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.
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.”
On Sunday 10th of July, there will be a protest in Swindon to stand in solidarity with migrant workers and refugees. The protest is being held with a backdrop of rapidly escalating violence and abuse towards migrant and refugee communities.
The march will be starting at 2pm from Wharf Green in town centre (see below) and will be ending with a picnic in the GWR park, 2 minutes from the train station. Any support you could give in publicising the event, attending of encouraging friends and members to attend would be appreciated. Spanish, Portuguese and Polish versions of the poster are also available on request (from Swindon TUC). Hope to see you next Saturday!
Swindon TUC email@example.com
Rumours that the cameo club in Bournemouth operates a racist door policy were confirmed last night when a pre-booked party was turned away on the grounds that all were black. A group of white men was allowed in at the same time. Please do not patronise this place.