Hunger Strike: A Protest Across California

Jul 22, 2013

Untitled by Zdislav Beksinski
Credit WikiPaintings

For the past two weeks, thousands of California inmates in solitary confinement have been protesting conditions in security housing units with a hunger strike.  Among the demands: that a photograph be allowed in the cell, and that counseling and more nutritious food be provided.

Host Dick Gordon speaks with Steven Czifra, who has been out of prison for a decade but is participating in the hunger strike in solidarity. Czifra spent eight years in solitary confinement starting when he was 14 years old.  At one point, he spent a whole year without ever leaving his cell. "I think the point is to crack people," he says. "They don’t care if you go crazy."

Hear the full conversation at The Story's website. Also in this show: Author Ron Rash reads his short story “Something Rich and Strange,” from his new collection, “Nothing Gold Can Stay;” and violinist Hilary Hahn, who learned to play Bach when she was four, still loves to play his compositions as a soloist – and with other musicians.