Kozlowska: US Prisoners Go on Strike to Protest a Massive Forced Labor System

Labor News

Some call prison labor the "modern chain gang." (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Reprinted from Quartz by Hanna Kozlowska on September 9, 2016.

“On Friday (September 9) prison inmates across the US will participate in what organizers are touting as the ‘largest prison strike in history,’ stopping work in protest of what many call a modern version of slavery,” writes Hanna Kozlowska in Quartz.

“The protest, organized across 24 states, is spearheaded by the inmate-led Free Alabama Movement (FAM) and coordinated by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a branch of an international labor union. Its manifesto, published online by ‘prisoners across the United States,’ reads:

“‘This is a call to end slavery in America…To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.’

“The strike will be held on the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison revolt, when prisoners took control of a maximum-security correctional facility near Buffalo, New York, demanding better conditions and an end to their brutal treatment…”


Quartz 9/9

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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