Friday, September 9th, 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison rebellion in which prisoners organized a mass demonstration to demand better treatment in the prison system. This uprising was one of the most powerful prisoner mobilizations in the history of the anti-prison movement. On this September 9th there will be a national prisoner work stoppage to demand an end to the enslavement of prisoners through forced labor and the white supremacist structure of the prison system.
At the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) we know that criminalization, policing, surveillance and imprisonment are all different manifestations of the same violent system. All of these practices are meant to target poor and street-based communities, communities of color, queer and trans communities and other oppressed communities and limit our abilities to thrive.
We know that we can never truly end criminalization until we also end the practice of incarceration. Through our historical analysis we have shown the ways that criminalizing people’s existence is a long-used tool to control and systemically murder different communities (including anti-Okie laws, Jim Crow laws, ugly laws, anti-homeless laws, etc.) Looking at the history of this country we can see that slavery was never truly abolished but simply shifted its form to enslave black and brown people through the prison system. WRAP stands in solidarity alongside prisoners across the country rising up and demanding an end to slavery in America.
There are many ways that you can support the prison strike on September 9th!
1) Go to a local solidarity event. Here is a list of events in Portland (OR), Eugene (OR), Oakland (CA), Santa Barbara (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Tuscon (AZ), Buckeye (AZ), Mikwaukee (WI), Minneapolis (MN), Chicago (IL), East Lansing (MI), Columbus (OH), Cincinnati (OH), Kansas City (MO), St. Louis (MO), Denton (TX), Austin (TX), Houston (TX), Bessemer (AL), New Orleans (LA), Nashville (TN), Asheville (NC), Cumberland (MD), Washington (DC), Durham (NC), Tallahassee (FL), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Wildwood (FL), Detroit (MI), Pittsburg (PA), Philadelphia (PA), Providence (RI), Camden (NJ), Newark (NJ), Rochester (NY), Bronx (NY), Brooklyn (NY). https://itsgoingdown.org/spreading-strike-solidarity-actions-across-north-america-september-9th/
2) If you are in the Bay Area we encourage you to support:
- The Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement National Conference. FICPM is committed to fighting for civil and human rights for all people, particularly those who have been convicted by the criminal justice system and the communities they represent. The conference will be at 1 Hegenberger Road in Oakland, CA. You can find more information here: https://ficpmovement.wordpress.com/2016-ficpfm-national-conference/
- The statewide mobilization against the militarization of the police through Urban Shield. Urban Shield is an annual SWAT team police training and weapons expo that showcases new technologies for surveillance, state repression and state violence. Organizers from across California are meeting in Pleasanton to hold a demonstration against Urban Shield and in solidarity with the striking prisoners. You can find more information here: http://stopurbanshield.org/
3) You can send materials to prisoners about the work stoppage. There are many helpful resources here: https://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/resources/
4) You can sign onto the support prisoner resistance listserv to get updates about calls for support around organizers on the inside who are being targeted with retaliatory measures. Sign up here: SupportPrisonerResistancefirstname.lastname@example.org
5) Organizers of the work stoppage on the outside are specifically looking for people who can make calls into prisons every other day. If this is you, you can fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/a/tgijp.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScR1LOv_PS0W-oKEpi9jYqWsXu9APkOGTrENcu4LfKjzaXKVg/viewform?c=0&w=1
OR you can do a one-time phone call in support of any of these prisoners:
Dying to Live Wisconsin Hunger Strike Against Solitary CALL Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 email@example.com
“Hello, I am calling in support of LaRon McKinley and Cesar DeLeon who are on hunger strike against solitary confinement at Waupun CI. They are not being given clean water which is putting their lives at risk. The Department of Corrections needs to provide them both with bottled water. DOC should also end this hunger strike by meeting their core demand, capping solitary confinement at one year.”
Hands Off Hasan!
CALL Ohio State Penitentiary at (330) 743-0700 (no warden listed) or email Laura.Gardner@odrc.state.oh.us and Gina.Wylie@odrc.state.oh.us
CALL Ohio DRC director Gary Mohr 614-752-1150 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask to speak to or leave a message for Gary Mohr. “I am calling in support of Siddique Adbullah Hasan and other muslim prisoners at OSP. Please drop the bogus conduct report against Hasan (R130-559) and fire Imam Said Ismail, replace him with a real Muslim faith leader who prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary can trust. ”
Michael Kimble and Alabama Prison Rebels
CALL Warden Mitchell at: 251-368-8173
“Hello, I’m calling to demand that Michael Kimble and other individuals put in segregation on August 1st after alleged rioting be released and have their property returned. They were held there for over 72 hours without charge or phone call, violating ADOC policy.”
Donaldson Alabama Call In
CALL Warden Bolling at (205) 436-3681
“Hello, I am calling in support of the hunger strikers in your facility. Please cease all retaliation against these prisoners and meet their demands.”