This is a Call to Action Against Slavery in America


In one voice, rising from the cells of long term solitary confinement,
echoed in the dormitories and cell blocks from Virginia to Oregon, we
prisoners across the United States vow to finally end slavery in 2016.

On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New
York State’s most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will
begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will
not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by
ceasing to be slaves.

In the 1970s the US prison system was crumbling. In Walpole, San
Quentin, Soledad, Angola and many other prisons, people were standing
up, fighting and taking ownership of their lives and bodies back from
the plantation prisons. For the last six years we have remembered and
renewed that struggle. In the interim, the prisoner population has
ballooned and technologies of control and confinement have developed
into the most sophisticated and repressive in world history. The prisons
have become more dependent on slavery and torture to maintain their

Prisoners are forced to work for little or no pay. That is slavery. The
13th amendment to the US constitution maintains a legal exception for
continued slavery in US prisons. It states “neither slavery nor
involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United
States.” Overseers watch over our every move, and if we do not perform
our appointed tasks to their liking, we are punished. They may have
replaced the whip with pepper spray, but many of the other torments
remain: isolation, restraint positions, stripping off our clothes and
investigating our bodies as though we are animals.

Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this
year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America.
This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making
demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action.
To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this
land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the
plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the
institutions of your confinement.

This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison
slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these
facilities without us.

Non-violent protests, work stoppages, hunger strikes and other refusals
to participate in prison routines and needs have increased in recent
years. The 2010 Georgia prison strike, the massive rolling California
hunger strikes, the Free Alabama Movement’s 2014 work stoppage, have
gathered the most attention, but they are far from the only
demonstrations of prisoner power. Large, sometimes effective hunger
strikes have broken out at Ohio State Penitentiary, at Menard
Correctional in Illinois, at Red Onion in Virginia as well as many other
prisons. The burgeoning resistance movement is diverse and
interconnected, including immigrant detention centers, women’s prisons
and juvenile facilities. Last fall, women prisoners at Yuba County Jail
in California joined a hunger strike initiated by women held in
immigrant detention centers in California, Colorado and Texas.

Prisoners all across the country regularly engage in myriad
demonstrations of power on the inside. They have most often done so with
convict solidarity, building coalitions across race lines and gang lines
to confront the common oppressor.

Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to
America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize
these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the
American prison system cannot ignore or withstand. We hope to end prison
slavery by making it impossible, by refusing to be slaves any longer.

To achieve this goal, we need support from people on the outside. A
prison is an easy-lockdown environment, a place of control and
confinement where repression is built into every stone wall and chain
link, every gesture and routine. When we stand up to these authorities,
they come down on us, and the only protection we have is solidarity from
the outside. Mass incarceration, whether in private or state-run
facilities is a scheme where slave catchers patrol our neighborhoods and
monitor our lives. It requires mass criminalization. Our tribulations on
the inside are a tool used to control our families and communities on
the outside. Certain Americans live every day under not only the threat
of extra-judicial execution—as protests surrounding the deaths of Mike
Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and so many others have drawn long
overdue attention to—but also under the threat of capture, of being
thrown into these plantations, shackled and forced to work.

Our protest against prison slavery is a protest against the school to
prison pipeline, a protest against police terror, a protest against
post-release controls. When we abolish slavery, they’ll lose much of
their incentive to lock up our children, they’ll stop building traps to
pull back those who they’ve released. When we remove the economic motive
and grease of our forced labor from the US prison system, the entire
structure of courts and police, of control and slave-catching must shift
to accommodate us as humans, rather than slaves.

Prison impacts everyone, when we stand up and refuse on September 9th,
2016, we need to know our friends, families and allies on the outside
will have our backs. This spring and summer will be seasons of
organizing, of spreading the word, building the networks of solidarity
and showing that we’re serious and what we’re capable of.

Step up, stand up, and join us.
Against prison slavery.
For liberation of all.

Find more information, updates and organizing materials and
opportunities at the following websites:

More info on the Sept. 9th Day of action.

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