Calipatria Hunger Strike - Still Fighting
3 October 2011 - Today we close our 8th day of this hunger strike. The ASU here at Calipatria State Prison was the last to stop during the July 1st, 2011 hunger strike. Some prisoners went 27 days. They ended up going to Centinela prison central health for treatment (IV and observation). I myself lasted 16 days. Fell out on the 7th day and was given an IV for a few hours.
This hunger strike is crazy! But living in ASU/SHU for years is straight torture. It changes a person. More than half of us here at CAL-ASU are validated waiting to go to Pelican Bay SHU. I've been waiting a year and a half. So we all got together, and once again have joined the movement.
Last time CDCR retaliated by not giving us our liquids (milk/juice). We 602ed [institutional appealed] it and won. This time around they were forced to give us our liquids. Not much but it's progress. We're supporting the Bay's 5 core demands, but we also have our issues here. We're SHU prisoners therefore entitled to SHU privileges: TVs, radios, shoes, etc. Here we're given nothing. We've argued, demanded, 602ed, and yet we have nothing. CDCR's run around and usual response, "we'll look into it," or plain denials is all we get.
I drafted a group 602 for our TVs/radios. It's been done before, but I did it so I'll be able to write a writ once it's denied. It may work, it may not. I refuse to just sit on my ass. If I gots to fight CDCR with paper and pen, I will. If I gots to starve myself for a better tomorrow, I have, and am, and will.
Last hunger strike we received many promises from Calipatria officials. The only one they honored was to give us some of our canteen items (chips, rice, beans) in their original packaging. We used to get them on paper lunch bags. We're demanding those promises be met! Mainly the issuance of TVs.
The movement is strong here, we all try to motivate one another. Many showed their support for a few days but their health prevented them from continuing. Many continue believing in the movement, so they're holding strong even though they hear their stomach rumble. I've lost 10 pounds in 5 days, the last weigh in we had.