Tag Archives: work stoppage

Arizona Prison Lockdowns

azdocMany prisons in Arizona refused to answer questions from the person who called to help track the strike. They neither confirmed nor denied. Some did admit lockdowns, but none admitted to the cause. From the volunteer who made calls: “Nearly every prison I called was immediately suspicious of my call and seemed to have a canned “we’re not allowed to share that publicly,” line ready. Most asked me repeatedly who I worked for.”

Perryville – They were the most hostile of all the prisons I called. They transferred my call around several times and eventually I was hung up on by someone who told me that is not any of my concern and do not call back.

Yuma – Hung up on me. Though the website says several units are not accepting visits. From website: Dakota Unit : No visitation, East yard, Building 6 No visitation, West yard, Building 8 Visitation hours as normal for West yard, Building 7
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From Striking Prisoners in South Carolina!


In representation of those in South Carolina not working or refusing to work on Sept 9, 2016—


1. We want free labor to be ended in South Carolina. We want to be fairly compensated for our labor. This can be done by reinstituting state pay for general labor, and labor wages for private industry jobs

2. SCDC stop removing mental health patients from treatment programs back to general population units for disciplinary infractions

3. SCDC allow lifers to advance through the classification system to lower custody prisons like all others. Particularly to minimum security prisons. We also demand they not be removed for one minor disciplinary infraction

4. The SC parole board decisions be more grounded in scientific analysis. Rather then emotions.

5. SCDC reinstitute GED educational classes for all that want to obtain a GED. This includes hiring GED instructors. We also demand meaningful re/habilitation programs be instituted for all that desire to help. This include more meaningful treatment and re entry programs that will accommodate the number of prisoners that are requesting such

6. SCDC end excessive canteen and visitation vendor machine prices

7. SCDC end the practice of in camera video doctor visits for medical and mental health concerns.

8. The State of SC end the truth in sentencing warehousing law and the habitual sentencing of life sentences

Published by SJ, Founder of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak

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

Call for solidarity with USA prison strike on the 9th of September

by Bristol Anarchist Black Cross

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

Forget Hunger Strikes. What Prisons Fear Most Is Labor Strikes

Prisoners throughout Alabama and Texas reclaim their humanity—and power—by shutting down the economic infrastructure of their prisons.

Raven Rakia For Yes!

On May 1, prison labor came to a halt in multiple prisons in Alabama, including Holman and Elmore prisons. Starting at midnight that day, prisoners stayed in their dormitories—refusing to show up for work at their assigned posts: the kitchen, the license plate manufacturing plant, the recycling plant, the food processing center, and a prison farm.
The prisoners’ demands were pretty simple: basic human rights, educational opportunities, and a reform of Alabama’s harsh sentencing guidelines and parole board.
The labor strikes are a turn from the most familiar type of political protest behind bars: the hunger strike. 
The strike in Alabama was just the latest in a series of strikes at U.S. prisons. On April 4, at least seven prisons in Texas staged a work strike after a prisoner sent out a call with the help of outside organizers. About a month earlier, prisoners in multiple states including both Texas and Alabama, as well as Virginia and Ohio, called for a national general strike among prisoners on Sept. 9, 2016, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion, where guards and inmates died during a prison revolt in upstate New York. Continue reading

Free Alabama Movement May Day Work Stoppage Interview

From Truth-Out.org

Free Alabama Movement May Day Work Stoppage Interview

Friday, 27 May 2016 00:00 By Ben Turk, Speakout | Interview

From May 1 to May 9, 2016, prisoners at multiple facilities across Alabama engaged in work stoppages, refusing to labor for the Alabama Department of Corrections. This strike was the second major work stoppage in prisons this spring. In April, prisoners in Texas refused to work for most of the month. The striking Alabama prisoners, along with revolutionary prisoners in other states, have also called for a nationally coordinated work stoppage and protest September 9 of this year, the 45th anniversary of the Attica rebellion.

At the end of the strike, we interviewed Free Alabama Movement (FAM) cofounder Kinetik Justice Amun to get a deeper understanding of the context and strategy of their work stoppage, as well as a better understanding of the state’s response and possible strategic lessons going forward. Kinetik has been held in solitary confinement at Holman Correctional since 2014 as retaliation for FAM’s work stoppage that January.

