6pm. Tuesday August 21st, 2018.
South Bay House of Corrections.
Bring signs, noisemakers, and high spirits.
6pm. Tuesday August 21st, 2018.
South Bay House of Corrections.
Bring signs, noisemakers, and high spirits.
Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.
1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!
We all agree to spread this strike throughout the prisons of Ameri$$$a! From August 21st to September 9th, 2018, men and women in prisons across the nation will strike in the following manner:
1. Work Strikes: Prisoners will not report to assigned jobs. Each place of detention will determine how long its strike will last. Some of these strikes may translate into a local list of demands designed to improve conditions and reduce harm within the prison.
2. Sit-ins : In certain prisons, men and women will engage in peaceful sit – in protests.
3. Boycotts: All spending should be halted. We ask those outside the walls not to make financial judgments for those inside. Men and women on the in side will inform you if they are participating in this boycott.
4. Hunger Strikes: Men and women shall refuse to eat.
We support the call of Free Alabama Movement Campaign to “Redistribute the Pain” 2018 as Bennu Hannibal Ra – Sun, formerly known as Melvin Ray has laid out (with the exception of refusing visitation). See these principles described here:
Make the nation take a look at our demands. Demand action on our demands by contacting your local, state, and federal political representatives with these demands. Ask them where they stand.
Spread the strike and word of the strike in every place of detention.
Contact a supporting local organization to see how you can be supportive. If you are unsure of who to connect with, email millionsforprisonersmarch@
Be prepared by making contact with people in prison, family members of prisoners, and prisoner support organizations in your state to assist in notifying the public and media on strike conditions.
Assist in our announced initiatives to have the votes of people in jail and prison counted in elections.
Donate to strike’s official fundraising page here: https://fundly.com/2018-prisoner-strike
For the Media: Inquiries should be directed to
May Day 2018 – International Workers’ Day
Mobilize Tuesday, May 1
Rally on the Boston Common, Parkman Bandstand @ 5:00 PM
Followed by a 6:30 March to Copley Square
Immediate Permanent Legal Residence for All Undocumented Migrants!
Permanent Residence for All DACA and TPS Recipients!
Driver’s Licenses for All Undocumented MA Residents!
$15 Minimum Wage!
Stop Racist Attacks!
End Mass Incarceration!
Equal Pay for Equal Work!
Full Union Rights for All Workers!
Free Day Care for All Workers!
Full Labor Rights for So Called “Independent Contractors”!
End Military Intervention, Bring All US Troops Home Now!
Defend Transgender Rights!
Unions for All Workers! Organize the Unorganized!
Workers’ Control in the Workplace!
Jobs, Pensions, Healthcare, and Education for All Workers and Youth!
The government in Washington and the billionaire class are leading a generalized assault on our lives, rights, and living conditions. The wealth gap today continues to grow. From the racist attacks on Muslims, Migrants, and African-Americans to attacks on healthcare, women, and LGBT folks, and from attacks on our environment and education, to perpetual wars, working people are under fire.
The leading edge of this assault today is the stepped up attacks against migrants. Deportations are accelerating. As US wars have created massive debt and refugees internationally, the consequences of corporate greed at home have created refugees within our own borders. The war on the poor continues. Student debt stands at over a trillion dollars! The recent tax cuts for the rich will be at the expense of our living standards. They will be going after affordable housing, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Millions of youth and decent hard working people are under attack!
Claiming that human caused climate change is a “hoax”, the Trump Administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. The falsehood of this claim was yet again demonstrated by the horrendous hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast and Caribbean. Enough is enough! An injury to one is an injury to all! Let us stand together and build a united, fighting movement. Please join us on May Day where our program will address: Migration, Labor Rights, Systemic Oppression, Threats to Human Survival, and the role of capitalism, US imperialism, and war in the current crisis.
Anarchist Black Cross
ANSWER – Boston
Bay State Red Sentinels
Bishop Filipe C. Teixeira- Immigration Pastoral Center, Brockton
Boston Education Justice Alliance
Boston Labor Solidarity Committee
Boston May Day Coalition
Boston Socialist Alternative
Boston Socialist Party
Boston Teachers Union
Community Church of Boston
Cosecha Merrimack Valley
Emmanuel Church in the City of Boston
Food for Activists
Greater Boston Chapter: Green-Rainbow Party
Party for Socialism and Liberation – Boston
Refuse Fascism, Metro Boston
UAW Local 1596
Veterans For Peace – Boston, Smedley D. Butler Brigade
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment
Other May 1st actions:
Everett – Main Rally 5:30pm Glendale Park
E. Boston – gather and march 4:00pm Liberty Plaza
Chelsea – gather and march 4:30pm City Hall
Worcester – 4:45- 6:30 PM, 145 Front Street
Note: I want to express my condolences to the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, including the family and friends of those who lost their lives. May this event be a lesson to us all of the dangers and terrible tragedies which result from senseless violence. Yet, we must remember that this acute pain is nothing compared to the social ills that plague our everyday lives throughout the country. The construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline is gearing up. Things are about to get tense here in Pennsylvania. Remain strong.
