Angela Davis (Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / Flickr)
Even in prison, rebellions are contagious. In 2016, a national prison strike led us to compile the Prison Abolition Syllabus on this site as a way to bring together some of the urgent and informed writings on the history of prisons and prison rebellion. Several developments have prompted us to update the syllabus: most importantly, a new national prison strike began on #August21. Incarcerated people chose the anniversary of the death of legendary prisoner author and revolutionary George Jackson to launch their strike. The strike will go until September 9, the anniversary of when the Attica rebellion began. The 2018 strike demands blend specific policy changes (such as repealing the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Truth in Sentencing Act, and the Sentencing Reform Act) with broad transformations (including “an end to prison slavery” and “immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.) The demands have provided a broad umbrella allowing prisoners to respond to local grievances. Within days, the strike had spread to an immigrant detention center in Washington as well as a prison in Canada.
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