At noon on Monday, April 10th, over 100 detained immigrants at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma began a 72-hour hunger strike to protest human rights abuses inside the facility and to fight for better conditions. As of 8PM Monday, the strike had spread to 415 detainees. Organizers on the inside have asked for the presence of supporters at the Detention Center until it ends. People who are willing to stay late/come early/camp out in front of the NWDC are urged to head there as soon as possible. The NWDC is located at 1623 E J St, Tacoma. Donations of food/water/supplies are also needed and appreciated.
Originally published by Puget Sound Anarchists
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on.
As of 04/10/17 7:17pm, AT LEAST 415 immigrants incarcerated at the Northwest Detention Center are on a HUNGER STRIKE for improved conditions. ICE does not recognize a hunger strike as such until it hits the 72 hr mark. The strike will continue at least through Wednesday 4/13/17 at noon. They are asking for support on the outside by means of sharing word of their action and demands via the internet and by being physically present outside the prison through the duration of the strike. Supporters are encouraged to bring food and other supplies to help people maintain a presence outside the facility which is located 1623 East J Street, Tacoma, WA, 98421
At noon today over 100 immigrants incarcerated at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) refused their lunch, launching a hunger strike to protest their treatment inside the immigration prison. The Tacoma, Washington facility, located on a superfund site, is the largest immigrant detention center on the West Coast, caging over 1500 immigrants who are facing civil deportation proceedings. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contracts with the GEO Group, a multinational private prison corporations, to run the facility, and hunger strikers aimed their demands at both the federal government and the private contractor. The NWDC has been a frequent target of immigrant activists since a March 2014 hunger strike involving 1200 detainees first brought international notoriety to the immigration prison.
A demand letter that circulated around the facility prior to the launch of the strike (attached) echoed many of the concerns raised in the 2014 strike, and includes demands for more expedited hearings, improved quality of food, improved access to medical care, and lowering of exorbitant commissary prices (strikers note that already over-inflated prices on commissary items have recently doubled). Additionally, hunger strikers are asking for an increase in the $1 a day they currently receive for running all of the prison’s basic services. Some have even been denied the $1/day payment, and have been given a bag of chips in exchange for several nights of waxing the prison’s floors.
Community members, including members of Northwest Detention Center Resistance, a group that has supported those held at the NWDC since the 2014 hunger strike, planned to rally at the facility beginning at noon, seeking to bring public attention to the activists striking inside the facility. “Detention conditions were already terrible under Obama, and from what we’re hearing, they’ve gotten even worse since Trump’s election. We know from past hunger strikes that ICE and GEO are quick to retaliate, and we want the hunger strikers to know that they are not alone.”
List of Demands in English:
The motive that we write this is to ask you by favor that we all participate united, and on Monday April 10, 2017, from noon and on we will not eat, or use the phones, neither will we bunk up on the late night count or lights out. The objective is to reach some changes in the institution which are the following:
1) Change the food (menu)
2) Lower the commissary (reasonable prices)
3) Better hygiene (with the clothes)
4) Increase rec – time
5) Bring programs such as: school and program to keep our heads occupied and avoid depression mentally
6) Better medical attention
7) Increase wages for working detainees (waxing floors, painting, cleaning, cooking, laundry)
8) Facilitate court proceedings (speed up the process). Please we ask for our help and participation. Because it is not just for them to treat out the way they want without them respecting our rights! And if we speak up we don’t speak up we’ll always be the same.
Pressrelease by NWDC Resistance as PDF file: April10HungerStrikePressRelease
Hunger Strike poster as PDF file: hungerstrikeposter