I was threatened with physical harm by this guard and I immediately alerted my supporters and comrades who started a phone zap demanding that I be transferred. In January I was released back into general population without any disciplinary infraction for the assault, and in early February I was transferred to my present location at Easterling. Easterling is a medium security prison. It’s the only no smoking prison in the state of Alabama. The prisoners here are a lot less rebellious than those prisoners at the maximum security prisons. Prisoners at Easterling tend to have less time to do than those at max. prisons.
Then in March the COVID-19 pandemic hit and prison officials at Easterling initially ignored all the warnings and a prisoner died. I and several other prisoners started a hungerstrike to protest the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic here at Easterling. Again, comrades started a phone zap demanding that we: 1. Be allowed outside exercise time; 2. Proper sanitation supplies (bleach, disinfectant, hand sanitizer); 3. Immune building foods (fruit); 4. Proper testing, screening, and quarantining; 5. The release of all vulnerable prisoners.
All demands were met. There were some prisoners released, but we don’t attribute this to the hungerstrike. Thank you to all who participated in the phone zap.
Since I’ve been at Easterling my information flow has been somewhat non-existent. But from what I can observe from the mainstream media, there seems to be some real potential for revolution here. The time is always ripe for revolution. The people just isn’t ripe.
Rent strikes, mutual aid programs, mass escapes, pandemics, people in the streets ever day. It’s going down! It’s going down in actions like those of our comrades Eric King, Brezik, Spoon, the black bloc in Berkeley, the countless hungerstrikes, workstrikes, riots, etc. in the prisons. I’m seeing refusal all over. People are angry, pigs continue to genocide Black people. But we must be careful because I see the billionaires trying to co-opt, join, control, and disfigure BLM into a toothless tiger. And they are using those millionaire NBA players. I’m always somewhat skeptical when celebrities put their face on a movement, because those celebrities always direct people’s energy into a reformist and non-revolutionary activity, like voting. But can demo after demo really make change? That is a dead-end strategy. But we can’t sit this one out on the sidelines.
Again, I see refusal all over, acts of solidarity, mutual aid projects, and self-organizing in response to this man-made pandemic. I think we have to just continue the acts of refusal, the mutual aid projects, etc. But also, we need to checkout the strategy of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM). I think they have put forth a clear strategy, but let’s not fall into the mode of trying to organize things into one big organization.