Similar to police officers on the streets, violence between guards in jails and prisons is a crucial problem that has gone from brutality to outright homicide. As is the case with police violence, African Americans and other people of color are disproportionately the victims of abuse at the hands of prison and jail officials.
Last week, the shocking video footage of Darius Robinson’s April 4, 2016 death while in police custody was released. The 41-year-old father of seven was being held on charges of failure to pay child support when he apparently experienced a mental meltdown. He reportedly tore up paper and walked about his cell waving a blanket. In the video, Robinson can be seen sitting on a bench, two guards in front of him. Robinson appeared to lean or step forward when one of the guards, Allen Smith, struggled with Robinson and the other guard, Vicki Richardson, sprayed Robinson with pepper spray. Both men fell to the ground and struggled when Smith choked Robinson until he was all but motionless.
Warning: The below video contains graphic content which some may find disturbing.
Below is a list of dates when people on either side of the prison fences may want to mobilize support and demonstrate power building up to the Anniversary of Attica. Some of these arespecific actionscalled by prisoners or organizers that could be replicated or supported through solidarity actions. Others are holidays that resonate with freedom struggles, when demonstrations of solidarity may be extra visible or resonant. We have also included times when the authorities are gathering for conferences and conventions, which could be confronted like the recent CCA meeting in Nashville.
June 10th – Prisoners in Wisconsin initiate a food refusal against solitary confinement. June 11th – the International Day of Solidarity with Long Term Anarchist Prisoners. June 11-13 – the national convergence of the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons, Washington, DC. July 11-13 – United States Deputy Warden’s Association Annual Conference, Des Moines, IA June 19th – Juneteenth Independence Day celebration of the (supposed) end of slavery. June 25th – First #IncarceratedLivesMatter rally in Birmingham, AL. July 4th – Celebration of America’s (supposed) freedom. July 14th – Bastille Day, commemoration of a French prison break that kicked off the revolution there. July 18-21 – Republic National Convention, Cleveland, OH July 25-28 – Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, PA August 10th – Prisoner’s Justice Day (Canada) August 5-10 – American Corrections Association Annual Congress of Correction, Boston, MA August 12th – One year anniversary of Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell’s assassination. August 28-September 1 – Association of Correctional Food Service Affilliates Annual International Conference, Minneapolis-Bloomington, MN September 9th – Anniversary of Attica, Nationally Coordinated Work Stoppage and Protest. November 8 – Election Day October 22nd – International Day Against Police Brutality and Terror October 22-26 – National Conference on Correctional Health Care, Las Vegas, NV January 20 – Presidential Inauguration January 20-25, 2017 – American Corrections Association Annual Winter Conference, San Antonio, TX