Monthly Archives: September 2016

Support Prisoner Resistance! Sept 9th 2016 Shakes History

Anyone relying on mainstream media wouldn’t know it, but the US 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. Here are some speculative numbers we can share with confidence at this time:

At least 29 prisons were affected. These are places where either prisoners reported to outside supporters, or where the authorities locked the institutions down probably because of protests. We expect this number to rise dramatically as we gather reports from prisoners and keep calling prisons in the coming days and weeks.

More than 24,000 prisoners missed work. The facilities experiencing full shutdowns that we know about hold approximately 24,000 prisoners. There are probably thousands more who didn’t work that we don’t know about, yet. Many are still are not working today and intend to continue the strike until their demands are satisfied or the prisons break under the economic strain of operating without their slaves.

Want to get involved? Contact

Want to support? Donate at

You can get up to date info and help IWOC research and improve their data by visiting this document:…/1kyq-sEN5RRjWd9xDYp8Tq0U2zw…/edit…

Meanwhile, more than 60 cities across the US and around the world lit up in solidarity with the prisoners. You can read and see pictures from some of the most exciting stories of protests on either side of the walls here:…/

A group of people cannot hurt the American empire as much as this protest is without facing retaliation. There were about a dozen arrests across the US, and hundreds or thousands of punitive transfers inside the prisons. IWOC inreach is maintaining a list of perceived leaders who have been targeted and isolated for Sep 9 organizing. Please check out this list, write to these prisoners and let us know if there’s anyone missing:…/1AvLraNisdAp1N0enIg9keE_k9r…/edit…

IWOC has also created a phone zap system to help people keep constant pressure on prison officials and deter them from harming the organizers.…/1g8jD8Nd4aBBFSudcjgP_-UniUG…/edit…

On the outside, most of the arrests were minor citations, but three protesters in Atlanta are facing serious felony charges. You can contribute to their legal fund here:…/bail-out-prison-strike-supporte…

We hope that our next weekly update will have more complete information. Please contact us if you’re able to help with research or support tasks to make that happen. Thank you. #EndPrisonSlavery2016.

Support the Resistance: Subscribe to the Incarcerated Worker or Sponsor a Union Membership!

Prisoners are going on strike against prison slavery on September 9, 2016. Help support their organizing, and hear their story. Subscribe to the Incarcerated Worker, a mini-magazine written and edited by prisoners. Subscriptions  are $20/year, and all proceeds go to supporting prisoner organizing.


Can you swing a bit more for prisoner resistance?

Sponsor union membership for a prisoner for $5/month or $60/year.

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR A UNION MEMBERSHIP FOR $5 MONTH If you’d like to donate a multiple of $5, simply increase the quantity when you “check out.”


We encourage union locals and community groups to sponsor membership for incarcerated workers in prisons in your area. If you’re interested in finding ways to support the resistance against prison slavery, get in touch!

NYC-IWOC stands in solidarity with Standing Rock

On September 9, 2016, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, as thousands of prisoners across the world are striking against prison-slavery, several thousand indigenous tribal members of over 160 tribes and supporters of #BlackLivesMatter are collectively resisting white-supremacist and settler-colonialist capitalist powers. In New York City, many will be gathering outside Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to protest the police terrorization and kidnapping of 120 youth from Eastchester Gardens in the Bronx. At the same time, NYC Stands With Standing Rock will be holding a protest in Washington Square Park in support of the Sioux Tribe and water protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

<pWe express our solidarity with those on the frontline at the Camp of the Sacred Stones as well as with the NYC Stands With Standing Rock contingent. Although our acts of resistance are geographically separated, we will be joined together in the spirit of resistance. Just as state-sanctioned genocide against indigenous peoples continues today, slavery has persisted in the guise of the prison system.

Recognizing that slavery and genocide are two heads of the many-headed hydra that is amerikkka, let us strike forcefully at those heads today, until, through our collective struggle, we can deliver the lethal blow.

