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#August21 Nationwide Prisoner Strike

August 21 – September 9, 2018: Prisoners with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and other formations issue 10 national demands with a call to action for workstoppages, sitdown strikes, hunger strikes and boycotts of the commissary.

Prisoners in seventeen states commit to the action, and outside support grows to include over 300 organizations and dozens of solidarity rallies and events. Prison systems lock down multiple facilities, isolate leaders and crackdown on prisoner communication to inhibit organizing and prevent outside supporters from learning of inside events.

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Uprising at the Santa Cruz County Jail

January 16, 2018: Prisoners tie trip lines from ripped jail-cell sheets, cover their arms with socks, hide their faces with makeshift masks and arm themselves with soap, a radio, mop, books and bottles of liquid. The 26 men housed in the west-wing L Unit complained it was too cold in their cells and drove an offensive against Santa Cruz County Jail officers entering the two-story, booby-trapped cell block. The men covered the unit floor with soap and water and blocked stairwells and walkways with mattresses as they tried to pelt the guards with books and soap.

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Battle Between Guards and Prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison, California

May 24, 2017: After guards attempt to break up a fight between two prisoners on the prison yard, large groups of prisoners attack guards and fight them off. Guards respond, firing live ammunition into the crowd. Five prisoners suffer gunshot wounds and are hospitalized.

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Uprising at Kern Valley State Prison, California

February 7, 2017: A small fight leads to a riot involving approximately 125 prisoners. The incident spreads to a second cell block where 6 prisoners are attacked by guards using pepper spray and “less than lethal” direct impact rounds. Five prisoners are transported to a local hospital for injuries.

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Uprising at the California Correctional Center

December 20-21, 2016: A riot involving at least a hundred prisoners breaks out in the medium security unit. Guards fire live ammunition at prisoners and one prisoner is shot.

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Two-Week Hunger Strike at Santa Clara County Jail, California

October 15, 2016: More than a hundred prisoners stage a two week hunger strike in protest of prison conditions. “Prisoners United of Silicon Valley” a group well-connected with local civil rights organizers leads the strike, coordinating with other California prisons and jails.

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2016 National Prison Strike, Merced, California

September 9, 2016: Prisoners at two county jails in Merced engage in a mass hunger strike and work stoppage. Family members outside go on hunger strike and organize support via the FB group Live Free Merced.

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California Prison Hunger Strike

July 8 – September 5, 2013: Following more delays and slow response to 2011 hunger strikes, Pelican Bay prisoners start another hunger strike in California. Over 30,000 prisoners join in, including hundreds throughout the United States. This is the largest hunger strike in history, bringing the issue of solitary confinement to the attention of the media, legislators, the United Nations, and the public in general.

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Pelican Bay Hunger Strike, California

July 1, 2011: Pelican Bay SHU prisoners issue five demands and begin a hunger strike. At least 6,600 prisoners across the state of California join in solidarity. After nearly four weeks without food, prisoners enter negotiations with the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) and cease the hunger strike on July 20th, giving CDCR a few weeks to implement changes. The changes do not come.

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