Title: Bulldoze SCI Rockview
Subtitle: Abolition, Prisoner Support, and Resistance to Genocide in PA-DOC
Date: 4/7/24
Source: https://ia600308.us.archive.org/5/items/tfsr-202404072024-SCIRockview/Bulldoze-sci-rockview.pdf
Notes: 4/7/24 The Final Straw Radio — Episode Transcription

Intro SCI Rockview is a prison in central Pennsylvania where incarcerated comrades have been facing repression for demanding justice in the face of impunity by racist COs and following a year of prisoner deaths due to institutional toxicity and guard violence. We speak to an outside supporter about the situation at Rockview, the reactions of administration, inside / outside relationships and solidarity that have flared up. We hope that this conversation contributes to increased and thickened ties between folks on both sides of the walls.


TFSR: Thanks for joining us. Can you introduce yourself, tell us a little about what you do? What are the stakes of it? You are a supporter of people locked up by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections? In short hand, it’s called PA-DOC?

Frott: So yeah… thanks for having me on the show. PA-DOC is the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. I’m a friend, comrade, and outside supporter of abolitionist comrades in a number of Pennsylvania prison facilities. I have loved ones imprisoned by PA-DOC specifically. I’m speaking as myself here. But I’m also sharing some perspective from a decentralized network of people who are negatively impacted by policing and incarceration, and who are autonomously organizing to expose the genocidal conditions of PA-DOC. On both sides of the wall.

Right now, we have been escalating our support for a specific struggle at SCI Rockview. The demands of this struggle come from prisoners—they are from inside. The demands are for a group of guards, who hung nooses in the prison last November to face material consequences. What’s happening at SCI Rockview is a cover up at the highest levels. A crackdown on dissent—at every point in the facility’s chain of command. The locus, however, is the superintendent (the warden). We suspect maybe even further up in the DOC’s chain, because Rockview is pretty fucked up. And there is a strong argument for the facility to be closed; from family of prisoners, locals, and from prison activists, that it could be closed tomorrow and no new prison ever be built again in Pennsylvania.
Prisoners have been speaking out about conditions in this facility, by filing lots of grievances against the guards and mailing letters to advocacy groups and non-DOC officials. This ushered in a wave of retaliation and, uh, repression against anyone who exposes this kind of atmospheric anti-Blackness.

So yeah, uh the type of prisoner support I have been involved in, for this specific struggle, has involved creating, uh… creating a presence, with others. Creating a visible and known presence with others on the outside, so that comrades on the inside can feel resourced, supported, and emboldened when they make decisions to take action. And so that, when they do take action against the conditions of their incarceration in PA-DOC, they always remain in public view. The structure of the regime is designed to make prisoner resistance invisible, or hidden to the so-called “free world.”

I think it is important to also first say that much of this organizing and the activity we’re talking about today is situated on SCI Rockview occupies the unceded land of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Monongahela, Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, Oklahoma), Susquehannock, & Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations occupied by the U.S. settler nation. At this very moment the United States… and this is related… The United States is facilitating the genocide of Palestine by Zionist Israel. The accelerated genocide war over there, as well as the anti-colonial war of liberation that Palestinians are engaged in, needs to be talked about more as the shared context for struggles against white-supremacist domestic warfare, against capitalism, against anti-Blackness, occupation, and genocide here on Turtle Island. Its a shared landscape with what is going on in PA-DOC, and the fight at SCI Rockview.

TFSR: Can you tell us a bit about SCI-Rockview, where it’s situated and who lives there?

Frott: So, SCI Rockview is in central Pennsylvania. It’s near State College. Rockview is an interesting facility in the political landscape of PA-DOC. It is a place where in 2023 there was a double-digit death toll… um… and some severe instances of prisoners getting beaten by guards. There was a man who was pummeled by guards last year, injured bloody, and thrown down a stairwell. There was an outbreak of legionaries disease at beginning of last year. (Legionnaires disease cannot be spread through person to person contact, it can only be spread through environmental conditions. So like the soil or water vapor, or moisture via ventilation and contaminated surfaces, but it can’t be spread through person to person contact.) There was a staff member caught um, embezzling funds and all that happened was they were moved to another facility. And, like, there are active lawsuits and appeals of denied grievances filed against this facility and the abuses of correctional officers (like… COs). It’s also a place that is critical in the infrastructural web of PA-DOC institutions, too.

