In The Spirit of Abolition, let’s Shut’em Down!
A call to action. National “Shut’em Down” demonstrations August 21st and September 9th.
Over the last year prisoners across the country have been holding the longest and largest spontaneous demonstrations in response to covid. With approximately 300,000 (the number is possibly as high as 800,000) people in prison having been infected by covid prisoners have continued to demand basic human rights protections. These demonstrations have been sporadic and largely ignored by the public as prisoners and supporters demanded covid safety and precautions be enacted in prisons. In a number of states, these covid demonstrations have turned into widespread and hard fought successful court battles for releasing prisoners.
As we draft this press release we note that North Carolina is about to release approximately 3,000 prisoners due to a lawsuit settled over covid.
Even with all the releases and won policy changes, this country cannot make up for the hundreds of thousands that became ill or the thousands that were killed by covid. Unlike reporters we know that everytime a prison official comes to work, our lives are in jeopardy because they may be infected. The same is true regarding prisoners deaths, we attribute every death to prison officials infecting the prison population.
Now let us take a moment to think on how over the capacity US prisons and jails are. People are being stacked on top of each other. Even with their on guard to prisoner ratio, they admittedly fall outrageously short.
Lives could have been saved if America was on the path of Abolition. We must struggle harder to close prisons, jails and to free people from the grips of American prison slavery. This is all stated while recognizing that we must develop effective strategies to have the billions of taxpayers dollars used to grow the prison industrial slave complex (PISC) redirected to the communities.
Without going into the recent political presidential acrobats, we do want to acknowledge we feel a stronger need then ever to make it known that the people in prison struggles will not be pushed to the back burner in the muddy waters of trying to make people feel good about their party politics.
In the spirit of Abolition on the historical dates of August 21st and September 9th, 2021 organizers must highlight prisoners’ historical struggles, and the current political struggles to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak is calling for mass outside demonstrations.
Specific locations: ICE, jails, prisons, and higher learning institutions. (With regards to higher learning institutions we are pointing towards the learning institutions with connections to prison labor).
A few states may already have specific ongoing campaigns that directly speak to decarceration or closing down a prison or jail. Efforts should be made to network to boost those campaigns on these dates at the recommended locations.
With everyone working across the nation on the same days, this would magnify our struggle for humanity and highlight specific state related campaigns. These “Shut’em Down” demonstrations should serve as a wake up call to every person in this nation that the current jailing path does not work and it’s time to end it.
In the days leading up to the Shut’em Down demonstrations, we will post locations of planned Abolition demonstrations and endorsements of these events on our website:
If you know you will be holding a “Shut’em Down” demo or simply would like to be listed as an endorser, email us at [email protected]
IWOC is the media contact: [email protected]
Remembering the plantation struggles: Nat Turner, George Jackson, Attica Rebellion, 2016 National Prison Strike, 2018 National Prison Strike and the 10 Prison Strike Demands!
Dare 2 Struggle Dare 2 Win! Jailhouse Lawyers Speak