The Philadelphia Worker’s World Branch confirmed via email on Friday that the Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections is enforcing a ban on the August 31 issue (pdf) of their socialist newspaper Worker’s World. In a letter to Worker’s World dated September 11, Pennsylvania DOC said that it banned the issue because it “contains articles that call for people to join the fight against white supremacy.” Joe Piette of the Philadelphia Worker’s World Branch explained to me in the email that they believe this reason to be overly broad, and claimed that the DOC is violating the 1st Amendment rights of 300 prisoners. Piette claims that this is the fourth time this year that their publication has been censored.
According to a 2007 article published by legal scholar Emily Chiang (pdf), the Supreme Court clearly laid out that prisoners retain their First Amendment rights during incarceration and that they need to be balanced with the legitimate security needs of prison administrators. So just how threatening are the words published in the Aug. 31 issue of Worker’s World?
Two of the articles on the pages the DOC cites included articles on the justified taking down of the confederate statue in Durham. They also cite page 2, which features an article entitled “AFL-CIO’s Trumka leaves Trump council – He never should have joined!” The DOC seems to be offended by this paragraph: “The bigger question for labor is, of course, the conduct of Trumka. How could he justify taking a seat on this hideous council, knowing all about Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and the presence of open white supremacists in the cabinet?”
There is nothing there that justifies the denial of Workers World into this State’s prisons. The DOC’s action is nothing short of censorship in defense of white supremacy.
The Trumka-Trump article ends by encouraging the “rank and file” to “revive labor’s proud legacy of militant, class-conscious and anti-racist unionism,” which I suspect may have contributed to the ban. However, the use of the word “militant” does not mean the ban can be justified on the basis of being a security risk in prison. The words expressed within the pages of Worker’s World do no more than honor those who we are encouraged to honor every Labor Day, those men and women who struggled for their right to organize against the brutality of their oppressors.
The article on page seven encourages anti-racist activists to learn how to defend themselves from attacks by white supremacists, while the last article cited by the PA DOC pleas with readers to contact the Sheriff of Durham, NC over the arrest of over 40 anti-racist activists on August 14.
After reading the paper, though there are some inflammatory remarks (many of which I don’t agree with), I can’t discount Worker’s World’s conclusion that the PA DOC had ulterior motives for this ban. There are no calls to violence. No condemnation of white people as a group. And, given the nature of our founding documents, it is absurd to deny a prisoner’s right to read revolutionary literature from any time period, especially literature that is far less inflammatory than our own Declaration of Independence and most of the world’s major religious texts. After all, it is prisoners who are most likely to be victims to the tyranny of the status quo. And, if we are to protect our freedom, we need to stand up for the rights of all those charged and convicted of crimes. Our justice system is supposed to be a bulwark against tyranny, not an extension of it.
Perhaps the PA DOC does not want prisoners tear down racial divisions within the Pennsylvania corrections system. Perhaps they have an invested interest in discouraging solidarity between inmates. If this is the case, the PA DOC’s interests are completely at odds with the principles of justice. The Supreme Court, according to Chiang, makes it clear that prison policies “must address a valid issue of prison security or rehabilitation.” Are we really supposed to think that a publication which advocates for solidarity between all ethnicities is more of a security and rehabilitation risk than the segregation endemic to the state prison system today? Wouldn’t we want prisoners to develop pro-social opinions of people that are different from them? That sounds almost rehabilitative.
In these times of mass incarceration, dragnet surveillance, and the criminalization of activism, prisoners’ rights are of fundamental importance. Censorship of the movement against pipeline expansions in Pennsylvania is a real and tangible risk.
Last week, the Intercept published an article describing the evidence that police and private security firms leveraged their power over the FAA to gain control of the airspace above the Standing Rock protest camp, preventing protesters and journalists from documenting the excessive use of force by police and private security.
Documents obtained via open records requests, as well as material from court cases, reveal new details about how the FAA and state agencies helped police and private security companies wrest control of the airspace above the NoDAPL resistance from indigenous water protectors.
We need to act now to put a stop to these over-bearing policies that aim to restrict our right to be freely informed, in and out of prison. One can only be reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy, that those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable. This is no threat. It’s a warning. After what was witnessed in the twentieth century, I think all reasonable people must come to an agreement that revolutions of aggression pose a great risk to revolutionary aims, and that violence between political factions must be mitigated at every turn.