The plot of land that SCI Rockview occupies is also home to the Security Processing Center, where everyone mailing books to anyone across the entire PA-DOC sends their stuff to. Any book or publication, like a zine, uh most newsletters. It all goes to, like, this same area before getting sent to anyone held captive in a PA-DOC facility. It’s also where they house the death penalty chamber. Even though there’s a moratorium on death penalty killings in Pennsylvania, it’s still where the death chamber is. SCI Benner Township is directly across the street, and is the hub where all the cars and buses are stored for transportation and movement throughout PA-DOC.

In terms of the history of the facility: in 2012 someone, um.. Someone there was maced to death in his cell. Asphyxiated. There was wide reportage of this that can be found online still and prisoners in the facility today still share the story of his death. Mumia even wrote an article back then about it in the Bayview Newspaper. So there’s been a history of gratuitous violence and premature death — atmospheric anti-Blackness, right? — that goes covered up at this facility. There also is, uh, a history of cultural genocide: including bans and attacks on Black cultural wear and style, particular headwear that’s related to Islam. Six years after a prisoner named Kerry X sued PA-DOC for this, the ban was temporarily overturned.

So there’s been 11 deaths that we’ve counted. There were seven deaths from January to March of 2023 alone. The disease outbreak during this period was literally the result of like… the toxic built environment. In the following seven months after that, there were like four deaths — all have been reported by Prison Legal News. The string of beatings of prisoners by guards is less known and has not been publicly reported to my knowledge. This is something I personally just learned about a few months ago. We have people that can corroborate that, if anyone wants to reach out and so some more digging. There is a pattern of intense dishonesty and attempts to cover up aggressive CO violence in the facility.

And then… we have the tip of the iceberg. In November 2023 there was an incident where prisoners witnessed two nooses hung in the office of the prison guards, what’s known as the bubble. So I’ll just leave it there in terms of like… the situation that’s going on now. It was coming on the tail end of a year of these deaths and beatings and toxic conditions that prisoners suffered. That’s on top of just the mundane kind of … you know… quotidian racism and harassment experienced by prisoners from guards. Some comrades have audio coming out this week, from some of the wives of men imprisoned there who have recently faced repression for their resistance and persistence. The comrades In the Mix: a prisoner podcast. were sharing stories of their husbands have been called everything from “monkeys” by the correctional officers, you know, the whole slew of anti-Black, racist tropes. So yeah, so there’s a lot going on at SCI Rockview. The place really needs to be shut down, and nothing new ever built in its place. And it’s the noose incident that we’ll be mostly talking about here today. But, again, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

TFSR: And just looking at Wikipedia, Bellefonte is around 96% white, I think I read somewhere that 45% of prisoners at SCI Rockview is Black. I don’t know what the composition of the guards is and obviously white supremacy is a systematic problem, but also if you have a lot of locally hired, white guards enacting this kind of violence on a proportionally large Black population that there’s something to be said about that dynamic.

Frott: Yeah, certainly, certainly. And there’s a couple of things to be said about that in terms of the demography of the guards. One point is that more than half of the prisoner population is actually Black, slightly over 50%. A comrade was corrected on this statistic by someone who knows the data better the other day. And the makeup of the guards is under 10% people of color. But to be clear the racist abuse is also prepared by Black guards and guards of color. It is truly what some scholars call “multicultural white supremacy” or “multiracial anti-Blackness.” Regardless of the identity or racial position of the guard is, the fact of this person, you know, being institutionally empowered by the regime, in a relation of oppressive power and authority over you as a captive, and the level of dehumanization and criminalization, right? The level of it projected onto you as an imprisoned population… PA-DOC really is just kind of like a tinderbox when you start connecting the dots between atrocities, the level of consciousness among prisoners of such atrocities in all the facilities, and we must continue to raise alarm about the threat level of state war currently being waged upon the imprisoned people held in SCI Rockview. The grievances a group of prisoners filed at Rockview, to expose the nooses hung in the prison bubble, is in fact a life and death matter. I hope by what we discuss here today, people will be able to see this.

