The California prison hunger strike, which began on July 8 in the Pelican Bay State Prison’s secure isolation unit, is now entering its 50th consecutive day. One striker has already died, and several more have been hospitalized. The prisoners are protesting poor treatment in the penal system, including overcrowding, disregard for their rights by the prison administration, and brutal extended solitary confinement in dreaded facilities like Pelican Bay’s Secure Housing Unit (SHU). Nevertheless, with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the office of Governor Jerry Brown (D) refusing to engage with the inmates over their demands, the hunger strike continues.
Merritt Landry was arrested a few weeks ago for shooting and severely disabling a young man who was on his property. Last night, a group of his supporters met up around his home in the Marigny to call for his release, where they were met by anti-racist protestors speaking out against vigilantism.
See more photos after the fold.
Last Thursday, an intriguing press release from “Monsanto Global” was sent out to to the email inboxes of media organizations all over the world. According to the press release, Monsanto had received approval from Mexico’s SAGARPA (Secretariat of Agriculture) to plant a quarter of a million hectares of GMO corn in Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango. This was coupled with the announcement of two new Monsanto-funded institutions: a seed bank preserving Mexico’s 246 native strains of corn, and a museum of Mexican culture, to be established such that “[n]ever again will the wealth of this region’s culture be lost as social conditions change.”
This was certainly interesting, and indeed, the SAGARPA was in fact considering a permit to allow Monsanto to plant the corn. Still, it seemed fishy, and totally unlike Monsanto to admit (even obliquely) that their corporate practices could possibly change Mexican culture and wipe out indigenous corn strains.
For the last few weeks, as the Detroit beat in major media outlets has been focused on the state-appointed emergency manager throwing his weight around like a bull in a china shop, a particularly horrific story has been hovering under the radar. Detroit police believe there may be a possible serial attacker on the prowl who is beating, raping, and burning women. No suspects have been publicly announced, and the story has been getting little if any national press coverage — and that’s awful.
The Los Angeles Times just reported the beginning of what may be the largest prison hunger strike in California history. Organized by a group of prisoners in the Pelican Bay Supermax facility just south of the Oregon border, an estimated 30,000 prisoners across the state are refusing their meals and not going to their work assignments. This may in fact become the largest prison hunger strike in United States history. Here’s why you should support them.