I want to take this time to respond to the recent article that appeared in Revolution newspaper What is Actually Revealed in the California Prisoner Hunger Strike?: Responding to Jeffrey Beard's Los Angeles Times Op-ed as the California prisoner hunger strike enters its second month and 55 men at Guantanamo remain on hunger strike, I am wrapping up my 4th week of a weekly 3 day fast. I chose to do this weekly fast in solidarity with my revolutionary brother, Gregory Koger, who is currently locked up at Cook County Jail’s maximum security division.
A number of people say in the wake of the "not guilty" verdict of George Zimmerman in his killing of Trayvon Martin that this was a "fair trial."
As an aside, many of the same people now expressing satisfaction that "justice has been done" can be heard frequently complaining that victims of crime don't get their due in criminal courts and that all of the rights go to the suspect/defendant. This verdict exonerating defendant Zimmerman of wrongdoing should surely quell their complaints. After all, Zimmerman is the victim in this case, not Trayvon who lies six feet under because of Zimmerman. Or so one must conclude from the comments of those who celebrate this verdict.
Like many people, I've been riveted by the George Zimmerman trial. I call it "the George Zimmerman trial" because that's what it is, but the more I watch, the more I wonder: Should it be renamed "the Trayvon Martin trial?"
I'm not just talking about some of the media's tabloid-like focus on Martin's background, his personal history, his school records and -- outside the courtroom -- the toxicology report. I'm talking about an aspect of the case that never comes up in the media coverage, one that I would argue is key.
Prisoners are rising above years of torment, torture and vilification to assert their humanity
As of this writing, thousands of prisoners remain on hunger strike across the state of California, with prisoners in other states also joining in. The hunger strike began on Monday, July 8, with 30,000 prisoners taking part in two-thirds of the state's 33 prisons. The New York Times reported that on Wednesday, the third day, 29,000 prisoners were still on hunger strike and that it could become "the largest in state history." (The next day, California prison authorities claimed that the number of hunger strikers was 12,421.)
Larry Everest: The June 20 communiqué from the principal prisoner representatives from the Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement stated they'd just held a mediation session with prison officials, that their demands hadn't been met, and so they felt compelled to resume their "hunger strike/work stoppage of indefinite duration until CDCR signs a legally binding agreement meeting our demands, the heart of which mandates an end to long-term solitary confinement (as well as additional major reforms)."
Statement from Pelican Bay Prisoners:
The following statement was issued on June 20 by prisoners being held in isolation at Security Housing Unit (SHU) at the Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) in California. CDCR is the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
WE ARE ALL STILL TRAYVON!
On February 26, we must mark the murder of Trayvon by wearing hoodies, by gathering in appropriate places and demonstrating our defiance and our determination to refuse to accept this mistreatment. Gather coming out of school, gather in your neighborhoods, take pictures of yourself and your friends and spread them everywhere.
from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network
Queens, NY – A Queens jury today found four men not guilty of obstructing the NYPD’s 103rd Precinct last year. The high-stakes trial for political protesters began October 23, delayed several times by weather, and almost ended with a mistrial because of the highly unusual arrest of a sitting juror last week.