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Alabama Prison Strikes Ends After Work-Release Strike Breakers Brought In Failure of Prison Expansion Bill Seen as Small Victory

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)

Alabama Prison Strikes Ends After Work-Release Strike Breakers Brought In

Failure of Prison Expansion Bill Seen as Small Victory

IWW General Headquarters, Chicago, IL. May 12, 2016 Prisoners at Holman Correctional Institution have ended their ten-day shutdown of the State of Alabama’s auto license plate plant. Their work stoppage, initiated on May Day, spread to Elmore, St Clair, Donaldson and Staton facilities over the following week shutting down Alabama Department of Correction’s (ADOC) canning plant, fleet services, and chemical industry as well as the license plate plant. “That was our leverage, that was our power to negotiate with” said Kinetic, a member of both the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union and the Free Alabama Movement (FAM). In an interview with media representatives of the IWW-Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee he explained how the strike achieved one objective but was broken by the unexpected employment of work-release prisoners as strike-breakers.
The strike achieved its first objective after only two days when the Alabama State Legislature killed the $800 million “Prison Transformation Initiative” that would have greatly expanded Alabama’s prison system, which is plagued with overcrowding, violence, deteriorating buildings and budget shortfalls. The defeated law tried to allocate ADOC $800 million to build four 3500 bed super-max facilities. Prisoners initiated their strike to draw national attention to ADOC’s problems and propose other solutions. On May 1st the prisoners stopped reporting to their work stations, and activists organized rallies and solidarity protests according to journalists who interviewed the prisoner’s spokespersons via clandestine cell-phones. On May 3rd, the ADOC’s new prison bill died on the state senate floor. Prisoners contend that their strike tipped the scales against the bill. Continue reading

Striking Prisoners in Alabama Accuse Officials of Using Food as Weapon

From The Intercept
Alice Speri May 10 2016, 2:24 p.m.
Alabama prisoners who have been on strike for ten days over unpaid labor and prison conditions are accusing officials of retaliating against their protest by starving them. The coordinated strike started on May 1, International Workers’ Day, when prisoners at the Holman and Elmore facilities refused to report to their prison jobs and has since expanded to Staton, St. Clair, and Donaldson’s facilities, according to organizers with the Free Alabama Movement, a network of prison activists.

Prison officials responded by putting the facilities on lockdown, partially to allow guards to perform jobs normally carried out by prisoners. But prisoners told The Intercept that officials also punished them by serving meals that are significantly smaller than usual, a practice they have referred to as “bird feeding.”

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Media Roundup

Some updates on media coverage of prisoner resistance movements.

1. Free Alabama Movement Blogtalk radio call-in show May 6th episode was devoted to the strike: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement They do these shows twice a week, you can listen on line, or call in to express support.

2. Atlantablackstar.com published an article connecting the current action to past FAM actions and corporations who profit from prison labor.  http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/05/09/alabama-inmates-organize-multi-prison-strike-in-protest-of-prison-labor-we-wont-contribute-to-our-own-oppression/

3. The Final Straw an anarchist radio show out of Asheville, NC did an episode on the June 11 Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons and rebroadcast a prison-radio interview with Ben Turk about the Sept 9th action.

4. Local Alabama media frames failure of a prison reform bill in he context of the work-stoppage.  http://whnt.com/2016/05/06/failure-of-alabama-prison-bill-sets-the-stage-for-federal-intervention/

5. This Jack Denton article for solitarywatch.com has been reposted widely, as has the Incarcerated Workers Take the Lead article from UnityandStruggle.org.

Anything we’re missing? Let us know: prisonerresistance@gmail.com

More Images of Solidarity with May Day Strike

Chicago March and Noise Demo

chicagoMarch and noise demo, some folks got arrested, including Jack M, who is facing down a high bond, you can help him out, here: https://chicagobond.org/free_jack/index.html13119133_613801825437608_8332322682490879607_n

Kansas City, March and Noise Demo

Kansas City kc marchThe white sign says Alabama Prison Strike May 1

Video of their noise demo, hey sexy!

Milwaukee, WI

Showed up at the 8000+ person immigrant rights march, dozens of IWW members, many with anti-prison signs. Handed out hundreds of flyers and left from the end of that march to a second march against prison profiteers and a noise demo at the Milwaukee Secure detention facility.
mke-vocesVoces De La Frontera march.

mke-iwwMKE Wobblies rolling deep. mkefire noise demo

New York City


Find videos on their twitter: https://twitter.com/nycabc

Portland, OR

eeeeJoined the local May Day march with a large banner and handed out 600 flyers.

Tucson AZ

Designed and mass produced a beautiful flyer which they distroed at the May Day march.

aztucsonthe march

tucson-machine the machinetucson-holmanthe centerfold