After 10 Days, Prison Strikes Spread to 11 States to Demand End to “Slave Labor”

Prisoners across the country join work stoppages, hunger strikes and commissary boycotts in at least 11 states to protest prison conditions and demand the end of what they call “prison slavery.” Organizers report prisoners in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Indiana are demonstrating. Individuals in Texas, California and Ohio have gone on hunger strike, including some in solitary confinement. Meanwhile, at least six people have been hunger-striking inside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, for more than a week. We speak with Amani Sawari, prison strike organizer working on behalf of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, a network of prisoners who are helping organize the nationwide strike.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We end today’s show with the nationwide prison strike, as prisoners across the country join work stoppages, hunger strikes and commissary boycotts in at least 11 states to protest prison conditions and demand the end of what they call “prison slavery.” Today marks the 10th day of the strike. Organizers report prisoners in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Indiana are demonstrating. Individuals in Texas, California and Ohio have gone on hunger strike, including some in solitary confinement. Meanwhile, at least six people have been hunger-striking inside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, for more than a week. This is one of the hunger strikers, Murat, speaking yesterday from jail.

MURAT: I’m on hunger strike, seven days, five days without water. I know what the nationwide situation now, everybody on a hunger strike.

AMY GOODMAN: For the latest, we go to Seattle, Washington, to speak with Amani Sawari, a prison strike organizer working on behalf of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, a network of prisoners who are helping organize the nationwide strike.

Amani, welcome back to Democracy Now! Well, we just…

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