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July 9, 2013 Libcom
Over 30,000 inmates across California’s vast prison estate have been refusing meals since yesterday morning. A further 2,300 prisoners have refused to attend work or educational classes – claiming they are sick. Prisoners are protesting against the use of a draconian solitary confinement policy that can see prisoners held in solitary for several decades – often with little or no attempt at a justification.
California currently has 10,000 prisoners in solitary confinement, and several dozen who have spent more than 20 years each in solitary.
The protest has been organised by a small group of prisoners held in solitary at Pelican Bay State Prison. They are demanding a 5 year limit on solitary confinement, the right to educational, rehabilitation opportunities, and the right to monthly phone-calls. The organisers have released the following statement: