Prison Activists to Organize Strikes in Remembrance of the 1971 Attica Prison Uprising

A series of hunger strikes and coordinated work stoppages are scheduled to occur in prisons across the entire country at the beginning of next month. The strikes will be organized by an alliance of racial justice, prisoner rights, and labor groups, and include prisoners in at least 20 states in the country – making it the largest effort to reminisce the incarcerated in the history of the United States.

The strike represents a powerful and anticipated blow against the status quo in what the public regards as the greatest exploitation to the incarcerated across the world. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee describes the exploitation as the ‘call to action against prisoners’ slavery in America back in the days.’

According to Libcom.org, the day of the strike will mark exactly 45 years since the most notorious and bloodiest US prison conflict codenamed the ‘Attica Prison Uprising’ took place. The rebellion comprised 1,300 prisoners who the state’s brutal response claimed the lives of dozens of guards and prisoners in many prisons. The uprising occurred for five days and left a lasting scar to the entire prison community. This rebellion has inspired a new generation among today’s much larger incarcerated population.

The strikes will be organized by an alliance of organizations such as Free Virginia Movement, New Underground Railroad Movement, Convicted People, Free Mississippi Movement, Free Ohio Movement, The Ordinary People Society, Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Family Movement (FICPFM), and Free Alabama Movement.

Because the state will do everything possible to limit media coverage, the organizers outside and inside the prisons walls will set up communications via Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. This way, a lot of people will have the chance to remember a time when the racial conflict and tensions between the correctional facilities’ police, the poor people, and the people of color were high. The strike will also target and eliminate today’s leaders who belong to militant groups such as the Black Panthers of 1971.