Dec 10, 2010

GA: Greens Urge Negotiation in Standoff with Striking Prison Inmates

A press release from the Green Party:
Georgia Green Party leadership today are urging that calls of concern be placed to the Georgia Department of Corrections urging negotiations with, not retribution against peaceful strikers in six Georgia prisons.

In a call to action and a blog post, the Party publishes the demands of striking prisoners and urges a humanitarian response. Inmate grievances range from the criminal neglect they suffer for lack of adequate health care, meals heavy on starches and short of vegetables, over crowded conditions in facilities which fail to protect from the extremes of Georgia's climate, the barriers created to family visits and phone contact, among other specifics laid out in the press release available on the site.

In an action which is unprecedented on several levels, black, brown and white inmates of Georgia's notorious state prison system are standing together for an historic one day peaceful strike today, during which they are remaining in their cells, refusing work and other assignments and activities.

"This is a groundbreaking event not only because inmates are standing up for themselves and their own human rights," said Bruce Dixon, Press Secretary of the Georgia Green Party, "but because prisoners are setting an example by reaching across racial boundaries which, in prisons, have historically been used to pit oppressed communities against each other."

The one day action is reported to be taking place in at least six DoC facilities. Georgia hosts a vast complex of private and public state prisons, correctional facilities, work camps, county jails, youth detention and federal immigrant detention centers and other correctional facilities, sufficient to subject one in every thirteen Georgia adults to judicial supervision.

"Unconfirmed reports say that authorities at Macon State prison have aggressively responded to the strike by sending tactical squads in to rough up and menace inmates," says Dixon, who urges, "Outside calls from concerned citizens and the news media we hope might stay the hand of prison authorities who we fear may respond to this peaceful sit down strike with uncalled for violent aggression."

Members of the Party's state committee have been meeting with potential candidates to build a slate prepared to challenge the privatization of public resources and mass incarceration as public policy here in Georgia. Party officers invite active citizens interested in this effort to contact the Party about opportunities in their own community.

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