The New Slave Revolt – by Chris Hedges

The New Slave Revolt – by Chris Hedges

hedgesprisonstrike_590A nationwide prison work stoppage and hunger strike, begun on Sept. 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, have seen over 20,000 prisoners in about 30 prisons do what we on the outside should do—refuse to cooperate. “We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves,” prisoners of the Free Alabama Movement, the Free Ohio Movement and the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee wrote in a communique.

This round of prison strikes—there will be more—has had little outside support and press coverage. There have been few protests outside prison walls. Prison authorities—unlike during the 1971 Attica uprising when the press was allowed into the yard to interview the rebellious prisoners—have shut out a compliant media.  

They have identified strike leaders and placed them in isolation. Whole prisons in states such as Texas were put on lockdown on the eve of the strike. It is hard to know how many prisoners are still on strike, just as it is hard to know how many stopped work or started to fast on Sept. 9.  [Read more]

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  • demerwater  On October 15, 2016 at 5:23 am

    I often consider that things do not change; events are merely recycled. Take, for instance:

    “In 1957, forty-one prisoners at the Buford Rock Quarry broke their own legs with their sledgehammers to protest harsh working and living conditions. When the investigations promised by prison officials never took place, a second and then a third group of prisoners broke their own legs. As recently as 1979, a number of prisoners at the Wayne County “Correctional Institution” cut their own Achilles tendons in protest of harsh and demeaning working conditions.”

    We were at that age when we read “macho” magazines with gusto; and the full story appeared in one that made the rounds to all the students in Lower 4 A, at Saints. You know how it has been said that – Eve did not eat the apple because she was hungry; but because it was forbidden!
    Just shows that attending a school named after a saint, does not make you one!

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