The Socialist Rifle Association is proud to endorse the upcoming national prison strike planned as a response to the Lee Correctional Institution riot in South Carolina, in which several comrades lost their lives. While SRA’s primary mission is to advocate and fight for the rights of the working class to possess arms, we recognize that this mission is part of the broader socialist movement seeking liberation for working and oppressed people everywhere, and that as such our work intersects with many important parts of the struggle. We do not maintain any illusions that our work is isolated from that of the other parts of the Left, but understand our task to be one of many that is needed as a broad front against capitalism.
The United States policing & prison system is one of the most brutal, oppressive in human history. America has approximately 5% of the world’s population but almost 25% of its inmates, with conditions inside prisons that are unimaginably cruel. This includes forced labor, a form of modern slavery in which prisoners are exploited for their labor with little to no pay or recourse for abuses. The Socialist Rifle Association is proud to endorse this upcoming strike, alongside several other organizations, some of which our members also belong to.
For more information on the strike, please visit their website by clicking here. Their list of demands is as follows:
These are the NATIONAL DEMANDS of the men and women in federal, immigration, and state prisons:
- Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
- 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.
- The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
- The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole.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.
- 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.
- An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
- No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
- State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
- Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
- 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!
Whereas, trusted comrades, collectives, and networks behind the prison walls have convened, called for a “National Prison Strike” from August 21 to Sept 9, 2018, issued a set of demands and guidelines and requested outside support,
Whereas, we, the Socialist Rifle Association have heard their call for support and find the strike and its goals completely aligned with our own,
Be it resolved, we endorse the strike, pledge our support and furthermore, embrace the work of solidarity.