Milwaukee, May 7: Prison Slavery Affects Us All

Why would McDonald’s pay its workers $15 when they can exploit prison labor for pennies? Wisconsin state institutions, including UW Milwaukee utilize forced prisoner labor to make their furniture and materials. Wisconsin prisons hold more African Americans per capita than any other state because Milwaukee Police Department and County Sherriff’s office target certain neighborhoods in our highly segregated city. Wisconsin ranks second (after Oklahoma) for Native American racial incarceration disparities as well. Re-entry services for formerly incarcerated people are built to fail because recidivism keeps the prison plantation well staffed. The infrastructure of mass incarceration provides ready-built cages to detain undocumented immigrants. When Wisconsin defunds public education, they are choosing to instead stream children through the school to prison pipeline to a dismal future of captivity, torture and forced labor.

Prison slavery impacts all of us. It intersects with every struggle for fair treatment and dignity. This year, prisoners across the country have put their bodies on the line to stop these systems. Prisoners in Texas have been refusing to work since April 4th. On May 1st, prisoners in Alabama will join them. On September 9th, the 45th anniversary of Attica, prisoners all across the country have vowed to protest all together. (see…/announ…/).

These people will stand up, refuse to maintain and operate the prisons that cage them, and throw the system that harms us all into a crisis. They are demanding better of American democracy, but if they stand alone, they will face severe repression.

Milwaukee IWW is hosting a gathering of activists to ask what we can do to connect our struggles with theirs and to advance the collective liberation of all. May 7th, at the East Side Library, starting at 1:30, and followed by a march in support of the Texas prisoners and the Free Alabama Movement.

We understand that everyone is already busy fighting, and we’re not looking to distract folks from their struggles, but rather to deepen intersections, find overlapping strategies, and forge a collective response to these systems of exploitation. Our oppression is intimately tied together, our liberation must be as well.

1:30 Introductions and group discussion
3:00 depart for solidarity march against prison profiteers

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