On August 21st, people locked up in prisons throughout the United States are set to go on strike, calling attention not only to heinous abuses and inhumane conditions, but also to the ongoing enslavement of millions of people inside American prisons. After the Civil War, slavery remained institutionalized in American society through the constitution’s 13th amendment, which allows slavery to remain as punishment for a crime. In America, black people’s criminalization is enforced by police who frequently shoot black people with impunity and by judges who sentence black people to draconian sentences, ensuring their enslavement in modern-day plantations.
Facing a situation meant to stifle any glimmer of joy and humanity, people in prisons across the United States are calling attention to the “lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology” by courageously going on strike from August 21st to September 9th.
The dates, chosen by prison organizers, signify the strike’s continuation with the legacies of Nat Turner, who began his rebellion on August 21, 1831, and the Attica Uprising, which began September 9, 1971. Nat Turner, who was born into slavery, took part in a major insurrection, freeing slaves from plantations and executing slave owners. The Attica Uprising, an important milestone for prison resistance in the United States, took place following the shooting of black revolutionary George Jackson by a prison guard during an escape attempt. Like Nat Turner and the Attica rebels before them, prison strikers today are fighting for black liberation and the abolition of slavery.
Revolutionaries around the world should be aware of the struggle against slavery in America’s prisons. The Trump presidency is one of the most barbaric regimes in the world today, continuing a long legacy of racism, exploitation and genocide engrained in the American state. People in prisons rising up to regain their humanity are providing some of the most inspiring resistance of the Trump era to the horrifying, dehumanizing policies of America’s judicial system.
We call on comrades around the world to join in solidarity actions with the prison strike in the United States. The American state and corporations that benefit from prison slave labor must be held accountable for their atrocities by revolutionaries through direct action in locations around the world. Actions targeting American consulates and companies benefiting from slave labor, and destroying symbols of American prison slavery will draw the world’s attention to the struggle taking place within the prisons.
Militant actions in support of the prison strike will send a powerful message of defiance to the American state and solidarity to rebels inside prison walls.
Burn the prisons!
Support the prison strike!
Long live international solidarity!