Statement of Support for Striking Prisoners

- Caucus Statement

We, members of the DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus, stand in solidarity with Operation PUSH and the striking prisoners who are risking their lives to bring to light the unethical, irrational, systematic abuse and inhumanity of Florida’s prison practices. We are joining dozens of organizations including the IWW IWOC, Dream Defenders, SPARC, five Florida DSA chapters, and many more in signing a statement of solidarity with Operation PUSH which will be delivered to the Florida Department of Corrections on January 16th.

Prison slavery must be abolished. In their statement, the prisoners in Florida demand:

  • Payment for our labor, rather than the current slave arrangement
  • Ending outrageous canteen prices
  • Reintroducing parole incentives to lifers and those with Buck Rogers dates

The statement also continues by bringing attention to other abuses of the Florida Department of Corrections:

  • Stop the overcrowding and acts of brutality committed by officers throughout FDOC which have resulted in the highest death rates in prison history.
  • Expose the environmental conditions we face, like extreme temperatures, mold, contaminated water, and being placed next to toxic sites such as landfills, military bases and phosphate mines (including a proposed mine which would surround the Reception and Medical Center prison in Lake Butler).
  • Honor the moratorium on state executions, as the court ordered the state to do, without the legal loophole now being used to kill prisoners on death row.
  • Restore voting rights as a basic human right to all, not a privilege, regardless of criminal convictions.

You can read the rest of the Operation PUSH statement delivered to the FDOC here. And here are 5 ways to support the prisoners on strike.

As libertarian socialists we oppose the unjust criminal justice system, the police, and prison system. These institutions are the most violent and oppressive manifestations of the capitalist State. Prisons disproportionately affect the poor, the working class, and especially people of color. They have been used as a tool to repress and to exploit labor under the most predatory of conditions.

We believe that all people can live free from systems of structural violence, hierarchy, and domination. We wish to see a world where the police are not necessary as a means of control and prisons no longer exist as a barbaric mechanism of social, economic, and political control of working class people. We desire a world that abolishes the very notion of prison.