Yesterday at around 5:30 pm the intersection of 4th ave and capitol way was disrupted in downtown Olympia. A giant smoke flare was set off, covering the entire intersection in orange smoke and hundreds of fliers were thrown towards the sky. A banner reading “DESTROY ALL PRISONS! (A) SOLIDARITY WITH CALI HUNGER STRIKERS” was in process of being hung across 4th ave but some motherfucker decided to drive right through it tearing the banner. Aside from this, many heads turned to look at the commotion that was appearing in the intersection and several people were seen reading the flyer.
Text of the flyer below
On July 1, 2011 prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in California began an indefinite hunger strike to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. The hunger strike is being organized by prisoners in an unusual show of racial unity. Their five key demands are:
1. Eliminate group punishments.
2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria.
3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons regarding an end to longterm solitary confinement.
4. Provide adequate food.
5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates.
Thousands of prisoners have come together in solidarity with the prisoners at Pelican Bay SHU, while being locked up in brutal conditions themselves. This massive resistance and support is a testament to people’s undying will and ability to build collective power in the face of disappearance and death. A total of 6,600 prisoners have participated in the hunger strike across 13 prisons in California. Currently at least 200 hunger strikers are in serious health conditions. Some have said they are willing to starve to death.
We are amplifying the California prisoners’ voices in order to break the isolation that is both a requirement and a function of prisons. We want both the hunger strikers to know that they are not alone that there are those of us in the outer walls who are saying “fuck prisons, down with every prison wall.”
This prison society we live in has made it very clear, with every one of its laws, courts, cops, prisons and networks of surveillance, that the life we’re supposed to accept is nothing more than a life sentence in an open air prison, and–if we refuse this–a life of extreme alienation, isolation, and degradation. The hunger strikers recognize this as they continue to refuse the meager existence that the state and capital tries to impose on them.
Prison has a long history within capitalism and governments as being one of the most archaic forms of prolonged torture and punishment. It has been used to kill some slowly and torture “undesirables” of the reigning social order–thosr who do not fit within the predetermined mold of civil society. Prisoners are almost all poor or working-class people, and mostly people of color. These social classes are often used as the definition of the “undesirable.” The same people who create poverty and discrimination are the ones who order the construction of the prisons. They create the conditions of crime and then build the prisons to contain their criminals. There is no solving the prison problem because prisons are exactly what this repressive society needs to function: social control. This is why we are not only against prisons but against the whole system that relies on them. Whether the prison system is becoming more cruel or disguising itself as humane, we will struggle against it. Whether it’s the police and cameras in the streets, the judges in the courtrooms, the guards in jail, we will struggle against them.
Solidarity with all prisoners who fights for freedom around the world, who refuse to accept forced confinement, isolation and abuse, who dream of the day when we destroy these walls together.
For an end to prisons and the world the needs them!
“I wouldn’t be free while those men ready to gun me down or lock me up and enchain me existed on the face of the earth. I wouldn’t be free while some cold prison cell awaited me.”-Xose Tarrio, Former Longterm Solitary Confinement Prisoner (FIES Regime, Spain)
This action was done in solidarity with all those participating in the hunger strike that started at Pelican Bay but has now spread to prisons all across California. As well as all those agitating for the destruction of prisons and the capitalist world they maintain.