Dying to Live Hunger Strikes, Wisconsin
Wisconsin June 7, 2016 – January 26, 2017 A group of prisoners at Waupun Correctional Institution announce the “Dying to Live” hunger strike against long term solitary confinement. The protest spreads as prisoners in Columbia and Green Bay join or organize rolling hunger strikes under different demands. After ten days, WI DOC begins force feeding prisoners, breaking many. Cesar DeLeon and LaRon McKinley continue to refuse food and endure force feeding, DeLeon holding out for more than seven months. Outside supporters stage a series of demonstrations in solidarity with the hunger strikers, including one on August 14, with approximately 35 marching around the facility in downtown Waupun (a prison town with 3 facilities in it). Waupun Correctional was built in 1851. The combination of starvation and contaminated water from the old pipes caused Cesar DeLeon severe diarrhea and dehydration, but the authorities would not allow him access to bottled water or electrolyte drinks while on strike.