On September 26, 2012, prisoners in California resumed a hunger strike that had been suspended at the end of July after receiving statements by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that prison officials will meet some of the prisoners’ demands.
The hunger strike was initiated in the middle of this past summer in protest of what prisoners have described as the cruel and unusual conditions endured by inmates in the state’s prisons. According to Laura Magnani, a member of the team mediating on behalf of prisoners with CDCR officials last summer, while some positive movement by CDCR officials has been made in the last few months in meeting the initial demands of inmates, “it is painfully slow for people who have lived under conditions of torture for years, and often decades in California’s prison system. While the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tries to paint the prisoners as nothing more than ‘dangerous gang members,’ we see this strike as a courageous effort to work across all cultural and ethnic divisions through time-honored non-violent actions.”
Isaac Ontiveros of the Prisoners Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, reports that based on accounts from family members and unconfirmed sources for the Coalition, the strike resumed on last Monday with 6000 prisoners taking part.
“On the Block” speaks with Isaac Ontiveros about the recent developments.