August 21, 2018

Today is Nat Turner Day, the anniversary of a two-day slave rebelliion in 1831.

It's also a day of activism inside US Prisons. The organization "Jailhouse Lawyers Speak" is one of many supporting the strike, and issued this pre-strike statement:

...As prisoners, it's clear we are all on the same page. So are the prisoncrats overseeing the prison-industrial slave complex. Federal and state authorities are on high alert across the nation. Pre-emptive repression tactics have already been initiated to silence visible prisoners that have influence who have vocally supported the August 21st call. This includes those less-known figures to the public. Prisoners are reporting in a few states that wardens are openly making threats to prisoners of consequences if they participate in the nationwide strike. Even with the authorities threatening, prisoners are ready for action.

Why is this so important to us? Fundamentally, it's a human rights issue. Prisoners understand they are being treated as animals. We know that our conditions are causing physical harm and deaths that could be avoided if prison policy makers actually gave a damn. Prisons in America are a war zone. Every day prisoners are harmed due to conditions of confinement. For some of us, it's as if we are already dead. So what do we have to lose?

South Carolina is only a reflection of the issues facing other states and governmental buildings of confinement. This is a systematic problem born out of slavery that this nation must come to grips with and address. Our protest cry rallies around 10 national demands. We ask that even after September 9, you continue to lobby these demands that we are calling for a solution. We will continue to organize around these demands further into the future until they are met.

Do not expect to see major coverage of our strike on the mainstream media. Definitely, do not expect any prison officials to give you accurate or updated information. It's their jobs to make it all seem like a normal day of operations. The only time they will report an uprising is when it's full-blown beyond their control. At that point, they will label it a riot. Prisoners will have to sneak out updates. For those of you with these updates, please share with others.

Our collective message to prisoners, stop the violence against each other. Regardless of race, class or label, we are one. And yes, we are by our very interest a class. We support all prisoners. We support prisoners' rights to self-defense, but we are promoting a line against senseless collective violence against each other.

Let this nationwide strike be a wake-up, prisoners will destroy the crops, we will not comply, we will not allow you to exploit our families' hard-earned dollars anymore. Striking the match, let it go up in a blaze. We are humans! On behalf of the prisoners nationwide, we thank every supporter out there that's making our voices heard through their actions of solidarity. Stay vigilant, we will need you more than ever during the strike.

In solidarity,

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak

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