Tag Archives: strike

Situation critical: Prison riot highlights CO concerns

From Chipley Paper

Law enforcement advocates are pointing to Wednesday’s prison uprising involving 400 inmates at Holmes Correctional Institute as an illustration of a larger problem some say has been largely ignored by the state.

Florida Department of Corrections Director of Communications Michelle Glady confirmed 400 inmates housed in multiple units were involved – but stopped short of calling the incident a riot, instead referring to the uprising as a “major disturbance.”

“At this time, the situation has been resolved and the facility remains on a Level 3 lockdown,” said Glady on Thursday. “There was one inmate on inmate injury that occurred during the disturbance. No staff were injured. The Department is currently accessing the facility for any damages that have resulted and have transported all the involved inmates to other locations. Additional information will be made available following a comprehensive after action review and investigation.”

Inmate unrest

DOC officials have not confirmed if the unrest was part of the nationwide prisoner strike planned for September 9 in observance of the anniversary of the Attica Prison riot that occurred at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York in 1971, but officials have acknowledged the possible connection. Continue reading

How Inmates are Organizing a Nationwide Strike from behind Bars

From Waging Nonviolence

Whenever an inmate and a guard get into an altercation, Melvin Ray sees an opportunity to connect and educate. After stepping in and trying to de-escalate the situation, he’ll talk to his fellow inmate and ask him how he got here. Not just “here,” in the sense of an altercation stemming from the emotional stresses of being incarcerated. Or “here,” in terms of the conviction that sent him to prison in the first place. Ray, ultimately, presses a larger point: “You’re not here because of that crime. You’re here because someone has figured out a way to make money off of you.”These sorts of one-on-one conversations are critical for organizing incarcerated people, and Ray — who also goes by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun — knows this better than anyone. He is one of the founders of the Free Alabama Movement, or FAM — a prisoner-led human rights group that is organizing what could become the largest nationwide prison work stoppage, starting September 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising.

Along with Support Prisoner Resistance and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, or IWOC, of the IWW labor union, FAM issued a call to action earlier this summer, with an estimated 40 prisons in 24 states expected to participate. Much like the inmates who took over New York’s infamous correctional facility in 1971, today’s prisoners are fighting against the conditions of their imprisonment, especially the conditions under which they are forced to work, which many describe as slavery.

Although some states allow prisoners to get paid for their labor, the pay is often less than a dollar per hour, and sometimes absolutely nothing. Half of those wages, in federal institutions at least, are withheld for room and board, victim’s programs and family support. Whatever remains goes toward buying the necessary commissary items for making life in prison tolerable. Essentials like toilet paper, deodorant, menstrual products and laundry detergent can each cost multiple days’ wages.
Continue reading

Attica Is All of Us

Watch this video from Freedom Archives here.

September 9-13 mark the 45th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. This massive prison takeover by hundreds of inmates and the callous repression and murders by the state of New York are part of a unique moment in US history. The legacy of Attica and the fight for human rights is carried on in the prisons of Georgia, Ohio, California and wherever people are caged for years on end.

 This Week May See the Largest Prison Strike in US History

From The Nation / John Washington

Across 24 states, inmates are sick of poisoned water, solitary confinement, and forced labor.

This September 9, we may witness the largest prison strike in US history. Potentially thousands of inmates across both state and federal prisons in as many as 24 states plan to engage in a coordinated strike and protest in an attempt to bring attention to the daily injustice of their lives. The strikers are calling for an end to “slave-like” working conditions, illegal reprisals, and inhumane living conditions.

Planned for the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising, the actions of September 9 will shed light on the often decrepit conditions suffered by the 2.4 million people in what is the largest carceral system in the world. They will also mark a new point in the fight against mass incarceration, and likely stand as a harbinger for further actions and strikes to come. Malik Washington, an inmate in the H. H. Coffield Unit in Texas and the chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas movement, wrote to me in a letter: “Prisoners in Amerikan prisons are sick and tired of being degraded, dehumanized, and exploited.”

Building a Movement Behind Bars

The September action didn’t come out of nowhere. Siddique Abdullah Hasan, an inmate in Ohio State Penitentiary and a member of the Free Ohio Movement, describes it as just the latest part of “an ongoing resistance movement” that has seen increasing numbers of work strikes, hunger strikes, and protests hitting prisons across the country in the past decade. Back in 2010, inmates in at least six different state prisons in Georgia staged a labor strike, protesting prison conditions and lack of remuneration for their forced labor. Continue reading

US prisoners are going on strike to protest a massive forced labor system

From qz.com

US prisoners are going on strike to protest a massive forced labor system

5 hours ago

On Friday (Sept. 9) prison inmates across the US will participate in what organizers are touting as the “largest prison strike in history,” stopping work in protest of what many call a modern version of slavery.

