Contact: Azzurra Crispino Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) Media Co-Chair 512-300-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org
PRISONER STRIKES AND SUPPORTER PROTESTS SWEEP THE NATION
ATMORE, AL – Over the weekend more than 50 protests erupted across the country and around the world in solidarity with the September 9th nation-wide prisoner work stoppage and protest. Mothers and Families, the outside support organization for the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) rallied with drums and noisemakers outside of Holman Prison while workers kicked off their strike inside. “Officers are performing all tasks” a prisoner texted outside supporters indicating the prisoner work stoppage was successful.
Although the full extent of facilities participating in the strike will not be known for another two weeks, we have received early reports of work stoppage and resistance from Holmes, Gulf and Mayo units in FL, Fluvanna prison in Troy VA, and unnamed units in North Carolina and South Carolina. Central California Women’s Facility, Oregon State Penitentiary and St Cloud Correctional Facility in Minnesota were on lockdown in response to organizing on Friday. Hundreds of prisoners started fires, attacked surveillance cameras and damaged the facilities at Kinross Correctional in Northern Michigan and Holmes Correctional in Florida. No one was seriously injured and prisoners are refusing to
There are confirmed hunger strikes underway in Wisconsin, Ohio, California and Guantanamo Bay. At Merced County Jail in Central California family of inmates have reported that the hunger strikers were threatened with shotguns and dogs. In Ohio there are at least two prisons, Lucasville and Ohio State Penitentiary, where prisoners went on hunger strike beginning September 9th. Prisoners at both Ohio prisons have reported being threatened with being stripped of their contact visits in retaliation for going on strike. We stand in solidarity with prominent US Army whistle blower Chelsea Manning, who initiated a hunger strike on September 9th to protest lack of adequate medical care for trans prisoners.
In Greece and across the US, protests occurred outside of jail, prison and immigrant detention centers. Three large banners were held up facing the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville Ohio, the site of a massive and deadly prisoner uprising in 1993. The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons rallied outside Buckeye State Prison in Arizona, one of many prisons where pollution and contaminated water harm prisoners.
US Embassy protests occurred in England, Australia, Sweden and Germany. From Oregon to Florida and in between, companies profiting off prison were targeted by outside protesters, including Bank of America, McDonalds, Aramark, AT&T and Starbucks. In Lansing Michigan protesters blocked a downtown intersection for hours with a large UHaul truck. In New York City and Durham North Carolina they blocked freeways. In Portland OR protesters disrupted an AT&T and McDonalds, both corporations which use prison labor, as well as held a noise demonstration outside a local jail, then they shut down traffic. There were arrests in: Oakland, CA; Milwaukee Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia. Most were quickly released, but at least three protesters in GA are facing multiple felonies.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: PRISONERS, FORMERLY INCARCERATED WORKERS, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND LOCAL ACTIVISTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS WITH LOCAL AND NATIONAL MEDIA.
On 9th September the largest prison strike in history will sweep the USA. All over the world incarcerated workers and their allies will take action in solidarity. From Anarchist Prisoners in Greece lending their support in communiques and refusing to go to their cells to info nights and noise demos in the UK – inside and out people will be taking action.
In the UK we face massive prison expansion with 9 new mega prisons. Lend Lease is the main construction contractor for the North Wales Prison in Wrexham, which will be the second biggest in Europe, holding 2100 people in cages.
As well as being a Tory Party donor, Lend Lease recently attained notoriety when it was fined $54 million after a three year investigation by the FBI that proved that they had defrauded the public purse whilst working on projects in New York including the 9/11 Memorial and Grand Central Station.
This is your chance to stand in solidarity with those putting everything on the line in their fight against the prison industrial complex as part of this historic prison strike. E-mail, Phone and Tweet Lend Lease what you feel about their profiteering from caging human beings.
London Office 020 3430 9000
Manchester Office 0161 254 1700
Birmingham Office 0121 214 1535
From IWOC USA.
Fellow Workers, please share on social media and email. Support the strikers! Sept 9 Prison Strike: Call to Action Against Slavery in America! Ask your union local, church or community organization to endorse:
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.”
Keith has been arrested on purely fabricated charges…
You may donate money for a lawyer here:
And keep up with developments here:
Also, if Keith has ever helped you, please write us a letter explaining how he helped.
More information about Keith:
Keith Brown El is a dear friend to many. He is an active member of Missouri CURE, IWW, and IBWC, as well as a volunteer programmer on KKFI’s Jaws of Justice radio program and a tenacious advocate for homeless people and people in prison. Mr. Brown El has been imprisoned in Jackson County Detention Centre since February 10th for a completely bogus weapons charge.
Keith is a well-respected community leader who works tirelessly on justice initiatives and is the epitome of the type of personality that the criminal justice system in the United States should seek to produce.
After 36 years in prison, Keith was finally released in 2008 and has been off parole for several years. He heads an organization in KCMO that advocates for the homeless and is a volunteer programmer on KKFI Community Radio’s Jaws of Justice program. He’s on the board of the Salvation Army and active in many community causes. Keith lives in a senior citizen apartment complex, where he is widely known for helping the older residents, taking them to doctor appointments and watching out for them. He helps unload the Harvest Truck and distributes food within the apartment complex.
Keith has a great compassion for people and all living things. He is highly intelligent with a powerful passion for justice. Keith cannot sit back and do nothing when he witnesses injustice.
For the last 2 years Keith has been Vice-Chairman of Missouri CURE, a prison reform organization, and a valuable member of the IWW’s local IWOC caucus in KCMO. He understands the prison system like few others and works very hard to make a difference in the lives of Missouri prisoners. He believes that if treated humanely, offenders will eventually return to society in a better frame of mind to lead an honest life.
The Cambridge, MA Police are persecuting a union activist merely for picketing. Click here to donate to his legal & living expenses.
On November 14, 2013, Cambridge cops, aided by the HUPD*, attacked a peaceful picket of union-busting Insomnia Cookies, where workers had gone on strike for $15/hr, paid health care, and a union. The cops grabbed IWW member Jason by the throat, threw him on the ground and pinned him partially under a car. Jason was cuffed and dragged away, charged with with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assaulting a cop, even though the only assault committed was by the police against him.
Over a year later, the Kafkaesque criminal case against Jason drags on, even though a local judge compared it to the abuses of the Palmer Raids* in court. Because the case remains open and shows up in employers’ background checks, Jason, who is currently unemployed, has been unable to find work and has no income. Please donate to help with his living expenses and legal expenses (while Jason’s lawyers have massively discounted their fees, some costs will still accrue).
Jason’s Trial will finally begin on March 18, more than 16 months after his arrest.
*Harvard University Police Department
**1919-20 campaign to arrest & deport radicals, especially anarchists, which led to hundreds of activists being deported.