The following statement is from the International Action Center, a broad-based grassroots coalition:
NEW YORK - For over week, since December 9, thousands of Georgia prisoners have refused to work, stopped all activities and locked down in their cells in a peaceful protest for their human rights. It is urgent to support this heroic act of resistance to inhuman prison conditions and racism.
CNN headquarters is based in Atlanta Georgia. CNN, owned by Time Warner, is one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. As of Dec 16, CNN and most of the major corporate media has censored this historic struggle for human rights.
We demand that CNN stop the censorship and report on the strike.
Thousands of men, from Augusta, Baldwin, Hancock, Hays, Macon, Smith and Telfair State Prisons went on strike to press the Georgia Department of Corrections (“DOC”) to stop treating them like animals and slaves and institute programs that address their basic human rights. Prisons in the U.S. are not rehabilitation centers; in reality, they are concentration camps for the poor and people of color.
The prisoners set forth the following demands:
• · a living wage for work
• · educational opportunities
• · decent health care
• · an end to cruel and unusual punishments
• · decent living conditions
• · nutritional meals
• · vocational and self-improvement opportunities
• · access to families
• · just parole decisions
While the prisoners were non-violent, the DOC violently attempted to force the men back to work—claiming it was “lawful” to order prisoners to work without pay, in defiance of the 13th Amendment’s abolition of slavery.
Inmate leaders, Black, Latino, white, Muslim, Rastafarian, Christian, have united together and vowed to strike until their demands are addressed. Together, using cell phones, they coordinated this state-wide prison strike.
CNN, other media and elected officials have already received thousands of email messages of concern from an internationally circulated petition
The International Action Center is committed to the building broad-based grassroots coalitions to oppose to U.S. wars abroad while fighting against racism and economic exploitation of workers here at home. With every mobilization or campaign, the IAC strives to draw from the leadership, connect the struggles, and bring together communities of color, women, lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, youth and students, immigrant and workers' organizations in order build a progressive movement for social justice and change.