TFSR: Yeah, and so with the Guard bubble… Just so folks know it’d be bad enough if the they hung the nooses in the break room, even some proportion of the guards or staff would probably be uncomfortable if nooses were be hanged in their space. But this was visible to the block, right?

Frott: Yeah, so a group of prisoners in the facility in November saw the nooses and they immediately contacted their family members on the outside, explaining in quite a bit of distress what happened. They feared for their lives, and even more so once they started speaking out about it. So… um… yeah… they proceeded to file grievances using the official process. And like… the grievances detailed literally verbatim facts. So, they go “fact number one, fact number two” etc. and so on. They detail everything: how what that they saw and how it was objectively there. Another thing they also did was add to the grievance some terms of “relief.” Now, these terms of relief were very reasonable.

For any place of employment, you know, if someone were to hang nooses, there would be some sort of consequence. The complete opposite has happened in this situation, which I can go into in a moment. But essentially, the terms of relief that they were demanding were super reasonable. Like soooo reasonable that it is just silly to think that no consequences happened.

Basically the first demand that the prisoners were making was that this act should be investigated as a “hate crime.” Now, this demand is also more about a demand for an external investigation by a source that is not the state or some official who the prison’s in the pockets of. And there’s been a pedagogy about the limits of the concept of “hate crimes” throughout this struggle…. between everyone… specifically around the liberal language of “hate crime,” right? One person brought up “Do people really want these guards to be imprisoned alongside them? Or is what we want, more precisely, eliminating their ability to hold power over vulnerable, captive population?” So, what is the abolitionist response here? I mean, first I would say it would be to doxx the guards, who have gone unscathed, maybe even go to their houses [laughter]. But I wouldn’t wanna give people any ideas. I do believe the guards should face severe consequences for their actions, and I think, because of how violently anti-Black the DOC is demonstrating itself to be in this fallout, an external investigation of the while entire system is easy to make the argument for.

So, like yeah, we’re pushing that first demand still because I think the fact that the prison won’t even do an investigation in its own terms of language of “hate crimes” is exposing quite a bit. The internal investigation was closed, bottlenecked at the warden. We are not brand new, we know who is responsible for closing the investigation.
The second demand that was derived from the denied grievances is the firing of two of the guards. Now… there’s a third guard, who is the subject of the third demand, and the demand is for this third guard to get mandatory therapy. [Light laughter under breath] Now, we initially were not going to share publicly why this guard is supposed to get mandatory therapy instead of being fired with the other two. But at this point, they are bringing this on themselves. The third guard begged for mercy [laughter] … actually begged for mercy from the prisoners who caught his ass. It was an act of mercy that this person get mandatory therapy instead of be fired because his wife allegedly is a woman of color and he did not want this to leak out.

So, we have these three demands, and they’ve become the demands of a larger campaign because of the refusal of not just the facility, but also PA-DOC more broadly to do literally anything. They have done nothing. It’s March 28th right now, and this event happened in late-November. That was when the nooses were witnessed.

TFSR: So when did prisoner resistance to this begin to uptick?

Frott: I can speak for myself, I learned about the noose incident in the middle of December, from a friend of mine, who was imprisoned in the facility. He was the first person to be punished when news of the so-called “noose incident” started leaking out. Alejandro Rodríguez-Ortiz—who goes by the name “Kaona.” The nooses were seen the last week of November. December grievances were submitted, and not all of them were officially filed by the grievance coordinator i believe….