#NoDAPL #EndPrisonSlavery

in struggle,


Lexington: No more prisons in KY

Early Thursday morning, prison abolitionists dropped a banner over New Circle Road in Lexington, KY. The banner states “No Pride in Prisons,” incorporating the logo of Hal’s Rogers PRIDE initiative which, according to the initiative homepage, “promotes personal responsibility in a desirable environment in 42 counties in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.” The rest of the banner reads “Solidarity with Sept. 9 Prison Strike,” drawing ties between the nationwide prison strike expected to begin Friday morning and the new federal supermax prison, USP Letcher, that is set to be built in KY. Hours later, a poster that directly addresses Hal Roger was found near downtown. While there has long been local dissent over the prison, the plans have largely been kept quiet from the rest of the state. But now outside support is growing.

USP Letcher is to be built on a strip mining site downstream from a coal slurry pond that the Bureau of Prisons has repeatedly denied the existence of. Prisoners at the location would likely be submitted to numerous environmental health hazards and the prison construction would only do further harm to the geographical and social landscape of eastern KY.

This largest-ever nationwide prison strike has been prompted by years of abuse, some environmental, and oppressive working conditions. To profit off of this slavery is immoral, but Hal Rogers has continued to push prisons on Eastern KY as a means of economic reform. If there is money coming in from the prisons, it sure isn’t going to those counties where they are built. Three other prisons have been constructed in Rogers’ region during his term, and none have experienced any significant positive changes from the prisons. Another prison in KY would only be a step back in the fight for justice.

We suggest Hal Rogers take on some of that “personal responsibility” his decade-old initiative touts: for the environment of his citizens, current and future, free and incarcerated.


Bloomington: Strike Solidarity, Day 1: Democratic Campaign HQ Disrupted

On September 8th, in solidarity with prisoners taking action for the 9/9 prisoner strike, about a dozen people disrupted activities at the local Democratic Party campaign headquarters. Standing outside the building, people held a large banner announcing the prisoner strike while a statement was read and others passed out handbills. Additionally, a group of people went inside the headquarters to yell chants, clog sinks, tear down campaign posters, and scatter handbills. An American flag in the office found its way into a toilet. People walked away from the building tossing handbills in the air.

From the handbill scattered at the action:

As the ruling party, the Democrats and their Bureau of Prisons are responsible for the conditions in federal prisons and everyone being held hostage inside of them. They profit from the labor of prisoners and contract with countless companies and industries that do the same, while prisoners earn as little as a few cents per hour.

They are responsible for the exorbitant prices of phone calls, commissary foods, and other basic necessities in prison. For the mailroom censorship, both institutionalized and arbitrary, of political and other materials. They are responsible for the poor quality of water and food that some must endure for decades, or even the rest of their lives. And for the dismal or nonexistent health care for prisoners when these conditions start to take their toll.

The Democrats and their Department of “Justice” (DOJ) are responsible for overseeing similar and or worse regimes in state prisons systems. They are complicit with the abuse, exploitation, and terror that happens on their watch and with their consent.

The Democrats and their Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) are responsible for tearing apart millions of families through raids, arrests, indefinite detentions, and ultimately deportations.1

State and county Democrats are responsible for approving and funding the construction of additional compounds for keeping people locked in cages and pens, with the latest technology for ever tighter security and control.

Here in Bloomington, the jail is currently building a new structure to house more prisoncrats and create more holding cells for prisoners.2

Bloomington Democrats have blood on their hands. One of this year’s democratic candidates for sheriff was Steve Sharp, who was present when the BPD killed a black man, Denver Smith, during an episode of mental distress in September of 1983.3 In May, Sharp was defeated by the current sheriff, Brad Swain. It is under Swain’s command that Clinton “Boo” Gilkie died of medical neglect in the Monroe County Jail on June 7th, 20164, preceded and followed by an alarming number of suicide attempts.

