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August 24

Providence, RI: Prison Strike Solidarity Assembly

A call from an IWOC chapter in Providence, Rhode Island for a community assembly about supporting the prison strike.

Incarcerated people across the country are currently engaging in a massive strike, along with other forms of protest, from August 21- September 9. For this action to achieve its full potential and to protect prison rebels from repression, outside solidarity is essential.

We will be hosting this assembly as way to gather local supporters of the nationwide prison strike in order to build the strongest support possible here in Rhode Island. The purpose of the assembly will be to open up a space for supporters to collectively deliberate, plan, and coordinate local actions and/or events in support of the strike. We will open up with a general information session about the history and significance of the strike along with details about how we on the outside can best support the actions of inside organizers. If there are enough people in attendance, this will be followed by break-out groups for people to meet one another, co-develop plans for coordination, and build art materials for future actions + events.

We invite the family and friends of those currently and formerly incarcerated or detained, as well as others directly impacted by criminalization and incarceration (including formerly incarcerated individuals themselves) – especially poor and working-class Black, Indigenous, Latino, and/or South East Asian people. We also invite workers from all industries and sectors, including those who are members of unions such as UNAP, IBEW, NEA, AFT, UFCW, SEIU, UNITE Here, and AFSME. Those who consider themselves activists, organizers, radicals, revolutionaries, prison and slavery abolitionists, or neither of the above are also encouraged to attend. Others who we would encourage to attend are high school and college students, as well as other young people who are subject to criminalization in their learning, recreation, and working environments.

Come to the strike support assembly to share ideas, develop plans, gain resources, find fellow-thinkers and learn up-to-date information about the strike as it unfolds.

Read national demands by prisoner leaders here: https://bit.ly/2KqtCmd

Learn more recent history, context, and strategy for the strike here: https://itsgoingdown.org/august-21st-is-going-to-be-lit/

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IWOC

Members of the IWW have created the IWOC, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, which functions as a liaison for prisoners to organize each other, unionize, and build solid bridges between prisoners on the inside and fellow workers on the outside. Prison is a setup, a big business, there to make money off the People. Neither the setup, nor the slavery inside of prisons can be combated without the conscious participation of prisoners and the working class on the outside through mutual aid, solidarity, and the building of working relationships that transcend prison walls and the politics of mass incarceration. The IWOC has been actively reaching out to prisoners while at the same time prisoners have been reaching out to the IWW for representation and assistance in building a prisoners union. The IWOC has taken up the cause and is helping prisoners in every facility organize and build a union branch for themselves, which will together form a powerful IWW Industrial Union.

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