Texas
April 4-20, 2016

Prisoners call for a strike across Texas, spreading the word to the outside primarily through Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing Committee (IWOC) networks. At least 8 prisons were locked down in the rolling work strikes. The announcement of the nationally coordinated September 9th strike goes public three days before this strike, and spreads with its coverage.

The strikers release a 5 page letter exhorting media to cover the protest. The letter describing the development of the “American Factory System of Criminal Justice” their experience as prison slaves, and articulates various demands, including “better living and working conditions, objective timelines for release on good/work time, and an end to a $100 medical co-pays that prevents access to health care and a vast array of human rights abuses.”

IWOC releases the call for the strike, organize solidarity rallies and a support call or “phone zap” directed at prison officials, as well as an #EyesOnTexas hashtag.

Facilities placed on lockdown during the strike:
French M. Robertson Unit
Wynne Unit
Clemens Unit
Mountain View Unit
James Lynaugh Unit
Ruben M. Torres Unit
Allan B. Polunsky Unit
T.L. Roach, Jr. Unit

Citations:

“Prisoners in Multiple States Call for Strikes to Protest Forced Labor”, The Intercept, April 4, 2016.

“The Strike is On! Texas Prisoners Strike for Human Rights, End to Prison Slavery”, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, April 4, 2016.

“Here’s Why Inmates in Texas Prisons are Refusing to Work“, Texas Standard, April 8, 2016.