Former prisoners, prison abolitionists and supporters gathered in Boston on July 28 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising, which took place in 1993 at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
The meeting began with a screening of the documentary “Shadow of Lucasville,” followed by speakers and discussion chaired by Belladonna Ashman of the Trans/Nonbinary Caucus of WWP-Boston and Bobby T of United Steelworkers Local 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers. Meeting sponsors included the Jericho Movement, Chuck Turner, USW Local 8751, TOUCH 106.1 Radio/TV and WWP-Boston.
Former Boston City Council member and former prisoner Chuck Turner spoke about the need for the progressive movement to defend the incarcerated, who are used as a captive source of labor.
Former political prisoner and Jericho Movement member Kazi Toure spoke about his experience in dozens of prisons across the country, highlighting the brutal conditions as a constant in all of them. In his talk and in the following discussion, Toure and audience members highlighted that these prison conditions are being exported to workplaces all across the country and that the U.S. is in many respects nothing more than an open-air prison.
Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan, one of five men sentenced to death for their proported role in leading the Lucasville Uprising, was scheduled to call in to the meeting. When the call did not come, attendees learned from contacts in Ohio that the Imam had been placed in solitary confinement two days before that. The disappointed attendees recognized this as a deliberate action on the part of the prison administration to censor the truth about conditions in the prisons.
Activists subsequently learned that the Imam has been charged with violations related to organizing prison work stoppages.
For updates relating to solidarity actions for the Imam, visit www.facebook.com/events/257447445036637. Please write letters of support so authorities know that people are mobilizing in his defense.
Siddique Abdullah Hasan
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, Ohio 44505
For a Workers World interview with the Imam, see tinyurl.com/y9grqhd7.