On Monday, February 20th, over a dozen rallies and demonstrations will be held throughout the US for a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners,” including in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Austin, Denver, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Family and community members of prisoners, former prisoners, and people directly affected by the prison industrial complex will speak out against the destructive impacts of imprisonment by sharing their own experiences and reading statements from their loved ones inside prison.
Since the fall of 2011, a surge of people power has been growing in the US and worldwide, as thousands of people have been mobilizing protests against gross social and economic inequality. At the same time the Occupy movement gained steam in October of last year, 12,000 prisoners were participating in the second wave of a massive hunger strike against California’s notorious prison system. Strike actions continue inside California prisons, with dozens of prisoners at Corcoran State Prisons’ Administrative Segregation Unit refusing food in protest to the conditions of their confinement again.
California Hunger Strike representatives imprisoned in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison, who launched the historic hunger strike in July, have written a statement of solidarity which Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity will read at Occupy 4 Prisoners’ February 20th demonstration outside San Quentin:
“Corporate Amerika has coalesced its efforts around the exploitation of human beings, while using the political apparatus of the U.S. government, federal, state and local to institute policies that set in motion the creation of a corporate police state, which has targeted the poor as a surplus for incarceration and exploitation.
Those of us housed in solitary confinement throughout California and Amerika, support “Occupy Wall Street” and understand the necessity to resist against corporate greed. We will no longer willingly accept the subjugation, oppression and exploitation of humanity.
Banks and the prison industrial complex are corporate empires that prey on the souls of humanity. Therefore we officially join you all in Struggle. One Love, One Struggle!”
Prisoners in the forefront of the struggle against imprisonment have continuously braved abuse, torture and retaliation by prison administration and have reminded us of how necessary support outside of prison truly is. Let’s match this courage and amplify the voices of prisoners and their loved ones–those who have been systematically denied a voice for far too long– to further struggles against imprisonment, the loss of jobs, racism, the denial of good education and decent healthcare.
Come out on February 20th & support prisoners!
Click here for a list of national actions.