This is a follow-up to my initial post about this strike. Two women–both wives of detainees participating in the hunger strike–left comments there.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent press release by the Southwest Workers Union:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) swarmed housing units at PIDC and assaulted numerous detainees who were hunger striking and/or proactive in speaking against inhumane treatment. Many were moved to other facilities in order to hide the abuses. Divide and conquer tactics were used against detainees. This occurred on Feb. 10, 2010, which was one day after Anayanse Garza of the Southwest Workers’ Union (SWU) and other concerned community members attended an open meeting…held by Phyllis Coven, Acting Director of the Office of Detention Policy and Planning. The meeting was designated for non-governmental and community-based organizations. However, SWU members and other concerned inhabitants of South Texas were not invited…Community members searched for the meeting and found it, last minute, at a local hotel. A local news program brought a video camera. Phyllis Coven did not feel comfortable being on camera. Community members insisted on a transparent meeting. If the meeting was supposed to be open and announced on the internet, there should have been total transparency in what was being discussed.
What follows is phone call (split into three parts) by Vishnawath Ramlakhan, one of the detainees, detailing the abuses at the detention center: