On September 9, 2016, prisoners across the US went on strike. In Michigan’s low security Kinross prison, workers assigned to kitchen duties refused to report to their shifts. Hundreds gathered to protest in the prison yard. The strike spread like a prairie fire. Nationally, 24,000 prisoners participated, making it the largest prisoner labor strike in US history.
In this episode of Making Contact, four men who were imprisoned at Kinross report on the unlivable conditions, the moments in which the strike took shape, and the retaliation that rained down on them in its wake. We also hear from outside organizers on why it’s important to learn from prison rebellions, and how a persistent force organizing in the spirit of Abolition is rattling walls and cages to make prisons obsolete.
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Special thanks to guest hosts Alejo Stark and A Maria, Rustbelt Abolition Radio, Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity, the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, and the Omnia Foundation for supporting our prison episodes.
- Ahjamu, Baba X, Harold, and Fred, Prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility in 2016
- Ben Turk, IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
- Heather Ann Thompson, Author of Blood in the Water
- Original Music and Sound by Bad Infinity and DJ Liveleaks
- Hosts: Alejo Stark, A Maria
- Episode Producers: Alejo Stark, A Maria, Marie Choi
- Producers: Anita Johnson, Marie Choi, Monica Lopez, R.J. Lozada
- Executive Director: Lisa Rudman
- Audience Engagement Director/Web Editor: Sabine Blaizin
- Development Associate: Vera Tykulsker
- The interviews with Ahjumu, Baba X, Harold, and Fred were originally recorded for Michigan’s Kinross Prison Strike: Reflections from Inside by Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity and Rustbelt Abolition Radio.