Estrella Jail, Phoenix, Arizona
February 10-13, 2014
At least nine women went on hunger strike to protest low-quality and spoiled food at the jail operated by Sheriff Joe Arapio. In response to the hunger strike, Arapio stated, “They ought to shut up and eat what they have, they happen to be in jail and I’m the sheriff and I’m the chief chef I decide what they eat.”
One of the hunger strikers, Rebekah Mellon, is reportedly placed in solitary confinement for allegedly “instigating” the strike.
An outside supporter in touch with the hunger strikers told Arizona Prison Watch:
“The Ladies in Cell Block C100 continued on with their Hunger strike until Thursday night. They told me they weren’t even feeling all that hungry. They were sad that they took Rebekah away and were very grateful to have someone to just listen and believe them about the food. The ladies were just fighting for safe food because their are a lot of people in there who can not afford canteen so they have to eat the jail food and when it’s moldy and makes you sick that is not right.”
On February 13, the women ended their hunger strike. The same day, the men in the Durango Jail, also in Phoenix, went on hunger strike in solidarity with the women.
On February 17, families and supporters of immigrant detainees at the Eloy Detention Center began an encampment and hunger strike outside of the ICE office in Phoenix. Their hunger strike occurred in solidarity with detainees on hunger strike at the Eloy Detention Center at the time.
“Estrella women on hunger strike over Arpaio’s moldy, sickening food,” Arizona Prison Watch, February 11, 2014.
“Valentine’s Day SURPRISE! Men join Women in Huger strike: Arpaio’s prisoners demand food justice“, Arizona Prison Watch, February 16, 2014.
“Male inmates join food strike at county jails“, AZ Central, February 17, 2014.
“Why Do People in Prison Go on Hunger Strike?“, Bitch Media, February 24, 2014.
“Immigration protesters at Phoenix ICE office vow to stay“, AZ Central, February 26, 2014.