loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.
– Isaiah 58:6
As a Christian socialist organization, Christians for Socialism (CfS) stands on the side of all workers and for the abolition of prisons, therefore supporting the prisoners’ right to strike. We stand in solidarity with those participating in the upcoming national Prison Strike, beginning August 21st.
The US prison system reeks of imperialist, capitalist, and white supremacist corruption, as it preys on the working class, namely black and brown communities, to create cheap and free labor for both industries and the US government, including its military. With about 2.3 million people incarcerated in federal prisons, juvenile correctional facilities, and local jails, it is undeniable that this system is outrageous and needs to go.
We believe that prison abolition is a Christian calling. It is written in Psalm 146:7, “The Lord sets the prisoners free,” and Christ confirms this in his ministry, declaring that he had come to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” (Luke 4:18)
CfS recognizes that this strike will not abolish the US prison system in itself but that it could drastically alleviate the suffering of those in prison and combat the system of mass incarceration. We agree with the demand that all prisoners be treated with the humanity that is due to them. We echo James, the brother of Jesus, who wrote, “The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you.” (James 5:4) We hear these cries and demand that any underpaid or free labor be stopped and that the appropriate wages be paid to any working prisoner.
It is within the Christian tradition to remember the prisoner—and we don’t just remember them, but we demand that they be given the freedom and liberty they deserve.
Add your name to the statement of solidarity!