Supporters hold banner offering legal help outside South Bay, November 2013. Photo by Resist the Raids
By Jake Carman
On October 3rd 2013, approximately 40 detainees at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center at Suffolk County House of Corrections (South Bay) in South Boston launched a hunger strike over poor health conditions, among other issues. Organizers in the ICE section, which holds around 200 immigrants, delivered a letter to the prison administration demanding officials “improve food safety,[…]equalize access to programs and services,[…]and support visitation rights.” Detainees then launched a public campaign on September 26, with dozens of supporters rallying outside the prison, and threatened a hunger strike. Following the demand delivery, prison officials held a whole-unit meeting, promising to address the prisoners’ grievances. Prison administration, however, changed little, spurring detainees at all three ICE units in South Bay to hunger strike for three days.