What were they protesting?
The loss of their TV privilege.
There was a problem in their dorm and someone got rolled up. According to the standing policy of the jail, anyone gets rolled up, and TV privileges get suspended for a week (read the Collective Punishment blog entry on June 18, 2005). Because they lost their TV for a week, those guys decided to go on a hunger strike. Their mentality was simple: they didn't do anything wrong, so why should they get punished?
I don't agree with the collective punishment policy myself, but going on a hunger strike for a TV is not something I would participate in. I can understand if they're protesting against the conditions or policies of the jail. Not the stupid box. No.
Such is the power of TV.