Editor's Note:

Since its inception 20 years ago, ICE has acted with impunity and in complete disregard to Human Rights – the profit driven institution must be abolished! For years, loved ones detained inside these facilities have called out the inhumane conditions. Loved ones inside Mesa Verde and Golden State Annex have attempted to improve conditions, because nothing has changed they took the decision to hunger strike to call attention to the abuses and the need to SHUT IT DOWN!

On Feb. 17, 2023 a joint hunger strike was launched by more than 77 loved ones at two separate ICE detention facilities, Mesa Verde in Bakersfield & Golden State Annex in McFarland. The strikers are protesting horrific living and working conditions, repeated abuse, & retaliation from ICE and GEO Group, the private prison company that runs both of these facilities. ICE, GEO Group, and President Biden must immediately release all who are detained and to shut down these detention centers. For more info:

Below are updates from several hunger strike participants inside the Golden State Annex detention facility. Their names and voices have been redacted for safety concerns.

Feb 17, 2023

Day 1 Testimony 

"The conditions here at Golden State Annex: lack of medical care, mental health, the food is inadequate and overpriced. We want to be released from ICE custody. ICE must stop collaborating with the prison systems and retaliating against us.

Feb 18, 2023

Day 2 Testimony

"Medical came in and told us to sign our refusals for not eating meals and medications. We asked them to bring an interpreter to communicate the message to everyone. In the past, we’ve had problems with medical and translating - we would translate for each other but they had problems with that and stopped. But when delivering the message today, one of us translated for everyone - they were ok with that. We were told they didn’t have medical staff that spoke Spanish at that time to translate. We need trained medical staff that is able to communicate with everybody here."

Testimony from hunger striker #2

"I just finished a five year prison term. I’m more restricted here at Golden State Annex. I can’t get my clothes from prison. Medical is a joke - they tell you they can’t do anything. All they do is draw blood. A man fell here a few months ago, they didn’t give him a back brace until threatened with a lawyer. I went to the eye doctor because I lost my glasses - they told me I wasn’t blind enough to see an optometrist. Another man got stung by a bee - he had allergic reaction and couldn’t breathe. i told these people, they didn’t do anything until the very last minute."

Feb 19, 2023

Spanish testimony

"Medical does nothing here at Golden State Annex. They tell us they can’t do anything. When I first arrived I saw a psychologist, I was in a bad place. I hadn’t talked to my wife and children. I wanted to see a psychologist. They evaluated me, gave me some medicine and that was it. I haven’t been able to communicate with my wife and kids. My wife divorced me and sent me the papers. It’s been really tough for me, I was suicidal at one point."

Feb 20, 2023

Day 4 Testimony 

"Yesterday was the hardest day for me. I went outside to get some sun - I was out there for two hours and felt a mild heat stroke. Mouth dry, headache, I felt like my muscles were cramping up. I read an article from 2020 and realized ICE can still force feed us and tie us down if it gets to that point. That’s inhumane, it scared me to learn that. Yesterday GEO made it official that we are on a hunger strike. They took our commissary. During that time, someone fainted and went to medical."

Feb 21, 2023 

Day 5 Testimony 

"ICE showed up just to say they came. They reviewed all of our cases in 90 minutes. When I did my first three month review - an officer told me that I would be denied. I got denied before going through the review. I have support from organizations, family, 20-30 support letters, job offers, programs, self help - but I just get judged by my crime. They quote us laws - we don’t know them. Some people only know spanish."

Feb 22-23, 2023

Day 6 & 7 Testimony 

"They denied my grievance today. I addressed the issues with the food, health, and doctors. They responded “these issues were already addressed and they fall under the purview of federal governed and private prisons. Performance based on national standards. 

Last night - an ICE officer told some of us, “this little strike you’re doing is not real.” I got offended. I spoke up, “officer, it’s real for me. I’ve lost 10 pounds in six days. He shrugged and denied I lost weight."

Feb 24, 2023

Action outside Golden State Annex 

On Day 10 of the hunger strike, an emotional solidarity action with the strikers took place outside Golden State Annex in McFarland to demand immediate release and the shut down of ICE facilities! 

Family members, formerly detained individuals & community supporters met outside the gates of Golden State Annex, where just behind two chain link fences a group of individuals where on the yard. We spoke to them through a loudspeaker, they chanted back at us and waved. Individuals detained inside called and shared stories and song.

For more info visit:

Feb 28

DAY 9 HUNGER STRIKE UPDATE FROM INSIDE ICE DETENTION. "I think I am getting used to the pain." Hunger strikers are being told they have to drink an electrolyte drink but they are hesitant because if they do, they don't feel their demands are being taken seriously. ICE officials came to speak with the strikers about the conditions of the facility and how to improve them but the strikers demands are for the facilities to be shut down and for people detained to be released. We continue to stand in solidarity with the hunger strikers and their families.

March 1

“This is not a detainment facility. It’s a prison. Four walls and people packed in here like sardines. ICE doesn’t care they’d rather us die in here than let us free”

Hunger strikers inside Golden State Annex ICE detention heard and felt the shouts of solidarity at the protest held outside the facility over the weekend. Loved ones, people formerly detained and supporting community were outside the facility this past Sunday, despite ICE not allowing everyone outside claiming safety concerns.

Today marks day 13 since the brave individuals inside Golden State Annex and Mesa Verde began their hunger strike. They hear us, and we must continue making more noise to uplift their story and show them we are supporting from the outside. CALL and EMAIL to demand that everyone inside ICE detention be released and that these horrendous facilities with no regard for human life be shut down immediately! visit for more info!

March 15

It's been nearly a month since loved ones detained in ICE custody began a hunger strike demanding their release and the shutting down of ICE facilities. In this recording from Golden State Annex, we hear from a participant on his second hunger strike and the retaliatory actions that prompted it.

ICE officials have violently transferred hunger strikers from the Mesa Verde facility & Golden State Annex. This morning, an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order was filed calling on the court to block ICE and GEO group from:

● Transferring or threatening to transfer Mesa Verde and Golden State Annex hunger

strikers to different detention facilities;

● Continuing to carry out the unconstitutional transfers of the four strikers;

● Using violence, excessive physical force, or sexually-abusive pat downs against strikers;

● Denying strikers access to their attorneys; and

● Engaging in any further retaliation against strikers exercising their right to free speech.

In past weeks, people detained in other ICE detention facilities have been calling attention to inhumane conditions and ICE’s abuse. People detained at Northwest ICE Processing Center, in Tacoma, Washington, were sprayed by ICE with chemical agents, as they protested inadequate food and unsanitary conditions. At Otay Mesa Detention Center, detained individuals have filed a complaint alleging retaliation for their protests against medical conditions, and at the Central Louisiana ICE Processing Center last Thursday, an estimated 300 people launched a hunger strike demanding release from the GEO-run detention facility.

Find more information about the Mesa Verde-Golden State Annex hunger strikers & how to support at