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Rally in San Francisco: Stop Sleep Deprivation Torture at Pelican Bay!

Monday, December 28, 2015
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
outside the San Francisco Federal Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102

Share the Facebook event and invite your friends!

Join the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition on Monday, Dec 28th outside the SF Federal Courthouse for a rally against the so-called “welfare checks,“ that since August 2nd, have been waking up men in Pelican Bay SHU (solitary confinement) every 20-30 minutes, 24/7.

As of December 28th, these men will have been tortured with sleep deprivation for 148 days!

Lawyers and CDCr officials will be meeting inside SF Federal Court at 11:00am. We want to show them that these checks are TORTURE and that they need to STOP NOW!

We know that interrupted sleep can cause serious mental and physical health problems. John R. Martinez, who has been in Pelican Bay SHU for over a decade, …wrote: “…there is a reasonable probability that life-threatening injuries and/or even death is inevitable, as medical symptoms are only worsening but not being treated.”

CDCr claims the checks are to prevent suicide, but knowing these detrimental effects of sleep deprivation, we’re worried the checks could actually lead to someone committing suicide or developing permanent disabling, and potentially terminal illnesses and conditions.

The checks seem to be retaliation for effective human rights organizing by people in SHU, namely the largest hunger strike in history (in 2013) and the recent successful settlement in the class action lawsuit, Ashker v. Governor Brown. Is this devastating sleep deprivation CDCr’s attempt to prevent further effective organizing by people in solitary confinement? The checks are serving no welfare or security purpose; they are only harming the prisoners, mentally and physically.

OTHER ACTIONS you can take (without leaving your home!):

1. Call to advocate for the 30 minute checks to stop, stating that sleep deprivation is torture. Some offices may require your name, city, and zip code.

•CDCR Secretary’s Office: 916-323-6001
•CDCR Director of Adult Divisions, Kelly Harrington (he): 916-445-7688
•Senator Loni Hancock, Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee: 916-651-4009
•Assembly Member Bill Quirk, Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee: 916-319-2020

2. Forward this information to your networks to make it known widely that this torture may continue unless we, along with allied lawyers, put pressure to stop it!


Facebook event (for Dec 28 Rally):

extensive San Francisco Bay View Article (Dec 18, 2015):

Open Letter from the American Public Health Association Opposing the 30-minute checks (Nov 2, 2015):

Watch and share this VIDEO by Liberated Lens Collective of our Nov. 30th, 2015 Emergency Protest at CDCr in Sacramento against the sleep deprivation torture in Pelican Bay SHU.

Sleep (Deprivation) Survey Report from Oct 13 & 14, 2015:

For more info: call 510-426-5322, email phssreachingout [at], visit Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity on Facebook.

Every 20-30 minutes, people in Pelican Bay solitary are subjected to:

reverberating noise of the steel doors to units opening and slamming closed,
stomping of guards through the pods, up and down the stairs,
jangling of keys,
banging Guard One metal pipes on the cells,
beeping of Guard One metal pipes on metal buttons,
(sometimes) guards shining their flashlights into the prisoners’ eyes.

This cruel sleep deprivation, day and night, is causing serious psychological and physical harm.

These disruptive 30 minute checks, 48 times a day, must STOP!
Added to the calendar on Fri, Dec 25, 2015 4:17PM
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