When it became clear that the grievance process stalled out, we decided in January to initiate a phone and email campaign. Folks outside began to spread word to other folks on the outside in a very autonomous, decentralized-network kind of fashion. So, there hasn’t actually been one sole locus of who is interacting with the prisoners and who is leading anything right now, which is great. If people are listening and connected with people inside Rockview, we’re encouraging you to share news with your people inside, about what has gone down at the facility in recent weeks. It is lots of people finding each other through this struggle. Engaging in conversation about strategy, openly online and in print only publications, and figuring out how to collaborate on the fly. There are longstanding networks of mutual support that have propelled action forward on the outside. And there are new encounters and alliances striking up it seems nearly every day.

Now, that being said, there is definitely a set of abolitionist principles guiding this struggle, specifically. And that is: we believe the gratuitous anti-Black-chattel terror of SCI Rockview not only needs to be exposed but destroyed. Can we get together around a facility like this, like people are essentially trying to do in other states, or in other countries… Could this fight against Rockview serve as a specific struggle or space of convergence for all who desire to bulldoze PA-DOC?

I think that is actually the defining feature of the discourse around this project and the basis of affinity that people involved seem to all mostly share. Reciting the number of abuses and amount of CO violence in this facility becomes mind-numbing. And it is not an exception to the rule but just a perfect, uh expository example of what PA-DOC is.

The nooses, the deaths, the toxic conditions… all of this has been exposed by the fight of people inside the facility, but it is also being exposed in other facilities as well. For instance, at SCI Phoenix there is a growing campaign to end the weaponization of food as punishment. There is a “feed-in-cell” policy that has been used since the pandemic’s start in 2020… it is used as a disciplinary tactic and form of punishment according to a comrade who recently wrote me. There are also outright bans on in person visits and terrible treatment of families in the visiting room. All of these smaller grievances, when combined and you add them up reveal the intolerable conditions that we’re up against. And none of this is corruption, in the slightest. Always remind people that this is the normal functioning of the regime. Much of this abuse is like sanctioned and condoned in DOC policy.

To return to SCI Rockview, there has been a lot of unity among prisoners in this facility throughout this entire process, and it has been generated largely because the guards are so fucked up. The conditions are fucked up. And this is one of the reasons why the administration has moved so swift to cover up the noose incident, which is a very important thing to keep reminding people. After one of the beatings last year, the DOC actually sent in hostage negotiators to wander the facility, in the case there was an uprising. They know exactly the violence they impose on prisoners. They control what is seen and heard by the outside world. Since the resistance escalated, COs have now resorted to trying to exacerbate divisions between prisoners, even spreading misinformation about outside supporters to people inside.

This is also why they have so swiftly retaliated against some of the prisoners who have not stopped pressing to expose the issue. This is a cover up that we suspect is coming from a very high up place, and again. It is a tinderbox. And they know it. Two people targeted as “leaders” were actually thrown in the hole following a second wave of phone zaps two weeks ago—this is late March—and they were transferred rapidly. Charles Gilyard and Charles Carrington. Probably the quickest transfers I have ever first hand seen PA-DOC do. If you got people in Rockview tell them about allll of this.

TFSR: So you did a first wave of phone zaps in January, and then a more recent wave of zaps this past month? I noticed there is a timeline of this most recent zap on the website Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition. Is that where most of this specific struggle has been documented so far?

Frott: So, yeah.. back to the story… I guess I got off track a bit. My friend Kaona reached out and was like, “so there’s this incident that happened back November…” And so, this was in December. So, it was a couple weeks after the grievances and it was becoming obvious that the prison wasn’t going to do anything. At the end of January, outside launched a phone zap. This phone zap was amplified through a collectively run anon Twitter account called “@abolitionstudy.” They are also on mastodon now apparently. This group of comrades also have a blog, called Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition, that is representative of a study group network, self-organized by prisoners in PA-DOC. They are an above ground group, and their educational work seems to have a horizontal inside-outside structure. From this constellation of comrades also comes In the Belly (a prisoner edited journal), a prisoner podcast called In the Mix, and each member also has their own collective projects and relations of affinity across different movements. This allows them to maintain autonomy while collaborating collectively.

