This Week in the Prison Industrial Complex

prison-barbed-wireInspired by Solitary Watch’s “Seven Days in Solitary” weekly post, it is my intention to start here a weekly roundup of news and action alerts that I become aware of about political prisoners, prison struggles, and organizing against the prison industrial complex (PIC), both nationally and internationally. For a variety of reasons I will elaborate on in future posts, I feel passionate about issues of detention, imprisonment and the PIC. Given the format of this blog, however, a post for each piece of news wouldn’t make sense. Yet I would like to call attention to them – hence, a weekly roundup. These posts cannot be and do not aim to be comprehensive. If you’ve got something you’d like to see included, leave a comment or send me an email.

  • June 16-19 saw the most recent in a series of Medical Justice Days of Action for U.S. political prisoner and former Black Panther Robert Seth Hayes. The pressure seems to have been somewhat successful, but Seth’s team is requesting donations for legal and medical efforts, as well as for people to send him letters of support.
  • Today marks Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan’s 50th day on hunger strike against his ongoing detention without charge by Israel. Supporters and the Red Cross say that he is at grave risk of death. In response, the Israeli government is attempting to pass a law permitting the force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. Take action to support Khader Adnan here.

  • From June 11-17, Israeli occupation forces arrested 43 Palestinians in the West Bank, including ten children and three women.
  • 25 demonstrators in the Mexican state of Oaxaca remain imprisoned after being arrested during an anti-election march on June 7. A statement signed by prominent individuals and organizations calling for their release was published on June 18.
  • On June 5, three political prisoners in Chile ended their 54 and 53 days-long hunger strikes. A statement from them was published in English in the past week.
  • Six prisoners on California’s death row filed a lawsuit against being held in solitary confinement on June 17.
  • Check out the Voizes Archive, a collaborative census of the prison experience, featuring interviews with prisoners and former prisoners.
  • Sign the petition urging the FCC to cap the cost of prison phone calls.
  • Today there are actions happening around California and the country against solitary confinement.
  • Truthdig published interviews that Chris Hedges conducted with three prisoners from the Free Alabama Movement who are now being held indefinitely in solitary confinement as punishment for their organizing efforts.
  • Guantanamo detainee and long-term hunger striker Moath al-Alwi describes the reality of being extracted from his cell and force-fed daily, and reflects on being held without charge for 13 years.
  • The support campaign for U.S. political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz today published a June update on Maroon’s health and more.
  • Al-Jazeera America made available online an episode of Faultlines investigating the for-profit detention of immigrants in the United States.

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