2018 National Prison Strike: North Carolina

Various Facilities in North Carolina August, 2018 (exact dates of all strike activity uncertain) According to The New York Times, “The inmates at North Carolina’s Hyde Correctional Institution hung three banners from the prison fence last week as supporters gathered outside. One sign asked for better food; another requested parole; the third said, ‘In solidarity.'” The banner drops at Hyde Correctional occurred on August 20 while supporters gathered for a protest outside the prison during the prisoners’ yard time. At least one North Carolina prisoner, Joseph Stewart, issued a list of 8 demands focusing on mental health treatment and solitary confinement as well as a call for truce between various prison populations. On August 21, 13 News Now reported that prison officials in North Carolina had acknowledged the strike. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) stated that they received unconfirmed reports of strike activity at eleven prisons in North Carolina. From the statement released by prisoner Joseph Stewart:
I’m calling on all my real right Ola’s, all loyal Loc’s, all Moorish misnamers, all G’s with the blackest hearts, both Muslims and neutral prisoners who desire a change to unify and form a statewide formation to abolish these harsh living conditions by demanding the following: 1. All mental health prisoners who have been on “lock up” for longer than 30 days be released immediately. 2. Annihilate all forms of long-term solitary confinement for the whole prison commune here in NC. 3. Abolish the mandatory minimum 85% Act for the whole prison commune of NC. No human shall be sentenced to death by incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole. 4. Reestablish the opportunity of parole for the whole NC prison commune. 5. Rectify the structure of the SRG policy and the requirements to profile one as SRG. Some of these restrictions are very inhumane. For example, once one is profiled as SRG, he or she cannot receive visits from anyone but his or her immediate family. This excludes the mother or father of one’s children! Most of us profiled as SRG are being deprived of visiting our children. Being profiled also restricts from obtaining a job and classes that could put us on gain time. 6. Annihilate the $10 fee for infractions… Every write-up one receives, $10 is deducted from our personal account and given to the state. Yearly this is over a million-dollar revenue for the state. 7. Restore educational and rehabilitation programs such as college courses, vocational schooling, etc. so that we have something to help us obtain a job once released, so we won’t fall back into the cycle of the system. 8. Being that NC prisons already have contracts with both J. Pay and Union Supply, offer all the options they have, such as J. Pay’s email system, electronic visitation, as well as MP3 players and downloadable music.
Virginia and North Carolina prison officials acknowledge inmate strike“, 13 News Now, August 21, 2018. “Prison Strike Organizers Aim to Improve Conditions and Pay,” The New York Times, August 26, 2018. Announcing Operation P.O.W.: NC Prisoner Calls for Truce and Solidarity with the National August 21st Strike,” Its Going Down, July 16, 2018. Community Shows Support as NC Prisoners Rally With Banners,” Its Going Down, August 21, 2018. IWOC (@IWW_IWOC), September 2, 2018. PHONEZAP THIS TUESDAY No. Carolina is throwing strikers into isolation in multiple facilities. Defend the strikers, get your crew hyped and make some calls this Tuesday! p.s. It’s gonna be a busy week. You just watch. #prisonstrike [Tweet].