The Largest Prison Strike in History Is Being Ignored By Major Media.

Did You Know We Are Having the Largest Prison Strike in History? Probably Not, Because Most of the Media Have Ignored It

The prison strike didn’t merit a single mention in NYT, Washington Post, NPR, CNN or MSNBC.
By Adam Johnson / AlterNet September 16, 2016

Image result for china prison

Thousands of prisoners in over 24 states began a labor strike on September 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, to demand better conditions and healthcare, the right to unionize and what one organizing group calls an “end to slavery in America.” But one would hardly know it watching major U.S. media, which has mostly ignored the largest prison labor strike in history. One week on, the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News, ABC News, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and NPR have not covered the prison strikes at all.

In the same time period since the strike began, CNN has run stories on Clinton’s “body double,” the New York Times ran a piece on women getting buzzcuts and ABC News had an “exclusive trailer” for its parent corporation Disney’s upcoming film. There was certainly enough airtime and column inches to mention that workers had coordinated a national strike of unprecedented scale, but for these outlets the coverage has been nonexistent.

A handful of national outlets have covered the strike: The Nation, City Lab,Engadget, Money Watch, Buzzfeed, and as of Thursday, the Wall Street Journal, but every other major publication, network news and cable network has thus far been silent.

When we spoke by phone, Azzurra Crispino, media co-chair of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, one of the strike organizers, was hesitant to be too hard on the press out of hope the strikes would lose coverage in the future. But after some prompting, the four-year prison abolitionist veteran listed a few measured grievances at the media. Her most consistent theme was that to the extent the strikes were being covered, the focus was on spectacle over substance, and in doing so the media was making nonviolent resistance all but impossible.

“I’m a pacifist, I would like to see the strikes remain nonviolent,” Crispino told AlterNet. “Yet in terms of the mainstream press coverage when there’s blood on the ground the prisons have to fill out reports that guards were hurt so then they can’t deny strikes occurred,” she said in reference to the stonewalling of prison officials. The few reporters Crispino had spoken to said most prison spokespeople denied any strikes were taking place. “Between prisoners and TDCJ [Texas Department of Criminal Justice], who do you think reporters are going to believe?” she asked.

The power asymmetry and the media’s default position of siding with government officials over those seen as criminals creates just one more barrier to coverage. At its core, coverage of the prison strikes, as with any protest action, has an inherently perverse incentive structure that puts a premium on acts of violence and property damage and overlooks non-telegenic peaceful activity, such as hunger strikes and labor stoppages.

This dynamic was seen in the Standing Rock incident on September 3, when private security sicced dogs on Native American activists protesting an oil pipeline, and pictures of injured protesters went viral on social media. At the time, only Democracy Now, a relatively small left-wing news show, and AP and UPI filed original reports on the incident. Days after what the media called “clashes,” articles appeared with far greater frequency, including in major outlets like New York Times, CNN and NBC.

This warped incentive structure is even more pronounced in prisons, which are by definition cut off from society. The only time anyone bothers to notice prisons is when demonstrably violent action takes place.

“Which of the strikes are getting the most attention? Florida because they’re violent,” Crispino says, in reference to the September 7 uprising at Homes Correctional facility in the Florida panhandle. “They can’t deny in Florida because prisoners are setting things on fire and there’s been so much structural damage they can’t deny strikes are occurring.”

A similar dynamic is at work when prisoners are in solitary confinement or engage in body mutilation or destruction of property, often by flooding their cells or covering them with feces or blood. Similarly, Crispino contends, each time the media ignores peaceful activities, it tips the scales further in the direction of fires, property damage and rioting.

But this reason doesn’t fully explain the lack of mainstream coverage. A few outlets, as noted, have covered the strike to the extent they could, especially in the buildup to the protest, so it’s not as if there wasn’t enough information to compile a story.

One possible reason is that some of corporate media’s biggest advertisers use prison labor, so the disincentive to shine a light on the problem is high. AT&T, Bank of America, Chevron, Eli Lilly, GEICO, McDonald’s, and Walmart all use prison labor and all are sponsors of corporate media so much we can recite their commercials by heart. One corporation that uses prison labor, Verizon, even owns major media outlets Yahoo and Huffington Post.

Russia Today, a Moscow-funded media outlet, was the only cable news network to speak with Crispino, and to the best of her knowledge, the only one to cover the strikes. When Donald Trump appeared on RT last week, there was a frenzy of outrage by mainstream pundits, with some questioning why Trump would give credence to “Russian government-controlled propaganda.” RT’s position has always been that it covers stories the mainstream press doesn’t, and while some may see this as a cynical marketing ploy, in the case of the prison strikes it also happens to be true.

Another issue for IWOC is that all the coverage thus far, even in sympathetic outlets, has ignored their broader political aims, which is prison abolition, not reform.

“The IWOC is an abolitionist organization,” Crispino said. “Abolition is pretty much completely ignored. It’s interesting because people ask questions about that and they ask what would you do instead, but no one wants to hear that and they never write about it.” That the media is allergic to ideology, to having deeper discussions about our society’s core axioms and why the U.S. has 25% of the world’s prison population but 5% of the total population, is perhaps too knotty for a 800-word writeup but for those working in the trenches it can be frustrating.