Because of this, we don’t trust the Democrats, or any political party or regime. Their talk of reforms, purposeful incarceration, and a well-meaning rehabilitative carceral system mean little to us. We have no interest in soft policing; it is because of the social arrangements they maintain that people commit crimes of poverty and desperation. We have no interest in their framing of guilt and innocence; it isn’t only our wrongfully-convicted friends who we want back. And we have no interest in their discourse of “abolition”; imprisonment in our own homes by expensive technology around our ankles and constant state supervision is still imprisonment.5

To be clear, we don’t expect the Democrats to solve anything. Where they have the power—and we know they have it—the only respectable thing to do would be to meet any demands of prisoners who are on strike and engaging in other forms of resistance and make sure prison administrations cannot bury, silence or torture them. If they are serious about prison reform and the well-being of prisoners, we can think of few small ways they could show it. We know every Democratic office has the capacity for call centers, media manipulation, and mass mailings. And we know a lot of prisoners that could use supportive call-ins, attention on their stories and struggles, and some new reading material…But we don’t expect much from the ruling party that maintains an oppressive society held together by the threat and imposition of policing and imprisonment.

To illustrate what we’re dealing with here: remember when the DOJ made a big spectacle and gave itself a giant pat on the back for cutting ties with private prisons? That applies to only 13 facilities across the country. Yes, 13. It says nothing about the those ran by the Department of Homeland Security, including hundreds of immigrant detention facilities.6 Hopefully that means slightly less miserable lives for the thousands of people locked inside those 13 facilities, but government-run prisons are no more acceptable. A prison is prison, whether the COs are paid by GEO Group or the Indiana Department of Corrections.

The Democrats, those who follow their orders, and the suffocating world they perpetuate are locking up our friends, families, and those who inspire us by continuing to fight for their themselves and each other, for freedom. It is clear which side they are on.

Down with the rulers.

Away with every prison.

Strength to those on strike.

Power to prison rebels.

1. Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president. Now he’s running up the score. From

2. City of Bloomington Plan Commission, May 11, 2015. from

3. Former Indiana University football player was shot and… from

4. In Memory of Boo. From

5. For a further critique of progressive abolitionism see Abolition and Dystopia. From

6. The problem with the DOJ’s decision to stop using private prisons. From

T-Shirts Available to Benefit ‘Bama Prisoners

In celebration of the wave of resistance going down and about to go down, and as a tool to help raise money and highlight the rebellion of folks down in ‘Bama, a comrade has made this “Straight Outta Holman” shirt design. The idea came up in conversation with a prisoner at Holman, and went from there.

As you can see, the front features the “Straight Outta Holman” logo, and the back has a chronology of resistance at Holman Prison.

Send us an email at and specify sizes to order shirts.

Individual shirts will be $15 apiece, which includes shipping. If you would like to order bulk and re-sell these shirts at events, order more than 10 and you’ll only be charged $5. Please send any profits from selling the shirts to help out the guys on Seg down in Alabama, via PayPal at



From Support Prisoner Resistance


Hundreds of inmates riot at Florida prison

A nationwide prison strike planned Friday has Florida’s jails and state prisons on high alert through the weekend, bracing for possible upheavals by inmates protesting what they say is inhumane and violent treatment.

Already, a revolt at Holmes Correctional in Florida’s Panhandle on Wednesday night, involving more than 400 inmates, caused damage to nearly every dorm during an uprising that lasted into the early morning. No one was seriously injured, but the department is concerned that the disturbance might be a harbinger of what’s to come.

Florida’s prison system, the third-largest in the country, has been dangerously understaffed for nearly a year, and several sieges have occurred in recent weeks. To further exacerbate tensions, many inmates have been in forced confinement in their dorms, allowed out only to eat because there isn’t even enough staff to guard them during outside recreation.

Over the past two years, the Miami Herald has published a series of stories documenting the brutal or unexplained deaths of inmates in Florida prisons, a record number of use-of-force incidents and corruption by guards and top officers.

In recent weeks, the department has had disturbances at Jackson Correctional, Gulf Correctional, Franklin Correctional and Okaloosa CI. All of them, like Holmes, are located in Region 1, in the Panhandle. And a corrections officer was stabbed during a melee at Columbia CI in April.

