The Abolition Collective stands in solidarity with the prisoners’ nationally coordinated work stoppage and protest starting on Sept 9, 2016, the 45th anniversary of the Attica rebellion.
Incarcerated people across the United States have issued the following call to action against prison slavery in America, which includes slave labor, overseer terror, isolation, and other torturous technologies of control. Their resistance is also a protest against the school to prison pipeline, police terror, and against post-release controls. With renewed strength and invigorated collective action, they plan a coordinated effort to stop business as usual in their respective prison facilities.
Incarcerated people have specifically requested support from people outside prisons. The Abolition Collective shares the abolitionist visions of the prisoners’ national Sept. 9 strike and calls on people to take the following actions (outlined by Support Prisoner Resistance):
- Spread the word into prisons. – Send word about the strike and the upsurge in prisoner resistance activities to as many prisoners as you can. Find various things to mail in at our resources page. If you are connected with a prisoner newsletter, prisoners’ families, a books to prisoners or prison pen-pals project, get word to those contacts. If prison mailrooms are practicing censorship, contact us and we’ll give you suggestions on how to fight back. If you aren’t connected to any such groups, contact us and we’ll either plug you in with folks we already know are active in your area, or help you get something off the ground.
- Spread the word outside of prisons. -Stories of prisoners’ struggles are starting to break through the typical informal media embargo / hostility against prisoner perspectives. The more we circulate these stories, engage in solidarity actions, organize events and workshops, the harder it will be for society to ignore these struggles. Find articles and stories to share here. Join and share the event on Facebook. Sign up for our contact list, forward our emails to friends and encourage them to sign up as well. Endorse the strike, and encourage any organization you are a member of to do the same.
- Build and demonstrate outside support. -the prisoners have called for rallies at DOC offices, McDonald’s and other companies who profit from prison labor. Visible protests and actions let prisoners know who and how many have their backs, and helps them determine tactics and strategies. Here’s a list of dates and opportunities to mobilize. If there aren’t people in your area already engaged with this work, contact the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), who are devoting significant resources to branch building and establishing a strong nationally-networked outside support infrastructure. If you support this work, but cannot engage with it yourself, please donate to IWOC or another prisoner support project.
What support means on September 9th
- Direct action at prisons. – The strategy of the Free Alabama Movement calls for demonstrations at prisons themselves, ideally at a timing or level of engagement that joins the prisoners in disrupting the routine operations (ie the slavery and torture) of the institutions.
- Demonstrations. – If you can’t make it to a prison, or risk direct action, showing up in visible protests at Dept. Of Corrections central office, government buildings, politician’s offices or the headquarters or franchises of companies who profit from prison slavery is a great way to show support. If your demonstration gets mainstream media attention, that presents a larger challenge to prison mailroom censors. You can also help control the narrative, which typically blames and villainizes prisoners out the gate.
- Oversight. -Prisoners who protest their conditions are routinely put into worse conditions. They are punished, beaten, transferred, stripped naked and held in restraint positions for hours. They are electrocuted, pepper sprayed, thrown in “observation” or “suicide cells”, sometimes force fed, sometimes assaulted with hammers. Prison staff are given broad leeway to torture their captives. If we can get lawyers, politicians, reputable non-profits and investigative journalists asking questions, representing prisoners and providing oversight, it will check the retaliation.
For updates on how to support the prisoners’ national strike, please see:
Sept 9 links and resources: https://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/sept-9-2016/
Sept. 9 and nation-wide prison strike FAQ: https://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/post/2016/06/02/endorse-the-sept-9th-nationally-coordinated-prisoner-work-stoppage-and-protest/
Upcoming Dates and Locations for prisoner support: https://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/post/2016/05/26/upcoming-dates-for-prisoner-support/
IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee: https://iwoc.noblogs.org/
Attica Prison Rebellion