On April 12, two Black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were arrested for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks while sitting at a table waiting for a business partner. Starbucks responded by making plans to close 8,000 stores on May 29 for racial bias training. The incident prompted consumers and activists to #BoycottStarbucks and consider alternatives like Oakland-based Red Bay Coffee. Owned by Black entrepreneur Keba Konte, Red Bay Coffee’s staff is composed entirely of women, people of color and the formerly incarcerated.
First and foremost, we must stay on message. And what is that message? We are uniting to End Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery. In doing so, we have to keep at the forefront of our heart, mind and spirit that slavery – which predominates over mass incarceration – is an economic enterprise system that is mathematically put together and thus capable of being scientifically taken apart.
The people who organized the country’s biggest prison strike against what they call modern-day slavery have planned their next target: corporate food service giant Aramark. The $8.65 billion company is one of the country’s largest employers and serves food to more than 100 million people a year. It also provides meals for more than 500 correctional facilities across the country and has been the subject of complaints about maggots and rocks, sexual harassment, drug trafficking and other employee misconduct.
Prisons in some states are withholding newspapers from inmates amid a strike against prison conditions and billions of dollars worth of prison labor. The passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865 formally abolished slavery, but with a stipulation that enabled plantation owners to use prisoners as a replacement for the lost labor. As a group called the Free Alabama Movement rallied for a Sept. 9 labor strike in spring, prison authorities across the country began clamping down on news and information in ways that the ACLU says may be in violation of the First Amendment.
Despite scant media coverage, the largest prison strike in history is entering its third week. Retaliation is rampant, both against the organizers in prison and against the Bay View for spreading the word. The Free Alabama Movement that started the prison-strikes-to-end-slavery campaign is defeating a violent divide-and-conquer scheme to turn prisoner against prisoner with a Peace Summit, reminiscent of the Agreement to End Hostilities in California, which this month is entering its fifth year of keeping the peace.
Anyone relying on mainstream media wouldn’t know it, but the U.S. prison system is shaking up right now. No one knows how big the initial strike was yet, but the information is slowly leaking out between the cracks in the prisons’ machinery of obscurity and isolation. Over the weekend more than 50 protests erupted across the country and around the world in solidarity with the Sept. 9 nationwide prisoner work stoppage and protest.
Sept. 9, 2016, is the day that many people in America are wholeheartedly organizing, mobilizing, taking action, standing and locking arms in solidarity against what we know as prison slave labor – yes, legalized slavery – and people are saying, “No more!” Even though there are many taking action and answering the call to cure this particular ill of society, there is an overwhelmingly larger portion of the U.S. population who are absolutely clueless to the fact that slavery still exists.
On Sept. 9, 2016, the 45th anniversary of the Sept. 9, 1971, Attica Rebellion, the Free Alabama Movement kicks off the National Non-Violent and Peaceful Prison Shutdown for Civil and Human Rights at Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama. After launching its movement in 2014 with the first coordinated work stoppages and shutdowns in Alabama prison history, Free Alabama Movement issued a call in 2015 for the first coordinated nationwide prison work strike in U.S. history.
The title of my book, “Annotated Tears: America’s Auschwitz,” came from one of the poems inside. It’s a socio-political piece geared toward unveiling California’s injustice system, with specific reference to its treatment of juveniles, which upon reflection resembles Hitler’s Germany. The piece, entitled “America’s Auschwitz,” begins: Everybody’s a victim -- Sick depictions of pain ... Gestapos lurking through the ghettos -- Trailed by a bag of chains ...
It had been two years since I had seen my brothers, and this was the year I was going to see them, in New York. So me and my dad getting to New York started off badly. First of all we missed our flight, and we were on standby for a day and a half. For most of our flight, I was asleep. Our flight landed in Philadelphia in the midst of a rainstorm, so our flight was not coming. After we heard that news, me and my dad went to go get something to eat.
Thank you for supporting Buy Black Wednesdays. This new wave of “cooperative economics” is spreading across America and pan-Africa like a red, black and green tsunami of Black empowerment.
America has truly become the land of plenty. There are plenty of Ponzi schemes, plenty of bank failures and plenty of foreclosures. This leaves us with plenty of debt, plenty of crime, plenty of corruption, plenty of inflation, plenty of homelessness, plenty of poverty and plenty of unemployment.
On the 8th of July, 2010, the people of the world took to the streets of Oakland to make our displeasure felt at the non-verdict delivered to the killer cop who assassinated Ancestor-Warrior Spirit Oscar Grant III in cold blood on a BART platform a year and a half ago, 1 January 2009. And it wasn’t “outside agitators” who consistently outflanked and outmanned the so-called finest of several different police departments – most of whom were definitely from outside of Oakland. It was thousands and thousands of us who don’t have shit. It was the lumpen proletariat that George Jackson spoke of.