At 9:45 a.m., the men sat down in the recreation yard and declared a hunger strike over what they call brutal and inhumane conditions, according to grassroots justice organization Puente Arizona. Protesters stood outside the detention facility all day Saturday, holding signs to show their solidarity with the strikers.
The group said it is demanding improved conditions, access to legal resources and court hearings and an independent investigation into two recent deaths after what it calls “guard abuse.”
"The deaths of these two men has triggered outrage of people that have nothing but their bodies as a way to demand justice,” supporter Francisca Porchas said. “A hunger strike is the only tool they feel like they have in a place where they are deprived of everything.”
The detainees also say they want an end to exploitation of their work and “no more criminalization, detention and deportations.”
The detainees' families, people formerly detained at Eloy and concerned community members were rallying outside of the detention center in support of the hunger strikers.