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Prison Strike

Alabama Prison Strikers’ Demands Push For Decarceration

Hours before dawn on Sept. 26, the incarcerated workers who run the prison kitchens across Alabama were slated to begin their shifts when they refused to take up their posts, kicking off one of the largest prison strikes in U.S. history.  “Everything was electric from then on—[people] were excited and anxious for action,” said Antoine Lipscomb, a founding member of the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) who spoke with Prism Reports from Limestone Correctional Facility, one of the largest and deadliest prisons in the state, currently housing nearly 2,300 people.  The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) classifies 14 prisons within the state as “major facilities,” and there are almost 17,000 people incarcerated in those prisons.

Alabama Prison Strike Enters Seventh Day

Huntsville, Alabama - On Monday, Sept. 26, incarcerated workers at all major Alabama Department of Corrections prison facilities began a labor strike. The strike is focused on both improving the living conditions of prisoners and demanding changes to Alabama’s draconian parole and sentencing laws and practices. A 2020 Justice Department lawsuit found that the Alabama prison system “fails to provide adequate protection from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse, fails to provide safe and sanitary conditions, and subjects prisoners to excessive force at the hands of prison staff.” TRNN contributor Michael Sainato returns to Rattling the Bars to discuss the issues at play in this prison strike.

Alabama Prisons Are On Strike

Occupied Muscogee Creek / Cherokee / Yuchi / Choctaw / Shawnee / Chickasaw land - As of Jan. 1, 2021, incarcerated workers in Alabama’s odious prison system are on strike!  Led by the Free Alabama Movement, incarcerated workers throughout the state of Alabama have put down their work tools and refused to go to work from now until Jan. 31. The inhumane conditions of Alabama Department of Corrections, their negligence around COVID-19, and their implementation of video visitation equipment in prisons that ADOC claims is “due to COVID,” but is really a front for eliminating in-person visitation, has contributed further to the psychological warfare against everyone incarcerated in Alabama prisons and has fueled this strike.

Rikers Prisoners Strike: ‘Free ‘Em All, Shut Down Prisons’

Journalist Kim Kelly broke the news on March 22 that two dorms at Rikers Island are on strike. Their statement reads: “Two dorms of 45 inmates at Rikers are refusing to leave our dorms for work duties or for meals. We must take these actions in protest of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies provided to inmates, the crowded living conditions imposed on us prior to the pandemic and made worse by the daily addition of new inmates from other facilities, some of whom are highly likely to have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and the arbitrary disconnection of our phones for three hours on the morning of March 22. “We demand the same calls issued by the Board of Corrections. That all inmates: over 50 with parole violations, at high risk due to health conditions, with less than a year of sentenced time BE IMMEDIATELY RELEASED.

How To Support The North Carolina Prison Hunger Strike

Requests for notaries necessary for legal actions and grievances against conditions at this razor-wire plantation are being consistently ignored. Many of these grievances are against Scotland denying those held captive in solitary confinement of their recreation time. Scotland's staff will simply claim that recreation is "canceled". NCDOC's own Policy and Procedures (Chapter C, Section .1206 (B)) guarantees that those on "restrictive housing" (solitary confinement) shall be allowed to recreation outside of the cell five days a week for one hour a day. Scotland is violating their own policies and causing severe harm to all those  forced to be confined to a small cell 24/7. Furthermore, Scotland's so-called medical staff conducts what are called “seg checks” at 1am-2am every night when everyone is asleep.

In Landslide Colorado Voters Abolish Prison Slavery

Last November, Colorado became the first state to abolish prison slavery. Colorado voted overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing slavery and forced servitude as punishment for a crime. Abolish Slavery Colorado‘s co-chair Jumoke Emery said: "Regardless how people feel about the criminal justice system, the ultimate outcome is that it shouldn’t be slavery." The victory for prisoner rights comes at a time of resistance by prisoners. Abolishing prison slavery was the second demand of the national prison strike.

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Chapter Starts In Seattle In Wake Of National Prison Strike

This summer we witnessed a prisoner-led struggle for justice on a scale never seen before. Catalyzed by a massacre at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina that took the lives of at least seven prisoners, prisoners in seventeen different states went on strike. Participating in work stoppages, hunger strikes, and boycotts, they made a wide range of demands including the abolition of prison slavery, more access to rehabilitation programs, and an end to racist over sentencing and gang enhancement laws. With the boldness of their tactics, they scared prison officials into offering concessions and attempting to contain the resistance through severe, ongoing repression.

