Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Raleigh: Death Row Prisoners Stage Cafeteria Protest

August 4, 2011 prisonbookscollective

On July 14th, 2011, a group of ten to fifteen death row inmates at Central
Prison in Raleigh staged a peaceful group protest in reaction to the
brutal beating of another death row inmate, William Bowie. Bowie was
handcuffed, with his hands behind his back, and then beaten by one
Sergeant Soucier in front of 25-30 inmates.

During the protest, prisoners stood up in the cafeteria and gave speeches
against the abuse. The following day, officials placed the men on
administrative segregation (solitary confinement) as punishment for the

One prisoner, Morgan Herring, was quoted as saying, “Rather than
discipline one of their own, the Central Prison authorities would exact
retaliation against those who seek the dignity and respect to which they
are entitled under NC administrative codes.”

This protest comes off the back of related protests in US prisons.
Recently thousands of prisoners in California entered the fourth week of a
massive hunger strike, which has spread to over a third of the state’s
facilities, in protest of the torture and isolation of long-term solitary
confinement. Prisoners in Indiana’s Wabash Valley Segregated Housing Unit
also engaged in group protest last week. Last December in Georgia, the
largest prison labor strike in US history, coordinated across vast
divisions of race, gender, and religion, spread to over 6 facilities in
opposition to a variety of policies including forced work with no pay.

These protests have elicited solidarity actions and demonstrations all
over the country, and has even spread internationally from Canada to
Turkey. Recently in Greensboro a noise demonstration took place outside
the Guilford County Jail to help spread awareness of the strike to North
Carolina prisoners.

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