Culture of Resistance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge approved a request from California and federal officials on Monday to force-feed inmates if necessary as a statewide prison hunger strike entered its seventh week.

Officials say they fear for the welfare of nearly 70 inmates who have refused all prison-issued meals since the strike began July 8 over the holding of gang leaders and other violent inmates in solitary confinement that can last for decades.

They are among nearly 130 inmates in six prisons who were refusing meals. When the strike began it included nearly 30,000 of the 133,000 inmates in California prisons.

Prison policy is to let inmates starve to death if they have signed legally binding do-not-resuscitate (DNR) requests. But state corrections officials and a federal receiver who controls inmate medical care received blanket authority from U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco to feed inmates who may be in failing health. The order includes those who recently signed requests that they not be revived.

Henderson oversees the ongoing lawsuit over inmates’ medical care. The filing Monday came as prison officials and inmates’ attorneys argued over whether strikers should be allowed to voluntarily begin a liquid diet.

"Patients have a right to refuse medical treatment. They also have a right to refuse food," said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the receiver’s office.

However, “If an inmate gets to the point where he can’t tell us what his wishes are, for instance if he’s found unresponsive in his cell, and we don’t have a DNR, we’re going to get nourishment into him. That’s what doctors do. They’re going to follow their medical ethics,” Hayhoe said. “We’d take any and all measures to sustain their life.”

The process, which prison officials call “refeeding,” could include starting intravenous fluids or snaking feeding tubes through inmates’ noses and into their stomachs.

Prison officials already can seek a court order forcing an individual inmate to take food, though they have not done so. Now they and the receiver’s office are jointly asking for blanket permission to take that step without seeking orders on a case-by-case basis.

The federal and state officials were joined in the request by the Prison Law Office, a Berkeley-based nonprofit that represents inmates’ welfare in ongoing lawsuits that led to a federal takeover of the prison health care system and a requirement that the state sharply reduce its inmate population to improve conditions.

They want Henderson to let the chief medical executive at each prison act if a hunger striker is at risk of “near-term death or great bodily injury” or is no longer deemed competent to give consent or make medical decisions.

Moreover, do-not-resuscitate directives would not be honored if the medical executive reasonably believes the inmate was coerced into signing the request or if an attorney representing the inmate revokes the request.

Do-not-resuscitate orders signed by a hunger striker at or near the beginning of the strike or during the hunger strike would automatically be deemed invalid.

"Force-feeding violates international law to the extent that it involves somebody who doesn’t give their consent," said Jules Lobel, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who represents 10 inmates suing to end prolonged solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Lobel said prison officials should look for alternatives, including providing the inmates with a liquid diet of fruit and vegetable drinks as they have requested, or negotiating with inmates over their demands.

However, Lobel said he will not seek to overturn Henderson’s order.

Prison officials said Monday that inmates are free to consume a liquid diet, but will be counted as having ended their hunger strike if they consume anything more than water, vitamins and electrolytes.

The most high-profile case of force-feeding prisoners has been the involuntary feeding of several dozen terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay through nasal tubes.

Other federal judges have turned down bids by the Guantanamo Bay inmates to stop the force-feeding. U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said in a ruling last month that numerous courts said it is the government’s duty to prevent suicide and to provide life-saving nutritional and medical care to people in custody.

California incarcerates about 3,600 inmates in what are known as Security Housing Units, some because of crimes they committed in prison and others for indefinite terms if they are validated as leaders of prison gangs.

Four prisons have the units: Pelican Bay in Crescent City, Corcoran, California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi and California State Prison-Sacramento.

The highest-ranking gang leaders are held in what is known as the “short corridor” at Pelican Bay. Four leaders of rival white supremacist, black and enemy Latino gangs have formed an alliance to promote the hunger strike in a bid to force an end to the isolation units.

Life of Akram Rikhawi, father of 8, in grave danger after 85 days of hunger strike


The life of Akram Rikhawiis in grave danger 85 days into his hunger strike, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) and the Palestinian human rights and prisoner advocacy group Addameerwarned today.

Meanwhile, two other Palestinian political prisoners — Samer al-Barq and Hassan Safadi — are well into their open-ended hunger strikes. The two restarted their strikes after Israel renewed orders to hold them without charge or trial (a widely condemned practice known as administrative detention) — in violation of the agreement ending the mass hunger strike undertaken by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners earlier this year.

Please sign this petition to urge the Israeli government to free Akram Rikhawi. He has serious chronic conditions, and he was illegally arrested by the IDF. Please sign this (it is already done for you). Read the rest about Akram’s condition here.