“It’s very hot in those dorms and when you can’t get any rec, the inmates start causing problems,’’ said a veteran corrections officer at Holmes, who would not allow his name to be used for fear of reprisals.

The loosely organized national strike, a grassroots effort, comes on the 45th anniversary of the prison riots at Attica, the 1971 prison siege near Buffalo, New York, considered the largest prison rebellion in U.S. history. Over 40 people died when inmates took control of the facility for four days, protesting racism, officer beatings, rancid food, no rehabilitation programs and forced labor.

Phillip A. Ruiz, an organizer for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, one of the groups spearheading the Friday demonstrations, said conditions in America’s prisons aren’t that different from those at Attica 45 years ago.

“They are participating in work stoppages, hunger strikes and sit-ins in protest of long-term isolation, inadequate healthcare, overcrowding, violent attacks and slave labor,’’ said Ruiz, whose committee is part of the Industrial Workers of the World, an international labor union whose membership peaked a century ago.

Ruiz said organizers are emphasizing that the protests will be nonviolent. Florida corrections officers have nevertheless been briefed and are prepared to work all weekend in case there are uprisings.

Of the disturbances in Florida, the riot at Holmes involved the most inmates so far — more than 400 of the 1,100 men incarcerated there — and was spread across the compound.

Officers interviewed by the Herald said that Wednesday’s rebellion began in B Dorm about 6 p.m. One officer, stationed in a control center (called “the bubble”), was in charge of nearly 150 inmates. The prisoners put blankets and sheets over the windows of the bubble then proceeded to smash cameras, ransack the dorm and then began tearing away the ceiling and crawling in the attic, possibly trying to escape.

Officers from five other prisons were called in, as well as special RRTs (Rapid Response Teams) trained to handle riots. Though some officers were armed, no shots were fired, sources said.

“We would get one dorm under control and then it would start in another dorm. It was every dorm, as if it was planned,” the Holmes officer said.

It took until 4 a.m. to bring the compound under control, he said. Officers were able to restrain many inmates after setting off canisters of chemicals, making it hard for the prisoners to breathe, the officer said.

The compound in Bonifay, a town of just more than 4,000 that is bisected by Interstate 10, was still on lockdown Thursday, according to a statement released by FDC shortly after noon. One inmate was injured but no corrections officers were hurt, the statement said.

The department did not say when the uprising happened, what precipitated it, how long it took to bring it under control or how much damage occurred.

Photographs leaked to the Herald show damage to ceilings, floors, beds, walls, cameras and doors. The inmates were transported to other prisons, FDC said.

“The department is currently accessing the facility for any damages that have resulted and have transported all the involved inmates to other locations. Additional information will be made available following a comprehensive after-action review and investigation,” FDC’s statement concluded.

The riot is the latest in a series of disturbances that have plagued the agency since January. Many institutions are at minimum staffing levels because of a shortage of corrections officers statewide.

The staff at Holmes, like many Florida prisons, has an abundance of young, inexperienced officers who have had little training.

“These officers are 19, 20, 21, some of them still live at home. They put them in charge of dorms for 12 hours a day with professional convicts, all by themselves,” said the officer. “I’m not a worrier but when you walk into those dorms you don’t know what you have or what they are going to do.”

Kim Schultz, president of the union representing the department’s officers, called the situation “extremely dangerous.” Florida’s state corrections officers are some of the lowest paid in the country, and they haven’t had pay raises in more than eight years, she said.

“This has resulted in high turnover and inexperienced officers who are not equipped to deal with prison riots,” she said.

from Support Prisoner Resistance

Spreading the Strike


Check original post for weekend updates:

September 7th, 2016

People are organizing across the United States and the world in order to stand in the streets in solidarity with those locked behind bars who will strike on September 9th against prison slavery. Already, a wide range of actions have taken place in the run up to the strike. This includes large scale flyering and street propaganda campaigns, banner drops, noise demonstrations outside of jails and detention facilities, and informational events. All of this activity helps to build the capacity of the strike to bring in more people who can take an active role, as well as spread information about the struggle being waged by prisoners on the inside. These actions also bring many organizations, crews, and individuals together that before have previously never worked side by side and helps expose white supremacy as both a system of social control and racial apartheid and an apparatus of management that facilitates the creation of billions of dollars of profits.