Over the years, the Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition site has published information from study groups inside. But outside people will use different platforms associated with the project to amplify and share their own parts in struggles and perspectives sometimes as well. There are other people, far beyond the PA comrades, involved in this struggle’s outside component. This includes the D.C. chapter of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee; local abolitionists in the State College area, and there has been more informal organizing and political education work occurring around this specific struggle. From Philly to Pittsburgh.

So it is autonomous and participatory. Much of the strategy and analysis has been circulated in very public and accessible ways. And since prisoner support transcends borders, the supportive networks are not just localized to Pennsylvania. Wherever there is a institution and target connected to PA-DOC or the prison regime in general, people are welcome to take action against it. But I got off track… what was I responding to?

TFSR: I was wondering more about the phone zaps… how have those been going?

Frott: Oh, so, yeah. So, Rockview. The call-ins began in January and they were directed not at the facility but at PA-DOC. And the calls were directed at the Central Office and the Eastern Office. And most of the calls were ignored, most of them went to voicemail. Participants filed report-backs from this that then got compiled on the group-just-mentioned’s twitter, and that kind of set the flow of things from there.

Usually, a phone zap is meant to jam up things, making communication at an office or facility more difficult. But this one was mainly meant to put on blast, make public what was being hidden in the facility to PA-DOC higher ups. So, it was almost more of a “call-in campaign” than a phone zap proper.

But anyways, it got the attention of PA-DOC. They proceeded to contact the facility, the warden, or superintendent. And the superintendent just acted like his hands were tied. He contacted security, who is another person that a lot of our calls get bottlenecked at. Security then asked the very officers who hung the nooses if they did indeed perpetrate the act and the guards denied any responsibility for hanging nooses. This contradicts the fact that these guards, when caught by the prisoners in November, actually admitted they hung the nooses but made claims that “it was a joke.” Like, they called it a joke, and they made a bunch of comments defending their actions, complete unaccountability, right to Black prisoners faces. When pressed by security, they denied everything. Investigation is closed. They formally denied the first grievance on February 2nd.

The first phone zap had not even been finished when the grievance was denied by Superintendent’s assistant Nicki Paul.

Anyway, supporters kept calling the prison to try to figure out what’s going on, whatever. And the prison is like, “we can’t do anything.”
“We can’t do anything because the guards are saying they didn’t do it.” So we’re like, “oh okay… it’s like cops investigating cops here.” Or more like Paul Blart mall cops investigating other Paul Blart mall cops. Yeah, they conducted an investigation and found nothing they did was wrong. So we’re like, “oh shit, okay, wow.…”

And the timeline of everything, if I’m remembering correctly, the grievance was actually denied before this sham investigation was over. Now that grievance has become the basis of what is now the first autonomous campaign demands. A photocopy of this grievance was dropped publicly the day of when a second phone zap began.

TSFR: Can you talk about some of the retaliation that prisoners got for the phone zaps?

Frott: Well… people on the outside didn’t jump to a second phone zap right away.

In part this was because, in the middle of the first phone zap, my friend Kaona was thrown in the hole. The prison staff caught an email exchange over ConnectNetwork email service, where it was mentioned how the zap was going. No more than ten minutes after receiving an email from the outside Kaona was called into the office and asked about the message. And then it was like.. boom… a few days later he was thrown in the hole. Like… really quickly, they put him in the hole.

The hole at Rockview, it’s called “administrative custody.” The RHU. And it’s the hole, it’s solitary. You’re allowed like, like, an hour called a “dog walk,” which is basically like a very small kind of area that you’re allowed to move around in for a bit and then back to the hole. They claim that you have access to phones and mail, but whenever anyone is in administrative custody their loved ones never get calls, or it is so infrequent that it causes a ripple effect of distress throughout peoples families and communities, if they have people on the outside, that is. So, my friend gets put in the hole. And then a few days later, he gets transferred out of state. He’s not even in Pennsylvania anymore. An entirely different state. It happened so fast. Cannot understate this.

