Holman Correctional Facility, Atmore, Alabama
March 14, 2016

Prisoners barricaded into their unit in this screenshot from a video shot on a prisoner’s cell phone

Despite lockdown from Friday night’s uprising, prisoners attack guards again and retake the dorm on Sunday.

According to News WKRG, writing in the midst of the riot:

Approximately 70 inmates have barricaded themselves inside a prison dormitory after a stabbing this morning left an inmate with non-life-threatening injuries. According to the DOC, an inmate stabbed another inmate with a “makeshift weapon” at 8:30am, leading to a sequence of events that resulted in the uprising.

Emergency response teams armed with shotguns regain control of the unit. Rioting prisoners are restrained and taken to the basketball courts, where they are beaten.

It’s Going Down, an anarchist media project, received the following message about the events from a prisoner at Holman:

Things here are tense but festive. The co and warden was stabbed. It feels good to hear a pig squeal. It has nothing to do with overcrowding, but with practice of locking folks up for profit, control and subjugation. Fires were set, we got control of two cubicles, bust windows. The riot team came, shot gas, locked down, searched the dorms. Five have been shipped and two put in lockup.

According to Medium, journalists were able to speak with prisoners at Holman, who released the following list of demands:

1. We inmates, at Holman Prison, ask for immediate federal assistance.

2. We ask that the Alabama government release all inmates who have spent excessive time in Holman Prison — due to the conditions of the prison and the overcrowding of these prisons in Alabama.

3. We ask that the 446 laws [Habitual Felony Offender laws] that Alabama holds as of 1975 be abolished.

4. We ask that parole board release all inmates who fit the criteria to be back in society with their families.

5. We ask that these prisons in Alabama implement proper classes that will prepare inmates to be released back into society with 21st century information that will prepare inmates to open and own their own businesses instead of making them having to beg for a job.

6. We also ask for monetary damages for mental pain and physical abuse that inmates have already suffered.

Holman prisoner Michael Kimble wrote the following report on the events of March 11-12 and March 14:

What began as a confrontation between prisoners from different regions of Alabama – namely, B’ham and Montgomery, with B’ham being the largest – escalated into two short riots against the pigs. After the prisoners squashed the beef among themselves without any violence, two pigs ran into C-dorm, which houses 114 prisoners and was informed that there was no problem and everything was under control.

One pig (Tate) tried to bogart his way through a crowd of prisoners and was immediately stabbed a number of times. After the two pigs ran out the dorm, one bloodied the warden, Carter Davenport, who has a reputation as an extremely sadistic, disrespectful, and nasty scumfuck fascist, who was recently removed from his post as warden at St. Clair maximum security prison for assaulting a prisoner, and reassigned as warden at Holman in 2015. He was stabbed after entering C-dorm like some kind of god.

Prisoners went on a joyous spree of fucking things up. Windows were bust, mesh wire kicked out, control units seized, keys found in one control unit, dorms opened up to let other prisoners out, fires set, barricades set up. Prisoners in C-dorm started shooting videos on cell phones, calling the media and family.

By Saturday morning, the riot team was on site and preparing to enter with shotguns and in full gear. They eventually entered the prison in riot gear, carrying the shotguns. We have no defense against guns, so everyone returned to their dorms, but the riot team didn’t enter from the front but the back door of C-dorm, shooting their tear gas. Eventually everyone was restrained in plastic cuffs and moved to another building while half of the riot team returned to the dorms to search for knives, cellphones, and those who participated in the rebellion, and to simply trash and destroy our property. They destroyed our locker boxes, threw our property all over the place, confiscated commissary products, plastic bowls, cups, etc. Everyone was eventually moved back to their dorms and made to lay down on steel bunks. Things were quiet until new mesh wire was replaced, new locks replaced. The pigs placed a chain and locks on dorm cell doors to keep us in.

Prisoners started talking about getting their shit together and relating to each other differently. After the riot team left the premises, prisoners in C-dorm started organizing squads to attack those prisoners who were stealing. After beating one prisoner for stealing, the pigs tried to enter the dorm to get those prisoners who did the beating. All the prisoners in C-dorm started throwing whatever they could find at the pigs, and the second riot was underway, with the new mesh wire kicked out, chained door broken open, control units retaken, fires reset, etc.

Again, the riot team re-entered the prison, eventually restraining everyone with plastic cuffs, marched us all outside onto the basketball court while the dorm was searched again. While handcuffed behind our backs with our faces against the fence, the riot team started grabbing us randomly from behind and throwing us on the concrete basketball court and beating us. We were eventually returned to our dorm. We received no medical care, even thought it was obvious that some of us needed medical attention.

Not everyone took part in the riots. As a matter of fact, only one dorm really participated. Two of the dorms, the so-called “Old Folks” dorm (D) and the “New Beginning” dorm (A) vehemently refused to participate and actually threatened some prisoners who tried to open their door. They placed a chain and lock on their dorm door to keep us out. Prisoners in A dorm used their cell phones to call prison officials to notify them that they were not involved in the rebellion.

Subsequently, the media entered the prison with the governor and other officials and attempted to write their own narrative as to why the rebellion took place. They chalk it all up to overcrowding, but prisoners themselves know that the real cause of the rebellion was/is about freedom from domination and control. There is much more to say about the dynamics of the rebellion and will be written by those who participated and not the fascist scumfuck pigs or corporate media.

At the time of this writing, things are quiet, but the prisoners in C-dorm still refuse to allow the pigs to become comfortable and are still rebellious. People have disappeared, one is in a coma, the prison is on lockdown until June it’s reported, and there is still to be more transfers. But right now, the spirit of rebellion continues. It ain’t over yet.

 

Citations:

It Ain’t Over Yet,” Anarchy Live!, April 15, 2016.

UPDATE: 70 Inmates Barricaded in Second Riot Happening Now at Holman Prison,” WKRG, March 14, 2016.

Second Round of Riots Erupt at Holman as Prisoners Issue Demands,” It’s Going Down, March 15, 2016.

List of Demands from Men Incarcerated at Holman Prison in Alabama,” Medium, March 14, 2016.

Background:

Holman Correctional Riot,” AL.com, image gallery, March 14, 2016.

Alabama prison riot: Warden, guard stabbed in uprising at Holman Correctional Facility,” AL.com, March 12, 2016.

Video of Prisoners rioting at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore Alabama,” Human Rights Defense Center, YouTube, March 12, 2016.