In California, around 80 detainees at two Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities have been on hunger strike for nearly two weeks and say they are willing to risk their lives to fight against the inhumane conditions they are facing. A group of the hunger strikers from the Mesa Verde and Golden State Annex jails sued ICE and the private prison corporation GEO last week for retaliating against them by cutting off their heat, denying family visits and recreational time, and threatening solitary confinement. This is a strike participant speaking anonymously over the phone from the Golden State Annex.
Hunger strike participant: “I don’t see a detainment facility. It’s a prison. It’s four walls. People are packed in here like sardines. So, they can call it other words for this place. It’s a prison for me.”
The hunger strike follows a labor strike protesting detainees’ $1-per-day wage for eight-hour shifts. Earlier this week, local activists held a solidarity protest at the Oakland State Building.