The protest, organized across 24 states, is spearheaded by the inmate-led Free Alabama Movement (FAM) and coordinated by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a branch of an international labor union. Its manifesto, published online by “prisoners across the United States,” reads:

This is a call to end slavery in America…To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.

The strike will be held on the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison revolt, when prisoners took control of a maximum-security correctional facility near Buffalo, New York, demanding better conditions and an end to their brutal treatment.

Strike Tracking and Retaliation Support

Here is a state by state list of locations with attempted or possible strikes or protests occurring on the inside.

It will be at least a week before we have a good idea of what all has actually occurred behind bars this weekend. Prison administrators do not understand nonviolent resistance, so they tend to respond to any significant strike activity as they would a riot. Many units have been and will be put on lockdown, which means no one works, so it serves the same result as a strike. But, it also means phones, mail and communication access will be disrupted, preventing most prisoners from contacting us to let us know what is happening. Continue reading

Durham: Solidarity Action with September 9 Prison Strikers

March Against Prison Slavery, an ad hoc action in Durham, NC in support of prison strikers.

On September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, prisoners all across the country, from Alabama to California, from Texas to Ohio, from North Carolina to Washington, will go on strike. Called for and self-organized by prisoners as a struggle “to end prison slavery,” this may be the largest coordinated prison protest in American history.

Those on the outside have been working for months to spread the word and deepen networks of solidarity and support.  Above all, prisons are designed to isolate; the degree to which prisoners avoid violent reprisals and repression is directly related to how widespread and forceful our actions are on the outside.

This is also an opportunity to continue to challenge the racist regimes of policing and social control that govern our daily lives. The fires set in Milwaukee burn also at Holman Prison in Alabama. When Texas prisoners refuse to be slaves, that is also a refusal to be policed, and it echoes all the way to the streets of Durham. Continue reading

Dying to Live Hunger Strikers Kept on Brink of Death by Retaliatory DOC

From Dying to Live

Waupun WI- According to a letter from hunger striker LaRon McKinley, the Dying to Live hunger strike against solitary confinement at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) has become a serious health crisis after seventy-six days.

On August 15, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) decided to suspend the force feeding they have subjected the prisoners to since June 17. They allowed McKinley and Cesar DeLeon, the two most committed hunger strikers, to go without food or water for 72 hours, until they were severely dehydrated. Then they tube fed them again on Thursday August 18.

“Presently, and for most of this week, we have been under retaliatory attack by our warden as a direct consequence of our political efforts… to force an end to prolonged Administrative Confinement,” the letter from McKinley reads. Continue reading

September 9 Announcement in Portugese

From Mulheres abolicionistas

Pessoas, está rolando um chamado geral para diversas ações de resistência nas prisões dos EUA. Traduzimos o documento abaixo (junto com o amigo Fernando Henrique) e estamos divulgando. Leiam. O texto é uma preciosidade.


>> Este é um chamado à ação contra a escravidão na América <<

Em uma só voz, que se ergue das celas de confinamento solitário de longa duração e ecoa pelos dormitórios e pavilhões da Virginia ao Oregon, nós, presos dos Estados Unidos, decidimos, finalmente, acabar com a escravidão em 2016.

Em 09 de setembro de 1971, presos tomaram e fecharam Attica, a prisão mais conhecida do estado de Nova York. Em 09 de setembro de 2016, nós vamos iniciar uma ação para fechar as prisões de todo o país. Não vamos apenas exigir o fim da escravidão carcerária, vamos acabar com ela deixando de ser escravos.

Nos anos 1970, o sistema prisional americano desmoronava. Em Walpole, San Quentin, Soledad, Angola e muitas outras prisões, as pessoas se levantaram, lutaram e retomaram, das colônias agrícolas, o controle sobre suas vidas e seus corpos.

Durante os últimos seis anos, nós relembramos e renovamos aquela luta. Neste ínterim, a população carcerária inchou e as tecnologias de controle e confinamento se desenvolveram como as mais sofisticadas e repressivas da história mundial. As prisões, para se manterem estáveis, tornaram-se mais dependentes da escravidão e da tortura. Continue reading