuestro sentimiento, ni disposición de lucha a pesar de limitar drásticamente nuestros derechos acusándonos falsamente de sedición, la campaña para marginarnos por parte de una burocracia cruel e inescrupulosa que representa interés inmorales, indecentes no puede contra una lucha justa y que utiliza medios pacíficos para hacerse oír.

 

Los muros, las paredes que pretendían contener nuestra participación se han agrietado y con una integración cada vez mayor terminaremos derrumbarles; la voz que inicialmente costo trabajo filtrar hoy se escucha con mayor firmeza y claridad. Con dignidad, con orgullo nos honramos en señalar que también estamos presentes que nos sumamos a las tareas por venir hasta lograr que NI UNO MAS forme parte de la estadística de deportados, que NI UNA FAMILIA MAS sea destruida, que NI UN INMIGRANTE MAS se le trunque el sueño americano y que sea tratado como ciudadano de segunda.

 

Nuestra voz se ha sumado a una sola voz y es parte del eco que se escucha en la Casa Blanca y el Capitolio.

A los que hoy se hermanan con esta lucha.

A las que hoy claman es distintas plazas y calles.

A las y los que han abierto su corazón a una causa justa.

A las y los que suman su pluma, su voz, su imagen, su apoyo incansable, su ya inseparable compañía

A las niñas, niños y jóvenes que se ejercitan en la solidaridad y amor a su semejantes.

 

A TODOS USTEDES GRACIAS POR NO DEJARNOS SOLOS.

 

No los vamos a defraudar y cumpliremos con nuestra aportación para que a la historia señale como tantos millones de inmigrantes lo han hecho que también colaboramos a la fortaleza y grandeza de este GRAN PAIS.

 

Le reiteramos al Sr. Presidente Barack Obama sea audaz y honre su palabra.

 

Le señalamos al Congreso que esté a la altura de lo que justa y moralmente se le reclama.

 

NI UNO MAS! SI SE PUEDE!

 

 

- Colectivo Detenidos NWDC-T

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Petition on behalf of Hunger Strikers and latest press releases available at: www.notonemoredeportation.com/2014/03/10/detention-hunger-strike/


Northwest Detention Center Hunger Strike Ends after 56 Days – Collective of Detainees Releases Statement

Monday, May 5th, 2014

AFTER 56 DAYS, NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER HUNGER STRIKE CONCLUDES; NEWLY FORMED COLLECTIVE OF DETAINEES RELEASES STATEMENT

Tacoma, WA, May 5, 2014 – The wave of hunger strikes that first began on March 7th at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), a federal facility owned by the GEO Group and under the authority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has concluded. In a communication dated May 1st, the newly formed “Collective of NWDC-T Detainees,” informed their supporters that they have completed this stage of their struggle. Full text of statement, with Spanish-language original, is below; pdf of original available upon request. The letter, titled, “Assessment of one phase of struggle” documents the retaliation suffered by the peaceful whistle-blowing hunger strikers during the March 27th wave of the strike. Describing “rigged hearings under false accusations with no respect for due process” and “sentences of 2 to 30 days” of solitary confinement suffered by the hunger strikers, the Collective also affirms their commitment to their initial demands, including a call for an end to deportations and for bold action by President Obama.

The hunger strike, which at its height included 1200 detainees, garnered local, national, and international media attention, and exposed the deplorable conditions in the facility, one of the largest detention centers on the West Coast. A February 24th #Not1More action outside the gates of the NWDC, where protesters blocked deportation buses and vans, inspired those held inside to take action of their own in the form of the hunger strike. Jose Moreno, among those on the GEO Group-marked van protesters stopped on the 24th, helped organize the hunger strike before being released on bond. Since his release, he has continued to lead the support efforts for those still imprisoned. Hearing of the end of the strike, Mr. Moreno stated, “Abuses that have been happening for years have now come to light. We are still in the struggle, and although the strike has ended, this isn’t over.”

