…we have to fight for our freedom, it’s not going to be given to us.”
These recordings were made by co-founders of Free Alabama Movement while in solitary confinement. They were played over loudspeakers at various stops during the prison strike solidarity march in Oakland, Calif., on September 10, 2016.
…slavery never ended in this country; the only thing that happened was that the institution changed hands. …Instead of being the property of a private individual, we became state property.”
The main thing we’re going to come out of this strike different is that awareness is built. The more people to understand more about why we’re here, what is the dynamics involved, what role does the 13th Amendment play, what role are corporations playing in it, what role are businesspeople playing in it. That’s what we’re fighting to make sure that the awareness is there. The thing for us is that September 9th is not a commemorated day, it’s not a holiday, it’s not an anniversary. It’s a continuation of what the many who made the sacrifice in Attica. They were fighting for something 45 years ago, and that fight has not been won yet, it has not been complete.
We understand that slavery never ended in this country; the only thing that happened was that the institution changed hands. They went from private owners to public ownership. We became instead of being the property of a private individual, we became state property. But the rest of the dynamics remain the same: the living conditions, the free labor, and everything that goes along with that. So we want to make sure that we acknowledge that that was the spirit that was captured in Attica prison, and that spirit was a call for resistance against the 13th Amendment. It was a call for resistance against cruel and unusual punishment, inhumane punishment, using people for monetary gain. So that’s what we’re doing, we’re just acknowledging what took place, acknowledging that, you know, the fight is not won, that we’re now in Attica. There’s an Attica everywhere in this country. So we want the spirit of Attica to be embraced around this country, so people can understand that we have to fight for our freedom, it’s not going to be given to us.