On July 23rd, about twenty people rallied and marched in downtown Santa Cruz in solidarity with prisoners at Pelican Bay who have ended their hunger strike and declared it a success! Their courageous act of refusing to eat for four weeks has successfully put the issues of torturous isolation units and California’s abominable debriefing program in the international and national media, boosted a growing movement for the rights of prisoners, and is unifying prisoners of different racial groups for a struggle against their real and shared enemies: the unfair policies and practices of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
On June 30th, a new incarnation of Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs served up a healthy and hearty meal to dozens of hungry people in front of Santa Cruz City Hall. The collaborative effort was in response to the City of Orlando, Florida jailing volunteers of Orlando Food Not Bombs, as well as Keith McHenry, who helped to start the Food Not Bombs movement over 30 years ago. Food Not Bombs chapters volunteer around the world to end the criminalization of poverty, which in Santa Cruz includes police waking and ticketing people who are sleeping at night.