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Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers: ‘We want to be validated as human’

News & Letters reports from the Pelican Bay State Prison hunger strike, 2011
From the belly of the beast—Pelican Bay prisoners speak
From the Introduction:
Hunger strikes by California prisoners, fighting perpetual solitary confinement, arose in mid-summer 2011 and the fall just when the Occupy movement took off. The prisoners’ thoughts and actions put the criminal justice system on trial in the same spirit as the Occupy Everywhere movements put the capitalist system and its politics on trial. The hunger strikes shined a light on what is nearly universally recognized as torture at the belly of the beast of the criminal (in)justice system which, by any standard, can only be judged to be a total failure….
— Urszula Wislanka and Ron Kelch


  • Introduction
  • July-August 2011
    Pelican Bay SHU on hunger strike
  • September-October 2011
    Hunger striker speaks
    Pelican Bay SHU struggle continues!
  • November-December 2011
    SHU prisoners: We want to be treated like human beings!
    Voices from Pelican Bay SHU hunger strike
  • May-June 2012
    Sham response to prison hunger strike
    Security Housing Unit prisoners react