As the strike enters its second week, perhaps major media outlets and cable news will take a cue from activist media and the Wall Street Journal (whose report is worth reading) and shine a light, if only briefly, on the largest prison strike in history. If not, Crispino feels other tactics will eventually become more commonplace.

“I almost want to say, the mainstream media is complicit if there’s violence. The message they are sending to striking workers is, we will only give you coverage if things turn ugly.”

Adam Johnson is a contributing analyst at FAIR and contributing writer for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC.


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Black Pigeon Caught Smuggling Drugs into a Costa Rica Prison

A drug-smuggling pigeon was detained by Costa Rican police after it was caught with cocaine and marijuana in a prison courtyard.

The drugs had a reported street value of around $281 USD

A homing pigeon smuggling 14g of cocaine and 14g marijuana into #LaReforma prison in Costa Rica was intercepted by police and taken into custody, reports The Telegraph.

The pigeon, dubbed as “narcopaloma,” caught the attention of a prison guard when it landed on the courtyard of La Reforma prison in San Rafael de Alajuela, a city near the Nicaraguan border, Fox News Latino reported.

The nickname #Narcopaloma means #NarcoPigeon, the drug trafficking avifauna was allegedly seen by a prison guard while landing in the courtyard of the medium-security facility with a small zipped up pouch tied to its body.
Authorities believe that the pigeon may have been trained to act as a courier by an inmate at Le Reforma, which is Costa Rica’s biggest prison, according to Sky News.

Prison authorities said that the bird may have been fed by an inmate in La Reforma’s medium-security wing, and that someone brought it out in order to attach the drugs to it and let it fly back to it. This was reportedly the first time that a pigeon was caught smuggling drugs into La Reforma, although many other similar instances have happened elsewhere in the country.

Prison police chief Pablo Bertozzi told reporters that the pigeon flew specificially to the medium-security wing, indicating that the drugs “weren’t for delivery to just anyone,” according to The Register.

 “The real problem is that there is a lot of [drug] consumption. If there weren’t consumers, the drugs wouldn’t be arriving,” Bertozzi said, The Telegraph reported.

The Costa Rican Ministry of Peace and Justice posted the incident on Facebook and Twitter, which quickly became viral. Memes about the #NarcoPaloma flooded social media, with some even joking that pigeons in the country are threatening to take over if their “comrade” is not released, according to Tico Times.

pigeion guide

The Narco-Pigeon was “arrested” and later taken to a zoo where it will remain caged.

“They are Most likely going to deny him bail” Said his lawyer, “The Judge believes him to be a flight risk” 

Shortly after the incident The hash tag #FreePigeon has began to circle on South American social network pages.

Follow #narcopaloma hashtag on Twitter

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Could this Finally Lead To Hillary Clinton Going to Jail !

In this video Luke Rudkowski covers the breaking news of the Hillary Clinton email scandal and hack on the DNC. This new information reads like it was out of a spy novel but the reality of the facts show a grim political reality for the presumptive democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Don’t forget to invest and donate on so we can continue and expand our operations.

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Hillary Clinton Could be Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges

 Hillary Clinton  Could be Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a United States Federal Law passed in 1970 that was designed to provide a tool for law enforcement agencies to fight organized crime.  RICO allows prosecution and punishment for alleged racketeering activity that has been executed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Activity considered to be racketeering may include bribery, counterfeiting, money laundering, embezzlement, illegal gambling, kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, slavery, and a host of other nefarious business practices.

James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.

James Comey

“The New York Timesexamined Bill Clinton’s relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra’s company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received “a flow of cash” to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company’s chairman totaling $2.35 million.”

Bloomberg Politics
Initially, Comey had indicated that the investigation into Hillary’s home brewed email server was to be concluded by October of 2015.  However, as more and more evidence in the case has come to light, this initial date kept being pushed back as the criminal investigation has expanded well beyond violating State Department regulationsto include questions about espionage, perjury and influence peddling.
Here’s what we do know.   Tens of millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation was funneled to the organization through a Canadian shell company which has made tracing the donors nearly impossible.  Less than 10% of donations to the Foundation has actually been released to charitable organizations and $2M that has been traced back to long time Bill Clinton friend Julie McMahon (aka The Energizer).   When the official investigation into Hillary’s email server began, she instructed her IT professional to delete over 30,000 emails and cloud backups of her emails older than 30 days at both Platte River Networks and  Datto, Inc.  The FBI has subsequently recovered the majority, if not all, of Hillary’s deleted emails and are putting together a strong case against her for attempting to cover up her illegal and illicit activities.
A conviction under RICO comes when the Department of Justice proves that the defendant has engaged in two or more examples of racketeering and that the defendant maintained an interest in, participated in or invested in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.  There is ample evidence already in the public record that the Clinton Foundation qualifies as a criminal enterprise and there’s no doubt that the FBI is privy to significantly more evidence than has already been made public.
Under RICO, the sections most relevant in this case will be section 1503 (obstruction of justice), section 1510 (obstruction of criminal investigations) and section 1511 (obstruction of State or local law enforcement).  As in the case with Richard Nixon after the Watergate Break-in, it’s the cover-up of a crime that will be the Clintons’ downfall.  Furthermore, under provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201, the Clinton Foundation can be held accountable for improprieties relating to bribery.  The FBI will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that through the Clinton Foundation, international entities were able to commit bribery in exchange for help in securing business deals, such as the uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan.
It is a Federal Crime to negligently handle classified information under United States Code (USC) 18 section 1924.  It is a Federal Class A Felony under USC 18 section 798.  Hillary certified under oath to a federal judge that she had handed over to the state department all of her emails, which she clearly did not.  In spite of her repeated statements to the effect that everything that she did with her home brewed email server as Secretary of State was above-board and approved by the State Department,  theInspector General Report vehemently refutes this claim.  Hillary refused to be interview by the Inspector General’s office in their investigation, claiming that her upcoming FBI interview took precedent but it seems more likely that Hillary is more concerned about committing perjury or admitting to anything that can be used against her in a court of law.

