Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in Featured

Detained Immigrants are on Hunger Strike Across the West Coast

Detained Immigrants are on Hunger Strike Across the West Coast

Tacoma, WA – On June 15, 2017, at least a dozen women went on hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC). Since then, NWDC Resistance organizers have confirmed reports that approximately 25 women are still on hunger strike, refusing to eat for multiple days. Strikers call on GEO Group to provide edible, nutritious food, on ICE to provide fair and timely hearings, and on civil society to step up and take action for the injustices in our communities.

As GEO Group, the private prison company, creates inhumane conditions at prisons and detention centers everywhere, those held captive call for justice. In Tacoma, GEO representatives claimed to offer “humane” services. In a response written in April 2017, one man in detention stated directly, “If this is called humane treatment, well I am sorry because I call this inhumane treatment and protecting their own economic interests.” This is why the #Tacoma12 have become 25 people on hunger strike over the weekend.

The Northwest Detention Center. Photo Credit: Seattle Globalist

Meanwhile, over 50 men in detention engaged in peaceful civil disobedience on Saturday, June 17th. GEO Group must provide air conditioning to maintain humane conditions at the facility — the weather forecast predicts a high of 78 degrees tomorrow. When the men asked ICE about fixing their broken air conditioning unit, ICE told them GEO won’t do it because it’s “too expensive.” To watch the men engaging in civil disobedience against GEO’s failure to provide humane living conditions, watch beginning at 2:48: https://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/videos/1478767408850801/

On the same video, at 7:00, you can see a GEO guard tell Resistance organizers to “get out of here.” When organizers correctly note that they have a right to be on the railroad tracks because they are a public space (GEO doesn’t own them), the guard’s response was, “It doesn’t matter.” GEO has trained its guards to act with impunity, regardless of the law, for too long.

At a GEO facility in California, the #Adelanto9 are also on hunger strike. Nine asylum seekers were taken to the Adelanto Detention Facility in Southern California, where guards reportedly drenched them with pepper spray, beat them, handcuffed them, and placed them in solitary confinement. They are putting their bodies on the line to call for basic human rights. To learn about their case and sign a petition to support them, visit: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ice-and-geo-stop-retaliation.fb51?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=18563568

For live updates on the #Tacoma12, visit https://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/.

Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando, (206) 251 6658, maru@latinoadvocacy.org

###

NWDC Resistance is a volunteer community group that emerged to fight deportations in 2014 at the now-infamous Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. NWDC Resistance is part of the #Not1More campaign and supported people detained who organized hunger strikes asking for a halt to all deportations and better treatment and conditions.

#Tacoma12 #Adelanto9 #Not1More #NoEstánSólos