This week Bursts spoke with the No New OC Jail coalition, which is opposing the building of a new jail in Orange County, NC. In this interview, we speak about the social conditions surrounding this opposition, as well as generalized opposition to the prison industrial complex.
More about this and to see this coalition’s petition, you can visit here.
Also included is a segment from our friend the Stimulator at www.submedia.tv about student uprisings in South Africa.
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But first this announcement from Certain Days:
The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar collective (www.certaindays.org) is releasing its 16th calendar in the Fall of 2016. Over the years, we’ve turned our attention to various themes: grassroots organizing, resisting repression, and visions of justice. The theme for 2017 is focused on what it takes to sustain our movements.
We are looking for 12 works of art and 12 short articles to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 2,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world.
We encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work.
The deadline for submission is March 15th, 2016.
For further information, such as submission guidelines, format, and so on you can visit this project’s website here
AN UPDATE ON THE PRISONER UPRISINGS IN ATMORE, AL:
“Things here are tense but festive. The C.O. and warden was stabbed…It
has nothing to do with overcrowding, but with the practice of locking
folks up for profit, control and subjugation. Fires were set, we got
control of two cubicles, bust windows. The riot team came, shot gas,
locked down, searched the dorms. Five have been shipped and two put in
lockup.” ~A Prisoner at Holman Correctional
This week, prison rebels at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore,
Alabama staged two riots in three days—battling guards, building
barricades, stabbing the warden, taking over sections of the prison and
setting a guard station on fire. These actions come as no surprise to
those who have been paying attention to the crumbling prison system in
Alabama and the increasing level of radicalization of the prison
The uprising at Holman, and the conditions of Alabama prisons in
general, provide a unique situation in which anarchist solidarity may
prove strategic. Historically speaking, successful prison uprisings have
often been the result of a degrading prison system (incompetence,
understaffing, weak administration) in combination with a high level of
prisoner-unity and the development of a strong political subculture
within the prison that supports and encourages acts of resistance. These
conditions shift the balance of power between prisoners and their
captors and allow prisoners more latitude to take bold action. Prison
rebels in Alabama report that guards often refuse to enter the cell
blocks for months at a time out of fear of attacks. The conditions for
rebellion are ripe in the Alabama prison system.
The connections that Alabama prison rebels and anarchists outside of
prisons have cultivated over years have created a situation in which
expressions of solidarity from anarchists may have an impact. There is a
great possibility that news of solidarity actions will reach prisoners
there and that those actions will make sense to these rebels.
Another way in which anarchist solidarity may prove uniquely valuable in
this and other situations of prison rebellion is in our capacity to
relate to these uprisings outside the framework of reform that the
media, the state and the left will inevitably push them toward. We are
already hearing the rhetoric of those outside Holman turning immediately
toward reform, appeals to legitimacy in hopes of reaching journalists
and liberals, and framing the riots as a ‘last resort’ after non-violent
What we propose instead is direct affirmation, through action, of
prisoners’ own revolt. In this, our solidarity is equally with those
demanding better living conditions and those who say, quite simply,
“they need to let us free up out this bitch” and “there’s only one way
to deal with it: tear the prison down.”
In the spirit of diversity of tactics we’ve compiled a list of some ways
to act in solidarity with prison rebels in Alabama. The intention of
this list is to find ways to act in solidarity with the many, often
contradictory, desires of the many different rebels involved in the
1. Publish and spread the list of demands, provided by journalists who
were able to get in touch with some of the rioting inmates:
We inmates, at Holman Prison, ask for immediate federal assistance.
We ask that the Alabama government release all inmates who have
spent excessive time in Holman Prison — due to the conditions of the
prison and the overcrowding of these prisons in Alabama.
We ask that the 446 laws [Habitual Felony Offender laws] that
Alabama holds as of 1975 be abolished.
We ask that parole board release all inmates who fit the criteria to
be back in society with their families.
We ask that these prisons in Alabama implement proper classes that
will prepare inmates to be released back into society with 21st century
information that will prepare inmates to open and own their own
businesses instead of making them having to beg for a job.
We also ask for monetary damages for mental pain and physical abuse
that inmates have already suffered.
2. Call and write Alabama Department of Corrections officials:
Holman: (251) 368-8173
3. Contact inmates at various Albama prisons in order to form bonds and
connections on which to build struggle.
Currently you can type a letter into the first or last name section and
get a whole giant list of inmates to choose from. It’s up to you to
discern who you’d like to write to. We avoid inmates who are listed as
having racist tattoos or sex crimes. However there are also several pen
pal sites where you can find Alabama inmates who are already looking to
maintain correspondence with someone.
for more creative ways to get involved!!