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Mar 15, 16

Second Round of Riots Erupt at Holman as Prisoners Issue Demands

Originally posted to It’s Going Down 

A second riot took place at Holman Prison early on Monday morning, involving up to 70 inmates. Holman prison is located in Alabama, and last Friday a uprising erupted that saw inmates setting fire to guard towers, taking over parts of the prison, and stabbing officials. Prisoners on Monday built barricades and have reportedly broken into other areas of the facility. The disturbance began Monday morning after a fight led to the stabbing of an inmate, and guard units came in to quell the altercation. Prisoners then responded by building barricades.

Holman Prison has been a hotbed of organized prisoner activity, with the Free Alabama Movement operating out of it and includes anarchist prisoner, Michael Kimble. The Free Alabama Movement has had a history of dialog with the anarchist movement, and has been interviewed on the Final Straw radio program and podcast, and worked with the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers’ Organizing Committee (IWOC), which has recently expanded into more prisons. Prisoners have denounced the deplorable conditions and overcrowding in the facility as well as racist laws which has made parole almost impossible.

Someone with a contact in Holman send IGD this message about the situation:

Things here are tense but festive. The co and warden was stabbed. It feels good to hear a pig squeal. It has nothing to do with overcrowding, but with practice of locking folks up for profit, control and subjugation. Fires were set, we got control of two cubicles, bust windows. The riot team came, shot gas, locked down, searched the dorms. Five have been shipped and two put in lockup.

According to WKRG:

Approximately 70 inmates have barricaded themselves inside a prison dormitory after a stabbing this morning left an inmate with non-life-threatening injuries. According to the DOC, an inmate stabbed another inmate with a “makeshift weapon” at 8:30am, leading to a sequence of events that resulted in the uprising.

News 5 is told tactical law enforcement squads have been deployed to Holman Prison to assist in bringing the situation under control. The first riot happened on Friday night, leading to the warden and a corrections officer being stabbed.  They both suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

News [correspondents spoke to] a prison inmate by cellphone as the second riot continues to unfold on Monday.  The man said inmates were in a standoff with armed officers after breaking out windows and gaining access to “another area of the prison.”

The informant told News 5 that this riot was just as spirited and violent as the one that took place on Friday. He said to “expect causalities.”

WHNT wrote:

Governor Robert Bentley is planning to visit the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore Tuesday to meet with prison officials and get up an update on two disturbances that have occurred in the last three days.

The corrections officer who was stabbed Friday night is recovering. Warden Carter Davenport, who was also stabbed, reported to the prison on Sunday.

Holman Prison remains on lockdown. Corrections officials have temporarily cancelled visitation.

The governor’s office said Holman is a maximum security prison designed to house 637 inmates. The current population at Holman is 991, which is 156% of design capacity. The facility is overcrowded, and there is a shortage of corrections officers.

According to the website Medium, journalists were able to talk with inmates who put out a list of demands. These include:

1. We inmates, at Holman Prison, ask for immediate federal assistance.

2. We ask that the Alabama government release all inmates who have spent excessive time in Holman Prison — due to the conditions of the prison and the overcrowding of these prisons in Alabama.

3. We ask that the 446 laws [Habitual Felony Offender laws] that Alabama holds as of 1975 be abolished.

4. We ask that parole board release all inmates who fit the criteria to be back in society with their families.

5. We ask that these prisons in Alabama implement proper classes that will prepare inmates to be released back into society with 21st century information that will prepare inmates to open and own their own businesses instead of making them having to beg for a job.

6. We also ask for monetary damages for mental pain and physical abuse that inmates have already suffered.

Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross wrote:

The Alabama Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Jefferson S. Dunn can be reached at 334-353-3870. Everyone is encouraged to call officials and the media to draw attention to the situation at Holman.

With a large scale work stoppage planned in Texas prisons, resistance in southern facilities shows no signs of stopping. Those on the outside must think about how they can show their solidarity in a variety of ways which expands the struggle and also builds bridges while the fires of Holman prison are still warm.

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