We are now approaching the end of the second month of the California prisoners’ hunger strike.
So far there has been one death, in a strike that was supported by 30,000 participants at its beginning, and still remains strong with several dozen who have gone eight weeks without food, risking permanent injury and death.
Some readers of this site may have noticed that things have seemed quiet this summer. Part of the reason is that, confronted with the daily reality of people risking their lives in an ongoing action, you just want to hold your breath, to not make a sound as you wait and watch and hope it ends well. Part of the reason is a sense of sadness and disappointment that, unlike in 2011, here in Montreal we were unable to mount any kind of effective solidarity campaign. A failure to be revisited, here or in some other context.
On the other hand, as many of you know, i have been sending out a collection of posts and links about the strike every day or two since it has begun. These “hungerstrike newsletters” provide a chronicle of the past two months’ struggle, and remain available online. Links are provided below.
It remains unclear how this will end, but with every passing day the sense of foreboding increases. The u.s. prison system is an instrument of genocide, and people die behind those bars every day. Any hope of success relies not on the consciences of those in power, but in the possibility of things escalating on our side of the contradiction, so that settling with the hunger strikers appears to the prisoncrats as the lesser of two evils. In contexts where hunger strikes have won mass support, the outside becomes as a powderkeg, and the authorities know that what happens on the inside might serve as a spark. We seem to be a long way from there, now.
We shall see how it all turns out.
To review the past 59 days of struggle, check out the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity page, and the Hungerstrike Newsletter:
Previous editions of Hungerstrike News can be read online:
You can subscribe to Hungerstrike News here: