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 Post subject: IWW Calling for National Prison Strike
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:17 am 
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https://iwoc.noblogs.org/post/2016/04/0 ... pt-9-2016/

IWW has either been organizing or covering the current developments in strikes against the slave labor conditions of the US prison system. Some interesting developments.

"Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.

This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.

Non-violent protests, work stoppages, hunger strikes and other refusals to participate in prison routines and needs have increased in recent years. The 2010 Georgia prison strike, the massive rolling California hunger strikes, the Free Alabama Movement’s 2014 work stoppage, have gathered the most attention, but they are far from the only demonstrations of prisoner power. Large, sometimes effective hunger strikes have broken out at Ohio State Penitentiary, at Menard Correctional in Illinois, at Red Onion in Virginia as well as many other prisons. The burgeoning resistance movement is diverse and interconnected, including immigrant detention centers, women’s prisons and juvenile facilities. Last fall, women prisoners at Yuba County Jail in California joined a hunger strike initiated by women held in immigrant detention centers in California, Colorado and Texas."

I'll post more if I see anything as far as developments go.


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 Post subject: Re: IWW Calling for National Prison Strike
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:20 pm 
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I guess my big question is what is the IWW's involvement in this? Are they doing any prisoner organizing or just saying that they should go on strike and resistance and stuff.

Anti-prison stuff is great because it is easy to link up to struggles against racism and so tie in with migrant workers, but it all just SOUNDS great.

I understand they can't exactly give out specifics on what they're doing so we just kind of have to wait and see but that's my biggest question because anyone can call for someone to do something.

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 Post subject: Re: IWW Calling for National Prison Strike
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:42 am 
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As promised, more developments: https://iwoc.noblogs.org/post/2016/04/0 ... d-strikes/

Broletariat wrote:
I guess my big question is what is the IWW's involvement in this?


I think you'll find your answer in this article. Looks like it's a commitee with relation to the IWW.

Article wrote:
Today, in a historic action, members of the Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) shook Texas prisons with strikes in seven prisons.

According to Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials as of 7:45pm on Monday (4/4), three prisons remain locked down (Wynne, Mountain View, Lynaugh)–on strike–while 3 others were but are no longer on lockdown (Torres, Polunsky, Roach). Robertson Unit officials refused to report in the evening and is therefore almost certainly still on strike/lockdown as they were when they confirmed earlier in the day.

Any information from TDCJ officials must of course be taken with a grain of salt, as the main office has been denying strikes and lockdowns all day. Concealing the strike as lockdowns is a strategy known by both prisoners and wardens.

A March 23rd letter from an IWOC Texas in-prison organizer notes that prisoners were given “reliable information” that authorities would use lockdowns “to create the public perception that we are locked down for administrative purposes and not because of the Texas Work Stoppage.”

At stake is the future of slavery in America, and the human rights of the more than two million prison slaves, including more than 143,000 in Texas. Prisoners in Texas are paid a minimum wage of $0.00/hr. Their labor is making Texas billions of dollars and “outsourcing” jobs to US companies.

“Slavery is a horrifying institution,” said Nicholas Onwuke, IWOC Co-Chair and former prisoner. “Violence is the last gasp of an evil system against people standing up, demanding their dignity. It took mass struggle to end historical slavery and Jim Crow, so will it to end prison slavery today.”

Demands specifically mentioned by the prisoners include objective timelines for release on good/work time, an end to a $100 medical co-pays that prevent access to health care, an independent grievance committee, and an end to a vast array of human rights abuses. Texas prisons lead the nation in sexaul assault of inmates and have seen a spree of overheating deaths due to lack of air conditioning.

From the March 23rd letter–“We need as many freeworld people as possible to contact the media and inform them that that [‘administrative lockdown’] is not the case and that we are in fact locked down as a direct result of our workstoppage.”

You in the free world. This is your time for action. Spread the mass movement in prisons to the free world. Stand with Texas prisoners: call, act, donate, or get involved.


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 Post subject: Re: IWW Calling for National Prison Strike
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Update:

https://iwoc.noblogs.org/post/2016/04/0 ... -strikers/

"#EyesOnTexas! Across the Nation Families and Activists Stand with Texas Prison Strikers

As People Stand With Texas Prison Strikers, a Mass Movement Grows to End Prison Slavery

CONTACT: Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 816-866-3808, [email protected].

April 9, 2016

From Austin to Houston, Phoenix to the Bronx, Kansas City to Alabama to Milwaukee, Providence, Denver, Tuscan, Minneapolis, Arkansas, and beyond, family, friends and loved ones of Texas prisoners are gathering for a National Day of Action an Education today, Saturday April 9th.

Inspired by the powerful actions of thousands of human beings behind bars in 7 prisons, at least 4 of which remain on strike — the banner of abolition is rising. “This strike has been a long time coming,” said Dee, member of Austin’s Anarchist Black Cross. “Texas was built on slavery. We’re coming together until that cycle of abuse and exploitation is over”.

Judy, whose son is in prison in Texas and who lives in Wichita Falls, TX, is holding her breath. “It’s hard, being out here. We worry what will happen to them, locked in, surveilled, beaten, getting nothing but two peanut butter sandwiches a day”. But she is proud of what the hundreds of men and women on the inside: “We know it has to stop. It has to. This seems to be the only way”.

Strikers demands include better living and working conditions, objective timelines for release on good/work time, an end to a $100 medical co-pays that prevent access to health care, an independent grievance committee, and an end to a vast array of human rights abuses. Texas prisons lead the nation in sexaul assault of inmates and have seen a spree of overheating deaths due to lack of air conditioning.

“We’re seeing a mass movement inside prisons right now,” said Nick Onwukwe, former prisoner and co-Chair of the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. “Our task is to grow the mass movement against prison slavery on the outside, and that means national scale organizing. This isn’t the first strike and it won’t be the last”.

In fact, a coalition of in-prison groups including IWOC are calling for a coordinated protests across states and prisons this September 9th: “Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the American prison system cannot ignore or withstand. We hope to end prison slavery by making it impossible, by refusing to be slaves any longer.”

And so we say: Amen."


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 Post subject: Re: IWW Calling for National Prison Strike
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:47 am 
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https://theintercept.com/2016/04/08/ala ... e-prisons/

Not the same prison strikes, but looks like there are riots spreading due to the overcrowding of the prisons and the inability of the guards to contain the prisoners. Summary below, more details in the article.

"ALABAMA MAY SOON shut down 14 of its troubled prisons, swapping them for four massive new “state-of-the-art” facilities. The proposal, dubbed the “Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act,” cleared the state Senate this week and is now headed to the House. Legislators hope the plan will solve chronic overcrowding, neglect, and violence in the state’s corrections system.

Prisoners and advocates, who have denounced abuses and mismanagement in the state’s prisons for years, condemned the plan for new prisons and said that administrators, not crumbling buildings, were to blame for turning Alabama’s prisons into a dangerous tinderbox. The state’s corrections system is operating at nearly 200 percent capacity and is the most overcrowded in the country.

The prison crisis in Alabama made headlines in March when riots broke out twice in four days at the Holman maximum security facility in Atmore, where inmates stabbed a guard and the warden, and then proceeded to post video of the rebellion on Facebook.

“We have people being killed, sexually assaulted, raped, stabbed on a daily basis at St. Clair, Holman, and multiple facilities; it’s a systemwide problem,” said Charlotte Morrison, a senior attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which represents Alabama prisoners. “The crisis with the prisons has to do with culture and management; it’s not something that can be solved by just building new prisons. There are structural problems, but the principal issue isn’t being dealt with by this new bill.”"


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