Prisoners around the nation launch strike to end 'modern day slavery'
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Prisoners from around the country began a two-week strike on Tuesday to protest prison conditions and place pressure on the nation's penal system. 

The demonstrations are set to take place until Sept. 9, marking the anniversary of a bloody Attica Prison uprising in upstate New York in 1971 that led to more than 40 fatalities. 


Prisoners who are leading the protests say the strike has the goal of ending what they call "modern day slavery," according to USA Today. The newspaper notes that inmates have lamented that they get paid pennies on the dollar for their labor. 

The protests are being led by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, which is a network of prisoner rights advocates. The network is based in Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina and is supported by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC).

In addition to ending "modern day slavery," IWOC has a list of 10 demands related to the protest, according to its website.

"Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women," one demand reads. 

Prison inmates taking part in the protests will refuse to report to assigned jobs, engage in sit-ins and begin hunger strikes for the two-week period. 

The strike comes as a response to an April riot at Lee Correctional Institution in which seven inmates died, according to organizers.

The IWOC claims “prison officials turned their backs on a riot they provoked.”