In order to better prepare for the strike, here we are going to create a regularly updated page that includes a diary of actions and a list of events and mobilizations leading up to and around the 9th. We know that many events are still in the works, so when you are ready, either submit an event here or email us at: info[at]itsgoingdown[dot]org. In this way, we hope to build a large, multi-faceted, and extremely diverse resistance movement that can support and expand the strike against prison slavery that will continue to take shape on September 9th and beyond.

Diary of Actions (July – September 2016)




Events Leading Up to September 9th and Beyond

Tacoma, WA: 

  • September 9th: Demonstration at detention facility in solidarity national prison strike. More info here.

Olympia, WA: 

  • August 29th: Info-night and presentation on strike. More info here.
  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with striking prisoners. More info here.

Portland, OR:

  • August 25th: Info-night and presentation on prison strike at Anarres Infoshop. More info here.
  • August 31st: Presentation and discussion linking George Jackson and Attica Revolt to Prison Strike. More info here.
  • September 7th: Benefit show to raise money and awareness for the strike. More info here.
  • September 9th: Rally and march on corporations profiting from prison labor and in solidarity with prison strike. More info here.

Eugene, OR: 

Eureka, CA:

  • September 9th: Solidarity demonstration with national prison strike. More info here.

Oakland, CA:

  • September 3rd: Brunch picnic to benefit IWOC and prison strike. More info here.
  • September 9th: BBQ to make banners, discuss strike, and watch films. More info here.
  • September 10th: Rally and march on corporations profiting from prison labor and in solidarity with prison strike. More info here.

Merced, CA: 

  • September 9th: Support event for prisoners going on strike. More info here.

Santa Barbara, CA: 

  • September 9th: Rally outside of Santa Barbara County Jail, 6:30 PM. More info here.

Los Angeles, CA:

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with the prison strike. More info here.

Phoenix, AZ: 

  • September 9th: Rally outside of facility in solidarity with prison strike. More info here.
  • September 10th: Teach-in and info-night on mass incarceration and the prison strike. More info here.

Tucson, AZ:

  • September 10th: March in solidarity with prison rebels. More info here.

Buckeye, AZ: 

  • September 9th: Rally in support of strike and against toxic prisons. More info here.

Milwaukee, WI: 

Bloomington, IN: 

  • September 2nd: Film screening in anticipation of the national prison strike on Sept. 9th. Potluck dinner before! Outside (bring a blanket or something), northwest corner of 11th and Maple, 8pm.
  • September 7th – Strike Conclusion: Ongoing solidarity assemblies and agitation at People’s Park beginning
    9/7 and continuing until the conclusion of the strike and the end of any retaliation against participating prisoners. Assemblies every night at 7:30 to share updates and coordinate actions, with public presence
    beginning earlier in the evening. Expect films, workshops, information tables, and smaller or larger actions launched at People’s Park.

Indianapolis, IN: 

  • September 9th: Noise demo in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

St. Cloud, MN: 

Minneapolis, MN: 

  • September 10: Noise demonstration outside of youth jail in solidarity with prison strike. More info here and here.

Denver, CO: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration outside of youth jail in solidarity with prison strike. More info here.

Chicago, IL:

  • August 18th: Envelope filling and open discussion on prison strike. More info here.
  • September 9th: Rally and march in solidarity with the national prison strike. More info here.


East Lansing, MI: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Cleveland, OH: 

  • September 9th: Demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Columbus, OH:

  • August 26th-28th: Bend the Bars Conference. Midwestern Convergence in support of prisoner struggles. More info here.
  • August 27th: March and demonstration in connection with Bend the Bars Conference. More info here.

