Prisoners In Several Cities Plan To Strike For A Total Of 19 Days
It’s a new day as prisoners all over the United States have decided they will no longer be mistreated.
According to reports, inmates in at least 21 different cities will go on strike to fight against prison conditions they say amount to modern slavery. From today, August 21, until September 9, convicts plan to refuse to work and some won’t even eat, the NYPost reports. The aforementioned dates have significant meaning, as the strike begins on the day jailed African-American activist George Jackson was killed at the hands of a guard back in 1971. It then ends on the 47th anniversary of the Attica Correctional Facility uprising that reportedly left 40 people dead.
The site states: “Prisoners have outlined 10 national demands that include ‘immediate improvements’ to conditions and for inmates who are forced to work while incarcerated to be paid the ‘prevailing wage in their state.’ They’re also asking that the voting rights of ex-felons should be reinstated and an end to ‘over-sentencing and parole denials of Black and brown humans.’”
Amani Sawari, a spokesperson for the nationwide strike, reportedly told Vox, “The main leverage that an inmate has is their own body. If they choose not to go to work and just sit in the main area or the eating area, and all the prisoners choose to sit there and not go to the kitchen for lunchtime or dinnertime, if they choose not to clean or do the yardwork, this is the leverage that they have. Prisons cannot run without prisoners’ work.”
According to USA Today, these are the cities that are participating so far: Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; San Jose, California; Corona, California; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Omaha, Nebraska; San Antonio, Texas; Asheville, North Carolina; Black Mountain, North Carolina; Atlanta; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Boston; and Brooklyn, New York.