Incarcerated people in at least 17 prisons across the United States have been on strike since August 21. These strikes are expected to last until September 9. On Saturday, members of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee PVD and their allies held a Prison Strike Solidarity Noise Demo at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) in Cranston in an attempt to contact incarcerated people and let them know that they have allies ready to help them.
Whether or not there are people at the ACI participating in the nationwide Prison Strike is unknown. Organizers inside prisons have asked outside allies and supporters to hold protests and demonstrations outside of prison facilities to help spread the word.
Over 60 people rallied and made noise in Cranston outside the intake, minimum security, medium security, and the women’s prison (with another stop at minimum on the way back to the cars) to let those incarcerated know they had allies outside. Large banners with contact information were displayed outside the buildings. The crowd shouted and amplified the demands of the national prison strike.
At least some prisoners did see and hear the demonstrators, as evidenced by their reactions. Some waved. One held a sign that simply read “HI.”
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee PVD stands ready to ally with incarcerated people inside the walls to help them achieve their demands.
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Those incarcerated at the ACI were encouraged to write to Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee PVD, PO Box 27913, Providence, RI 02907 or call them at 401-285-1480.
The first video below is an overview of the action in broad strokes. The second video shows the demonstrators reading off the list of demands to people inside the prisons. The demands were read off this way outside each of the targeted prisons. Then there are pictures.
- Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
- An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
- The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
- The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human
shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
- An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
- An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
- No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
- State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
- Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
- The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count.
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