WHEREAS the Free Alabama Movement, Free Virginia Movement, and other revolutionary prison groups around the United States have jointly called for a Nationally Coordinated Prisoner Work Stoppage on September 9th, 2016, and
WHEREAS IWW members in prison and their allies are at the forefront of fighting the prison system from the inside,
MOVED that the GEB endorse the September 9th prisoner work stoppage with the following language:
The General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World endorses the Nationally Coordinated Prisoner Work Stoppage on September 9th, 2016 organized by the Free Alabama Movement, Free Virginia Movement, and other revolutionary prisoner worker organizations and individuals. It is the duty of working class organizations like the IWW to support the struggle of prisoner workers. We call on other unions and revolutionary working class organizations to offer their support and solidarity to this important cause.
The GEB also encourages branches and IWWs to consider planning an action for September 9, to start a local organizing group, and to donate to the efforts at iwoc.noblogs.org/donate.
It has been an amazing day for raising awareness about prison conditions and prisoner led actions. Please check out all these developments, share widely, and get involved!!
Part 1 of Kinetik on Democracy Now! talking about prisoner resistance
Part 2 of Kinetik on Democracy Now!
NLG endorsement of the Sept 9th Call for National Prisoner Strikes
It’s Going Down in depth interview with IWOC
SPR Follow Up Article on the May Day Strikes in Alabama
Texas IWOC pamphlet about the past few years of prisoner struggle, the recent Texas prisoner work stoppage, and an explanation of IWOCs contributions
Please assist us with this amazing work by getting involved with your local IWW or IWOC group and help us raise money for postage, member supplies, and a paid organizer!! See below for more information on how you can help!!
Dear Friends and Fellow Organizers
I’m writing to you to ask for your support for an organization close to my heart and doing work that is greatly needed–the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. Over the last 18 months we have grown to nearly 700 members inside prison and are greatly in need of resources to support them.
Please donate or pledge to donate $300 by May 1st, 2016, or give what you can today at http://iwoc.noblogs.org/donate/. All donations up to $100 will be matched, $1/$1 up to $10,000. Checks can also be sent to: IWW (c/o IWOC): PO Box 180195, Chicago, IL 60618, USA.
While we know many of us struggle each day, an often forgotten group is prisoners of the State. In the US, these workers are legally enslaved under the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery “except as punishment for a crime”. More than 3,000,000 souls are abused through destructive incarceration, with millions more on probation, parole, and legal discrimination after release. Exploited for pennies or dollars a day, there are few sections of the working class with more need for support and ways to change the system that attacks them.
Increasingly people in prison are putting their very lives on the line to end state torture and exploitation. From labor strikes in Georgia and Alabama, to hunger strikes in California, to mass actions across the country, prisoners and IWW members are demanding change. We started the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in response to prisoners reaching out for support. Now, 21 months later, there are nearly 700 IWW members in prison. See newsletters online at iwoc.noblogs.org.
As a revolutionary union our role is clear: work in solidarity with those incarcerated to organize, improve conditions, and attack this oppressive system as a whole. We have members who participated in prison shut downs, strikes, and collective actions. Together we have combated torture, retaliation, and false medical diagnoses.
With your support and the brave leadership of those inside we can do so much more. Our goal is to raise enough to fund two full time organizers who have been inside to work with those currently incarcerated and their families on the inside to spark a movement that can’t be stopped.
In the spirit of New Years and new possibilities we ask you or your community to:
1. Pledge or donate $300 to be paid by May 1, 2016. We need 100 such donations to meet our budget.
2. Donate what you can. Every $1 you donate up to $100 will be matched by a friendly donor up to $10,000. Help us raise that 10,000!
3. Start a prison organizing letter writing group in your city or region. Join our Media, Newsletter, Legal, Outreach, or Research Committees. Or volunteer to make phone calls, transcribe letters, or do graphic design. Contact email@example.com and we will send you an intro packet and connect you to a regional organizing call.
Online donations can be made at iwoc.noblogs.org/donate. Checks, which save us the processing fee, can be sent to: IWW (c/o IWOC): PO Box 180195, Chicago, IL 60618, USA.
Texas Prison Strikes to Wind Down After Achieving Results: IWW Prisoners Union Continues to Grow
IWW General Headquarters, Chicago, IL. May 2, 2016
The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee announces that the Texas prison strikes initiated by IWW members have achieved their desired short-term results and that the first phase of planned long-term strategic strike actions is drawing to an end. The strike actions began on April 4, 2016 and spread to at least a half-dozen locations.
IWW sources within the Texas prison system report that even with lockdowns and other forms of coercion against those who refuse to work as slaves, the strikes have resulted in Texas Department of Criminal Justice authorities now giving more prompt attention to prisoner’s previously ignored grievances. Organizers are now ready to pause and regroup while considering their next move in the struggle for humane treatment. Despite lockdowns and corporate media blackout, an IWW Union member was able to get a strike report outside, stating that “Since this strike action started the prison administration has been much more responsive, and we have had a much easier time getting our grievances addressed.” She shared that the administration just ignored grievance complaints before the strikes began, but now they are addressing them with unprecedented speed. This confirms the power of Union direct action in the form of organization, strikes, and work slow-downs.
The IWW is actively organizing prisoners into the newly formed Incarcerated Workers Industrial Union #613, now the largest prisoner’s union in labor history. Membership is currently free of charge, being underwritten by donations from Union members and other supporters seeking an end to the legal slavery and inhuman conditions of imprisonment. IWW prison organizing is now actively taking place in Germany, the United Kingdom, and across the United States of America. Encouraged by the Texas IWW action, prisoners in Alabama have announced that they will begin a similar strike starting on May 1, 2016. The Alabama action is being organized by the Free Alabama Movement, which includes IWW members in their ranks. The IWOC predicts that as the Union organization grows strikes will become more frequent and more widespread until fundamental change is affected. Visit iww.org, click on IWOC, for more in-depth information.