But we must act, and we must be prepared to commit to self-determination, radical organization, and direct action. Turn your very life into an act of rebellion and inspire others to do the same. We should implore the PA DOC to rescind the ban and allow our state’s prison population have access to facts and opinions regarding social and environmental movements. In doing so, we protect ourselves from similar violations.
You can contact the PA DOC here:
In a big blow to one of law enforcement’s favorite new techniques, the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that using a Stingray without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unlawful search and seizure. Stingrays are known more formally as “cell-site simulators,” mimicking the function of a cell-phone tower and used to track a phone’s location (the nickname comes from Harris Corp’s StingRay line of devices).
In the case of Prince Jones, the court ruled that “the use of a cell-site simulator to locate a person through his or her cellphone invades the person’s actual, legitimate and reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her location information and is a search.”
Stingrays are a controversial technology, because there is little formal regulation of how they should be used. Law-enforcement agencies are usually very secretive about when they use them and how, and what data they collect from them. Commenting on leaked instruction manuals last year, one tech expert told the Intercept, “The ease with which the StingRay II can be used is quite striking and there do not seem to be any technical safeguards against misuse.”
By Brian Feldman
Thank you to the Boston May Day Coalition for giving the Boston Anarchist Black Cross a chance to speak at the immigration march today. Here is the full text of the speech one of our members gave:
The government literally treats immigrants like criminals, just for being here.
El gobierno literalmente trata a los inmigrantes como criminales, solo por quedarse aquí.
This criminalisation of immigrants is part of the prison industrial complex.
Esta criminalización de los inmigrantes forma parte del complejo industrial penitenciario.
Most people in this country have immigration in our family histories, yet the United States blames immigrants for crimes.
La mayoría de la gente en este país tiene inmigrantes en nuestra historias familiares, pero estados unidos culpa a los inmigrantes por crímenes.
They’ve been doing it since the beginning. In fact, they even blamed anarchism on immigrants back when they passed the Immigration Act of 1903.
Lo han estado haciendo desde el principio. De hecho, aún culparon al anarquismo de los inmigrantes cuando aprobaron la Ley Inmigración del 1903 (mil novecientos y tres).
For over a century the United States has been making it harder and more dangerous to come here and especially to stay here long term.
Durante más de un siglo los estados unidos han estado haciéndolo más difícil y más peligroso venir aquí y especialmente permanecer.
They treat all immigrants, papers or not, in a humiliating, objectifying, abusive way.
Tratan todos a los inmigrantes, papeles o no, de una manera humillante, objetivadora, y abusiva.
Most surveillance targets “foreign nationals”, which includes immigrants.
La mayoría de vigilancia acosa a los “extranjeros”, inclusive inmigrantes.
Police work together with ICE to lock up immigrants.
La policía trabaja junto con el ICE para encerrar a los inmigrantes.
On the border, you have no rights.
En la frontera, no tienes derechos.
Sometimes not even human rights.
A veces ni siquiera derechos humanos.
But immigrants are still endangered within the borders.
Pero inmigrantes todavía están en peligro dentro de las fronteras.
After a while a country can look like one big prison, because you don’t have free movement. The border guard and the prison guard have the same job.
Después de un tiempo una país puede parecerse un gran prisión, porque no tienes movimiento libre. La guardia de la frontera y la guardia de la prisión tiene el trabajo mismo.
Follow the money. Capitalism is a root cause.
Sigue el dinero. El capitalismo es una causa principal.
Private companies make a lot of money locking up immigrants in detention centers, jails, and private prisons.
Empresas privadas hacen mucho dinero encerrando a los inmigrantes en centros de detención, cárceles, y prisiones privadas.
The fastest growing segment of the prison population are immigrants!
El segmento de la población carcelaria que crece más rápidamente son los inmigrantes!
All of this forms a vicious cycle. The more immigrants they lock up, the more they justify locking up immigrants, the more they profit. The Anarchist Black Cross believes no human is illegal and that we should abolish prison.
Todo esto forma una círculo vicioso. Cuanto más inmigrantes ellos encerrar, más justifican encerrar a los inmigrantes, más ganan. La Cruz Negra Anarquista cree que ningún humano es ilegal y que debemos abolir prisiones.
One thing we’d add is that you can’t stop immigrants from coming here, and if you try, that means detaining and imprisoning them. The choice is between freedom and imprisonment. The freedom of immigrants is the freedom of us all. We’d add, too, that fascists have taken advantage of the criminalization of immigrants to blame them and their races and cultures for just about everything. This speech is the answer to the false dilemma presented to us that scapegoats immigrants.
There were a few media inquiries, which we declined. The media is free to use this text in their reporting.