Among the strike’s most important victories was an end to the silence surrounding the conditions of detention and deportation in this corner of the country. Despite being located in a little-trafficked industrial zone, the strike drew hundreds of supporters to multiple rallies outside the prison and inspired a similar action in a GEO Group immigrant detention facility in Conroe, Texas. Ernestina Hernandez, the wife of one of the men deported from Conroe for engaging in the hunger strike, began a hunger strike of her own outside the gates of the White House, bringing the peaceful protest tactic to the President’s front door.

Throughout the strike, ICE and GEO Group abuses continued to come to light. Among these are serious workplace injuries suffered by detainees laboring for $1/day; possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars of unaccounted telephone funds held back by the facility upon detainees’ deportations; and the use of solitary confinement and prison transfers in response to detainees’ peaceful protest. Also spotlighted were organizations that profit from the detention center. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, headquartered in Seattle, has become a target of hunger-strike supporters and others, due to their investment in GEO Group, and pressure continues for them to divest their holdings in the private prison company.

While ICE remains unresponsive to many of the hunger strikers’ demands, others are taking action as a result of the strike. Following a visit to the facility, where he met privately with hunger strikers and listened to their stories and demands, U.S. Representative Adam Smith drafted legislation, set to be introduced this week, which aims to create statutory standards for the treatment of immigrant detainees.

In their statement, the strikers emphasized that the 56-day hunger strike was only the beginning, stating that, “The fortifications, the walls that attempted to contain our participation have cracked and with ever growing unity we will finish knocking them down; the voice that initially struggled to filter out is now heard with greater firmness and clarity.”

STATEMENT FROM HUNGER STRIKERS:
Assessment of one phase of struggle

Today, May 1st, a 30-day hunger strike came to a conclusion. It had a prelude of 72 hours of fasting begun on March 27th, occurring in a climate of persecution, harassment and application of disciplinary punishments, invented and prefabricated by personnel from GEO (the private company that runs the Northwest Detention Center - Tacoma “NWDC – T”), with the goal of stopping us from adding our voice to the voice of those on the outside clamoring for Not1More, stop deportations, end the destruction of families, deferred action for all, yes to immigration reform; despite suffering through rigged “hearings” under false accusations, with no respect for due process, taking out of context the actions of the “accused,” impeding free exercise of ideas and the exercise of freedom of expression, as well as the right to information. In an atmosphere of voluntary and strictly peaceful action, they unleashed a chain of “disciplinary sanctions,” applying isolation and segregation to the participants who were on rolling fasts and hunger strikes, from March 24 until April 2nd, with an eye towards the great action on April 5th. These resulted in sentences of 2 to 30 days of punishment, with which they attempted and are attempting to discourage our unity in becoming a single voice regardless of whether we are on the inside or on the outside. With certainty we affirm that they did not succeed in containing and silencing the voice of those on the inside, the voice of the detained. They did not succeed in hijacking our emotions or our disposition to struggle despite drastically limiting our rights and falsely accusing us of insurrection. The campaign to marginalize us carried out by a cruel and unscrupulous bureaucracy that represents immoral and indecent interests cannot contain a just struggle that uses peaceful methods to make itself heard.

The fortifications, the walls that attempted to contain our participation have cracked and with ever growing unity we will finish knocking them down; the voice that initially struggled to filter out is now heard with greater firmness and clarity. With dignity, with self-respect, we are honored to signal that we are also present and that we add ourselves to the work yet to come until we succeed in NOT ONE MORE person added to the deportation statistics, and NOT ONE MORE FAMILY destroyed, and NOT ONE MORE IMMIGRANT with their American dream cut short and treated like a second class citizen.

Our voice is added to the single voice that is part of the echo that is heard in the White House and in Capitol Hill.

To those who join forces with this struggle today.

To those who cry out in different plazas and streets today.

To those who have opened their hearts to a just cause.

To those who add their pen, their voice, their image, their untiring support, their now inseparable company.

To the girl, the boys, and the youth who exercise solidarity and love of their peers.

TO ALL OF YOU THANK YOU FOR NOT LEAVING US ALONE.

