There are conflicting reports that prisoners have left their cells today and are returning to work, contingent on a meeting with the Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens tomorrow. Some news agencies are reporting that the prisoners’ lockdown is ending, to enable negotiations, while some report that prisoners remain on strike.
We stand in solidarity with the strikers’ demands, and have signed on to the open letter to the strikers written by a number of Bay area groups. You can add your name to it individually as well.
There will be a rally and march in support of the prisoners’ strike tomorrow, Friday December 17th:
Meet at North County Jail @ 4 PM (located at 550 6th Street Oakland, CA 94607).
March to 14th & Broadway. Rally Begins at
City Hall at 6 PM.
We know that in the state of California, the fight for quality education and the fight for reform of the prison system are linked. The demands of the strikers in Georgia reflects this, as well, in their demand for educational opportunities and job training. While the injustices of the prison system in this country are numerous, directing public resources to all phases of education and job training is one part of the solution. This is especially important when it comes to improving public education for low income communities and communities of color whose members are incarcerated at much higher rates than middle and upper class and white demographics.
for more info check out: http://ca.defendpubliceducation.org/
Relatedly, we recognize the many members of our union at Berkeley who volunteer their time teaching at San Quentin State Prison through the Prison University Project, whose work includes bringing higher education opportunies to prisoners, as well as doing educational work on prison reform.