Anyone relying on mainstream media wouldn’t know it, but the US prison system is shaking up right now.
No one knows how big the initial strike was yet, but the information is slowly leaking out between the cracks in the prisons’ machinery of obscurity and isolation. Here are some speculative numbers we can share with confidence at this time:
At least 29 prisons were affected. These are places where either prisoners reported to outside supporters, or where the authorities locked the institutions down probably because of protests. We expect this number to rise dramatically as we gather reports from prisoners and keep calling prisons in the coming days and weeks.
More than 24,000 prisoners missed work. The facilities experiencing full shutdowns that we know about hold approximately 24,000 prisoners. There are probably thousands more who didn’t work that we don’t know about, yet. Many are still are not working today and intend to continue the strike until their demands are satisfied or the prisons break under the economic strain of operating without their slaves.
A group of people cannot hurt the American empire as much as this protest is without facing retaliation. There were about a dozen arrests across the US, and hundreds or thousands of punitive transfers inside the prisons. IWOC inreach is maintaining a list of perceived leaders who have been targeted and isolated for Sep 9 organizing. Please check out this list, write to these prisoners and let us know if there’s anyone missing: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvLraNisdAp1N0enIg9keE_k9rvH7J9DZ3LKNr9pwcc/edit?usp=sharing
On the outside, most of the arrests were minor citations, but three protesters in Atlanta are facing serious felony charges. You can contribute to their legal fund here: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/bail-out-prison-strike-supporters
We hope that our next weekly update will have more complete information. Please contact us if you’re able to help with research or support tasks to make that happen. Thank you.