Summer Round-up: Bloomington solidarity actions with prisoners in struggle

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mid-July – System-wide lockdown begins in Indiana prisons.  The state is responding to rising tensions across the system in order to prevent a rebellion, but uses the stabbing of an Aryan Brother (a member of a prison gang that often acts in collusion with guards and administrators) in Pendleton as the pretext for the repression.

end of July – Prisoners in the Wabash Valley Secure Housing unit organize a protest against the lockdown and deteriorating conditions.

August 3 – National call-in day to support Wabash Valley prisoners.  15 people participate in a demo in Bloomington, passing out flyers and covering the town in chalked messages of solidarity in order to raise the visibility of the prisoners’ protest.  Hundreds call in from across the country, surprising the bureaucrats in charge of the facility.

early-August – The SHU protest ends inconclusively.  Prisoners remain on lockdown, but the rebels win an improvement of conditions, including the restoration of water for sanitation and washing up.

August 10 – Anarchist noise demo outside the Bloomington jail, making a ruckus for Prisoner Justice Day.  It’s dedicated to prisoners killed and tortured inside every prison, but especially the local jail and the Wabash Valley SHU.  “Burning mattress, flooded cell, tell your guards to go to hell.”

mid-August – The lockdown finally ends at Wabash Valley.  A prisoner escapes later that day from the minimum-security division of the complex.

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