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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lucasville Uprising Workshop

We're updating and adapting our presentation at Denver ABC conference about the Lucasville Uprising to a more all-purpose workshop on the subject. If you'd like us to come present this stuff in your town, let us know! Email- or call 614 704 4699

See workshop description below...


In 1992 more than 400 prisoners protested the oppressive and racist policies at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility (SOCF). During one of the longest prison uprisings in U.S. history, inmates came together across gang and racial divides to not only confront the state, but also negotiate a peaceful resolution.  Although the negotiations included an agreement of no repercussions for anyone involved in the uprising, the state has since then targeted individuals perceived as 'leaders' of the uprising.  The trials for those involved have been fraught with snitch testimony, coercion, obstructed access to council and evidence, and biased judges and court rooms.  Today, dozens of people are serving time or are condemned to death for their alleged involvement.  

For over a year, RedBird Prison Abolition, based in Columbus, Ohio, has been working with four people serving death sentences or life in prison.  We have gotten to know these men as individuals and have also gained a more complete understanding of how the prison system enforces oppression and maintains injustices in our society.


The Lucasville Uprising and its aftermath brings up important questions
for those working on prison issues everywhere.  The workshop uses Lucasville as a case study to discuss issues in prisoner resistance today.  
More specifically, the Lucasville Uprising Workshop will...
  1. summarize the uprising and the aftermath
  2. compare and contrast Lucasville with present day prisoner resistance (Pelican Bay, Georgia Prison Strike, etc)
  3. explore convict unity across racial factions and
  4. discover better ways to support prisoners in resistance.
The workshop focuses on the voices of prisoners, and in the past we have had an inmate call-in to speak about the case.  We also include written and radio pieces made by prisoners involved in the rebellion.  Although the workshop is partitioned into four general sections, all the parts encourage participants to actively examine and respond to some of the hard questions we ask.

We hope to provide a space for those already working on prison issues to learn about what happened at Lucasville and explore what the lessons from Lucasville mean for prisoner resistance today.

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