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California prison hunger strike ends

Last-standing 100 strikers resume eating in face of death, while major demands against solitary confinement unmet


Natasha Lennard
September 6, 2013 12:19AM (UTC)

The 60-day California prisoner hunger strike, that at one point involved 30,000 inmates, reportedly ended Thursday with the remaining 100 strikers resuming meals as they neared death.

According to the Los Angeles Times, citing prison officials, the last-standing inmate strikers "are now undergoing medical supervision as they slowly return to solid food."

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A statement from inmates at Pelican Bay prison commented with consigned anger on the protest's end: "Our decision to suspend our third hunger strike in two years does not come lightly. This decision is especially difficult considering that most of our demands have not been met ... We recognize such sacrifice is at times the only means to an end of fascist oppression."

A key demand was an end to the widespread and extended use of solitary confinement throughout the state system. Some inmates have been held in isolation for three decades. While most of the demands from the hunger strike -- the largest in state history -- remain unmet, two Democratic state legislators have said they would hold hearings this autumn on isolation units at maximum security prisons in response to the prisoners' actions.


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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