Take Action: Stand with Prisoners

From Palestine to California, prisoners are organizing to end torture in prison and prison as a form repression of popular movements and poor communities of color. Included in this action alert are three opportunities to support prisoners in fighting for dignity and justice – in Palestine, in California and for political prisoner Lynne Stewart. 

Members of IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network) have been following and supporting the organizing of California prisoners, who are prepared to go on indefinite hunger strike starting July 8 to demand an end to long–term solitary confinement and other abuses. Both Israel and the U.S. use policing, imprisonment (and especially solitary confinement), and surveillance as tools of political repression—often sharing technology and training. In the U.S., the prison industrial complex plays a central role in American racism—harassing and incarcerating Black and Brown youth, brutalizing Black and Brown bodies, and devastating communities of color. 

Israel plays a significant role in the training of police forces in the United States and elsewhere in population control and Israel and the US share technologies and strategies of surveillance and repression across borders (for more information on Israel’s Worldwide Role in Repression follow this link). As people who support the liberation of all peoples, and oppose all forms of racism, it is imperative that we stand behind striking prisoners, who are willing to risk their lives organizing for their rights and dignity.

Please take a few minutes to participate in the simple action items below. 


 July 8: International Day of Action for the Prisoner Hunger Strikers

On Monday, July 8th, prisoners at the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU) and throughout the California prison system will begin a hunger strike, along with work stoppages. They still to compel the Governor and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to end long-term solitary confinement and meet four other core demands. To support the strikers, the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) is calling for an International Day of Action to take place on the same day.  Sign the Pledge of Resistance to stand with Prisoners!

On this Day of Action, we’re asking for people all over the world to do whatever they can to draw attention to the struggle of these prisoners against torturous conditions— public rallies, banner drops, candlelight vigils, marches and other forms of public demonstration.  

We strongly encourage that these actions center on the Five Core Demands made by the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike prisoners:
1. End Group Punishment & Administrative Abuse.
2. Abolish the Debriefing Policy, and Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria.
3. Comply with the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006. Recommendations Regarding an End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement.
4. Provide Adequate and Nutritious Food.
5. Expand and Provide Constructive Programming and Privileges for those living in the SHU.

For more information about the Five Core Demands, please visit prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com 

People who stand up to organize events on the Day of Action (or any other date) are asked to act in true solidarity by following these guidelines from the Coalition based on communication with the prisoners:  

1. Support the prisoners by advocating for the Five Core Demands rather than agitating for other goals or our own demands.
2. Remember that the prisoners chose a “nonviolent peaceful protest” and plan your solidarity actions with that spirit in mind.
3. Honor the strikers, their loved ones, supporters, and the larger community of prisoner-rights and anti-prison organizations by refusing to claim leadership of the solidarity campaign.

Let us know what you have planned and we’ll add it to our Action Calendar for all to see. To add your event, please click here.

And finally, please send us a few pictures and a brief report from actions that you organize or attend so we can share them with the world! Sharing images means sharing inspiration for people inside and outside prison alike!  To submit images, please click here.

Support the prisoner-led movement to end solitary confinement! Stand in solidarity with the strikers!  
Sign the Pledge of Resistance to stand with Prisoners!
Join us July 8th for an International Day of Action in support of the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike!

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This quarter has seen an intensity in violations against Palestinian political prisoners with the deaths of Arafat Jaradat, who was tortured to death during interrogation, and Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who was denied medical treatment for cancer, the escalation in individual hunger strikes, and intensified collective punishments and raids on the prisoners. In light of these increased violations, Addameer launched a Stop Administrative Detention campaign on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners Day, to highlight one of the gravest violations against Palestinians: indefinite detention without charge or trial. This international campaign which has sparked interest globally, hopes to curb Israel’s use of administrative detention until its ultimate elimination. Key issues this quarter were the Israel Prison Services’ (IPS) continued medical negligence, use of isolation, increase in raids, the military court’s use of Article 186 of Military Order 1651, detention and torture of child prisoners under the age of 16 and increased detention of journalists, Jerusalemites and human rights defenders. Addameer maintains that increased international pressure and forceful actions must be taken to oblige Israel to act within international law parameters until the imminent abolition of the military prison system. Please find the latest quarterly newsletter covering January – June 2013.

Click here to read the Call to Action about how you can get involved in our upcoming campaign! 


Disappointed but Not Devastated

My Dear Friends, Supporters, Comrades:

I know we are all disappointed to the marrow of our bones and the depths of our hearts by the news that the Bureaucrats, Kafka like, have turned down my request for compassionate release.

Let me say, that we are planning ahead. The letter from the BOP (soon to be posted on the website) is flawed, to put it mildly. Both factually and medically it has major problems. We intend to go to court and raise these in front of my sentencing Judge Koeltl. At the first sentencing he responded to a query by one of the lawyers that he didn’t want me to die in prison — we’ll see if he can now live up to that. He is of course the same Judge who increased my sentence to 10 years — but this IS very different and we can only hope that we can prevail. Stay tuned for what we need from you. We will never give up.
In the meantime, once again, I grieve for my children and grandchildren who love me so much and had such great expectations of enjoying life together again in our beloved NYC and not just trying to, in the prison visiting room. My Ralph, too, whose dedication and love are only exceeded by the work he does on my behalf — but he is a born fighter and although he hurts, it all comes more naturally to him.

But for everyone else, I hope that your affront at this crass bureaucratic denial of the request which you by your signatures and letters and phone calls demanded — How far can we let this go? when a 73-year old woman who IS dying of cancer (maybe not on their timetable,) her life of good works ignored, be shunted aside … “she does not present circumstances considered extraordinary and compelling … at this time.” We must show them that I cannot be ignored, that YOU cannot be ignored.”

Fight On — All of Us or None of Us.  An affront to one is an affront to all.

Love Struggle,
Lynne Stewart

You can still sign the petition calling for her release and as importantly, write Lynne a letter of support directly at:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127