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Rally in San Francisco to Support Pelican Bay
Group rallies to support prisoners @ Pelican Bay
Day 8 of Pelican Bay Hunger Strike
On Saturday, July 9th, 2011, a group assembled in the UN Plaza at San Francisco's Civic Center to support the prisoner's at Pelican Bay State Prison's Security Housing Unit. The group formed in the shape of the letter C around banners that read “HUMAN RIGHTS FOR PELICAN BAY PRISONERS NOW!,” and “STOP THE TORTURE.” Some activists showed up in orange prison-esque garmets.
The rally lasted a total of two hours, allowing a number of community members to speak about the issue. Most speakers commented on the conditions that have led to the strike, stating that indefinite solitary confinement, dreary cells the size of bathrooms, and lack of hygiene are inhumane. One woman mentioned President Obama's stance against Guantanamo Bay and Abu Grahb and asked “but what about the torture going here?” Speakers also spoke about the need the for action, stating the need to do all we can, to be creative, and to have a fraction of the courage of the men and women who are inside. One of the speakers was a man by the name of Manuel who was on a hunger strike in solidarity with the prisoners inside. Manuel, a former prisoner, shared insight covering a range of issues related to the prison strike. “If I was inside . . . I would be in the SHU . . . people in there are critical thinkers,” “CDC won't say that this has reached across racial and geographic lines,” “We have to be more than just activists at rallies. We need to be able to do a lot more.”
As the rally went on, more speakers spoke about the strike. As the rally came to a close, protesters whipped out their cell phones and together called both Jerry Brown, California's Governor, and Matthew Cate, the CDCR's Secretary, to show their support for the strikes and demand that they meet with the prisoners.
Today marks the 8th day of the hunger strike, which essentially is a last resort for prisoners to resisting the conditions of the inhumane conditions that CDCR practices. For information on the strike visit http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/the-prisoners-demands-2/