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Beyond Prisons — Episode 20: Operation PUSH Continues Fight Against Prison Slavery

Hosts Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein discuss Operation PUSH: a nonviolent prison labor strike and boycott in Florida that began on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Brian talks about what he’s learned from reporting on the action and the intense retaliation by state prison official against suspected organizers. We go over the goals and demands of Operation PUSH and how prison officials are denying the strike is even happening.

We talk about what has happened to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, a political prisoner in Florida who was thrown in a cold cell without a working toilet for writing an article about the action, and how the public rallied behind him to have him moved to a different cell.

We also examine this action’s intersection with climate change and the environment, as well as how Operation PUSH fits in to the larger movement against prison slavery that has experienced a resurgence in the last two years.

Finally, Kim and Brian have a broad discussion of the dynamics of prison rebellions and how prison systems seek to control information, and how this influences journalism and popular discourse surrounding these events.


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Music & Production: Jared Ware

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware. Photo by trconrad2001 on Flickr
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Lauri Love. Photo via Wikimedia.
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Brian Sonenstein

Brian Sonenstein

Publishing Editor at Shadowproof and columnist at Prison Protest.