An Update on the Prison Strike
The nationwide prison strike officially ended yesterday, and The Guardian has a good summary of the strike and what might happen next:
The strike was formally brought to a close on the anniversary of the 1971 uprising at Attica prison in upstate New York. Though details of the protest have been sketchy since it was launched on 21 August, hunger strikes, boycotts of facilities and refusal to carry out work duties have been reported in many states, from Florida and South Carolina to Washington.
Now that the strike has ended, organisers hope its momentum can be sustained as they attempt to fulfill their demands including the restoration of the vote. Not only does the US have the world’s largest incarcerated population – 2.3 million are behind bars – it also harbors at state level some of the harshest felony disenfranchisement laws in the world.
You’ll want to read the whole piece, which includes quotes from striking inmates and their lawyers, as well as Daniel A. Gross’s interview with an inmate at The New Yorker:
“We first heard about the strike from I.W.O.C.,” a man who is incarcerated in South Carolina, and is participating in the strike, told me, speaking from prison on a contraband cell phone. “They sent out a text message inviting everybody to join in—you know, to stand in solidarity and to end prison injustice. I did my own research, looked it up, verified it,” he added.
“Here in South Carolina, we’re going on a spending strike. We’re not spending any money with the state, if at all possible. You have some that’s doing medical strikes, just refusing to take their meds, if they can. I would say thirty per cent, right now, are striking—as opposed to what we had a week ago, maybe fifty, fifty-five per cent. A good bit of people trying to participate.”
Read and discuss.
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