“R-O-S-P is on strike! N-Y-C says fight, fight, fight!”
“1-2-3-4, open up the prison doors! 5-6-7-8, liberate Red Onion State!”
NEW YORK CITY – On Friday, May 25, students at the City University of New York (CUNY) and others in NYC participated in an informational picket in downtown Manhattan to build support for the prisoner hunger strike at Red Onion State Prison (ROSP) in Virginia. Prisoners at ROSP began their strike on Tuesday, May 22 to demand basic human rights and an end to torture in the form of indefinite solidarity confinement.
Several students carried a large banner that read, “Victory to the Virginia Prison Hunger Strike! Turn Every Prison into a Trench of Heroic Struggle!” Others distributed copies of the prisoners’ press release published when the strike began on Tuesday, as well as the strikers’ list of ten demands, with a link to the website of the solidarity committee in VA: virginiaprisonstrike.blogspot.com. Chants rang out on the street in lower Manhattan, as many pedestrians and drivers in cars took the printed materials.
Addressing the gathered supporters, a Co-Chair of the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC) said, “People in prison are our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, our cousins, our family members, they are our people. And we must support them in their struggle for liberation.” RSCC is a student group based in CUNY that mobilized its membership for the action. Individuals from several different organizations also came out to support the picket and spoke about the need to struggle against the mass incarceration of working and oppressed people.
As the hunger strike moves into Day 5, we must continue to support the heroic struggle of the ROSP hunger strikers through phone calls, emails, the Change.org petition, op-ed articles, pickets, and other mass actions. Keep spreading the word! Seize the time!