DSA-LA Prison Abolition Committee Statement in Support of the Nationwide Prison Strike

WHEREAS incarcerated and formerly incarcerated members of the working class called for a Nationwide Prison Strike in the United States from August 21 to Sept 9, 2018;

WHEREAS the prison industrial complex and the police exist to secure the power of a white supremacist, capitalist state through violent arrest, incarceration, forced labor, and torture;

WHEREAS Los Angeles County is home to the largest incarcerated population in the US, the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world;

WHEREAS a resolution affirming “the eventual goal of…[the] abolition of prisons” was passed via the consent agenda at the 2017 DSA National Convention, such goal being central to the liberation of all members of the international working class;

Be it RESOLVED, the Los Angeles Local of the Democratic Socialists of America endorses the Nationwide Prison Strike, pledges our support, and commits to future organizing towards prison abolition.

We will amplify the demands of the National Prison Strike, use our social media platforms to spread news of the strike, and reach out to other organizations to find material ways to support the strike.

We also call upon other DSA chapters and organizing committees to demonstrate their support by endorsing the National Prison Strike, affirming the National Organization’s commitment to prison abolition.

Below are the demands of those incarcerated in federal, immigration, and state prisons nationwide found at: https://incarceratedworkers.org/campaigns/prison-strike-2018

Nationwide #PrisonStrike Demands
1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.

2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.

3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.

4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.

5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.

6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.

7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.

8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.

9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.

10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!

About the Strike
From August 21st to September 9th, 2018, men,women and nonbinary comrades in prisons across the nation will strike in the following manner:

  1. Work Strikes: Prisoners will not report to assigned jobs. Each place of detention will determine how long its strike will last. Some of these strikes may translate into a local list of demands designed to improve conditions and reduce harm within the prison.
  2. Sit-ins: In certain prisons, prisoners will engage in peaceful sit -in protests.
  3. Boycotts: All spending should be halted. We ask those outside the walls not to make financial judgments for those inside. Prisoners on the inside will inform you if they are participating in this boycott.

Hunger Strikes: Prisoners shall refuse to eat.