Appalachia Resist! and Uprising at the Holman Unit in Alabama (03-13-2016)

Appalachia Resist! and Uprising at the Holman Unit

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(Just noticed this hadn’t made it up on the website. This aired March 13, 2016)

 

This week we spoke with two members of the southern Ohio based group Appalachia Resist!, which is a social and environmental justice group that has been active since 2012 in fighting fracking, frack waste, and injection drilling in their area. We speak about the camp, which is going to be held next weekend, about the schedule and about how the two approach organizing. More about the camp and the group can be found at https://appalachiaresist.wordpress.com/

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Uprising at Holman Unit in Alabama

Last night prisoners took over Holman prison in Alabama. At around midnight a fight between inmates escalated to include guards and even the warden. Staff fled, and the rioting prisoners have taken over general population, lighting guard towers on fire and barricading the
doors.

News and video, here:
http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/03/reported_riot_fires_at_holman.html

According to rumors, the incident began when an officer responded to a fight between two prisoners with excessive force and was stabbed in response. “Then they brought the warden down and the warden got to talking crazy so they ended up stabbing the warden, and then after that
all the officers ran up out of the institution, that was like 12:00, 1:00 this morning.”

The warden and officer’s injuries were not fatal. There are videos circulating on social media of prisoners burning the control towers and opening all doors. “We’re tired of this shit, there’s only one way to deal with it: tear the prison down” one of the participants stated.

At around 2 am the riot squad and police arrived. They said they were waiting on daylight to move and try to restore control of the facility. At this time, people haven’t heard from the occupied portion of the prison for a few hours, but it seems the authorities have not moved in,
either. Friends and family of prisoners in Holman are asking that people pray for their loved ones.

Holman’s capacity is 1002 prisoners, but it also has a segregation unit and death row, which are still under the prison’s control. Prisoners in segregation have not received their breakfast meal, four hours after it is normally distributed. General population at Holman consists of four
open space dormitories, housing 114 people each, plus a 200 person annex, so there may be between 450 – 650 prisoners involved in the uprising.

Alabama DOC has been increasingly unstable in recent months, incidents of violence within the institutions have been stacking up, the federal government was on the verge of taking over the system due to poor management and budgetary shortfalls last year.

An article from Jan 2016 about ADOC’s failure to operate safe and stable prisons: http://www.eji.org/node/1198

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