Prisoners Use Contraband Cellphones to Organize Jail-house Strike
From the Green Movement in Iran to the EDSA protests that overthrew Filipino President Joseph Estrada, SMS texting has proven to be the official tool for people under surveillance to organize a protest. This past weekend, "smart mobs" were organized from among the most isolated, closely monitored and locked-down populations yet: inmates in Georgia's state prisons.
As reported by the New York Times, inmates in seven prisons across the state organized work strikes and voluntary lockdowns to protest what they said were the lack of educational opportunities, overly draconian punishments and poor dietary options. The inmates had spent months using smuggled cell phones to organize members of normally antagonistic street gangs before the strike began Thursday (Dec. 9).
So far, the strike has remained nonviolent.
Like much prison contraband, cell phones are officially prohibited but often available.
This is the first instance of smart mobbing amongst the U.S. prison population, but with connectivity technology become even less expensive and more ubiquitous, it probably won't to be the last.