Submitted to It’s Going Down
On September 10, we will begin a march at 7PM at the Ronstadt Transit Center, Congress & 6th Ave in Tucson, occupied Tohono O’odham land.
Starting this September 9th, on the anniversary of the Attica prison rebellion, prisoners across the U.S. will take action to shut down prisons throughout the country. Their call to action reads in part:
Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.
This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.
This strike draws strength from a series of riots, hunger strikes, and other acts of collective rebellion in U.S. prisons, from Texas to Wisconsin to Alabama to Ohio to Michigan and beyond. This is also in the context of widespread rebellion against the police and white supremacy more broadly since the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage following the uprising in Ferguson two years ago. Combative, black-led, often multiracial rebellion against racist state violence is spreading inside and out, with significant upheavals in Baltimore, New York, Minneapolis, Oakland, Chicago, Milwaukee, and other cities throughout the country, with smaller but no less substantial actions in countless other locations.
And we’re fighting back from all sides. Indigenous resistance against a genocidal occupation continues to strengthen us all. Queer and trans people and women of color continue to rage against abuse and rape and murder. Mothers are rebelling against torture conditions when seeking asylum, giving birth in shackles, and surviving forced sterilization. Children who have been kidnapped from their parents and put in solitary confinement are struggling to keep themselves alive long enough for us to end this. People without houses won’t back down from the gentrification that uses the cops and prisons to dole out punishments for survival. Undocumented youth are raising hell on and against every national border in this world.
More and more, many people are acting towards a total end to policing and prisons. If we start from the knowledge that we are all living on occupied indigenous land, it is undeniable that these state institutions are wholly illegitimate to their core. Especially in light of the recent announcement that the federal government will, in limited cases, cease its use of private prisons, we want to assert that we are less interested in modifying the means with which the state controls us than with ending state control itself.
We recognize that the prison does not end at the walls, but extends into our lives through a dense network of state controls. The police, probation and parole, drug testing centers, cameras in the streets, racist school environments, border checkpoints, reeducation classes masquerading as diversion programs, rape and abuse committed by police, prison guards, border patrol agents, and others who gain access to that kind of violent authority — all these things make the prison society run, and they can all become so normal after awhile. That’s the point. But it also means struggle against prison can happen anywhere we are. Both the necessity for defense and the opportunity to attack are everywhere, in every moment of our lives.
In this moment, revolt against white supremacy and the state is consistently taking new, exciting, creative and unapologetic forms, and not just in activist circles. The emergence of large-scale, coordinated, prisoner-led struggle, as well as parallel anti-prison, anti-policing action on the outside, carries the possibility to expand the fight against white supremacy and the state into even broader terrain. We want to make the strike spread.
With these histories and possibilities in mind, this is a call for a march in solidarity with prison rebels who will resist this September. It will be Saturday, September 10th, at 7PM at the Ronstadt Transit Center, Congress & 6th Ave in Tucson, occupied Tohono O’odham land.
We want to show those rebels behind bars that we’re watching, that we’re inspired, and that we’ve got their backs. We want to make it clear to prison authorities that retaliatory actions against our people inside will cannot take place without material consequences outside. Even now, some organizers inside have been thrown in solitary for their contributions to this national strike. We will respond to isolation and death with solidarity and life.
For combative struggle against that which seeks to destroy us –
For the joy of being able to do that together –
For total liberation –
For ourselves and for generations –
Prisons Are for Burning – FTP