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Hunger Strikers

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OPINION
August 9, 2013
Re "Hungry for control," Opinion, Aug. 6 Jeffrey Beard, head of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, does a masterful job of presenting a narrow view of the issues underlying the current hunger strike in California prisons. He avoids the broader issue of the many thousands of persons held in some form of solitary confinement in California, a practice that is widely held to be torture, and describes conditions in the Security Housing Units, or SHUs, quite at odds with those observed by attorneys and human rights activists.
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WORLD
December 23, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- The Israel Prison Service on Monday freed Samer Issawi, a Palestinian inmate whose prolonged hunger strike helped fuel weeks of protests in the West Bank this year. Issawi, 34, refused food for eight months, receiving only infusions of water, vitamins and other supplements, according to his attorney. He was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 26 years in prison in connection with the manufacture of pipe bombs and shooting attacks on Israeli vehicles. Issawi was among more than 1,000 Palestinians freed in 2011 in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit but was re-arrested in July 2012 for allegedly violating the terms of his release by traveling to the West Bank.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2013 | By Paige St. John, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Hunger strikes continued Saturday at 23 California prisons and one out-of-state facility, with more than 6,300 inmates refusing meals for days. The corrections department Saturday would not say how many have refused to eat meals since Monday. [Updated 4:20 p.m. July 14: The number of inmates who have refused nine or more meals Sunday fell to 4,487, said Callifornia corrections officials. In addition, 731 inmates continued to refuse to go to work or classes, said spokesman Jeffrey Callison.
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON--President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke for 30 minutes Friday with about 20 activists who are fasting at the steps of the Capitol to an effort to pressure House Republicans to overhaul immigration laws.  Three of the protesters, including labor leader Eliseo Medina, have not eaten in 18 days and are drinking only water.  Sitting with the group inside a heated tent, Obama told the fasters that he supported their...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1995
Re: "Hunger Strikers at UCI Protest Regents' Policies" (Oct. 18), concerning students who are protesting the ending of affirmative-action programs: I venture to speak for the millions of first-generation Americans whose non-English-speaking, uneducated and financially poor parents came here from Europe. We were reared in homes that never had a telephone or an automobile. When we entered public school, English was our second language. There were no aid programs and no bilingual education.
NEWS
August 19, 1990 | PATRICK McDONNELL
Javier Rodriguez Ramirez says he is a casualty of a drug war gone amok. To dramatize his plight, he is engaging in a hunger strike at the state penitentiary here. Rodriguez says he has been in the custody of Mexican authorities here since Oct. 21, when, according to his account, a group of Federal Judicial Police surrounded his car in the Tijuana seaside community of San Antonio del Mar. They arrested him and a friend and accused both of being "international drug traffickers," Rodriguez says.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1996 | SCOTT HARRIS
A motor home is parked off Paxton Street with a blue tarp stretched above the sidewalk for shade. Here on the edge of the Price Pfister factory in Pacoima, three protesters continued a hunger strike Monday as dozens of supporters hoisted signs complaining about jobs being shipped south of the border. It is a bilingual protest, and the irony is lost on no one. "Exporta Productos Americanos, No Los Trabajos Americanos!"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO -- Prison hunger strikers who were shipped out of Pelican Bay State Prison so they were closer to medical services and administrators in Sacramento say they have been promised they'll be returned eventually to their old cells now that the demonstration has ended. And a new warden awaits them. As the last 100 protesters ended their 60-day hunger strike on Thursday, they also learned of a shift in command at the state's super maximum-security prison.  Pelican Bay Warden Greg Lewis retired in August, about a month into the strike, and stayed on for a few weeks, said corrections spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman.
NEWS
November 14, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Turkey's security forces raided two Istanbul neighborhoods in a bid to end a hunger strike that has cost more than 40 lives and thrown a spotlight on the country's poor human rights record. In one raid, police used tear gas and clashed with about 50 people who threw stones and Molotov cocktails. A second operation led to the arrest of seven hunger strikers and many of their supporters, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported. The strikers are protesting prison conditions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 1998 | ANDREW BLANKSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Authorities locked down an immigration detention center after more than 100 detainees became unruly over the removal of two Central American hunger strikers in need of medical attention, the Sheriff's Department said Sunday. The hunger strike began at the Mira Loma Detention Center on Thursday when 120 detainees refused to eat because their deportation to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala had been delayed, according to a Sheriff's Department spokesman.
