Some people chain themselves to the White House fence, the Texas Senate railing or a bulldozer for a cause they feel is just. Some people run out amidst tear gas and flash bang grenades, shielding a wounded comrade protesting against the machine, or the system, or the one percent.
And now we have those who marched in solidarity on Saturday, July 13th, with the prison hunger strikers.
It's one hundred and eighty miles, four hours and thirty degrees - as in Fahrenheit, not angular rotation - between Oakland and Corcoran, California, the site of one of California's notorious solitary confinement facilities.
The road to Corcoran.
Four hundred people made their way to California's Central Valley from all around the state. Organized by Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity they came to show solidarity with the hunger strikers, to protest the treatment of at least five thousand prisoners now held in solitary in the state's prisons, and to rally against the prison-industrial complex that has every interest in keeping them inside... and adding to their numbers.
When they got there they found a gods-forsaken facility baking in temperatures variously recorded up to 103 degrees.
They came not for themselves; they came for loved ones, friends but mostly for total strangers. People locked up out of sunlight for decades in conditions that much of the world considers torture.
They rallied in solidarity with the Guantanamo hunger strikers...
And with those in Palestine....
They stood for hours in places that nothing other than solar panels and transmission lines should be allowed to exist.
With one goal in mind:
Voices of the California Prison Hunger Strike.
Kijana Tashiri Askari (Marcus Harrison), 41, Pelican Bay SHU. Following validation as a Black Guerilla Family member, he has been in solitary confinement since 1994.
"With regards to the revisions that were done to SHU management gang policies, well, that is exactly what has taken place - revisions... At the crux of the revisions is a lack of a definitive and 'behavioral-based' criteria, as to what actually constitute as being gang activity. Meaning, any and everything can and will still be considered as gang activity, in spite of how innocuous the activity may be."
Mutope Duguma (James Crawford), 46, Pelican Bay SHU. Incarcerated since 1988, Duguma has been in the SHU since 2001, following his validation as a member of the Black Guerilla Family; a charge he claims is false.
"I was involved in gang life as a young man in South Los Angeles, like many other young black men from broken communities, but I was never a member or associate of the BGF. I never even met a member of the BGF during my first decade in prison," he has written. He claims he was targeted for political activity, and last year won a lawsuit against CDCR for withholding his mail on the basis that his political writings constituted "gang activity."
Please Sign the Petition!
Keep Up To Date. Prison Hunger Solidarity Web Page.
Postscript: Looks like they at least found a bit of shade to stage the march and rally from!
9:22 AM PT: Good essay on the Corcoran events and aftermath: