Monday, July 08, 2013
Strike the Prisons!
"There is a spirit of rebellion in the world, and from Guantanamo to Istanbul to Brazil — people are fighting for their right to live — not as robots, not as slaves, not as chattel. It is not just about the prisoners. The overpopulation of California’s prison system not only exerts a lifelong effect on prisoners, but also tears apart whole communities who bear the burden of mass incarceration.
And in fighting for themselves and their families the prisoners are tran- scending the prison. It’s a struggle for democracy in its most basic meaning.
We support them. We embrace them. Power to the people."
—Strike The Prisons
This week prisoners up and down the West Coast have set aside political differences, racial divisions, and longstanding beefs to unite for a massive hunger strike and system-wide work stoppage. Working in solidarity with organizers on the inside, revolutionaries and activists on the outside have begun a support campaign for the striking prisoners. Part of this campaign is a broadsheet bulletin entitled "Strike the Prisons," thatis being distributed in Washington State, Oregon and California starting this week. I was honored to be asked to help produce the bulletin, and working with amazing comrades on both coasts, the broadsheet was set to be printed today. Expect a massive news blackout from mainstream media.
The full content of the broadsheet can be read at Kasama, via a downloadable PDF here. Strike the Prisons content will also be up at its own website here shortly, and updates on solidarity work and the unfolding strike can be found at Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity and at the Prisoner Hunger & Work Strike blog.
The conditions for long-term prisoners in California, especially those in various forms of isolation, are worse than those for most zoo animals. In this era of mass incarceration, when prisons are used as a form of social control, these prisoners need our support.
Victory to the prison strikes!