NATIONAL
November 29, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - President Obama told about 20 hunger strikers on the National Mall on Friday that he supported their effort to pressure House Republicans to overhaul immigration laws but was concerned about their health. Three of the protesters, including labor leader Eliseo Medina, 67, have not eaten for 18 days and are drinking only water. Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with the group for about 30 minutes in a heated tent near the steps of the Capitol to discuss the immigration bill that has stalled in the House.
WORLD
November 4, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Defense Department and CIA interrogation policies after 9/11 forced medical professionals to abandon their ethical obligations to "do no harm" to those in their care and some prohibited practices, including force-feeding of hunger strikers, continue today, a report issued Monday alleges. The report, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror , was carried out by a 19-member task force of Columbia University's Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the Open Society Foundations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO -- Prison hunger strikers who were shipped out of Pelican Bay State Prison so they were closer to medical services and administrators in Sacramento say they have been promised they'll be returned eventually to their old cells now that the demonstration has ended. And a new warden awaits them. As the last 100 protesters ended their 60-day hunger strike on Thursday, they also learned of a shift in command at the state's super maximum-security prison.  Pelican Bay Warden Greg Lewis retired in August, about a month into the strike, and stayed on for a few weeks, said corrections spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2013 | By Paige St. John
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. SACRAMENTO - California's top prison doctor defends the court order to allow the force feeding of inmates on a 44-day hunger strike, saying that it gives physicians flexibility to make life-or-death decisions under difficult circumstances. However, a medical expert on prison hunger strikes says allowing prison doctors to disregard patient directives and revive and even feed protesters against their will is "medically inappropriate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO -- While inmates in six California prisons continue a 43-day hunger strike over conditions of their incarceration, protesters in one prison resumed eating and as a result received addition television channels, monthly phone calls and a wider variety of food at the prison canteen. California prison officials insisted the expanded privileges at Calipatria State Prison, near the Mexico border, did not signal a willingness to negotiate with inmates. "The warden at CAL did not 'reach an agreement' with the hunger strikers," said department spokesman Jeffrey Callison.
OPINION
August 9, 2013
Re "Parenthood optional," Opinion, Aug. 6 I don't thank Meghan Daum for choosing not to have children; I respect her, but I don't thank her. What she's chosen to do is to deprive our society of those who would have inherited her sensibilities and intellect. Jack Salem Los Angeles ALSO: Letters: What the drought is telling us Letters: The hunger strikers' humanity Letters: Re-working No Child Left Behind
NEWS
August 22, 1993 | Reuters
Cuban President Fidel Castro on Saturday praised a group of hunger strikers in the United States whose 23-day protest ended when U.S. authorities granted them permission to take a school bus to Cuba as part of a humanitarian aid donation. Nine members of Pastors for Peace were on a hunger strike aboard a school bus in Laredo, Tex. They started the protest after U.S. Customs officials refused to let the vehicle into Mexico, from where it was to have been shipped to Cuba.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 1995 | MARTIN MILLER
In their third day of a liquid-only fast, two of the five students went to San Francisco on Wednesday to press the UC Board of Regents to expand affirmative-action programs. The hunger strikers, Cesar Cruz of UC Irvine and Angel Cervantes of Claremont Colleges, were among two dozen students who disrupted the regents' meeting for about 15 minutes. "If you can live with yourselves with five hunger strikers' dying, so be it," Cruz told the regents.
OPINION
August 9, 2013
Re "Hungry for control," Opinion, Aug. 6 Jeffrey Beard, head of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, does a masterful job of presenting a narrow view of the issues underlying the current hunger strike in California prisons. He avoids the broader issue of the many thousands of persons held in some form of solitary confinement in California, a practice that is widely held to be torture, and describes conditions in the Security Housing Units, or SHUs, quite at odds with those observed by attorneys and human rights activists.
OPINION
August 7, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
At nine prisons across California, more than 500 inmates continuing a hunger strike they began July 8 to protest what they call cruel and inhumane conditions, and this action - the third hunger strike in two years - must surely lead many Californians to wonder: Why should we care? What concern is it to peaceful and law-abiding citizens that people convicted of serious crimes experience deprivation? Is their fate not deserved? We should care. Our treatment of prisoners, even the most dangerous and irredeemable, is a fundamental expression of American values.
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