Columbus, OH: Rally To End ODRC #PrisonStrike Retaliation

On Friday November 16th, activists from across Ohio and Pennsylvania collaborated for an action outside the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) Central Office in Columbus. The rally was in response to a number of repressive and retaliatory actions against prisoners following the massive #August21 prison strike. Organizers of the action included Lucasville Amnesty, Pittsburgh Anarchist Black Cross, Central Ohio IWOC and BQIC (Black Queer & Intersectional Collective). Amplified voices recounted the demands of 2018 prison strikers, sounded off on the mistreatment of the prison strikers and all prisoners by the ODRC, and called for solidarity with queer and trans prisoners. Interested ODRC staff lined the windows to witness the spectacle.

Reimagining Prison Web Report

This document—unlike anything we have ever produced at the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera)—is about the possibility of radical change. It asserts a dramatic reconsideration of the most severe criminal sanction we have: incarceration. It articulates a view that is sure to be alien to many. Yet we need not accept as a given the way we do things now, and we encourage you to envision a different path. Indeed, our vision has concrete reference points. It is in the hope, daring, and promise of a small unit for young adults in a Connecticut maximum-security facility. It is inspired by what we learned studying and visiting prisons in Germany, where the very conditions and operations of that entire system are defined by a commitment to uphold human dignity—a commitment born of that country’s coming to terms with the Holocaust.

The National Prison Strike Is Over. Now Is The Time Prisoners Are Most In Danger

Over the last few weeks men and women across the United States – and even as far away as Nova Scotia, Canada – have protested to demand humane treatment for the incarcerated. In 2016, when prisoners engaged in similar hunger strikes, sit-ins, and work stoppages, their actions barely registered with the national media. As someone who regularly writes about the history of prisoner protests and prison conditions today, this lack of interest was striking. This time around, though, prisoner demands to improve the conditions of confinement have captured the attention of reporters everywhere. Coverage can be found in such major newspapers as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Popular magazines such as GQ and Teen Vogue have also published pieces.

Keeping The Spirit Of The Prison Labor Strike Alive

This year’s Prison Labor Strike was one of the most amazing mobilizations of liberatory politics in the past decade. It was the latest iteration in the most recent generation of prison rebellions, which has included labor strikes in Georgia prisons in 2010, the three Pelican Bay Hunger Strikes in California 2011-2013, and the direct predecessor of the latest action: the strike against prison slavery in 2016. The authoritarian nature of prison bureaucracies prevents us from compiling a precise chronicle of what takes place behind the walls. However, according to the lead organization in the strike, the network of prisoners known as Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, actions occurred in 16 states and federal prisons. Plus, over 200 people went on strike in the Northwest Immigration Detention Center.

Parallels Between National Strikes Abroad From Prisoners In The United States To Teachers In Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an insanely beautiful place. When I took my trip I did not expect to have any sort of life changing revelation and that’s not what this write-up is going to be about. I took a simple trip to visit my friend that I hadn’t seen in over a year and was to my surprise met with political unrest and social resistance. While I was immersed in the National Prison Strike back home I had no idea how solidarity looked to others who felt trapped outside of the resistance. For some feeling unable to connect with the people they desperately wanted to join in fighting for. Some Americans may say, How can I support a prisoner? in the same way that I struggled to connect with Tico Educators, in both cases knowing that their plight is worth fighting for.

Oct. 1 NC Department Of Public Safety Phone Zap

Call in to demand an end to repression against organizing prisoners. North Carolina DPS is keeping three prisoners in segregation in response to the strike activity at Hyde correctional facility that occurred on August 20. The three prisoners are also facing trumped up "active rioter" infractions. We demand that repression against these prisoners stop. Call in and tell DPS director Kennith Lassiter to move these men out of segregation and remove the infraction charges against them.

The National Prison Strike Isn’t Over

From August 21 to September 9, prisoners in 17 states went on strike to protest inhuman living and working conditions and to promote ten basic demands. Although the formal strike is over, some prisoners are being retaliated against and others are continuing to strike. We speak with Amani Sawari, a prisoner's rights activist, about the strike, the demands and how we can all provide support to finally end legalized slavery in the United States. For an in-depth discussion of what we learned at the Toronto World Beyond War conference, "Legalizing Peace," subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through. Visit

DE-NJ NLG Prisoners’ Legal Advocacy Network (PLAN) Mounts Legal Responses to Widespread Reports of Prisoner Abuses In The Aftermath Of The 2018 National Prison Strike

From August 21, 2018 to September 9, 2018, prisoners across the country participated in a peaceful strike to protest steadily deteriorating conditions of confinement in United States prisons. These worsening conditions, such as major cutbacks to prisoner programs, services, and safety measures have led to prison facilities that are increasingly dehumanizing and unsafe for prisoners. The April 2018 events at South Carolina’s Lee Correctional Institution, the deadliest prison incident in this country in the last 25 years, are emblematic of this sharp decline in prison conditions. Widespread reports from prisoners independently corroborated allegations that Lee Correctional prison guards turned their backs on the riot they provoked...
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