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(via fuckyeahmarxismleninism)

News from Palestine


as of 21st May, 2012

  1. Seven Gazan farmers injured (17/05) and another farmer injured (20/05) due to Israeli shootings

    Gaza medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma’an that two people were seriously wounded and five moderately injured when Israeli forces opened fire on Beit Lahiya, north Gaza, and east of Gaza City.

    Most of the victims were farmers, Abu Salmiya said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said forces opened fire toward “several suspects approaching the security fence.” She said no hit was identified.

    An Israeli army spokesman later added that “tank shells were fired towards the terrorists,” near the Karni crossing east of Gaza City.


    A young Palestinian farmer was shot by Israeli soldiers while working on his land in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, a medical official said. Waheed, 22, is in a moderate condition in Nasser hospital after suffering a bullet wound in the thigh, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said.

    He was working in fields near al-Qarara, north-east of Khan Younis, when a soldier opened fire from a military watch-tower, Salmiya added. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no record of the incident.


    Our civilians, your ‘terrorists’. Watch this video (one of many) to see what goes down when farmers try to harvest their crop in Gaza (start at 8:50): Vittorio Arrigoni reporting on situation in Gaza

  2. Two Palestinian prisoners still on Hunger Strike

    Two Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are refusing food a week after a deal to end a mass prisoner hunger strike, Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Monday.

    But officials on both sides played down the ongoing hunger strike by Mahmud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi, saying it was not a breach of the agreement since the two were not part of the mass hunger strike that ended last Monday.

    Sarsak, who comes from Gaza and is demanding to be recognised as a prisoner of war, began refusing food on March 23, and went 53 days without eating before a short break on May 14 when the deal was signed. He restarted his strike a day later.

    Rikhawi is demanding that the prison authority hand over his medical file prior to him appearing before a prison release committee to expedite his release. He stopped eating for the first time on April 18 but also ate briefly last week before restarting his strike.

    Weizman said the two were in “good condition” and were under medical supervision in the infirmary in Ramle prison near Tel Aviv. She said both were due to be released “in the next month or two.”

  3. Report: Denmark set to label Israeli settlement produce

    Denmark is set to introduce a labeling system to denote products made in Israeli settlements, Danish media said Friday.

    “This is a move that will clearly show consumers that this produce has been produced under conditions that not only the Danish government, but also the European governments have rejected,” Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal was quoted as saying by Danish online news-site Politken. “Then it is up to consumers whether they are prepared to buy the produce,” he added.

    The Danish FM said that stricter controls and labeling of settlement produce should be seen as part of the European Union’s support for a two state solution. Enforcing controls on settlement produce also shows the Palestinians that the world is against illegal settlement building.

    The move targets illegal settlements and not Israel, the Danish FM added.

  4. Financial Times: Israel attacks South African move to label settlement goods

    Israel has attacked a legal move by South Africa that would force merchants to provide a special label for goods made in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, slamming what it said was a decision with “racist characteristics”.

    The harsh condemnation, issued by the Israeli foreign ministry, came in response to a “notice” from South Africa’s Department of Trade this month, saying it intends to require traders not to “incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The proposal gives consumers 60 days to comment on the issue. Should it be confirmed, the Israelis say it would be the first regulation imposing a separate label of origin for settlement goods made in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    “Singling out one country and stigmatising its products is a move with racist characteristics. We regret that it is South Africa of all countries that is the first to go down this slippery slope,” a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry said on Sunday. He argued the proposal – with its reference to “1948 borders” – left unclear what areas precisely would be affected by the new labelling rule, claiming that it would “stain all Israeli products”.

    “This will stamp, name and shame Israeli products on an uncertain basis,” the spokesman said.

    Macdonald Netshitenzhe, a senior official at South Africa’s trade and industry department, said the decision was not political, but was in line with South Africa’s trade and consumer laws. “Our consumer protection act, as well as our trade law, says you must not mislead the consumer. If it’s a wine of the Cape, you don’t say it’s a Bordeaux … that is the principle,” he said. “South Africa recognises Israel only to [the] extent of the 1948 borders … The occupation of 1967 and thereafter, we don’t recognise that.”

    The settlements, home to a fast-growing population of more than 500,000, are seen as a key obstacle to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as they take up an increasing share of the land on which the Palestinians hope to establish an independent state. They are also illegal under international law, which prohibits the establishment of settlements on occupied land.

    South Africa is not among Israel’s most important trading partners, which means the economic impact of a new labelling regime is likely to be limited. A deeper concern for Israel is that the example set by Pretoria will inspire others to follow suit, especially in Europe. The latest warning on this front came from Denmark, where the foreign minister appealed for a new Israeli labelling regime in an interview on Friday.


