Berkeley Copwatch Statement of Solidarity with Prison Hunger Strikers
Berkeley Copwatch wishes to make public its strong support, respect, and admiration for those currently on hunger strike in California’s prisons; particularly those at Pelican Bay.
We believe that prolonged solitary confinement is morally wrong, does nothing to better those subject to it, and indeed makes it harder for people to live and function in society.
Also wrong and deleterious to prisoner’s health and condition are the specific conditions of Secure Housing Unit confinement, and we strongly support all the demands that have been issued.
The regime that those housed at Pelican Bay’s SHU are subject to is beyond appalling. Indeed, they are tortuous. The treatment of prisoners in this state as a whole is part of a system meant to degrade and humiliate human beings. This is done deliberately to keep an underclass, and to advance the violent and immoral interests of the state.
We believe in humane alternatives to incarceration, and believe that genuine rehabilitation is about providing opportunities for individuals to better themselves. When people currently incarcerated leave prison, we want them to be able to succeed, be healthy, and whole. We do not want their lives made harder by the immoral, degrading, violent, and sadistic treatment they encounter while imprisoned.
We see prisoners as legitimate political actors in society. We believe that their organizing empowers us all, as the organizing of their supporters empowers them.
With this, we signal our support to the hunger strikers, and their loved ones. We also signal our respect for, and recognition of, the humanity of all who are incarcerated.