Originally published to It’s Going Down

Earlier today, inmates demanding better living conditions took over a wing of the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware as the State responded with a massive police mobilization. Vaughn is a maximum security prison holding more than 2,500 people, including people on death row. The wing that prisoners have taken over holds at least 150 people. Somewhere between 3 and 5 guards have been taken hostage and there are reports that both guards and prisoners have been injured. All of Delaware’s prisons have been placed on lockdown as a result of the uprising, although Vaughn is currently the only site of resistance.

In the early afternoon, audio from inside the prison was released by Delaware’s The News Journal. A person inside called the paper to relay that prisoners were demanding “remedies conducive to reform and rehabilitation.”

The rebellion at Vaughn comes on heels of last fall’s national prisoner strike, which involved at least 29 prisons in 12 states. The strike was organized by the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), along with support from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC), and a wide variety of anti-prison organizations. Tens of thousands of prisoners participated as the strike affected facilities across the US, while prisoners in Greece and Mexico joined the struggle in solidarity by going on hunger strike. Outside of prison walls, thousands took part in solidarity actions which included noise demonstration outside of prisons, mass marches, and autonomous attacks against corporations profiting from prison labor.

Currently, police and first responders are amassing outside of Vaughn. For updates from Vaughn, follow #VaughnRebellion, where supporters are sharing news and messages of solidarity.


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