Prisoners with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and other formations issue 10 national demands with a call to action for workstoppages, sitdown strikes, hunger strikes and boycotts of the commissary.

Prisoners in seventeen states commit to the action, and outside support grows to include over 300 organizations and dozens of solidarity rallies and events. Prison systems lock down multiple facilities, isolate leaders and crackdown on prisoner communication to inhibit organizing and prevent outside supporters from learning of inside events.

Inside organizers had been planning a nationwide strike for 2019, but after violence at Lee Correctional in South Carolina takes the lives of seven prisoners, they advance the call to August 21, 2018. One week into the strike the outside media team reports protest activity in 10 US states and one Canadian province, asserting that the actual scale of the strike is likely much larger.

Prison authorities nearly uniformly claim that nothing is unusual in their facilities and that lockdowns are routine and unrelated to protests.

As of September 10, 2018 the prison strike media team confirms the following activity be part of the National Prisoner Strike.

California

Florida

Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):

  • Charlotte Correctional Institution
  • Dade Correctional Institution
  • Holmes Correctional Institution
  • Appalachee Correctional Institution
  • Franklin Correctional Institution

Georgia

Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak)

  • Georgia State Prison “Reidsville”
  • Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson, GA

Indiana

  • Wabash Valley Correctional Institution, prisoners in a segregation unit initiated a hunger strike on Monday August 27, demanding adequate food and an end to cold temperatures in the unit.

Kentucky

Boycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:

  • FCI Manchester (Federal)

Maryland

  • Jessup Correctional Institution – small group engaged in work stoppage reported by JLS and another independent source.

Michigan

Missouri

  • Leavenworth (USP) has at least one prisoner on a hunger strike.

New Mexico

North Carolina

New York

  • Coxsackie Correctional Facility – strike activity confirmed by JLS and NYC Books Through Bars
  • Eastern Correctional Facility – work strike activity and boycotts confirmed by JLS

Ohio

South Carolina

Confirmations of work strikes & boycotts (via Jailhouse Lawyers Speak):

  • Broad River CI
  • Lee Correctional C
  • McCormick CI
  • Kershaw CI
  • Lieber CI

Boycott activity confirmed by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak:

  • FCI Edgefield (Federal)

Texas

  • IWOC was forwarded a message dated 8/23 from inside administrative segregation, (solitary) of a Texas gulf prison confirming that 2 people are on hunger strike in solidarity with the national action:  “I feel great. But very hungry! And not because I don’t have food but because of our 48 hours solidarity with our brothers and sisters. It’s the only way we can show support from inside of Seg. Let everyone know we got their backs.”
  • IWOC has confirmed that Robert Uvalle is on hunger strike in solitary at Michael Unit, Anderson County, TX in solidarity with the nationwide strike. Robert has been in solitary for most of his 25 years inside. IWOC has subsequently confirmed that more prisoners are involved in the hunger strike.
  • IWOC has confirmed that there is a work stoppage at the McConnell Unit in Texas.

Virginia

  • Sussex II a group of has released a communique related to a hunger strike

Washington

  • Northwest Detention Center – Representatives of over 200 immigrant detainees at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington declared a hunger strike on day one of the national prison strike. Amid fears of retaliation, 70 across three blocks participated. As of this time, seven continue to refuse food into a second week.

Nova Scotia, CanadaBurnside County Jail in Halifax prisoners went on strike and issued a protest statement in solidarity with the strike and naming local demands. They went through a lockdown and extensive negotiations with authorities; those who refused to cooperate with humiliating body scans were punished by being locked in a dry cell (no water or working toilets) for three days.

Citations:

Press Release: National Prison Strike August 21 – September 9th, 2018, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak Twitter, April 2018.

Groups and Organizations in Solidarity, Sawari Mi, September 2018.

#PrisonStrike, ItsGoingDown.org, September 2018.

Interview: South Carolina Prisoners Challenge Narrative Around Violence at Lee Correctional Institution, Shadowproof, May 2018.

Strike Statement to the Press, IncarceratedWorkers.org, August 2018.

September 11 Press Update, IncarceratedWorkers.org, September 2018.