Palestinian Prisoners: Statement No. 7 of the Strike Leadership

We have only two options: to achieve all of our demands, or to die

Free Palestinian people, masses of our nation, free people of the world….

We have entered a stage of legendary and draining human struggle, where we face real danger which threatens our lives. We are now very close to martyrdom, which is more precious and one of the best options for us.

We are now at the state of a great test of wills and we reject completely the attempts of the Prison Service management to force us to accept partial settlements in order to bring an end to this epic humanitarian struggle for justice. Here, we emphasize the following points:

We have only two options to achieve all of the following.

First, we swear not to go back without achieving our demands. We are waiting for martyrdom for the sake of our dignity, and we have prepared ourselves to confront our only two options – the victory of our humanity and our dignity, or our martyrdom without it.

Second, we strongly and firmly swear that we will continue with our battle of the empty stomachs, whatever the costs may be, until we achieve the minimum of our demands, particularly the immediate end to the horror of solitary confinement and isolation, and to allow prisoners from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank who have been denied family visits to receive them, and to return prison conditions to their pre-2000 state.

Third, we greatly appreciate the role of our great sister Egypt with regard to compelling “Israel” to implement the second part of an agreement and fulfilling its commitments, and we are confident that Egypt is an Arab leader that will not leave us to face this battle alone. We also affirm categorically that we will not end our strike without promptly achieving our demands. We are confident of the depth of support in our nation, and particularly in Egypt.

Finally, we are ready for martyrdom. We are not amateurs in hunger. Death is easier than disrespect for our dignity, so we swear we will live with dignity or die.

The Central Committee of the Leadership of the Strike
May 13, 2012

I have no clue why the Hunger strike news is not worth to be covered for the western media ?


More than 3000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on day 18 of their open hunger strike, While Bilal Diab & Thaer Halahleh are on day 68. #PalHunger

Where’s media !? Today , I finally saw the solidarity here in Palestine rise to a better level . Protests everyday in almost every town here in Palestine .

Now it’s your turn ! Please do your part in supporting humanity !!

see Palestinian prisoners issue on The Palestine you don’t know

Raise the awareness

(via tzunuun)


Thursday (4/26): Urgent Mobilization to Sacramento!

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team received word yesterday that the CDCR (CA Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation) will meet with the mediation team and family member representatives on Thursday at CDCR Headquarters in Sacramento to discuss the CDCR’s proposed regulation changes on SHU (Security Housing Unit) placement. Legislative aides from the State Assembly and Senate will also attend the meeting.

During Thursday’s meeting, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team and family member representatives will support the hunger strikers, their rejection of CDCR’s proposal, and their five-core demands (Earlier this Spring, shortly after the CDCR released it’s proposal, hunger strikers in the SHU at Pelican Bay rejected the CDCR’s proposal and issued a counter proposal).
We need to show the CDCR & State legislators that the hunger strikers do not stand alone!  Please come to Sacramento Thursday, April 26th, for an urgent rally outside CDCR Headquarters before the meeting.

#prisoners #hunger strike #solidarity #repression #resistance #racism #national oppression #cdcr #california #pic #prisons #class struggle #demonstration #sacramento 


Thursday (4/26): Urgent Mobilization to Sacramento!

During Thursday’s meeting, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team and family member representatives will support the hunger strikers, their rejection of CDCR’s proposal, and their five-core demands (Earlier this Spring, shortly after the CDCR released it’s proposal, hunger strikers in the SHU at Pelican Bay rejected the CDCR’s proposal and issued a counter proposal).

We need to show the CDCR & State legislators that the hunger strikers do not stand alone!  Please come to Sacramento Thursday, April 26th, for an urgent rally outside CDCR Headquarters before the meeting.






“The officials say Shalabi will be sent to Gaza for three years in exchange for giving up a 43-day hunger strike against Israel’s policy of holding detainees without charge.”

Read full at Ma’an

Okay I know we’re supposed to be mad that she’s being deported to Gaza and isn’t allowed to go back to her family in the West Bank, but right now I’m just too relieved that she isn’t dead to care. Will probably get pissed later. But right now *sighs of relief*

The whole point with Israel deporting her to somewhere she doesn’t really belong is to show they still have power over her, and probably so they hope she ends up collateral damage or something

I’m glad she’s okay, that’s for sure, I just wish she could have returned to her family and not thrown in some place she doesn’t really belong. Being deported to Gaza is basically the same as staying in prison another 3 years, except in Gaza she can’t exactly “hunger strike” her way out :/

Commentary ^ is important.