By Supporters in Minneapolis
On October 9th, 11th, 20th, and 22nd, 2011, noise demonstrations emerged from the Occupy Minnesota encampment to march on the Hennepin County prison in solidarity with the California Hunger Strike. The march was organized by local anarchists and carried a message of attack against all prisons and systems of social control.
The U.S. uses prisons and policing as a “solution” to social problems. As a result, our communities are being destroyed. In the past two decades, the number of people in prison in the U.S. increased 400%. Prisons are filled with 68% people of color. These statistics can’t even begin to convey the misery that a prison society entails.
In neighborhoods where people are most affected by mass imprisonment and policing, we see the direct impact of our annual $50 billion investment in prisons and policing: closed schools, homelessness, basic health care is out of reach, and poverty remains a reality in the richest country on earth.
Supporting prisoner-led resistance throughout the state of CA or in any prison across the country is about supporting those who are living and fighting through the most expansive and sophisticated prison system in world history. The fact that people can resist at all from inside US prisons is a testament to the struggle of life against the forces of death and disappearance. This deserves our solidarity, dedication and support.
As George Jackson said:
The point is…in the face of what we confront, to fight and win. That’s the real objective: not just to make statements, no matter how noble but to destroy the system that oppresses us. By any means available to us. And to do this, we must be connected, in contact and communication with those in struggle on the outside. We must be mutually supporting because we’re all in this together. It’s all one struggle at base.
Although the Hunger Strike is paused while the participants evaluate a new offer from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in regards to their demands, it is clear that this strike is only one of many ongoing acts of resistance against the Prison Industrial Complex. From Georgia to Pelican Bay, the struggle continues.
-Prison rebels in California (currently on a hiatus from their hunger strike)
-Local friends and comrades arrested at an anti-foreclosure demonstration on October 20th. (http://www.occupymn.org)
-All targets of state repression and the prison-industrial complex, including two Somali women recently convicted in Minneapolis, of 15 counts of “material support for terrorism” for sending blankets and food money to their homeland. (http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/132239033.html)
During the demonstrations, we can often see the raised fists and waves from inside the jail and juvenile detention center. Our response is more resistance: Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons!
NOTE from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity: Many Occupy encampments have expressed solidarity with the hunger strike & have been holding teach-ins & flyering sessions to spread awareness & build support for the prisoners, including Occupy Oakland, Wall St & Los Angeles.