Above the din of disturbing news – that discordant banging you’re hearing, steadily getting louder and louder, that you can no longer ignore – that’s the drumbeat of the unfree.
Dehumanized by the labels “prisoner,” “inmate,” and “convict,” even reduced to serial numbers like Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables,” these men and women are, just like you and me, or any mortal – irrespective of flaws, frailties, even felonious acts and misdemeanors – endowed with the right to be treated with dignity, decency, and respect.
Advancing 10 specific demands as a rallying cry in prisons nationwide, these brave incarcerated souls are striking by: not eating, refusing to do prison work, engaging in sit-ins, and taking part in myriad other acts of nonviolent resistance that could, nonetheless – given the carceral, contentious environment they’re taking place in – quickly trigger violence (even reprisals, including the nefarious, all-too-frequent imposition of solitary confinement).
So what can you do? At a minimum, read the list of demands; they’re not long and considerable thought and effort went into crafting them. Since the very act of striking places the safety of the strikers in greater jeopardy, it’s the least you, as a civic-minded, compassionate citizen, can do. The complete list is inside: [Read more…]