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
On September 10 movement supporters will gather outside of Federal Correctional Complex Coleman (846 NE 54th Terrace, Wildwood, Florida) from 10 am to 12 pm to stand in solidarity with prison strikers across the nation.
Get to the event page here.
Bring signs, banners and drums to let the Bureau of Prisons know we are watching.
Several cities around FL are planning local events in and around their communities on Sept 9, then coming out for this on Sept 10.
One suggestion is a Friday demo at your closest jail or prisons, perhaps coupled with a potluck, letter-writing session and/or film showing about prisons, Attica, etc.
Check back on this page for further details and updates on the event.
Sept 9th is the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising in New York, where national attention was drawn to the problem of prisons in this country. This year there will public demonstrations in support of prisoners who have a called for a coordinated national work strike in response to extreme abuses they face, including toxic environments, discrimination and literal slavery based on the 13th Amendment which wrote prison slave labor into the U.S. Constitution. Continue reading
IWOC NYC event today, August 5, from 6 – 9 pm at City Hall Park in Manhattan, NYC:
In 2016, prisoners have called for nationwide strikes all across the country. As outside, we #ShutDownCityHallNYC (https://www.facebook.com/events/603110703195862/) and Holman square in Chicago, and as we tirelessly fight while our brothers and sisters are gunned down and incarcerated, inside people are fighting back. There is currently protests happening inside at Holman Prison in Alabama. IWOC NYC works directly with prisoners inside to develop demands, support struggles, and build for the September 9th strike as well as continuous action until all prisons are burned to the ground! We are led by people inside, and we work together on the outside as comrades. Come learn about the strikes, about IWOC, and how to get involved.
On September 9th, 2016 prisoners across the United States will be conducting work stoppages, hunger strikes and other forms of action in a call to end prison slavery. The call was originated by organizers from the Free Alabama Movement. A national coalition of community groups associated with the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, Anarchist Black Cross chapters and others throughout the country have come together to build a national support network to push for a final end to prison slavery.
To achieve this goal, we need support from the international community. We hope that prisoner support groups in the across the globe will hold solidarity demos and inform prisoners they are in contact with about the September 9th day of action. This spring and summer will be seasons of organizing, spreading the word, building networks of solidarity and showing that we’re serious and what we’re capable of. We ask that you organize some sort of solidarity action and help spread the word to prisoners in your area. We hope that the fires of prison rebellion spread from the United States to prisons across the globe! With one unified voice of rebellion we can send a strong message to captors across the globe that the iron bars of their cage cannot contain our thirst for freedom! Continue reading
Across the country freeways are blocked, people take the streets, law enforcement officers are confronted and their buildings are occupied, and more and more people are questioning the institutions of policing and incarceration. In the past month, nearly every major city and many smaller ones have seen some sort of protest, demonstration, or disruption in the wake of ongoing police murders that have recently included two African-American men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Helping set the context for this rebellion has been growing anger at both Trump and Clinton and ongoing resistance to white nationalist and fascist organizing which becomes more and more confrontational. At the same time, talk of abolishing the police and the prison system is no longer a fringe idea, as these positions are being discussed more and more broadly by wide segments of popular social movements. Continue reading
The weekend of May 7-8 saw solidarity actions with the Free Alabama Movement’s May Day strike in at least three cities across the US. Making this work stoppage a national issue, raising public awareness of prison slavery, and shaming the state of Alabama and ADOC for their abysmal practices are good ways to support the actions on the inside. Please consider organizing an event, a rally, or workshop in your town. If you do, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Mothers and Families at Holman Prison on May 7th.
About a dozen protesters from Mothers and Families (MAF) of the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) marched on Holman prison on Saturday, shouting Free Alabama! and Incarcerated Lives Matter!
Prisoners in Texas are still on strike, prisoners in Alabama will be joining them on May 1st, food protests continue in Michigan, as well as hunger strikes in Louisiana. Holman Unit in Alabama continues to be a place of strife and open conflict with the authorities.
The fight against slavery, torture and confinement is raging on the inside, and calling for support on the outside. Prisoner supporters and the IWOC are responding to the call, with rallies, phone zaps, and educational events and outreach. See below for ways you can participate! Continue reading
Strike Roundup Day 1: Texas Prisons Shook by IWOC Initiated Strikes
CONTACT: Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 816-866-3808, iwoc [at] riseup.net.
April 5, 2016
According to Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials as of 7:45pm on Monday (4/4), three prisons remain locked down (Wynne, Mountain View, Lynaugh)–on strike–while 3 others were but are no longer on lockdown (Torres, Polunsky, Roach). Robertson Unit officials refused to report in the evening and is therefore almost certainly still on strike/lockdown as they were when they confirmed earlier in the day.
Any information from TDCJ officials must of course be taken with a grain of salt, as the main office has been denying strikes and lockdowns all day. Concealing the strike as lockdowns is a strategy known by both prisoners and wardens.
A March 23rd letter from an IWOC Texas in-prison organizer notes that prisoners were given “reliable information” that authorities would use lockdowns “to create the public perception that we are locked down for administrative purposes and not because of the Texas Work Stoppage.”
At stake is the future of slavery in America, and the human rights of the more than two million prison slaves, including more than 143,000 in Texas. Prisoners in Texas are paid a minimum wage of $0.00/hr. Their labor is making Texas billions of dollars and “outsourcing” jobs to US companies.
“Slavery is a horrifying institution,” said Nicholas Onwuke, IWOC Co-Chair and former prisoner. “Violence is the last gasp of an evil system against people standing up, demanding their dignity. It took mass struggle to end historical slavery and Jim Crow, so will it to end prison slavery today.”
Demands specifically mentioned by the prisoners include objective timelines for release on good/work time, an end to a $100 medical co-pays that prevent access to health care, an independent grievance committee, and an end to a vast array of human rights abuses. Texas prisons lead the nation in sexaul assault of inmates and have seen a spree of overheating deaths due to lack of air conditioning.
From the March 23rd letter–“We need as many freeworld people as possible to contact the media and inform them that that [‘administrative lockdown’] is not the case and that we are in fact locked down as a direct result of our workstoppage.”