Mere days before FDC's repression effort began scattering active prisoners into new facilities, and into solitary confinement for the weeks surrounding January 15, an Operation PUSH prisoner's anonymous voice reached the world and called on outside supporters to 'shine a light from the outside in on the system.'
In essence, this prisoner saw what was coming and passed the torch to us on the outside. With three clear demands and a simple strategy, this invisible group of prisoners gave a glimpse of what could be, if the networks of outside solidarity and inside communication could coalesce.
While we have heard from many prisoners since January 15, we know that the vast majority of FL prisoners still do not know how much support they garnered on the outside. And many who made plans to struggle together have not seen or heard from each other in weeks. In many ways, the next steps towards victory for them are in our hands.
It is with this understanding that a group of us on the outside are developing an additional list of demands, based primarily on communication from prisoners we've gotten in recent weeks, that aims to honor the countless who have suffered major sacrifices to develop or report on Operation PUSH as well as those who had no idea what it was, but were punished preemptively simply because they were viewed as potential organizers or participants.
We will do all we can to bring these demands to FDC, the Governor and State Legislature, in an effort to carry the prisoners' vision for Operation PUSH forward.
In addition to the Operation PUSH demands of payment, parole and pricing, we, supporters of all Florida prisoners struggling for dignity, demand:
- An end to censorship of publications that give voice to prisoners and/or critique prisons
- An end to repression of prisoners for communication with outside advocates
- An end to the use of Security Threat Group status as a means for political repression
- An end to strip cells and extreme temperatures to torture prisoners
- An explanation of the cause for a major spike in 2017 prisoner deaths
- Protection of prisoners health from nearby industrial activity, including phosphate mining and landfills
- An end to black mold-infested facilities, spoiled food and dilapidated buildings
- Removal of all KKK members, and other recognized racist hate groups, from FDC staff
- An end to the medical co-pay that results in financial debt and untreated illness
- An immediate reduction in prison population using existing guidelines for clemency
- A face-to-face meeting with FDC officials to further discuss these matters