Prisoner Strike

September 7, 2018

Events around the world have shown that when people are unhappy, they fight against systems in many ways, but how do they go about protesting? Well, a strike is often the first step they take to protest something.

In August, an unusual group of people started protesting against authorities in the United States: prisoners. Did we say prisoners? Yes. You see, when someone is incarcerated, they remain in prison for the duration of their sentence, but they are also part of a community. Prisoners in the US work to remain productive—they produce goods that are sold in markets, harvest fruits and vegetables, and even support efforts in firefighting. For this, many prisons provide a minimum wage so that prisoners can earn and save money.

Recently though, prisoners began protesting unfair treatment inside prisons. They claim that living conditions are worsening, that pay wages are insufficient (sometimes as low as fourteen cents an hour), and that authorities do not uphold their rights and privileges.

Workers both inside and outside jails coordinated efforts to present their demands to better their conditions. The strike started on August 21st and is intended to end on September 9th. What’s happening during the strike? The prisoners are peacefully protesting by not fulfilling their daily tasks and are refusing to work in the prison kitchens, gardens, and workshops.

Can you think of an effective way to protest?

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