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Beyond Prisons: Gladiator Fights Feat. IWOC’s Brooke Terpstra

Beyond Prisons is back from summer break with a special double episode with Brooke Terpstra, Oaklander forever, movement veteran, and worker who organized with the Incarcerated Workers Organizer Committee (IWOC).

Brooke is an organizer with the Oakland chapter of IWOC and was a member of the IWOC national media committee for the 2018 prison strike. In the first hour of this episode, Brooke walks us through incidents of prison-orchestrated violence in California, known as “Gladiator Fights.” He shares the history and backstory of why California prisons are organizing these fights, dismantles the corrections department’s spin on these incidents, and details the experiences of prisoners and their loved ones who are fighting for survival and to end the practice.

In the second hour, Kim and Brian debrief after their conversation with Brooke. They discuss their reactions and experiences reporting on these fights and the trauma of being in proximity to the multifaceted violence of incarceration.

Follow IWOC on Twitter: @IWW_IWOC

IWOC Website

Resources & Additional Reading

The Agreement To End Hostilities by the Pelican Bay State Prison-SHU Short Corridor Hunger Strike Representatives.

NOTHING NEW: CDCr Fuels and Socially Engineers Violence between Prisoners By Mutope Duguma

How CDCr Undermines Peace: An Essay on Gladiator Fights by IWOC Oakland

Following Hunger Strike, Corcoran Prisoners Say Negotiations With Warden Have Fallen Apart by Brian Sonenstein

Corcoran Prisoners Describe Life Under Lockdown by Brian Sonenstein

California Prisoners Say Videos Show ‘Gladiator Fights’ At Soledad State Prison by Brian Sonenstein

More Reports Of ‘Gladiator Fights’ As California Prison Officials Tear Up Cells To Find Recording Device by Brian Sonenstein


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Hosts: Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein

Music: Jared Ware

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Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on incarceration and prison abolition that elevates people directly impacted by the system. Hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein.