Tired of Slave Laboring

January 14, 2018: Florida prisoners are calling for a general strike to start this week — marking the third mass action over the course of a year in protest of inhumane conditions in the state’s detention facilities. Detainees in at least eight prisons have declared their intention to stop all work on Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — to demand an end to unpaid labor and price gouging in prison commissaries, as well as the restoration of parole, among other requests.

Florida prisoners eating Kosher meals

Florida prisoners eating Kosher meals

Coordinated, nonviolent prison protests, as well as spontaneous uprisings amid deteriorating conditions, have escalated in recent years both nationwide and in Florida, which has the third largest prison system in the country.

Coordinated, nonviolent prison protests, as well as spontaneous uprisings amid deteriorating conditions, have escalated in recent years both nationwide and in Florida, which has the third largest prison system in the country.

Prisoners in the state were among the most active during a nationwide strike in September 2016, which was quickly dubbed the “largest prison strike in U.S. history.”

At least 10 Florida prisons participated in that action, which was planned to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising but started a day early when tensions flared at Holmes Correctional Institution in the Florida Panhandle.

Entire System On Lockdown

Then, in August 2016, in response to prison activists’ calls for another show of dissent, The Florida Department of Corrections officials placed the entire state system — 143 facilities and 97,000 people — on lockdown, an unprecedented move.

In response to questions about the planned strike, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections wrote in a statement to The Intercept that “the department will continue to ensure the safe operation of our correctional institutions.”

We agree with the prisoners 100%. If they have to work they should be compensated appropriately and live and work in humane conditions. Just because they are locked in a penal system does not mean they have to, or should, work like slaves.

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FLORIDA PRISONERS PREPARE TO STRIKE, DEMANDING AN END TO UNPAID LABOR AND BRUTAL CONDITIONS – The Intercept