9 Non-Violent Activists Facing 15 Years in Prison for Causing Minor Inconvenience to Private Prison Executives
The Mockingbird has previously reported on a nationwide campaign of work stoppages, labor strikes and hunger strikes began on August 21 in dozens of prisons. As the campaign was about enter it's third week local organizers from Black Queer Intersectional Columbus and the Incarcerated Workers Committee of the Industrial Workers World held a demonstration on September 4th outside the Franklin County Court and Jail complex on High Street.
Tomorrow, August 21st, there will be another nation wide Prison Labor Strike. The Strike, which is slated to last until at least September 9th, mirrors a strike that began on the date this one ends in 24 states in 2016, with over 24,000 prisoners participating.
On June 30th and number of political groups are calling for a national day of action at ICE facilities around the country in opposition to America's growing network of public and private concentration camps for both adults and children.
Today is the 8th of September. The conditions reported below were still happening as of the 5th of September. No word has come out of the Federal Prisons in Beaumont Texas since as mail, phone and visits are cut off or severely restricted. Hurricane Harvey has turned the Federal Prison Complex in Beaumont into a slow motion death camp. Other Prisons run by the state of Texas may also be facing similar constructed circumstances.
There are forgeries and there are fakes. In the Art world, the difference is quality. Extending that metaphor, the Ohio Department of Corrections just made a Mona Lisa knockoff using finger paint on a paper bag. One might laugh, pat them on the head and blood test them for lead poisoning, but this is not art, this is retaliatory discipline. Their fake charges have placed one man in isolation without contact with his family, lawyer and access to phones. Other prisoners are on hunger strike in support of him.
On August 26th hundreds of activists from Columbus and around the country will gather at the Barak Recreation Center to set the ground work for supporting a national prison work stoppage both in Ohio and in their local communities. Over 100 conference attendees have registered for the three day event from out of town alone. Local organizers from the Red Bird Books and other groups formed an adhoc committee to put together the event which is called Bend the Bars.
The Department of Justice recently announced that it would examine and not renew it's contracts for privately built and operated prisons. This was hailed by some reformers as a major victory for human rights, the federal budget and the Democratic Party's election efforts. Hillary Clinton is attempting to shore up her flagging support from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.