“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary.  At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

Inspector General Report
Hillary Clinton is guilty of exposing classified documents to foreign governments by placing them illegally on her server, of sending and receiving classified documents and conspiring with her staff to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by avoiding the use of the State Department run servers.  Some of the documents were so highly classified the the investigators on the case weren’t even able to examine the material themselves until they got their own clearances raised to the highest levels.
While there is an excellent cast to be made the Hillary committed treasonous actions, the strongest case the FBI has is charging both Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as the Clinton Foundation of Racketeering.  There’s no wonder why it’s taken this long for the FBI to bring forward a recommendation.  The rabbit hole is so deep on this one that it has taking dozens of investigators to determine the full extent of the crimes that have been committed.   Perhaps the most interesting question here is whether or not the FBI’s investigation will be able to directly link The Clinton Foundation with The Hillary Victory Fund.  If this happens, the DNC itself may be in jeopardy of accusations of either being an accomplice or of being complicit in racketeering.

Jeffrey Epstein: the billionaire pedophile !

Danny F. Quest, is an artist, blogger, journalist, and media personality. Co. Founder of, Danny works as a Freelance journalist and graphic designer for, is currently working on publishing the WeAreChange memoir with Brian Kenny, If you would like to contribute to getting our book out click this link

Tom Cotton Thinks America should Lock More People Up

“If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem,” the GOP senator claimed Thursday. 

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton couldn't be more wrong: No, the U.S. doesn't have an “under-incarceration problem"

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is criticizing efforts to reform America’s criminal justice system, arguing on Thursday that the country actually has an “under-incarceration problem” — even though the U.S. has the world’s largest prison population.

Cotton gave a speech on criminal justice Thursday at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. During his remarks, he argued that policy goals like reducing mandatory minimum sentences, restoring voting rights for felons and reducing barriers to employment for ex-offenders are misguided and “dangerous.”

“The claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: For the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted and jailed,” Cotton said. “Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.” 

 Cotton specifically criticized a bill under consideration in the Senate that would reform federal sentencing laws for nonviolent crimes. He dismissed as “baseless” the argument that too many low-level offenders are already locked up, and declared the bill “dead” even though it has bipartisan support.

“The truth is you cannot decrease the severity and certainty of sentences without increasing crime,” Cotton said. “It’s simply impossible.”

According to the latest rankings from the Institute for Criminal Policy Research at Birkbeck, University of London, the United States has the largest prison population in the world and the second highest incarceration rate, trailing only Seychelles. (Experts argue that Seychelles, an island country with about 90,000 citizens, is an outlier due to its small population size.) At the end of 2014, more than 2.3 million Americans were inmates in federal or state prisons, local jails or juvenile correction facilities, with people of color accounting for a far greater share than national demographics would suggest.

Meanwhile, 18 states plus the federal prison system were over capacity at the end of 2014. In Illinois, prisons had 20,000 more inmates than the facilities were designed to hold.

Thursday’s speech marked Cotton’s latest move against the Senate reform bill. He’sheavily lobbied his colleagues to oppose the legislation, repeatedly claiming that its passage would lead to the release of thousands of violent criminals.

The bill’s proponents have pushed back against his claims.

“Nobody is getting out of jail free, which is some of the characterization that is out there,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a co-author of the bill, said in January.

America holds roughly 5 percent of the world’s population and boasts 25 percent of its prison population. Something like 2.2 million people are currently imprisoned in this country. Our per capita incarceration rate is 750 per 100,000 – only Russia comes close to that at 450 per 100,000. For African-American males, it’s nearly 4,000 per 100,000.

 This is a national disgrace.
Danny F. Quest, is an artist, blogger, journalist, and media personality. Co. Founder of, Danny works as a Freelance journalist and graphic designer for, is currently working on publishing the WeAreChange memoir with Brian Kenny, If you would like to contribute to getting our book out click this link

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