Today, incarcerated people around the country begin a 20-day strike to end inhumane prison conditions and labor. The strike intentionally commences on the 47th anniversary of the death of George Jackson, a Black Panther, who passed while incarcerated in San Quentin. The strikers are circulating a list of 10 demands, including "no human shall be sentenced to death by incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole," and "the voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called 'ex-felons' must be counted."
We at VOTE fully support these demands as well as peaceful direct action tactics such as hunger and labor strikes, and are encouraged to see currently incarcerated people carrying on the legacy of nonviolent protest that many of our staff members organized while they were incarcerated.
This morning, we participated in a solidarity action alongside the People's Assembly and the New Orleans Workers' Group. We supported the resistance against prison abuse and ending modern-day slavery by marching in pairs down the block beginning at Tulane Ave. and Broad St., passing the local jail and the Sheriff’s offices. We chanted “we want liberation, not mass incarceration,” and “put the pigs in the prisons, put the people on the street.” to protest mass incarceration and police corruption.
The full list of formal demands, taken directly from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, includes:
Follow the strike's unfolding using the hashtags #August21 and #prisonstrike.