Submitted to It’s Going Down
On the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, free world allies, organizations and unaffiliated prison abolitionists came together in Austin, TX to stand in solidarity with prisoners on strike to end prison slavery. The TCI Showroom is a facility that displays items made by prison labor to sell to “state and local government agencies, public educational systems and other tax-supported entities.” The Showroom displays items such as office furniture, garments, steel items, plaques, and cleaning products. It also acts as a distribution center, where inmates are transported to work packaging and shipping the very items they are forced to make for NO pay.
In Texas, inmates make $0, and are instead promised “good time” (work credit for a reduced sentence.) However, according to inmates and their loved ones, “good time” is nothing but a sham to control and manipulate inmates to willfully participate in their own oppression. On September 9th and beyond, incarcerated workers have organized a work stoppage to bring an end to this modern day slavery.
When we showed up to the TCI Showroom it’s almost as though they were expecting us! It wasn’t a warm welcome though, as they had their parking lot entrances taped off and hired security. Although their office hours aren’t available online, we know they are open M-F from 10-3pm. In fact, we’ve paid a visit to them in the past and got a grand tour of the facility (in which our tour guide bragged that everything in his office was made from prison labor!) So why did they claim to be “closed” on September 9th? The cowards who work at this location, Kyle Young (operations manager) and Scott Vieta (inventory specialist) hid behind a locked door, seen pacing and making phone calls throughout our demo.
We were a loud bunch, and made sure to let them know they are scum who profit off prison labor. Protesters attempted to deliver the demands directly to good ole’ Kyle and Scott, but security quickly swarmed in and threatened arrests. After a brief confrontation, the demands were left at the door and eventually made their way in.
We made noise, we chanted, and we successfully ruined a business day at TCI. We can speculate from their taped off entrances and closed warehouse door that nothing was distributed yesterday. In the end, our work has only begun. We are aware of 4 units on lockdown, and information will start to become more available in the oncoming days and weeks. This is a huge moment in prisoner resistance. We hope everyone can get plugged in to the best of their capabilities, and we will continue to do our part to help facilitate that in Austin.