Building Things: 


  • Political and social movements require immense organizational efforts to gain any traction at all. Successful activism is as much about logistics as it is fiery public speeches, and in the case of the U.S. prison strike, those logistics are far more complicated than the usual labor protests. Communication between prisons, or from the outside world into the prison system, is lossy, heavily surveilled, and participants are exposed to great risk with little chance of reward. Against these odds, coordinators on both sides of prison walls stitched together clever hacks for getting the word out: using smuggled cell phones, submerging planning messages in long passages of dull, dry texts on other subjects to evade censorship, and bubbling the prison strike story up to the news cycle so that it can be heard in the radio and television broadcasts accessible to prisoners. 



Material Culture:  


More next week.