We will not let you down and we will carry out our contribution so that we signal to history, as many millions of immigrants have done before, that we too added to the strength and greatness of this GREAT COUNTRY.

We reiterate to Mr. President Barack Obama that he be bold and honor his word.

We send a signal to Congress to rise to the challenge of what is justly and morally asked of them.

NOT ONE MORE! YES WE CAN!

- Collective of NWDC-T Detainees

——————————–

ORIGINAL SPANISH-LANGUAGE VERSION OF STATEMENT:
Balance de una etapa de lucha

Hoy 1o de mayo se concluye una huelga de hambre de 30 días, con un preludio de 72 hrs de ayuno iniciado el 27 de marzo y que en un clima de persecución, hostigamiento y aplicación de correctivos disciplinarios, inventados y prefabricados por parte del persona de GEO (compañía de la iniciativa privada que administra el Northwest Detention Center – Tacoma “NWDC –T”), en un afán de impedir que sumemos nuestra voz a la voz de los que afuera claman Ni1Mas, alto a las deportaciones, no a la destrucción de familias, acción diferida para todos, si a la reforma migratoria; a pesar de padecer “audiencias” amañadas bajo acusaciones falsas, sin respetar el debido proceso, sacando de contexto acciones de los “acusados”, impidiendo la libre asociación de ideas y el ejercicio de la libertad de expresión así como el derecho a la información, ello en un ambiente personal voluntario y estrictamente pacifico, desencadenaron una ola de “sanciones disciplinarias” aplicando aislamiento y segregación a participantes en ayunos y huelgas de hambre, escalonadas del 24 de marzo al 2 de abril, con miras al gran acto del 5 de abril, y que implicaron sentencias de 2 a 30 días de castigo, que procuraban y procuran desalentar nuestra integración para volvernos una sola voz, sin importar si estamos afuera o adentro; con certeza afirmamos que no lograron contener y acallar, la voz de los de adentro, la voz de los detenidos, no lograron confiscar nuestro sentimiento, ni disposición de lucha a pesar de limitar drásticamente nuestros derechos acusándonos falsamente de sedición, la campaña para marginarnos por parte de una burocracia cruel e inescrupulosa que representa interés inmorales, indecentes no puede contra una lucha justa y que utiliza medios pacíficos para hacerse oír.

 

Los muros, las paredes que pretendían contener nuestra participación se han agrietado y con una integración cada vez mayor terminaremos derrumbarles; la voz que inicialmente costo trabajo filtrar hoy se escucha con mayor firmeza y claridad. Con dignidad, con orgullo nos honramos en señalar que también estamos presentes que nos sumamos a las tareas por venir hasta lograr que NI UNO MAS forme parte de la estadística de deportados, que NI UNA FAMILIA MAS sea destruida, que NI UN INMIGRANTE MAS se le trunque el sueño americano y que sea tratado como ciudadano de segunda.

 

Nuestra voz se ha sumado a una sola voz y es parte del eco que se escucha en la Casa Blanca y el Capitolio.

A los que hoy se hermanan con esta lucha.

A las que hoy claman es distintas plazas y calles.

A las y los que han abierto su corazón a una causa justa.

A las y los que suman su pluma, su voz, su imagen, su apoyo incansable, su ya inseparable compañía

A las niñas, niños y jóvenes que se ejercitan en la solidaridad y amor a su semejantes.

 

A TODOS USTEDES GRACIAS POR NO DEJARNOS SOLOS.

 

No los vamos a defraudar y cumpliremos con nuestra aportación para que a la historia señale como tantos millones de inmigrantes lo han hecho que también colaboramos a la fortaleza y grandeza de este GRAN PAIS.

 

Le reiteramos al Sr. Presidente Barack Obama sea audaz y honre su palabra.

 

Le señalamos al Congreso que esté a la altura de lo que justa y moralmente se le reclama.

 

NI UNO MAS! SI SE PUEDE!

 

 

- Colectivo Detenidos NWDC-T

###

Petition on behalf of Hunger Strikers and latest press releases available at: www.notonemoredeportation.com/2014/03/10/detention-hunger-strike/