Inmates in prisons across the country launched a massive strike on Tuesday, calling for an end to what organizers call “inhuman” treatment in the criminal justice system.
The national coordinated effort will include “work stoppages, sit-in strikes, commissary boycotts, and hunger strikes,” depending on the circumstances of each prison, according to an August 18 blog post from strike spokesperson Amani Sawari Mi.
The protest aims to bring an end to what organizers are calling “modern day slavery,” in which incarcerated workers are forced to work, earning as little as 4 cents an hour, according to a recent AP report. In California, inmates were helping firefighters confront the state’s deadliest wildfire for just $2 a day plus $1 an hour.
In a national press release, the protesters put forward a list of 10 demands, including “an immediate end to prison slavery,” as well as concerns over prison conditions, life without parole, racial discrimination, health and rehabilitation care, financial aid for education, and voting rights.
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