GEO Local 6300 IFT/AFT AFL-CIO at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Solidarity Statements and Press Releases

External Communications

GEO Stands in Solidarity with Nationwide Prison Strike on August 21


Whereas, people in prison are legally slaves as per the language of the 13th amendment - "slavery and involuntary servitude shall be abolished except as punishment for a crime" - and slavery is unequivocally evil, in 1860 or 2018,

Whereas, prisoners across the country are organizing to end prison slavery and mass incarceration, and have called for a nationwide prison strike to last from August 21st to September 9th, 2018,

Whereas, in April of 2018, seven incarcerated workers lost their lives during a riot in the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, which could have easily been avoided had the prison not been overcrowded and subjected inmates to subhuman living conditions,

Whereas, conditions in prisons are daily examples of stunning human rights abuses and torture, with people placed in solitary confinement for decades, unclean, contaminated drinking water, brutal working conditions, absent healthcare (especially for incarcerated trans folks), sexual assault, and so on,

Whereas, many of the organizers of the 2016 Prison Strike have faced brutal repression and retaliation, with many still being held in solitary confinement,

Whereas, the strike has been endorsed by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, Millions for Prisoners, and numerous other organizations committed to social justice and the abolition of prison slavery,

Whereas, the school to prison pipeline and general investment in repression, rather than liberty, are a serious threat to our freedom and economic and political prosperity,

Whereas, all workers have an interest in preventing any fellow worker, including incarcerated workers, from being paid slave wages, as it undermines our collective ability to secure fair wages and destroys the livelihoods of our families and communities,

Whereas, there can be no good economy based on oppression and injustice, and workers should exercise our collective power for our common liberation,

Be it resolved that the Graduate Employees Organization, IFT/AFT Local 6300 of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, endorses the August 21st strike call and stands in solidarity with incarcerated workers organizing for the strike.