AFTER SEPTEMBER 26, THEY DEFINITELY HEAR US AND FEAR US NOW!
On September 26, 2022, over 15,000 men and women incarcerated inside Alabama’s Department of Corrections conducted a historic peaceful demonstration for structural and fundamental change to Alabama’s sentencing and parole laws, and inhumane prison conditions.
In general, Alabama politicians have ignored the 20,000+ men and women in the Alabama Department of Corrections. Our pleas for help and an end to this humanitarian crisis that grips ADOC, seemingly without end, had fallen on the deaf ears of state leaders who view us as less than humans beings. (Anybody heard from Alabama’s Black Democratic Caucuses?)
On September 26, 2022, all of that changed when over 15,000+ unified and made a stand for our own lives.
When the fifteen thousand people united for one political cause, we instantly created one of the largest political blocks in Alabama. Our political party has arrived. On September 26 we made a bold political statement:
“Here we are. We are organized and we understand what our issues are. We also understand this bloodsucking system of death and denials. We are not going away and continue to live as slaves and die on your plantations. We demand change and we won’t be denied.”
We must Stand on that statement or risk annihilation at the hands of our oppressor.
When this Movement started in 2013, the most participation we had was 3 or 4 prisons at one time; a total of about 3,000 to 4,000 people participated in those first rounds of strikes. With over 15,000 participating in the September 26 #shutdownADOC2022 strike, this represented nearly 5x as many people than previous strikes. A full 10,000+ more people were participating in their first shutdown. Let that sit in for a moment. There is a reason why the slave masters are nervous.
No one can deny what they saw or not appreciate the historical nature of the moment.
In an unprecedented move, a sitting governor, Kay Ivey, was forced to respond to both the protest and our demands – that same day. While on the campaign trial no less.
This means that everyone paying attention to her campaign heard our message. This is how you burst on the political scene without an invitation. Taking direct action like we did, at the right time, is how to get our demands before politicians and force them to acknowledge them publicly. This then opens the door for public debate, where can then garner widespread support for our demands. With continued pressure, we force senators and representatives to draft appropriate legislation. We have a process that we must go through, and we are well on our way.
Why did Governor Kay Ivey respond to demands from people she usually ignores?
Because when 15,000+ people unite for a political purpose, especially from our position at the bottom of the social structure, they/we can’t be ignored. It’s too many people, more than enough to sway ANY election. They have ignored us in the past because we are poor, unorganized on a large scale, many of us can’t vote, and we come from a black hole prison system where we are labeled the worst society has to offer. Yet, we organized a formidable 15,000+ strong army, with over 5,000 more at honor camps and work releases still to join in. Don’t fail to SEE the moment and understand what is going on.
As we’ve always taught in this Movement, we don’t need someone else to reach a governor or a politician or to make changes within our environment; all we need to do is take the right action and they will respond directly to us. Every media outlet in the state had to cover our story because it was such a huge national conversation. Let’s get back to the forefront of the media where we can keep our issues front and center before the public, and continue to make our demands a political issue that MUST be addressed — even by an incumbent governor on the campaign trail.
Understand that they see us now, and we must make them continue to feel us too. Where others use their vote and money to reach politicians, we have to use the shutdown!!! That is our political weapon.
The shutdown, which consists of: 1. Work strikes, 2. Boycotts of store, snack line and incentive packages, 3. Protests, and 4. Social media campaigns, caused tremendous economic pain on ADOC, and made them pay millions for their sinful ways. We have to break the system that has been breaking us for decades. They tried to starve us into submission, but our hunger for freedom, justice and equality was greater than the sacrifice we were asked to make.
We have go back on shutdown, and keep going on shutdown until our Demands are met. We are still in the midst of this very important election cycle, so we must continue to apply pressure. Seize the airwaves of this state, dominate all political conversation, and force the governor and other politicians to address our Demands by changing laws and creating pathways out. The only way we can do this is by continuing to exercise the only political power that we have, a power that captivated the entire nation for three weeks and has already forced the governor to respond to us directly: shutdown ‼️
We Must be heard throughout this election. Our lives depend on it.
Get Ready For Round 2!!!