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Solidarity Events and Materials

maydayPrisoners in Texas are still on strike, prisoners in Alabama will be joining them on May 1st, food protests continue in Michigan, as well as hunger strikes in Louisiana. Holman Unit in Alabama continues to be a place of strife and open conflict with the authorities.

The fight against slavery, torture and confinement is raging on the inside, and calling for support on the outside. Prisoner supporters and the IWOC are responding to the call, with rallies, phone zaps, and educational events and outreach. See below for ways you can participate! Continue reading

Another Day of Violence at Holman

 

On April 27, 2016 the realities of Overcrowding continues to translate into violence. As yet again, 2 Officers were assaulted in the Segregation Unit in 2 separate incidents.
Due to such a shortage of Staff and surplus of prisoners, Officers result to being over aggressive in order to emphasize their control, which in turn causes an influx of violent altercations between the two.
Since the Riots of March 11th & 14th, where an Officer and the Warden were assaulted, a Lt and 3 CO’s have been assaulted in the Segregation Unit alone as prisoners fight back against the repressive treatment.
How long will the ADOC allow this Overcrowding and associated violence continue before they realize that the money is not worth the cost of keeping so many people incarcerated in its dilapidated system?

Once again, the ADOC CERT TEAM is expected to arrive at Holman Correctional Facility to reassert control and instill fear as a means of addressing the deteriorating conditions.
After 4 attempts in the past 45 days, seems like it would be clear that this is not the most effective method.
As until Overcrowding is properly addressed the violence will persist.

Who’s behind unpaid prison labor in Texas?

tbcjFrom littlesis.org

Several of the officials charged with regulating Texas’s prison labor program, wherein thousands of workers behind bars are compelled to produce goods and provide services for free, are connected to some of the richest and most powerful institutions and people in the state.

The Texas Board of Criminal Justice, which oversees Texas Correctional Industries (TCI), the prison industry division within the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, has authority over how much compensation inmates working for the state receive for their labor. Currently, inmates working for TCI are not paid for the work done while serving their time; the only inmates who are paid anything are the small fraction who are employed by TCI’s private sector prison industries program.

TCI factories are spread throughout 37 prison facilities across the state, and their workers manufacture everything from wooden state signs, various garments including police utility vests, and bedding, to soap, steel kitchenware, and even “the most up-to-date ergonomically designed office [furniture] available.” They also provide services such as school bus and computer refurbishing. Total sales for TCI were valued at $88.9 million in FY 2014. TCI also makes products used within the prison system, including inmate garments.

Continue reading

Free Alabama May Day Strike!

12495092_10208600490667061_654856713704924885_nThis is the May Day call to action from The Free Alabama Movement. Learn more about outside support for this action here.

In 4 days- Saturday night @ 12:01 May 1st- We will begin the process using our Economic Power to Peacefully bring about a true and transparent reform to the Alabama Judicial and Penal System.

MAY DAY MAY DAY is not just about the Conditions of Confinement. This is more so about the cause of those Conditions- THE 13th AMENDMENT, THE ALABAMA CONSTITUTION OF 1901 and the STATUTORY LAWS that have been created from both- Laws that drive and maintains this Mass Warehousing of men and women for extended periods of time in the name of profits.
All that is required of each of us is to STAND AND SPEAK AS ONE- With the Economic Voice of “WE WILL NO LONGER VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATE IN THIS SLAVE SYSTEM WHERE ECONOMICS ARE PLACED OVER OUR HUMANITY. Continue reading

Unstoppable! Issue 1

From Unstoppable.noblogs.org

It’s finally here! The first edition is now posted online and we are about to mail them to prisoners. You can access it for free. This link will take you to another site (insurgenttheatre.org), because our website was unable to host the file. Our first edition was jam packed with goodies and great information, so the size is quite large.

If you’re on the outside, you can request that we mail you a nice fancy printed copy for $5. Or, you can read it online and think about donating money to help with our mailing costs. Either way, we hope you enjoy!

Unstoppable – Spring 2016 (1st edition)
If you know of someone on the inside who can contribute/need a subscription, they can write us at:

unstoppable! publication
po box 11032
pueblo, co 81001

Unstoppable is by and for incarcerated folks who identify as women, trans, and/or gender non-conforming. This anti-authoritarian publication seeks to blend radical political analyses with personal experiences and observations. We want to elevate the voices on the inside that are often excluded from political dialogues, while also asking people on the outside to convey their social and political realities to people on the inside. Unstoppable aims to build bridges across prison walls and beyond them by facilitating dialogue and engagement between those who are incarcerated and those who are not.

Anuncian Huelga Nacional Coordinada por Prisioneros para el 9 de septiembre del 2016. (Sept 9th Call to Action)

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Anuncian Huelga Nacional Coordinada por Prisioneros para el 9 de septiembre del 2016.

Prisioneros a través de los Estados Unidos (EEUU) acaban de lanzar un llamado de acción para una huelga nacional coordinada por prisioneros contra la esclavitud en las prisiones para el 9 de septiembre del 2016.

Esto es un Llamado Contra la Esclavitud en América.

En una voz, alzada desde las celdas de largos aislamientos, resonando en los dormitorios y celdas desde Virginia a Oregón, nosotros, prisioneros, a través de los EEUU juramos a finalmente acabar con la esclavitud en el 2016.

En septiembre 9 del 1971 prisioneros tomaron y cerraron Attica, la prisión de Nueva York más notoria. En septiembre 9 del 2016, empezaremos una acción para cerrar las prisiones a través de este país. No solo demandaremos un fin a la esclavitud prisionera, lo acabaremos nosotros mismos dejando de ser esclavos.

