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PRESS RELEASE - Rally For Prisoner’s Human Rights Trial Opening Arguments


When: Monday, June 24, 2024

Rally: 7:00 AM Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building & United States Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street Oakland, CA 94612



  • Mexica (Aztec) ceremony

  • Melissa Valdez, Silicon Valley De-Bug

  • Pamela Solorio, impacted loved one

  • Dolores Canalas, CFASC, Mandela CA Campaign

  • Tiny Garcia, POOR Magazine

  • NLG Bay Area

  • More keynote speakers TBD…

SPONSORS: National Lawyers Guild, POOR Magazine, California Families Against Solitary Confinement, Silicon Valley De-Bug

Court: 8:00 AM Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building & United States Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street Oakland, CA 94612, Courtroom 1, 4th  Floor, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, (Please bring your ID)

(In photo, Guillermo Solorio, George Franco, David Cervantes, James Perez)

Rally For Prisoner’s Human Rights Trial Opening Arguments

Rally to support Prisoner’s Human Rights organizers on their 1st day of trial during opening arguments, hunger strikers face federal sentencing for their leadership and participation in hunger strikes to end indefinite solitary confinement and an end of hostilities in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)

6/24 - OAKLAND, CA – In 2012, 30,000 people went on a historic hunger strike to end indefinite solitary confinement in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) based solely on gang allegations, not conduct, sentencing or due process. In 2015, hunger strikers agreed to a settlement (Ashker v. Governor of CA) that radically reformed the use of solitary confinement in the California prison system, and a historic end of hostilities of all racial groups in CDCR.

CDCR designed solitary confinement units in the 1980’s in response to the 1970’s era of collective organizing in prison, stemming from author, Black liberation leader and political prisoner George Jackson.

The CDCR hunger strikes were part of a statewide campaign that included a successful end of hostilities between all racial groups in CDCR, solidarity efforts to end solitary confinement in county jails i.e. Chavez v. County of Santa Clara and the greatest peace efforts in prison history. In addition, criminal justice reform legislation efforts by community organizations i.e. Prop 57, SB 81, SB 1437, AB 333 etc. has massively decreased the prison population and crime rates in communities across California. It is safe to say that California’s legislative prison reform efforts would not be possible without the sacrifices taken by the Prisoners Human RIghts Movement, their hunger strike, Ashker v. Governor of CA settlement and end of hostilities.

“After years of family separation, I regained contact with my cousin George Franco, and because of the hunger strike, an opportunity to visit him became possible, until he was picked up by this federal case. George Franco has had his whole life taken from him. George has been incarcerated since the age of 22, in 1987. Raised by Spanish speaking parents who came to the United States for a better life as farmworkers. George was originally sentenced to 15 to life, and he has already served more than double his base term, 37 years in total. Most of his time, has been served in solitary confinement. George should have been paroled no later than 2002 but has been denied parole even though he has had continued family support and little to no behavioral issues. George deserves a second chance to be with family out here in the free world. My family will never give up trying to bring George home. Before passing, George’s mother never gave up hope that he would come back home. Despite challenges, George has remained strong, loving and caring.” - Melissa Valdez

George Franco is one of the four PHRM representatives and we strongly believe that due their influence in ending indefinitely solitary confinement, implementing the end of hostilities, and major legislative prison reform efforts, both CDCR and the federal government is retaliating against these gentlemen in the form of a RICO indictment for the purpose of job security and inciting hostilities that may result in mass incarceration.

Join us on Monday, June 24, 2024 at 7:00 AM, where we will begin with an Mexica (Aztec) ceremony, then move to families and community members ralling to support these gentlemen just before opening arguments of trial. We will have guest speakers followed by families and community members filling up courtroom 1, 4th  Floor, Ronald V. Dellums Federal Courthouse 1301 Clay Street Oakland, CA 94612 in support of their loved ones.

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