From Attica to Lee: Strike Against Prison Slavery

Iconic photo retouched with color of the Attica prisoner rebellion showing prisons en mass in courtyard with fists raised.

Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation Statement of Solidarity With the 2018 National Prison Strike

On the 187th anniversary of the Nat Turner rebellion and the 47th anniversary of the assassination of George Jackson in his attempt to escape San Quentin prison, prisoners across the country have started a nationwide prison strike for the abolition of prison slavery. Utilizing labor strikes, hunger strikes, sit-ins, and boycotts, these prisoners stand in brave defiance of the carceral state and the white supremacist order that keeps them in bondage. The demands of the movement also include more rehabilitative programs, end to racial disparities in sentencing, and the end of racist laws specifically targeting Black and brown people. We fully endorse this strike and offer our support to prisoners and detainees in rebellion, including those who have already faced or will face further repression and retaliation for their organizing.

These are the national demands of  incarcerated people in federal, immigration, and state prisons:

  1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
  2. 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.
  3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
  4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole.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.
  5. 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.
  6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
  7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
  8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
  9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
  10. 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.

In addition to these demands Black Rose/Rosa Negra adds:

  1. An end to all forms of family separation and detention.
  2. Access to quality health care products, especially including the essential reproductive healthcare products that are frequently denied to prisoners.
  3. Prisoners in the US colony of Puerto Rico must not be separated even further from their families and communities by sending them to prisons in the mainland US. Prisoners there have threatened a strike over these proposals, if they do go on strike we support these actions as well. 
  4. Freedom for all political prisoners and prisoners of war, including prisoners of recent struggles like Joshua Williams and Red Fawn Fallis as well as long standing political prisoners like Russell Maroon Shoats, Jalil Muntaqim, Leonard Peltier, and many others. 

For organizations sponsoring that are near you and ways to get involved Click Here. For more information on the strike and how to get involved can be found Click Here

Illustration of prison bars with hands on them and words "On #August21 strike while the iron is hot"