Georgia Prisoners Starting a Nonviolent Movement

By Robert Rooks and Edward Dubose

Cross-Posted from The Afro

Twelve days ago a group of men located in different cities around Georgia began a massive, coordinated, peaceful protest in support of justice and human rights. They used the principles of non-violence that Mahatma Gandhi pioneered while leading the Indian independence movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. utilized in the struggle for civil rights. These men have refused to work or eat so that their voices might be heard on issues like improved health care, better educational opportunities, nutritional meals, and - yes - fair parole decisions.

These protesters are wards of the Georgia Department of Corrections - prisoners of different races and religions who nevertheless banded together across ethnic and geographical lines in support of a common cause. They are petitioning for civil treatment and opportunities for personal betterment in an institutional system that is supposedly designed to not only contain but also to reform and improve. And they are human beings with human rights, guaranteed to them by many international covenants to which the U.S. is a party.