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Georgia Inmates Use Cell Phones to Stage Nonviolent Prison Protest

Switched - A group of inmates serving time at a Georgia corrections facility recently orchestrated a major, nonviolent strike in protest of state prison policy. And they did it with their contraband cell phones.

The strike officially got underway on Thursday, and involved inmates from at least seven Georgia prison facilities. Prisoners abruptly refused to perform their daily chores, until authorities met a list of their demands. According to the New York Times, the strikers were looking to get paid for their work, and wanted better food and more educational opportunities within their prisons. Compensation and better education, they argued, would prepare them better for release, and, in the long run, could help mitigate violence and recidivism. Yesterday, officials at the Georgia Department of Corrections confirmed that four prisons remained in lockdown mode, but insisted that no serious incidents had been reported.

According to one inmate named Mike, conditions had been worsening at the facilities for a while, but he and his fellow prisoners had only begun discussing the operation a few months ago, when authorities "took the cigarettes away." They decided on a start date, and began encouraging disparate gang members to put their personal disputes on hold, and join the cause. "We have to come together and set aside all differences, whites, blacks, those of us that are affiliated in gangs," Mike explained. Read more.

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