Convict and Immigrant Detainee Struggles Converge in Strike Wave
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 11/06/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20262
The ongoing struggle of us convicts to preserve and enhance their humanity has been taking on an explicit labor aspect, connected to and conscious of such struggles outside the prison walls, and it appears to be intensifying hand in hand with the convicts' traditional struggles for human dignity.
Someone once said that prison is the most important and least understood subculture in the United States. It may have been George Jackson, who ended up with a life sentence for robbing a gas station of $70, but I don't remember. It comes to mind because back in the days before rehabilitation was taken off the agenda, prisoners had more opportunities to educate themselves in order to be able to write and speak for themselves, and people listened to what they had to say. For instance, in June 1971 convicts at Attica State Prison in upstate New York started a peer-led sociology class, and this led to the creation of a political group called the Attica Liberation Faction. One month later, in July 1971, this group was making demands of Governor Nelson Rockefeller and the New York Department of Corrections. They did this in the spirit of a similar list of demands presented by Folsom State Penitentiary convicts in 1970. The warden responded by increasing harassment, cutting privileges, and refusing to meet with the convicts.