The speed with which the PA-DOC is trying to disappear this is revealing from how high the cover up likely is. This situation kind of deferred our pursuits of a second phones zap for a second. We had to pause and regroup. And we also had to connect with more people on the outs.

We started getting in contact with more people to inform them about what was happening, reached out to some media, mindful that not all media is good media. We also got connected with more people in the facility too through this process.

Then all as sudden people inside the prison launched a letter campaign… an autonomous letter campaign. No outside people related to this planning at all. Which is sick as fuck, so fucking cool. The just went for it! We didn’t even know about it until after the fact. Sometimes action needs to just be taken, on either side of the wall, and coordination over through the controlled prison channels is simply not possible. This is an example of how the inside will always self-organize, and people on the outside need to develop some capacity to thrown down on very short notice, to defend it and embolden our community, or pods, or people on the ins.

In this case, people on the inside got together and they sent out a hundred letters. And we have copies of some. And now there’s scanned copies of them floating around online. Many were just like photocopies of the same letter, but sent to lots of different offices. Senators, governor, but also media, watch groups, and the Prison Society. And yeah, so they got like 80% of those letters out before the mailroom caught them. A staff member inside the prison corroborated this fact. Now CO’s and admin from this point forward became increasingly pissed and confused and shifty. They’ve been very confused about why prisoners have not relented. Why Black prisoners have not given up speaking out about nooses. These fascists really do not understand the impact of hanging nooses in a death-riddled prison has had. Wanna talk about psychological warfare?

So, this letter campaign goes out, a press release drops, and unexpectedly a news article from the Centre Daily newspaper also drops that very same day. We had no idea that a mainstream article was going to drop. But it did. This all coincides with the first day of the second wave of phone zaps. And this is kind of the wave that we are speaking in today.

TSFR: To your knowledge, how have the phone zaps worked, and what sort of responses have the prisoners gotten from guards?

Frott: So, two weeks ago, a second zap begins. And this is an actual zap zap.

We knew the prison was trying hide this and act as if everything was smooth. While prisoners were increasingly pushing the line for exposure. And the day after that zap began, and specifically in relation to the release of the Centre Daily article, two prisoners were thrown in the hole as retaliation. Charles G. and Charles C. Charles G. was moved to Hautzdale, and Charles C. was moved to Fayette. There are some people in SCI Rockview still, who are facing petty,low-intensity harassment by staff because of support for the prisoners facing repression. And uh from this zap, and the repressive fall out, a number of things are now happening, and they are happening very quickly.

One thing that has happened is the autonomous nature of the struggle seems to be expanding. It’s people from all sorts of groups, informal and formal, beginning to circulate info among an ecosystem of open participatory struggle. That is interesting to me. And, people are clearly taking it upon themselves, taking the initiative to, you know, throw down for a very relatable situation that prisoners in Rockview and their loved ones are experiencing. Maybe you have a loved one in Rockview? Or similarly oppressed by PA-DOC?

And so, yeah, this zap has stirred a lot of attention. It’s stirred a lot of anger on behalf of this facility, too. But it should be clear that they incited us. They brought this on themselves. The prison regime always claims that we are the aggressors, but they’re the aggressors. They established the context of domination. This is important to keep reminding people as news spreads… The prison targeted these two men to set an example. They are two men who wrote grievances and have been impacted deeply by not only the nooses but the relentless atmospheric racism of the facility. The anti-Blackness is thick.

