Pelican Bay's SHU is an isolation torture unit where people spend years and even decades in solitary confinement, deprived of all human contact. A couple of years ago prisoners at the SHU successively initiated two of the largest prisoner hunger strikes in u.s. history, with thousands refusing food for weeks on end, demanding some very basic and minimal reforms. Despite wily promises from the prisoncrats, we are two years later with little to show for this effort.
Sadly, following the spike in support and interest occasioned by the 2011 hungerstrikes, not enough has been done to keep the pressure on or to broaden or intensify the struggle against isolation torture in the united states. While there have been notable exceptions - such as the Rock, and also the excellent work being carried out by the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition - there is as of yet no prisoner solidarity movement with a capacity to force the State to back down. This is in understandable, as life keeps on happening and in this age of tumult, it's not as if there have not been several urgent and pressing developments commanding our attention. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate, and is something we should aim at remedying.
There are currently plans for another hungerstrike again this July if real progress is not forthcoming, and as such now is an appropriate time to return to this site of struggle, and pay attention to what the prisoners in PB-SHU have been saying, and their thoughts on these and other matters pertaining to all of our liberation. Besides Rock, in this regard people should also continue checking out the website of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition for regular updates.
All copies of Rock (and of Basta Ya that preceded it) can be downloaded as PDFs. Just click on the above image for the most recent, or on any of the below links for previous issues: