Alabama Prisoners to Strike on Easter Sunday
Building on the mass hunger strike of prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison in July of last year, several hundred prisoners across Alabama have declared that, beginning Easter Sunday, they will stop prison-mandated labor in protest of detestable living conditions.
The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many people as the 16,000 that can be housed “humanely”, with everything from black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and general disrepair. They are also run by free slave labor, with 10,000 incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to $600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.
Unpaid labor includes cooking and cleaning, production of license plates, furniture, chemicals, and linens, and farming. The slavery analogy is more than metaphorical: African-Americans comprise only 26% of Alabama’s population, but make up more than 60% of the prison population due to reactionary legislation and racist targeting of communities of color. Reports of beatings and systemic rape and sexual abuse of women inmates by guards at Tutwiler State Prison have surfaced in the media over the last year.
(In the US, forced labor produces everything from military equipment to lingerie, school supplies, and food.)
On the outside, labor unions and prisoners’ advocacy groups have been instrumental in helping prisoners organize themselves. The Free Alabama Movement is pushing an “Education, Rehabilitation, and Re-entry Preparedness Bill” to the Alabama legislature, while the Industrial Workers of the World labor union has vowed to provide support and assistance to the incarcerated laborers.
Melvin Ray, spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) said:
When we look at our situations inside of the Alabama Department of Corrections, we have no choice but to engage in this nonviolent and peaceful protest for civil and human rights. We sleep with rats and roaches. We work for free and eat slop unfit for human consumption. We serve decades in prison solely to provide free labor and without any real prospect for parole, and without any recourse to the courts for justice or redress of grievances. Our mothers, wives, and daughters must expose their breasts and panties just to visit us. This should not be acceptable to anyone. Prison is supposed to be a place where people go to work out issues and return to society. But when there is no focus on education or rehab but solely on profit margins, human suffering is inevitable. ADOC is about free labor and the new slavery no one wants to talk about. That is no longer going to work for the 30,000 of us who suffer because of it.
The Industrial Workers of the World was involved in a similar campaign in 1987, in which they organized 400 incarcerated laborers in an Ohio state prison, before the government ruled that prisoners are not legally entitled to the right to form a union - a right which all other workers enjoy.
More on the Free Alabama Movement’s strike
Stonewall was colored folks, poor folks, transsexuals, femmes, butches… a little bit of everybody. But the narrative that gets sold to people is that it was all these ‘A-Gay’ white normative people. That’s not who riots. Sorry. —
Juba Kalamka in this interview (via soldadera-del-amor)
"that’s not who riots".
THATS NOT WHO RIOTS!! so perfect
(Source: niaking, via inkdefense)
yep. This was actually a ‘program’ started by the Fascist/Catholic regime in Spain during Franco’s dictatorship. The idea was to steal babies from ‘left leaning’ parents, poor single mothers and sell them to right wing parents. The Spanish Catholic church has been quiet about this, but there have been dozens of protests and lawsuits. Investigations are still going on. There’s a really interesting documentary on this, I’ll have to find it.
This is another reason why I have zero respect for the Catholic Church in Spain, or Franco sympathizers.
It’s still National Library Week. You should be especially nice to a librarian today, or tomorrow. Sometime this week, anyway. Probably the librarians would like tea. Or chocolates. Or a reliable source of funding. — Neil Gaiman (via ala-con)
$7 of every $10 saved by the Ryan budget would come from programs for low-income people -
(Source: beyondwholefoods, via pennywhistle)
X-Men Director Accused of Drugging, Raping Teenage Boy -
Bryan Singer, the director of the X Men franchise, has been accused of drugging, raping and using his power to exploit a teenager, in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii.
(Source: realrandomsam, via pastthestorm)
Click here to support Help a Trans Girl Stay in the US by Queers and Allies of NAU -
Sunny is a trans girl from Suadi Arabia who is studying in Arizona on a student visa. When her parents found out she was transgender they canceled the scholarship she was using to pay for school and housing. Being unable to pay, she has already been kicked out of the dorm she was living in and is…THIS IS MY FRIEND! PLEASE HELP! EVEN IF YOU CAN’T DONATE PLEASE REBLOG THIS! THANK YOU <3
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White People: - “Black people are always pulling the race card!”