When we would call into the prison, we get nothing but lies and they deny that the hole is retaliation. In fact there is a grievance coordinator who was trying to convince us that administrative custody is not the hole. And that correctional officers are not cops. I heard a friend say they are more akin to mall cops. But they enjoy the same legal impunity to harm and kill, and their function is policing. So I personally do not see how they are not law enforcement. But you see, they get you in all these double speak conundrums when you call in. You just have to be persistent and keep dogging them. They will keep lying to your face because it keeps their mortgage paid and food on the table for their families.
So a core group of prisoners in the facility have been retaliated against, the unity attempted to be broken up. Three people total transferred out of the facility that we know, and know of. And between the letter campaign, phone calls, and news article dropping, Rockview as an institution is now embarrassed, fearful, and paranoid.

They will lie to your face and say they aren’t. They are structurally unaccountable to the harm they cause. At this point many people are saying this whole facility should just be shut down. Any act taken from here on out to expose this incident, that they hoped to bury in the past, has become an excuse for them to retaliate against anyone in the prison. It is a cyclical chain of repression. The facility admin and COs are never seen as the locus of the problem. Every abuse story is individualized onto a prisoner’s grievance about state violence, and the prisoner framed as the aggressor. So, yeah. So, right now, that is the situation. And this is also like, kind of the narrative and real combat we’re stuck… stuck fighting within.

And alongside of this situation inside, and alongside the people who have been organizing in the facility, there have been different tactics taken up on the outside beyond phone zaps—lots of calls and invitations for direct acts of agitation and disruption. There’s also tactics of popular education happening where people are, you know, putting out podcasts, putting out audio, and creating media, creating memes even. Writing position papers on strategy that are generated from reflecting on how does someone, you know, when prisoners make a demand, you know, an urgent demand, how do we, as people not in the prison, ensure that those demands get met? Because so often, when people make demands and organize collectively, the outcome of those demands actually do not get met. And often times the demands of a strike or a smaller collective action is not solely about getting free. It will be about creating pathways to freedom often. But sometimes it is something as basic as getting five more sheets of paper allowed in solitary, or like in this case: forcing these guards to be fired. And we usually chalk it up to just how extreme the violence is. But I think there’s also something that we… to be said about, you know, like… to not be satisfied with not having basic demands met. Ones that are reasonable even in the minds of many oppressors. Like firing the guards who hung up nooses.

And so, what does it look like, you know, for them to actually hold themselves accountable? They can’t, right? Because that’s not their purpose, right? But, like, so, then it’s about consequences. It’s just, like, how… what kind of consequences do these guards receive who are going to continue to enjoy impunity? What kind of consequences is PA-DOC going to receive? And that is up to people on the outside to step into the call—the level of risks taken between inside and outside support has not been symmetrical in the slightest yet. This is just facts, not even criticism. And what this means is that we need to level up, we need to organize, and we need to think about how to give these demands some material teeth. There was a position paper posted on Philly Anti-Capitalist recently that I want to close out the interview reading some lines from…. because i think they get at this point in effective ways.

TFSR: Just to keep on track, can you explain a little bit more about the interstate transfers? What can it mean for someone and their support networks?

Frott: The situation with my friend that was transferred, he had an interstate compact and that contract expired. He was expecting this transfer from the compact expiring… the contract with, between the state he was from and Pennsylvania. And so, he was expecting, you know, for this to kind of happen at some point. But it was the loophole the prison needed, everyone feels this way. It was a very convenient, you know, a very convenient loophole for them to get him out of the facility, as a labeled abolitionist revolutionary, and they used this to kick him out of PA-DOC entirely. It was a very suspicious and convenient moment to be removed from PA-DOC entirely, them catching an email exchange on the ConnectNetwork app. Because that is really all that they had on him, and even that does not really prove any involvement in the zap. It just means he had heard about it happening, which could have been from anyone, including guards sharing news about people calling in. But when he was transferred, and out of state. And I’ll bring up a couple things about that. When they moved him from the facility, other prisoners would say that his spirit remained there. He was a very important presence among a lot of people, in terms of like a unifying presence. And that spirit inspired others, who have also caught heat in the process of resistance.

