For Immediate Release – March 23, 2015

West Cliff Candlelight Vigil Protests

Use of Solitary Confinement in Santa Cruz

Monthly Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement begin

When:  Tonight: Monday, March 23, 2015 – and the 23rd of each month thereafter.

Time: Gather at 5:30, Rally at 6pm, Candlelight Vigil 7-7:30

What:  Candlelight vigil on the cliffs along with rally and mock solitary confinement cell in mobilization to end solitary confinement. A response to a proposal from prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison involved in the 2011 and 2013 Hunger Strikes, to name a day each month as Prisoner’s Rights Day. Monday, March 23 will mark the first, and future actions will be held on the 23rd of each month, with the 23rd symbolizing the 23 hours per day prisoners in solitary are held in the complete isolation of their cells.

Where: West Cliff Drive, Lighthouse Lawn

Who: The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) and Sin Barras.

Why: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), including both Santa Cruz’s youth and adult divisions, refuse to respect basic human rights by continuing to keep people isolated in cages and concrete cells.  Statewide this often lasts for years upon years, despite international condemnation calling on California to end its practice of solitary confinement. Solitary confinement has been defined as torture by the U.N., yet the U.S. puts more people in solitary and for longer periods than any other country. California continues to use the practice in violation of international law and in violation of the US policy against cruel and unusual punishment. We seek to build organized, community-based pressure outside prison walls, and to amplify the demands of prisoners who continue to call for the end of torture.

For more information, please contact Courtney Hanson from Sin Barras in Santa Cruz 916-316-0625. For statewide information talk with Mohamed Shehk at 510.444.0484. Shehk is the Media and Communications Director at Critical Resistance, a member organization of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. You can also visit https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com to learn more.

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