En la década de los 1970’s el sistema estadounidense de prisiones se derrumbaba. En Walpole, San Quentin, Soledad, Angola, y muchas otras prisiones, la gente se levantaba, peleaban y recuperaban sus propias vidas y cuerpos de las prisiones esclavizadoras. Por los últimos seis años hemos recordado y renovado la lucha. En lo interino, la población de prisioneros ha explotado y las tecnologías para controlar y encarcelar se han desarrollado al nivel más sofisticado y represivo en la historia del mundo. Las prisiones se han vuelto más dependientes en la esclavitud y la tortura para mantener estabilidad. Continue reading

Siddique Abdullah Hasan Speaks on Prisoner Protest Movements from Ohio State Pennitentiary

From LucasvilleAmnesty.org

 

Siddique Abdullah Hasan recently called in to an event in Brooklyn, New York and gave this inspiring talk.

On prisoner strikers in Georgia who were beaten with hammers and put in solitary confinement since the strike in 2010: “…it is a sad commentary on our part, meaning both those people behind enemy lines and on the outside who are activists. When people step up to the plate and fight in a righteous cause,  I think that we should not leave those people for dead.”

Anyone who can help transcribe this, is encouraged to please contact insurgent.ben@gmail.com. Thank you.

“This was about unity”: A Wave of Protest Spreads Through the Michigan Prison System

foodOver the last month, thousands of prisoners at three different prisons in Michigan have taken part in mass protests against the conditions of their confinement and as a demonstration of their collective strength. Prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility began the wave of protests on March 20th and 21st with 1,000 of the prison’s 1,300 prisoners refusing meals. The strike then spread to Chippewa Correctional Facility, also in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on March 26th through 28th where at least 800 prisoners refused meals for the entire weekend. Then, on April 12th, prisoners at a third facility, the Cotton Correctional Facility, joined in with about 660 prisoners refusing meals. According to the media, the protests are sparked by problems with food quality, but according to the prisoner whose reportback is below, “this was about unity.”

According to the Detroit Free Press:

Both protests were characterized by extremely high participation rates among inmates, which disturbed Michigan Corrections Organization officials and also got the attention of the prisons’ administration, Gautz said. “It’s definitely something the facilities took seriously,” Gautz said. “It is unusual in a high school or a prison, because there are different groups or cliques that form, to have everybody on the same page. It takes some coordination.”

When the strike spread to a third facility, The Detroit Free press reported that the MDOC suspects that “the protest at Cotton may have been instigated by a prisoner who was transferred there for assaulting a prisoner who chose to go to the chow hall during an earlier food protest at Kinross Correctional Facility in the UP, Gautz said.” On March 20th, as at least 1,000 prisoners at Kinross were refusing meals, the MDOC had this to say:

These protests are happening simultaneously with work strikes in Texas prisons as well as ongoing resistance in Alabama prisons, which recently saw a series of riots at Holman Correctional and where prisoners are currently calling for a work stoppage on May 1st. All of this is happening in the lead up to a call by prisoners across the country for a national prison strike on September 9th, the anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. Continue reading

Tipping Point in Texas Prison Strikes? New Wave of Lockdowns, Threats

April 16th, 2016

TX. Since April 4th, prisoners in at least 4 Texas prisons have been on strike for better conditions and an end to slavery and human rights abuses. This strike is but the latest in a nationwide mass movement inside prisons for dignity and freedom. Minimum wage in Texas prisons is 00/hr. Access to medical care requires a $100 medical copay.

“My son and others are literally sitting down to say – ‘Stop killing us. Stop enslaving us. We are human. This has got to stop’” said Judy, whose son’s prison is on lockdown. “I think the strike should spread. I believe prisoners and families together have the power to collapse this system.”

Striking prisons have been put on lockdown in an attempt to “conceal the strike” and the battle of wills is being daily tested by the inhumanity of the administration. No lights, two peanut butter sandwiches a day, no phone, mail or visitation from the outside world. And likely far worse.

Since the strike’s inception, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has been trying to contain the strike and paint the strikers as causing harm to inmates and families. Threatening additional lockdowns, forced transfers, violence. Even a statewide lockdown.

“I know we with family inside are hurting, when we are cutoff from our loved ones. When we hear rumors of additional lockdowns, when they threaten locking us all out” said Ann whose husband is in Robertson and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. “But don’t blame the brave souls standing up. Blame TDCJ. Blame those willing to torture families rather than give us justice.”

IWOC believes TDCJ’s actions to be an intentional, routine tactic. “They are trying to change who the enemy is,” said Nick Onwukwe, Co-Chair of IWOC and a former prisoner. “Trying to get you believe the enemy isn’t the slave master, it’s the slave who sits down and says – enough.”

Increasingly lockdowns are becoming reality. Already there are additional lockdowns at Jester III, Dalhart, and Beto, partial lockdowns at Coffield and Allred, and a confirmed order for lockdown at Michael for this morning, April 16th. Is the strike spreading? Will TCDJ’s tactics backfire? We may be at a tipping point.

“This is not a time to watch,” said Brianna Peril, IWOC Co-Chair and former prisoner. “Gather your family and loved ones. Start a chapter. Go outside the nearest prison and make enough noise that those inside know the free world is with them. The history of slavery in the United States is at stake”.

The movement to end prison slavery is growing. Prisoners in Alabama have recently confirmed their commitment to striking this May, while prisoners across the country are calling for nationally coordinated prison shutdowns on the 45th Anniversary of Attica this September.
Like all futures it will be decided by those who show up. Get involved. Call. Donate. This is our time.