Monday, February 20, 2012

Prisoner Dies While on Hunger Strike to Protest Unjust Treatment

Prisoner Dies While on Hunger Strike to Protest Unjust Treatment

By Lauren Kelley, AlterNet
Posted on February 18, 2012, Printed on February 20, 2012

Today we have some very sad news out of California, where a prisoner who was on a hunger strike to protest unjust treatment in the prison system has died. Reuters reports:

A 27-year-old convicted murderer has died while on a hunger strike to protest restrictions on access to health, good food, legal services and other amenities in a segregation unit at a California prison, prison officials said on Friday.

Christian Alexander Gomez died on February 2, six days after he and 31 other inmates in the Corcoran State Prison’s administrative segregation unit began refusing food, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death, and Thornton said the prison had not yet received an autopsy report from the Kings County Coroner, who could not be reached for comment.

The wave of California prison strikes began last summer, when prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison stopped eating in protest of inhumane solitary confinement conditions. Prisoners at other facilities joined the hunger strike in solidarity with Pelican Bay inmates, and since then other prisoners have gone on strike to protest various injustices in the criminal justice system. Reuters reports that the strikes peaked in October, with some 4,000 inmates participating.

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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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