Introduction

georgejackson1

George Jackson

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of both the Attica prison uprising and the death of prison activist and revolutionary George Jackson. To commemorate these events and the Georgia state prisoners’ strike of last December, this pamphlet seeks to bring into focus the increasingly cruel and inhumane conditions prisoners face in the belly of American capitalism and democracy. Today, global capitalism is in deep decay. The political and social upheavals that have engulfed North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe are exhibiting the power of social struggle by the working class, poor, youth, and oppressed. The workers’ movement internationally is demanding economic justice, social uplift, and liberty. Workers are voicing their discontent with the consistent inability of capitalism to provide the most basic necessities: jobs, housing, food, and peace. The prisoners’ rights movement today has joined the cry for freedom, justice, and equality.

This pamphlet consists of previously published articles from Justice newspaper and SocialistAlternative.org on the Georgia state prisoners’ strike and material written by Georgia state prisoners Shawn Whatley and Lester Smith. We have also included an in-depth interview with Ty Moore and Shawn Whatley that provides insight into the conditions in the Georgia state prison system.

Eljeer Hawkins
Harlem, New York
October, 2011


 

“America is revealing a visage stark with harshness. Nowhere is that face more contorted than in the dark netherworld of prison, where humans are transformed into non-persons, numbered beings cribbed into boxes of unlife, where the very soul is under destructive onslaught.”

– Mumia Abu-Jamal, Live From Death Row: Human Waste Camps, pg.89

“Put simply, this is the era of the prison industrial complex.  The prison has become a black hole into which the detritus of contemporary capitalism is deposited. Mass imprisonment generates profits as it devours social wealth, and thus it tends to reproduce the very conditions the lead people to prison.”

– Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?, pgs. 16-17