NATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH STRIKING PRISONERS September 9, 2016

Organizers of National Prison Strike Face Retaliation – Read Updates HERE!

On May 1st, 2016,  a coordinated work stoppage shut down three prison facilities in Alabama. The organizers are part of the Free Alabama Movement and Pastor Kenneth Glasgow is the national spokesperson on the outside. Despite retaliation tactics that attempted to starve and isolate the prisoners, they stayed strong and called for a national strike on September 9 to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising.
Democracy Now has followed the strike and Kinetik Justice, one of the organizers, spoke from inside solitary confinement.  Kinetik has acted as a mentor, teacher, and jailhouse lawyer to folks inside for several decades and supported over 27 people to get released.
Tuesday September 6th, on the National Call to Action, Kinetik Justice joined to reiterate the call to action not just to those on the inside but to allies across the nation. Listen below to his call to action for how and why we should come together today to “end slavery once and for all!” To hear more of the interview check out the link at the end of this page.
The Formerly Incarcerated Peoples Movement Assembly was held in Dothan Alabama and anchored by The Ordinary Peoples Society (TOPS), an anchor with the Southern Movement Assembly on August 26, 2016.

Want to help? Here are 3 ways you can use media to support the movement!

1)  Focus on investigating your state laws — like those related to life without parole, habitual offenders, and juvenile justice — that feed prison overcrowding. Advocate for your state to have an innocence inquiry commission that looks at a broad range of convictions, not just death penalty cases.

2) Share the articles and posts on social media

Use the following hashtags: 
#endprisonslavery
#prodigalchildproject
#incarceratedlivesmatter

3) Create your own video message of solidarity that describes your or your loved ones’ experience with the prison crisis in the U.S.

– post and share online with the hashtags

Their demands are clear. They are listed below.  (These demands from FAM are Alabama-focused but the strike includes 40 prisons across 24 states)

 
DEMANDS: 
End prison slavery. The 13th amendment abolished involuntary servitude except for people who are convicted of a crime. It’s time to rewrite the 13th amendment to abolish slavery in all forms.

The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) compels prisoners to work without pay, or for rates as low as 25 cents per hour. Prisoners have to pay fees in order to work. Their labor can be for the state, or for private companies. These exploitative conditions amount to prison slavery.

Repeal the Habitual Offender Statute. More than 8,000 people in Alabama are serving “enhanced mandatory sentences” under this law, which adds decades––and sometimes life without parole––to sentences for people with prior convictions, even if their current offense is relatively minor.

Expand the scope of the Alabama Innocence Inquiry Commission. This commission was originally proposed to investigate innocence claims by all felons, but was changed to only apply to death row claims.

Abolish mandatory Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences for first­time offenders. This would give first time offenders a chance at rehabilitation and alleviate inhumane conditions caused by overcrowding.

Reform the Alabama Parole Board. There is no clear criteria for parole eligibility. The parole board is arbitrary and biased.

Amend Alabama’s “drive­by­shooting law” to apply only to gang­related activity. This law has resulted in judicial overreach by enabling murder charges to be elevated to a capital offense based solely on the shooter’s location in a car, with or without proof of gang activity.

Implement the Education, Rehabilitation, and Reentry Preparedness Bill. This legislation, put forth by The Free Alabama Movement, would provide educational opportunities to all incarcerated people in Alabama, reduce the prison population to meet the actual capacity of ADOC, and other reforms.

Listen to an extended version of Kinetic Justice’s call to action below