by Nube Brown
This prisoner-led strike is not only about their list of 10 demands; it’s a clear call for their human rights! This is no small feat – and it’s dangerous! These men and women are putting their lives on the line – for themselves and for us.
The retaliation began weeks before the strike even began. Don’t think for one moment this isn’t also about us here on the outside. Most of us are complicit in the horrors that have taken place in our nation’s prisons.
Under our noses, on our watch, prisons have been put on lockdown, striking caged community members have been thrown in solitary confinement, have been denied their mail, have been threatened with violence and death, have been retaliated against for speaking out against these violations and abuses taking place in prisons across the nation, and even for speaking about the strike!
In truth, these men and women are being treated as the slaves the exception clause to the 13th Amendment allows. End Prison Slavery – slavery made legal by the Constitution – now!
Prisoners Human Rights Coalition CA stands in solidarity with these men and women and will continue throughout the 19 days of striking and beyond. We started our actions on Aug. 21 in San Jose – the 47th anniversary of the murder of George Jackson and first day of the strike – with an Awareness March and Rally from Plaza de Cesar Chavez to City Hall.
We were about 20-people small, but effective! We chanted “Human Rights Belong to All, Even Those Behind the Wall!” and “We Want Money for Education, We Don’t Want a Prison Nation!” and stopped to “educate” folks with facts and brief commentary. We interrupted their quiet dining experiences and efforts to get home after a long day at work, yet got nothing but support!
Beautiful and brave freedom fighters – your efforts are not in vain and we’ve got your backs out here!
Still, we need and want more of the public and families on board. We must keep the focus on ALL 10 demands, not let the mainstream media claim the narrative by sensationalizing one issue, and let the guards know we’re watching!
Prisoners Human Rights Coalition CA conducted actions through Sept. 9 – the anniversary of the Attica Uprising and end of the 2018 Prison Strike – and won’t quit. This outside campaign is designed to support the strikers and educate the public until all 10 demands are met and slavery is abolished.
Text prisonstrike to 818-918-2376; email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on FB, Prisoner Human Rights Coalition CA, to stay updated on San Jose events. Go to incarceratedworkers.org and FB, Oakland IWOC for phone zaps and updates on the strikers, their condition and other events throughout the Bay Area. Go to prisonstrike.com for general and in-depth information regarding this historic strike. Keep up on prison strike news at sfbayview.com and sawarimi.org.
In solidarity and peace!
Nube Brown of California Prison Focus and Prisoners Human Rights Coalition CA, a San Jose-based writer and organizer around the cause of prison abolition, can be reached at email@example.com.