September 9th, 2016
Last month Influence contributor Jeremy Galloway broke the news on the series of coordinated strikes that would take place at prisons around the country today, September 9, to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising. The strikes are to protest the inhumane conditions of today’s prisons in general, with a particular focus on slave labor, through which prisoners are forced to work for multinational corporations like Microsoft and McDonalds and compensated with pennies. Prisoners will also protest prison violence, lack of healthcare, overcrowding, and the racist underpinnings of our “justice” system that make mass incarceration the “new Jim Crow.”
The protests are not being as widely covered as you would hope, though. As Galloway wrote: “If history is an indicator, the state will do all it can to limit media coverage.”
But some news is making it out of the system. In Florida, for example, the Miami Herald reports that hundreds of prisoners at Holmes Correctional Institution protested by smashing surveillance cameras and covering windows with sheets. Guards sprayed gas to stop them.
The organizers are also getting the word out themselves, using social media.
A list of solidarity actions can also be found here.