Thousands of prisoners across California have launched their third large-scale hunger strike in the past two years. The action focuses on ending long-term solitary confinement, which the prisoners call a form of “indefinite state-sanctioned torture.” Thousands took part in the most recent hunger strike in the fall of 2011, winning vows to improve conditions in solitary confinement. The fast started at Pelican Bay State Prison, but it has now spread to two-thirds of the state’s 33 prisons. California officials say some 30,000 prisoners refused meals on the strike’s first day, which if sustained would result in the largest prison hunger strike in the state’s history. In addition to refusing meals, many prisoners are also missing classes and prison work programs.