Prison Strike Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Prisoners call for nationwide strike on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising

Oakland groups march and rally in support of national prisoner work strike

Sept 9th Oakland, CA – On the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, the most notorious prison rebellion in US history, prisoners across the country have resolved to take on the prison industrial complex again through a massive work stoppage. From the original call from the prisoners:

“To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.”

Prisoners, the initiators of the call, point to the fact that slavery has never ended in this country and is enumerated in the 13th amendment which states: “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime..” Supporters and prisoners point to the large number of corporations and states raking in huge profits, through state and federal prisons, by paying prisoners cents per hours of work. Companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, Starbucks, McDonalds and many others. 

Actions are planned in over 50 cities across the US in solidarity with the prisoner’s strike. A large coalition of groups have joined together in this support effort such as: the National Lawyers Guild, Anarchist Black Cross chapters, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, Free Alabama Movement, Free Ohio Movement, Free Virgina Movement and many more. 

The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee is a part of the Industrial Workers of the World. Currently, over 800 prisoners are members of IWOC spread across 36 states. 

“Slavery is alive and well in this country. Sanctioned and administered by the state. It’s in the best interests of all workers to end prison slavery and we intend on hitting the streets in a loud, powerful way to show these prisoners they are not alone in their fight” said Cole Dorsey from Oakland IWOC. 

Oakland IWOC is planning multiple events locally to support the nationwide strike. 

Friday, Sept 9 6pm there will be a movie showing, banner making, and discussion at Mosswood Park. 

Saturday, Sept 10 1pm there will be a large gathering at Latham Square in downtown Oakland. Strike supporters will visit and protest at some of the  corporations located downtown that are benefiting from prison labor. 

The Industrial Workers of the World is an over 100 year old labor union founded by women and immigrants. Gaining notoriety in recent years with organizing drives at Starbucks and Jimmy Johns the IWW is the only labor union in the world actively organizing and supporting prisoners. 

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Sept. 10, Prison Rebels, We Are With You!: Rally and March in Solidarity with Prison Strike

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Saturday, September 10, 1:00 PM
Latham Square, Oakland, California 94612

ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, people across Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California will converge in Downtown Oakland and rally and march in solidarity with the US-wide prison work strike against prison slavery.

Slavery is legal in America. Written into the 13th Admendment, it is legal to work someone that is incarcerated for free or almost free. Since the civil war, tens of millions of people most arrested for non-violent offenses, have been used as slaves for the sake of generating massive profits for multi-national corporations and the US government. Today, prison labor is a multi-billion dollar industry which helps generate enormous weath for key industries such as fossil fuels, fast food, telecommunications, technology, the US military, and everyday house hold products.

The strike, which starts officially on September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, is historic. The strike is being led by groups such as the Free Alabama Movement, Free Texas Movement, Free Ohio Movement, Free Virginia Movement, Free Mississippi Movement, and many more. Prisoners have asked that supporters hold noise demonstrations outside jails and prisons, protest, disrupt, and demonstrate outside of corporations that profit from prison labor, and also support the strike that is happening across the US.

This is not just a prison strike for better wages or conditions, it is a strike against white supremacy itself.

Bring banners, signs, noise makers, friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, and more! Gather at Latham Square next to OGP (Broadway and Telegraph Ave), 1pm. Also, be sure to join us the day before at our BBQ which will feature banner making, a film showing, and open discussion about the strike. See more info on that here: https://iwocoakland.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/sept-9-prison-strike-begins-bbq-banner-making-and-film-showing/

#StrikeAgainstPrisonSlavery
#PrisonStrike

Contact Oakland IWOC:

IWOC-oakland@iww.org

510.368.3426

Oakland IWOC
PO Box 6305
Oakland, CA 94612

More info:

Strike Against Prison Slavery: https://itsgoingdown.org/strike-against-white-supremacy/

Let the Cops Rot in the Field: http://insurgenttheatre.org/theory/letthecropsrot.pdf

Incarcerated Workers Take the Lead: http://unityandstruggle.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/IWOC_pamphlet_print-1.pdf

End Prison Slavery: https://supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org/post/2015/07/19/end-prison-slavery-zine/

 

Sept. 9, Prison Strike Begins: BBQ, Banner Making, and Film Showing

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Friday, September 9, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Mosswood Park, Oakland, California 94609 (look for us by the amphitheater)

On Friday, September 9th, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising in New York, prisoners are calling for a general strike across all prisons in the United States against prison slavery.

Oakland IWOC and our friends are planning a mass action and march on Saturday, September 10th, but before hand we want to create a space where those new to the campaign can come and learn more about is happening, and everyone involved in the mobilization can work on making banners and signs.

Join us on Friday, September 9th at Mosswood Park (look for us by the amphitheater) for a BBQ, banner and sign making party, open discussion on the strike and the mobilization on the 10th, and also watch a film about the Attica Prison Uprising.

As the initial call out for the strike stated:

“Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.

This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.”

This is not only a strike against bad conditions, for the changing of rules around things like parole, and to actually be paid for their labor which makes billions for multi-national corporations, but against white supremacy itself.

When the 13th Amendment was passed in 1865, it in theory banned slavery, except in the form of imprisonment. After the civil war, many former slaves were forced into becoming indentured share croppers, others were imprisoned for minor offenses and were forced to work for free in the fields. Over the decades, corporations and governments continued to look towards prisons as a major source for free and cheap labor. Today, prison labor is a huge money making industry that fuels the fossil fuel and energy, fast food, banking, and other industries that makes billions of dollars of profit each year off the backs of those enslaved in prison.

Fore more information, check out:
https://itsgoingdown.org/strike-against-white-supremacy/

Contact Oakland IWOC:

IWOC-oakland@iww.org

510.368.3426

Oakland IWOC
PO Box 6305
Oakland, CA 94612

 

Incarcerated Worker Newsletter #4

Incarcerated Worker 4 masthead

AVAILABLE NOW: Incarcerated Worker Newsletter
Issue 4, Summer 2016 (printable version)

This printable version is set up to print on two sides of several sheets of paper. Print head to head, flip on the short edge of the paper, fold in half to form a booklet.

Getting copies of literature to prisoners can help them connect with this growing prisoner-led movement.