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Did you know that the U.S. Constitution currently allows unpaid slave labor as long as it uses prisoners?
This is not optional work, preferable to inactivity. This is not educational or rehabilitative. This is not a means of making restitution or reconciliation. It’s forced labor, often factory and industrial labor that places prisoners at risk for toxic exposure, physical and neurological degeneration, and cancer-related health problems. Many prisoners view forced, unpaid labor in hazardous conditions as a death sentence, on top of their life sentence.
Our petitions have helped win reforms in prisons before. Now prisoners are protesting this injustice en masse, including going on strike in Texas and Alabama. Let’s find out how much we can all do together:
|To: U.S. Senate and House: Revisit the 13th Amendment and propose a new amendment to the Constitution that abolishes free prison labor and applies the federal minimum wage to all labor in the United States and its imperial territories. Learn more and sign here.
|To: Texas State Officials: Hundreds of prisoners are at serious risk of being exposed to cancer-causing fumes at the Texas Correctional Industries Metal Fabrication Plant. Provide immediate relief to the affected prisoners and permit an investigation by a body that is not part of the prison administration. Learn more and sign here.
|To: Georgia state legislators: A Georgia “life sentence” can, in the minimum case, be completed in 20 years. A young prisoner with such a sentence suffers horribly from not being told any release date. We urge you to change state law with legislation to allow prisoners to be given a definite release date, regardless of life sentences. Sign here.
After signing the petitions, please forward this message to your friends.
Then start your own petition that we can feature in a future email.
— The RootsAction.org team
> Counterpunch: Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression”
> San Francisco Bay View: End prison slavery in Texas now!
> Washington Times: 2 Alabama prisons on lockdown after inmates refuse work
>The Intercept: Striking Prisoners in Alabama Accuse Officials of Using Food as Weapon
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