In our monthly segment on birthdays of North American political prisoners, we share with our listeners those birthdays which are in the month of July. This information is obtained from sources in the US. Many political prisoners in the US have languished inside for years, often decades.
Two years California had the largest participation of any prisoner hunger strike in its history, which at one point consisted of over 12,000 prisoners participating. Unfortunately these prisoner hunger strikes resulted in few tangible gains but with loads of false promises by various prison administrations and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (known as CDCR). Prisoners have once again organized and are presently on hunger and work strikes. We have an interview with former political prisoner Ed Mead who is the editor of Prison Focus. Mead speaks about: the first set of hunger strikes and what took place in 2011 and 2012; general conditions in prisons in California and throughout the US; conditions in the Special Housing Unit (known as the SHU), the Adjustment Center (A/C) also known as solitary confinement; and the present demands that prisoners have for this hunger strike that began July 8. This interview was produced by The Final Straw which airs on Asheville FM, a community radio station in North Carolina. This interview was recorded just prior to the commencement of the present prisoner hunger and work strikes. We thank the Final Straw and Asheville FM in allowing us to rebroadcast this interview.
We read some more demands from a couple of the participating prisons. We also interviewed Casey Owens, who along with other concerned people in Montreal, is organizing a support event for these hunger striking prisoners.
You can download audio here