URGENT: Demand safety for South Carolina prisoners during Hurricane Florence
With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas and other parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, incarcerated people are in extreme danger. While the governors of Virginia and North Carolina have relented to the demand that prisoners be evacuated, South Carolina -- a state that faces the prospect of major devastation by the storm -- has not.Read more
Call South Carolina governor Henry McMaster: 803-734-2100Many prisoners in the path of the storm have just participated in the historic August 21-September 9 prison strike, an action that galvanized widespread support across the country and constituted a major step forward in the fight against racist mass incarceration. The complete disregard shown for the lives of prisoners by the government of South Carolina is a prime example of the brutality that made the strike necessary.
Call Legislative Liaison Dexter Lee: 803-896-1731
Rally Friday 9/14 @ 9:00 a.m. in West Columbia, SC
Prisoners' lives are often treated with total disregard during natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey last year. It is crucial that activists on the outside take up the urgent demand to evacuate incarcerated people now!
Anti-War AlertThe ANSWER Coalition is on guard to organize against any moves by the U.S. government to escalate its deadly intervention in Syria. As what could be a final showdown between the government and far-right religious militias takes shape, there is a renewed danger of a staged provocation that could serve as a pretext for a dramatic widening of the U.S. bombing campaign — or worse. But the people can and must stand up to the war machine!
From the Prison Strike Media Team: ... it has been a huge success of the 2018 prison strike that the 10 points have been pushed into the national and international consciousness. The work of spreading and fighting for these demands will continue on all fronts until they are actualized ...Read more and see more photos
The struggle against racist police terror continues as the people demand justice for Botham Shem Jean and Darell Richards!Outrage has swept the country in the wake of the shooting of Botham Shem Jean in Dallas, who was killed by Dallas Police Department officer Amber Guyger. In Sacramento, Darell Clark, a Black teenager, was killed by the Sacramento Police Department SWAT team. People have taken to the streets to protest these latest outrages.Read more
Message from the Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee on the 20th anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban FiveOn behalf of the former National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee sent a message on Sept. 12, the 20th anniversary of the arrest of Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René for defending Cuba from U.S.-sponsored terrorism.Read the full statement
On September 8, the ANSWER Coalition joined a broad coalition of progressive groups to organize a major demonstration in Los Angeles as part of the national Rise for Climate Day of Action.Read more
From Hood 2 La Gente: Join us in supporting organizations putting in real work for la gente de Puerto Rico, not for the government and Wall Street. From the Hood to La Gente, united we stand for Puerto Rico!Read more and see a NEW VIDEO
The ANSWER Coalition urges its supporters to help Ramona Africa, a tireless fighter for freedom for political prisoners, and justice and liberation for all people. We are circulating an update and appeal from the MOVE organization about her condition.Read more and learn about an upcoming event
The ANSWER Coalition encourages its supporters to attend the Women's March on the Pentagon.Read more Upcoming Events
- Ongoing - Chicago, IL: Justice 4 Laquan | Jason Van Dyke on trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald
- September 14 - West Columbia, SC: Demand Gov. McMaster to Evacuate the Prisons
- September 16 - Washington, DC: Say No to the Catholic Church Displacing D.C. Tenants
- September 19 - Clearwater, FL: We Still Remember - A Vigil for Markeis McGlockton
- September 22 - Chicago, IL: People's Public Hearing - Lead Out Now
- September 22 - Dayton, OH: Petition Drive Against Dayton's Anti-"Panhandling" Ordinance
- September 22 - Sarasota, FL: Benefit show and potluck featuring Physical Plant + Lesa Silvermore
- September 27 - Lubbock, TX: Stop ICE in Lubbock
- September 29 - Philadelphia, PA: Stand With Ramona Africa
- September 30 - Los Angeles, CA: Feedback Sunday
- October 20 - Boise, ID: Speak Out Against the Pentagon
- October 20-21 - Washington, DC: Women's March on the Pentagon
Your donation to the ANSWER Coalition allows us to sustain this movement against war, and for social and economic justice. The ANSWER Coalition is active in cities and towns throughout the country. We can do this work with your continuing support. Please make an urgently needed donation today.
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Statement regarding the ongoing Nationwide Prison Strike
Issued September 11, 2018 by the Prison Strike Media Team
Amani Sawariofficial outside media representative of Jailhouse Lawyers Speakprisonstrikemedia@gmail.comJared WareFreelance journalist covering prisoner firstname.lastname@example.org@jaybeware on TwitterIncarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)National Media Subcommittee, email@example.com@IWW_IWOC on twitterNew confirmed prison action reports(full list & details below)
- Missouri: at least one prisoner on a hunger strike at Leavenworth (USP).
- New York: strike activity at Coxsackie Correctional Facility, strike activity and boycotts at Eastern Correctional Facility.
- Ohio: at least one block engaged in a 3 day fast on first days of the strike and a commissary boycott throughout at Ohio State Penitentiary, plus a work stoppage in late July in response to preemptive repression by staff.
- Texas: More prisoners involved in the hunger strike at Michael Unit.
Statement from prison strike media team
September 9th has passed, but it is up to the people in each prison who are participating in boycotts, hunger strikes, work strikes or sit-ins to determine the right day and time to close out their actions — from the outset, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and national organizers have endorsed local strikers to set their own end dates, or strike indefinitely.
