July 06, 2014

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network: London Tuesday 8 July Protest & Film: Remembering the Hunger Strike

First Anniversary – Tuesday 8 July 2014
Remembering the Great Hunger & Work Strike
of California Prisoners
Against the torture of solitary confinement
London events highlight UK prison and detention struggles

Mon 7pm – Tues 7pm: 24-HOUR FAST in Support of Prisoners
Tues 5-6.30pm: PROTEST outside Holloway Prison. Parkhurst Road, N7 0NU
Tues 7-9pm: BREAKING the FAST with FILM of mothers and relatives of prisoners in struggle.
California Families Against Solitary Confinement, the Dallas 6 campaign, Donna Hill, mother of a woman in prison for 30 years for killing her attempted rapist.
Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, NW5 2DX 
Soup & sandwiches

On 8 July 2013, 30,000 prisoners in California, USA, began their 3rd hunger strike – the largest and longest in US history – to end the torture of solitary confinement for years and even decades, improve their inhuman living conditions, and as an “act of solidarity with oppressed people around the world”.  
One prisoner did not survive, and after 58 days the prisoners suspended their strike to avoid further deaths. But they had already won a lot: the release from solitary of over 500 people extended visits with loved ones public legislative hearings access to canteen food (a crucial alternative to food contaminated by guards who piss and even defecate in it) and more . . .

Prisoners came together across race and other divides
In August 2012, after a previous hunger strike, prisoners issued an extraordinary Agreement to End Hostilities. It said that: “All hostilities between our racial groups will officially cease.” This set a new standard for unity within movements for justice inside and outside prison walls.

Family members ensured prisoners’ voices were heard
Mothers, daughters, partners, wives have worked tirelessly to prevent a blackout of the strike, gathering support for their loved ones, explaining the conditions inside, and what their demands are.

In London we held two protests outside the US embassy. The strikers received messages of support from around the world, from Ireland to Palestine where Palestinian prisoners, including children, are routinely detained for years without charge or trial. The day after the California hunger strike began in 2013, Palestinian Sheikh Khader Adnan, who had been on hunger strike for 66 days in 2012, sent his support. Dozens of Palestinians ended their 63-day hunger strike on 25 June this year – the longest in the history of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement.

In London we will highlight:
·         The growing number of women in prison, mainly mothers who are inside for non-violent crimes of poverty, their children deprived of their care.
·         The 30 women a year who are sent to prison after reporting rape. Women Against Rape says that many are victims of a miscarriage of justice following negligent and biased police investigations, prosecuted with more zeal and resources than rapists.
·         The targeting of Black people so they are five times more likely to be imprisoned, while the number of Muslim people inside has doubled in the last decade, many of them teenagers.
·         The hunger strikes held by asylum seekers in detention centres in the UK (women in Yarl’s Wood, men in Harmondsworth), and the 56-day hunger strike by immigrant workers detained in Tacoma, Washington (US) and elsewhere.
·         The more than 1,000 African asylum seekers who went on hunger strike in Israel this week, to protest their illegal "inhuman and unlimited" detention in the Negev Desert.
·         The anti-war protest of Margaretta D’Arcy in Ireland, due to be imprisoned again on 9 July. She has refused for the second time to sign a bond to stay away from Shannon, a civilian airport used by the US military, breaking Ireland’s constitutional neutrality. She intends to “abstain from food during her two-week detention”.
Join us to work out how the California prisoners’ strike can be a lever against miscarriages of justice and inhuman conditions in prisons and detentions centres here in the UK. We want to spread information about prisoners organizing and the Cessation of Racial Hostilities in our communities.

Called by: Global Women’s Strike (GWS), Women of Colour GWS, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Legal Action for Women, Payday men’s network. For more information: 020 7482 2496

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