PRISON STRIKE UPDATES Sept. 19, 2016
1. New Folsom Prison censors the Bay View newspaper due to prison strike news
2. Additional fifth jail block joins Merced prisoner hunger strike
3. Oakland IWOC chapter meeting this Tuesday!
New Folsom Prison censors the Bay View newspaper
New Folsom Prison outside Sacramento refused to deliver all copies of the September issue of the BayView newspaper due to the inclusion of the article “Sept. 9: Strike Against Prison Slavery”. claiming that it would “disrupt the order or breach the security” of the facility. Sources from elsewhere in the California prison system confirm as well that officials and guards are being hyper vigilant and repressive concerning any possible participation and any news of the strike. They are fucking scared. From Mary Ratcliffe of the Bay View:
“Though this rejection applies to only one prison, New Folsom, it’s the one that’s wired to the capitol — and the guards’ union, CCPOA, is still one of the most powerful lobbies there, not to mention the insatiable budget appetite of CDCr. So New Folsom is a bellwether; other California prisons will follow suit if New Folsom succeeds.
Their objection is to a story headlined “Sept. 9: Strike against prison slavery …” … The major media are calling this Sept. 9 strike the largest prison strike in history. Getting reports from inside is hard and slow, and the strike hasn’t been covered as it should, but there’s coverage by some mainstream press and by the major alternative outlets. CDCr is telling reporters that no California prisoner participated, but some prisoners say otherwise.”
At the upcoming Oakland IWOC meeting on Tues, 9/20, we’ll be discussing ways topush back against the CDCR and support the Bay View newspaper, one of the few publications in the state to cover prisoners struggles and give space over to prisoner’s writings.
The Bay View is also facing serious financial difficulty at the moment. They need support to continue the work. Please visit their donation page and kick down what you can ; http://sfbayview.com/support/
Fifth dormitory block joins the Merced prisoner hunger strike. Our interview with the strikers inside.
From the Live Free Merced page:
Block 4 of the Merced County Jail has joined this #HungerStrike in solidarity with their people!!!! This is what tackling the criminalization of our people looks like!
This makes 5 blocks across 2 jails including approximately 125 prisoners that are on hunger strike. They are demanding racial integration, an end to group racial punishment with arbitrary gang classifications, NA/AA programs, and that a racist sadist, one Lieutenant Moore be fired.
Yesterday, Cole from Oakland IWOC interviewed two of the hunger strikers inside Merced County Jail. For a snapshot of what is going down inside there and explanation of their demands, check out the interview here: https://itsgoingdown.org/igdcast-luke-odonavan-merced-hunger-strikers/
Strike representatives are meeting with a Sergeant on Monday, Sept.19 to discuss their demands and the strike. We will have updates on the meeting and conversation to share at Tuesday’s meeting @ Mosswood Park.
For more context, an interview with an outside supporter and organizer as well as the full text of their demands: https://itsgoingdown.org/igdcast-prisoners-launch-hunger-strike-inside-merceds-concrete-hell/
Oakland IWOC/supporters meeting this Tuesday 9/20 at 6pm, Mosswood Park
News of various prisoners on strike across the country keep trickling in. News of repression also keeps coming in; threatening prisoners with dogs, teargassing Texas prisoners in their cells, using food as a weapon against a diabetic prisoner, solitary, lockdowns, dumping inbound and outbound mail…. At Holman in Alabama, the warden is intentionally stoking instability and violence in the generall population by dumping en masse predatory prisoners with beef out of segregation into general population. We’ll share what we know and what is underway to track all this and apply pressure.
Also on the agenda:
– What is IWOC? How does it work? Do I gotta be a member to put in work? We’ll be talking a little about the structures of the outside solidarity coalition, the relationship between IWOC and the Free Alabama Movement/other prisoner groups, the operating method and structure of IWOC chapters in general and how we all are gonna set up and run this new local here in Oakland. Bring your input! It’ll be what y’all make it.
– Tasks in front of us here in Oakland: all sorts of work to do! Fundraising, a hotline for prisoners’ calls, correspondence, media creation, data workkeeping track of everbody inside, propaganda for the street, material support to prisoners and their families…… Whatever your skills or level of interest, there’s something most def to plug into and solid people to work with!
– BRING STAMPS, ENVELOPES AND PAPER – We’re gonna get into the correspondence support right then and there. For those that haven’t done prisoner letter writing, we can show you just what is allowed, what gets through the censors, etc.
See y’all there!