The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) endorses the historic #August21 prison strike.
People incarcerated in the United States, suffering some of the worst abuses in the world, are calling for a nationwide prison strike on August 21st. We at the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement stand with these brave individuals and support their demands for better conditions and revolutionary action, as they risk their lives and health, not only for themselves but for the millions incarcerated nationwide.
The impetus for this call arose from the shameful loss of life recently at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina. The problem, prison organizers argue, stems from greed and “…a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology.” From racist policing practices, harassment of families, and routine methods of torture, we have a system that is one of the most barbaric in the world. While reforms are desirable, we all are aware that total abolition of this system is what is necessary.
Since the civil war, the US government has been committed to ensuring the system of slavery continued. Black people were to remain policed, surveilled, controlled, and held captive. The struggle for black liberation reached unparalleled heights with the Black Panthers, and the state’s response was to make the largest prison population in the world, criminalize the black populace, and destroy the fragile social programs that existed. Slavery in the US was never primarily about free labor, but about controlling, owning and ultimately denying black humanity. The plantations of the past, like Angola plantation in Louisiana, transformed into Louisiana State Penitentiary. The same modes of control on the plantation exist in the prison. The prison system then, like the slave system of the past, is not a social phenomenon to debate, but to totally destroy.
The risks people inside are taking to regain their humanity and dignity stand as a model for all abolitionists and revolutionaries. Our actions outside must amplify their voices and match their commitment.
We call on all abolitionists and revolutionaries in this country, and those abroad, to stand with the prison strikers’ resistance. This is the struggle of our day. From inside the walls to the streets we will abolish slavery, the prisons, and all the institutions that make such a barbaric world possible.