By Staff of Prison Radio – Late yesterday, Federal Judge Robert Mariani ordered the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to immediately give Mumia Abu-Jamal the life-saving latest direct-acting antiviral medications that have a 95% cure rate! After a year and a half of constant legal battling, near death hospitalization, and agonizing chronic sickness, Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center and attorney Robert Boyle, and thousands of activists, on behalf of Mumia, have prevailed. It took two lawsuits hundreds of hours of motions and your calls, letters and demands. Winning a preliminary injunction is a tall order and requires proving there will be irreversible harm in delaying the order.
By Cora Lewis for Buzz Feed News – The US Department of Justice has opened an investigation into prison conditions in Alabama, weeks after inmates there joined a nationwide prisoner strike in protest of forced labor and living conditions. “The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions,” the DOJ said in a statement.
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – A nationwide prison work stoppage and hunger strike, begun on Sept. 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, have seen over 20,000 prisoners in about 30 prisons do what we on the outside should do—refuse to cooperate. “We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves,” prisoners of the Free Alabama Movement, the Free Ohio Movement and the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee wrote in a communique.
By Alice Speri for The Intercept – LAST MONTH, INMATES across the country embarked on what organizers have called the largest prison strike in U.S. history, an ambitious mass protest against prison labor and inhumane prison conditions. The strike, which was the culmination of a series of renewed efforts at prison organizing in recent years, kicked off on September 9, in tribute to one of the bleakest moments in the country’s history of incarceration, the uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan for Truth Dig – Grass-roots organizing, the hard work of building movements, can be grueling. Pay is often low or nonexistent. Success is never assured. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But it doesn’t bend itself. Right now, under some of the most repressive circumstances that exist in the United States, a national movement is growing for prisoners’ rights.
By Brendan O’Connor for Jezebel – A group of guards at an Alabama prison went on strike this weekend, out of solidarity with inmates protesting overcrowding and unjust labor practices. Strikes and work stoppages have rolled through the nation’s prisons following the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising earlier this month. On September 9th, inmates at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore went on strike for at least 24 hours, refusing to show up for their work assignments.
By Stuart Miller for The Guardian – Dan Slater’s new non-fiction book Wolf Boys recounts the story of two Mexican-American teens in Texas seduced by the violent cartels across the border and the Mexican-born Texas detective who hunts them. It is grim and violent, yet it is a detailed and thoughtful look at American society and the war on drugs. It has also been condemned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Directors Review Committee, which declared Wolf Boys off limits to all Texas prisoners before it was even published this month.
By Chelsea E Manning for The Guardian – Last week I was given the “good news” that the Department of Defense will grant my request to see a surgeon for treatment related to my gender dysphoria. Although I don’t have anything in writing, I was shown a memorandum with my name on it that confirmed the military is moving forward with my request. Everything that they have presented to me leads me to believe that they are going to provide the care that has been recommended by my doctor. I have requested this for nearly a year. That same week, I was also given “bad news”: I may be punished for a suicide attempt in July.
By James Kilgore for Truthout – In the run-up to the national prison labor strike on September 9, revolutionaries of decades past cast their imposing shadows over a new generation of activists, especially those in organizations like the Free Alabama Movement. At a gathering of the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM) held in Oakland to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Attica rebellion, Truthout had the opportunity to speak with three of the most important historic figures of prison struggles past
By John Kiriakou for Reader Supported News – I’ve written a couple of articles recently, here and here, about CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling and his battle to get adequate medical care while incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution at Englewood, Colorado. Jeffrey has a history of atrial fibrillation. He has had several medical “episodes” in prison related to his heart, and prison officials have refused to allow him to see an outside cardiologist or to go to a hospital for tests.
By Aisha Maniar for Truthout – Adapting to life after lengthy imprisonment and as a refugee in a strange land are challenges. Coupled with the trauma of years of torture and the stigma of Guantánamo, the challenge is colossal. Nearly two years after being released to Uruguay with five others in December 2014, Syrian refugee Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, also known as Abu Wa’el Dhiab, 45, has faced all of these problems. Dhiab spent more than 12 years at Guantánamo after he was sold to the US military by the Pakistani police in 2002.
By Mollie Reilly for The Huffington Post – Imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has begun a hunger strike to protest what she describes as “high tech bullying” at the hands of military and prison officials. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for providing a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. The soldier, who came out as a transgender woman shortly after she was sentenced in 2013, sued the government for access to hormone therapy drugs while in prison so she could transition to living as a woman.
By Matt Stannard for Occupy – Here’s why the September 9 actions inside and outside of American prisons, undertaken to protest the legalized slavery, dehumanization, and policy failure of correctional incarceration, may be the most important protests of 2016: Prisoners are legal slaves, and as such, whatever is happening to the non-incarcerated in this brutal system is happening worse to the incarcerated. Beyond the 13th Amendment’s approval of prison slavery, there is a mountain of administrative and judicial rulings permitting prisons to suppress any and all organizing activity.
By Renée Feltz for The Guardian – The internationally known imprisoned former Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has had his request for a life-saving hepatitis C treatment denied by a federal judge. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer, but maintained his innocence and Amnesty International says he was denied a fair trial. After 30 years on death row, his sentence was overturned on constitutional grounds.
By Staff of Contra Info – On September 9th [the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison rebellion], prisoners across the United States will begin a strike that will be a general work stoppage against prison slavery. In short, prisoners will refuse to work; they will refuse to keep the prisons running by their own labors. Prisoners are striking not just for better conditions or changes in parole rules, but against prison slavery. Prisoners state that under the 13th Amendment which abolished racial slavery, at the same time it allowed human beings to be worked for free or next to nothing as long as they were prisoners.