Updated: Mar 7
PRESS RELEASE - MV-GSA Hunger Strike Support Committee
Contact: Edwin Carmona-Cruz | edwin[@]ccijustice.org
March 07, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BREAKING: Detained Hunger Strikers at Central Valley Facility Violently Staged for Transfer
Strikers demand the end of acts of violence and terror from GEO Group and ICE.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. – Today, on day 19 of the ongoing hunger strike, four strikers detained at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center in Bakersfield, California were removed violently from their dorm by officers with “San Francisco Special Response” badges, a tactical unit within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and are being held incommunicado. Around 6AM the special response unit abruptly entered the facility and brutally threw at least three of the strikers to the floor and proceeded to handcuff them. The current whereabouts and status of four strikers is still unknown.
“It was like a terror scene right out of a movie,” said one of the strikers who requested to remain anonymous due to the violent retaliation experienced this morning. “ICE officers stormed into the dorm and grabbed several people, twisting their hands and fingers. A full-blown panic scene. ICE threw them on the ground, forcibly placed their knees on people’s necks and legs even though [hunger strikers] shouted out loud [that] they were not resisting. They think they hurt us, but we are more determined than ever to keep fighting for ourselves and our peers whom they took.”
Hunger strikers have made calls to Members of Congress to stop the violent transfers of these individuals and launch an immediate full and transparent investigation into the violations perpetrated by The GEO Group and ICE.
Currently, 33 individuals remain on hunger strike at Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center and the Golden State Annex demanding the immediate release of all individuals detained at the facilities and the shutdown of both detention centers.
For live updates on the hunger strike, refer to this link.
The MV-GSA Hunger Strike Support Committee consists of the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Centro Legal de la Raza, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, El Concilio Family Services, Freedom for Immigrants, Free Them All Coalition SD, Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement Sacramento Chapter, La Voz de los Trabajadores, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers’ Guild, Pangea Legal Services, Papeles Para Todos, and Rapid Response Network of Kern County.