8/23 day of action in solidarity with the National Prison Strike

Thanks to everyone who came out last Thursday, August 23, 2018 for our demo in solidarity with the National Prison Strike, happening 8/21-9/9. The morning began with a banner drop on the bridge over the Science Park MBTA station, overlooking Storrow Drive/I-93.

The evening had a demonstration at Nashua Street Jail, a county lockup that is also used for prisoners awaiting trial. The evening was kicked off hearing from #DeeperThanWater organizer Wayland “X” Coleman, speaking live from NCCI Gardner, a medium security prison in central Massachusetts. Many of the speakers at this rally were currently incarcerated, whose voices were fed live through a sound system into an array of 3 50-watt megaphones that could be heard for nearly a mile. Participants also included a live brass band, and Siham Byah, who was detained and eventually deported by ICE for her activism in the greater Boston area. Please support Siham here.

We want to thank all our comrades: endorsing organizations, medics, banner droppers, and everyone who supported us with logistics, promotion and running of this event.

Please stay tuned for what comes next in the National Prison Strike and support the strike! Next: IWOC providence is holding an event on Sept. 1st, and IWW CT will be holding another one between Sept. 7th-9th. Also please join our comrades at the Harvard TPS coalition as they fight for Rigoberto, and Hungry4Justice as they rally outside South Bay.


Wayland “X” Coleman kicks off the festivities for August 23rd demo. X finishes with a salute to a comrade who was stolen by the state, and is currently being held as a political prisoner. One of the main charges against him is the use of the phrase “shut this sh*thole down.”
Second Line Brass Band provides a musical interlude and noise demo at the entrance to the facility.
A #DeeperThanWater organizer addresses the crowd and the guards directly about the hypocrisy of mass incarceration in a country that lays such claim to “freedom” and “liberty.”
Doris, from the Harvard TPS coalition speaks about family separation through prisoners, jails and deportations. Doris connects all struggles for liberation.
Siham Byah, an organizer who was deported by ICE fascists earlier in the year speaks to the crowd from Morocco about the intersection of wage theft, prison slavery and racist deportations.

Prison strike actions

On August 21, the 187th anniversary of Nat Turner’s Rebellion, prisoners around the country will participate in an all-out wildcat strike to demand an end to prison slavery. This will involve walk-outs, sit-ins, work strikes and boycotts. The strike will last until September 9th, the 47th anniversary of the Attica Uprising. The strike is being endorsed by over 140 different organizations from around the world, including the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) via their Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). This strike is a massive showing of prisoner power and all organizations involved must take direction explicitly from people inside. Please see #DeeperThanWater’s endorsement here.

On August 21st, the Boston May Day Coalition will kick off the strike locally with a vigil at South Bay Detention Center. Those of you that have been following Cosecha Boston’s work will know that this site reprehensibly doubles as an ICE detention facility. We strongly encourage everyone to turn out to this event, to kick off what promises to be one of the most important strikes in worker history.

On the 23rd, Deeper Than Water will be holding a second rally and action outside of the Nashua Street Jail in conjunction with the Massachusetts National Lawyer’s Guild. Our local organizers inside have stated that one of the biggest problems facing prisoners right now in MA is the extensive use solitary confinement, particularly against prisoners who speak to the press. The 23rd has historically been chosen as an action date to draw attention to the barbarity of the practice, where prisoners are kept in a miniscule closet for 23 hours a day, only let out for a maximum of 1 hr to walk (in a different cage) to keep blood clots from forming due to inactivity.

Please reach out if your organization is interested in endorsing the Aug. 23rd rally. See below:

to endorse email deeperthanwater@protonmail.com

Endorsing means:

  • your organization must accept the national strike demands (below)
  • call for the total end of solitary confinement in any circumstance
  • committing to turn out 4-10 (or 100, or 1000…) of your members
  • share this event on your email, social media, etc lists

Coalition members:

Black Lives Matter Boston
Black and Pink
SURJ Boston – Showing Up for Racial Justice
Toxics Action Center
PSL Boston – Party for Socialism and Liberation
Young Abolitionists
individual current and formerly incarcerated organizers

Endorsing organizations [8/23]:

National Lawyers Guild – Massachusetts Chapter
Boston Democratic Socialists of America
FIRE Boston
Workers World Party-Boston
Jericho Movement: Boston Branch
Harvard TPS Coalition

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