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Prisoners across the US have called for and are planning a nationally coordinated work stoppage and protest on September 9th. Read the call to action here.
This action deserves and would benefit greatly from robust outside support. If you are engaged in any kind of work against mass incarceration, whether as an individual or organization, please consider supporting the strike.
Send your endorsements and pledges of support to PrisonerResistance@gmail.com and we will publish them on this site and make sure you’re getting updates about ways to make good on that pledge.
If you have concerns or misgivings, please check out the frequently asked questions below, or contact us and we’d be happy to discuss it with you or your organization. Thank you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Sept 9th?
Who is calling for the strike?
Why does the language refer to prison slavery?
This action has the potential to put incarcerated persons in extremely dangerous situations if it isn’t well-backed and thought through. What about the danger?
What about demands, tactics and strategies?
How many / which prisoners are on board with the strike?
Who is coordinating outside support for this effort?
What is IWOC, how did it start?
What kind of support is needed?
Any other questions or concerns?
May 13, 2016
Today, prisoners across Alabama have ended a 10-day strike that started May 1 (International Workers’ Day) to protest unpaid labor and horrendous conditions, already reporting retaliation by prison officials. On September 9, 2016, the National Lawyers Guild will join Support Prisoner Resistance, The Free Alabama Movement and The International Workers of the World (IWW) Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) in a Call to Action Against Slavery in America. On that day—exactly 45 years after the Attica uprisings—we will support a national work stoppage led by prisoners across the nation. Join us in supporting their freedom from forced labor!
This Call to Action was written by prisoners in Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, and Virginia who are calling attention to contemporary exploitation of their labor as prisoners. Their choice in using the language of slavery reminds us that the Thirteenth Amendment did not abolish slavery and involuntary servitude when used “as punishment for a crime.” Acknowledging that slavery invokes a specific history of oppression and anti-Blackness in the United States, the prisoners consciously address the racism of contemporary policing and prisons, which disproportionately impact communities of color and especially Black and Native American communities. The IWOC Call to Action reminds us all that “Certain Americans live every day under not only the threat of extra-judicial execution—as protests surrounding the deaths of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and so many others have drawn long overdue attention to—but also under the threat of capture, of being thrown into these plantations, shackled and forced to work.” Continue reading