Cincinnati, OH: 

  • September 9th: Hamilton County Justice Center, 11 am, bring signs supporting prisoners. Contact Sonny Williams for more info: 513 751-2090.

Kansas City, MO: 

  • September 9th: Community event supporting the national prison strike. More info here.

St. Louis, MO: 

  • September 1st: Discussion, banner making party. More info here.
  • September 9th: Solidarity demonstration at Hickey Park, 8674 N Broadway, at 6:30 PM.

Denton, TX:

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with prison strike. More info here.

Austin, TX: 

Houston, TX:

  • September 10th: Prison strike solidarity speak out and noise demonstration. More info here.

Mount Olive, West Virginia: 

  • September 11th: Rally and demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Atlanta, GA: 

Bessemer, AL: 

  • August 27th: Incarcerated Lives Matter protest outside of prison. Organized by Mothers and Familes (MAF), and part of wider tour. More info here.

New Orleans, LA: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with the national prison strike. More info here.

Nashville, TN: 

  • September 3rd: Support action for national prison strike and to raise awareness. More info here.
  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in support of prison strike. More info here.

College Park, MD: 

  • September 9th: Teach-in and phone banking for national prison strike. More info here.

Cumberland, MD: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with the strike. More info here.

Washington, DC: 

Asheville, NC: 

  • September 2nd: Info night and open discussion on prison strike. More info here.
  • September 9th: March in solidarity with national prison strike. 5:30 PM, meet at Aston Park, South French Broad Ave and Hilliard.

Durham, NC: 

  • September 9th: March in Resistance to Prison Slavery. Meet at Durham Central Park, 7:30 pm. More info here.

Hutchinson, KY: 

  • September 9th: Demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. 10 am. Hutchibson Correctional Facility,  500
    Reformatory Street in Hutchinson.

Tallahassee, FL: 

Gainesville, FL: 

  • September 9th: Protest at Wal-Mart in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Fort Lauderdale, FL: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity the national prison strike. More info here.

Wildwood, FL:

Detroit, MI: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Pittsburgh, PA: 

  • August 28th: Strike solidarity planning meeting. More info here.
  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Philadelphia, PA: 

Worcester, MA: 

  • September 9th: Noise demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Providence, RI: 

  • September 9th: Rally and march in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Camden, NJ: 

  • September 9th: Rally and outreach event in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Newark, NJ: 

  • September 9th: Rally and outreach event in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Rochester, NY:

Ithaca, NY: 

  • September 9th: Rally and noise demonstration in solidarity with national prison strike. More info here.

Bronx, NY: 

Brooklyn, NY:

  • August 20th: Prison letter stuffing party. More info here.
  • September 9th: Prison strike solidarity and noise demonstration out of jail. More info here.

Crimethinc Podcast #50: The History and Future of Prison Strikes

As we build momentum towards the September 9th national prison strike, we want to reflect on lessons learned from past generations of prison rebels, as well as how we can maintain energy on September 10th and beyond. In Episode 50 of the Ex-Worker, solidarity organizer Ben Turk fills us in on some history of prisoner organizing in recent decades, recaps some of thesolidarity actions that have taken place leading up to this year’s historic strike, and offers perspective on continuing and deepening our resistance to prison society. We commemorate the death of Jordan MacTaggart, an American anarchist killed on the front lines in battle with the YPG against the Islamic State, and discuss international solidarity and the politics of martyrdom with Rojava Solidarity NYC. The death of John Timoney, former police chief and notorious foe of anarchists, prompts both glee and a somber reflection on the misery he inflicted on us. A member ofRevolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF) in Istanbuldiscusses the background to the recent failed military coup as well as recent waves of anti-anarchist repression. A call for solidarity from la ZAD, news, events, and prisoner birthdays round out this packed episode. {September 7, 2016}

Download MP3 (86 Min; 43MB) –Download OGG (38MB)

Show Notes & Links

from Crimethinc