With ongoing communication repression (including heightened censorship of mail, lockdowns, and constant searches and seizures of prisoner property), there is undoubtedly a great deal of information on strike activity that has not yet traveled outside. As organizers have said from the beginning of this process, there is a wall of silence around prisons in the US, which should itself be of great concern for the human rights of those held inside. Actions to further restrict and surveill contact with prisoners, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland's "drug elimination efforts" which curtail access to reading materials under the false pretext of guard safety, would be a huge loss for the already extremely limited freedoms of US prisoners.
Repression against strikers by prison authorities continues to be fought with phone zaps and letter-writing campaigns: reporting on these issues will directly prevent harm to inside organizers, particularly as coverage of the strike itself winds down. The next step for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak is the endorsement of a campaign to pressure politicians to enact legislative change; both JLS and IWOC will be taking stock of the strike with their members over the coming weeks to consider what other future actions will be necessary to build a movement strong enough to push for the rights of incarcerated peoples. For now, the most urgent tasks for anyone following the strike are to continue to push the demands inside and out, highlight ongoing or previously-unreported strike activity, and work to prevent or limit retaliation against strikers wherever possible.
Incarcerated organizers never believed that their demands would be met a negotiating table during the past three weeks; it has been a huge success of the 2018 prison strike that the 10 points have been pushed into the national and international consciousness. The work of spreading and fighting for these demands will continue on all fronts until they are actualized, and then beyond that onto what JLS aptly calls "the dismantling process," as we build a movement toward abolition.
Jailhouse Lawyers Speak will be releasing an official statement from inside organizers this week.List of demands"These are the NATIONAL DEMANDS of the men and women in federal, immigration, and state prisons:
- Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
- An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
- The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
- The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
- An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
- An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
- No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
- State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
- Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
- The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called "ex-felons" must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!Strike action round-upHere is the list of such activity as reported to Jailhouse Lawyers Speak or the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee as of September 9, 2018:California
- New Folsom Prison: hunger strike started by Heriberto Garcia on August 21 continues
- CSP LAC (Lancaster): a group is hunger strikingFloridaConfirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):
- Charlotte Correctional Institution
- Dade Correctional Institution
- Holmes Correctional Institution
- Appalachee Correctional Institution
- Franklin Correctional InstitutionGeorgiaConfirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak)
- Georgia State Prison "Reidsville"
- Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson, GAIndiana
- Wabash Valley Correctional Institution, prisoners in a segregation unit initiated a hunger strike on Monday August 27, demanding adequate food and an end to cold temperatures in the unit.KentuckyBoycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:
- FCI Manchester (Federal)Maryland
- Jessup Correctional Institution - small group engaged in work stoppage reported by JLS and another independent source.Michigan
- Alger Correctional Facility, a group of prisoners are boycotting all phone contact and payment to Global Tel Link (GTL)Missouri
- Leavenworth (USP) has at least one prisoner on a hunger strike.New Mexico
- Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs, NM. On August 9, prisoners organized a work stoppage against conditions at the prison, operated by private corporation GEO Group. Tensions at the prison reached a tipping point prior to the date of the strike and prisoners could not wait before initiating their protest. All facilities in New Mexico were placed on lockdown status on the morning of August 20. This statewide lockdown has since been lifted except for Lea County C.F..North Carolina
- Prisoners at Hyde Correctional Institution in Swanquarter, NC demonstrated in solidarity with the strike.
- At least one prisoner has been retaliated against at Polk Correctional Institution for alleged strike activity.New York
- Coxsackie Correctional Facility - strike activity confirmed by JLS and NYC Books Through Bars
- Eastern Correctional Facility - work strike activity and boycotts confirmed by JLSOhio
- Ohio State Penitentiary (supermax in Youngstown) - at least one block engaged in a 3 day fast on first days of the strike and a commissary boycott throughout. Also there was a brief work stoppage in late July in response to preemptive repression by staff.
- Toledo Correctional Institution - At least two prisoners began a hunger strike on August 21. David Easley and James Ward were moved into isolation for participating and authorities have cut off their means of communication to outside contacts.South CarolinaConfirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):
- Broad River CI
- Lee Correctional C
- McCormick CI
- Kershaw CI
- Lieber CIBoycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:
- FCI Edgefield (Federal)Texas
- IWOC was forwarded a message dated 8/23 from inside administrative segregation, (solitary) of a Texas gulf prison confirming that 2 people are on hunger strike in solidarity with the national action: "I feel great. But very hungry! And not because I don't have food but because of our 48 hours solidarity with our brothers and sisters. It's the only way we can show support from inside of Seg. Let everyone know we got their backs."
- IWOC has confirmed that Robert Uvalle is on hunger strike in solitary at Michael Unit, Anderson County, TX in solidarity with the nationwide strike. Robert has been in solitary for most of his 25 years inside. IWOC has subsequently confirmed that more prisoners are involved in the hunger strike.
- IWOC has confirmed that there is a work stoppage at the McConnell Unit in Texas.Virginia
- Sussex II a group of has released a communique related to a hunger strikeWashington
- Northwest Detention Center - Representatives of over 200 immigrant detainees at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington declared a hunger strike on day one of the national prison strike. Amid fears of retaliation, 70 across three blocks participated. As of this time, seven continue to refuse food into a second week.Nova Scotia, CanadaBurnside County Jail in Halifax prisoners went on strike and issued a protest statement in solidarity with the strike and naming local demands. They went through a lockdown and extensive negotiations with authorities; those who refused to cooperate with humiliating body scans were punished by being locked in a dry cell
(no water or working toilets) for three days.