So, the interstate transfer… it’s bad, you know? I mean, it’s not bad if someone wants it. But like, when someone is moved to another state that they’re not from, or doesn’t have family in, or their loved ones, or like, their extended community does become disorganized further. And this is one of the aspects of the prison regime, right? It’s like, there’s the the racist chattel violence and power relations; there’s like the ways that the technologies prototyped for incarceration kind of inform all of society; and then there’s the disorganization of entire communities and kinship structures. These are layers of what the prison regime problem is. And one of the elements is the separation and disorganization of kinship structures. When someone’s moved to another state, people will rearrange their lives for that, you know. There’s a lot of things that happen when you’re in a place for a long time in prison. One is you develop a familiarity with a system, right? So, like, you develop familiarity with like, oh, when something happens, you know who to call, you have kind of like routines, you know, like visits, like, etc, etc. But also, sometimes people will be moved. Sometimes people will move to be closer to their loved ones. Then all sudden your loved one gets moved back out of state. So that’s one dimension.

Also, just the abruptness of some of these interstate transfers that have happened in recent years in the case of prisoner resistance movements and inside-outside organizing against specific facilities and places. Transfer in general are a tool to discourage not just organizing in individual facilities where, just because this is a long standing tactic of when someone is a known organizer or agitator or a resistor in a facility, they’ll take that person and move them to another facility in the same state, but they’ll just move them. Well, they’ll also do interstate transfers. And this happens with lots of people involved in abolitionist anti-prison organizing. Shaka Shakur, Sean Swain, Kevin Rashid Johnson… where they’ll move people out of state completely because they don’t want people organizing statewide movements. They did this type of rapid hole-and-transfer experience to Stephen Wilson a few times, a PA-DOC prisoner who has been targeted for his propagation of penal abolition and transformative justice study groups in different facilities. Stevie, who is currently at SCI Dallas, also recently faced similar experiences as the comrades in Rockview, of retaliation for filing grievances, for engaging in a sanctioned petition process.
It should be known that we live in an era now of statewide-to-nationwide-to-international solidarity in prison strikes. Even if this hasn’t happened a lot more recently. There was years of recurring statewide strikes and then nationwide prison strikes that all had international analogs. Like when the California prison strike happened, there were people going on strike in Greece and in Palestine. It was like a whole, like, you know, so like…..

TFSR: Yeah, in Canada, too!

Frott: Yeah, the whole, you know…. They use these transfers as another tool to further disorganize people’s life-worlds, communities, kinship networks, and the social bonds that hold a culture of resistance together. They use interstate or even just within a state transfers. Or if the prison anticipates something’s about to pop off, even if just a letter campaign exposing nooses making it through the grapevine of a single facility, they can temporarily stop some heads of the hydra. The prisons through email surveillance and mail digitization policy are finding loopholes to not only stopping the dragon but the hydra. But they are also always one step behind…. One becomes two.

So yeah, there’s a million reasons why they do them. I would not be the expert on what a transfer is like, what that experience is. I would defer that knowledge to my imprisoned comrades. But the transfers that are happening around this issue in SCI Rockview, and the inside resistance, was very disturbing to hear about, and since some comrades are in dialogue with the family members of the targeted men, we have heard stories first hand about the ripple effect.

It is distressing to hear what’s happening because of the rapidity of it and the quickness in which the prison is doing it. Usually they’ll inform someone, and then it’s like a month to like three months, and then they get transferred. But this is happening within a span of days. So like, Kaona was put in the hole, and within a week was transferred out of state. This was the comrade. There’s two other people that we are in contact with, who were thrown in the hole. There could be even more people that we’re not in contact with. But to everyone’s knowledge it’s just two.

The two people who were more recently thrown in the hole and then transferred, one is a man in his late 60s. Charles Gilyard. He was moved from Rockview to Hautzdale in chains, and on a bus, alone. No other passengers but the guards conducting the transfer. This is within like literal days since he is thrown in administrative custody, and then boom. He’s sent to a prison an hour away west. Charles Carrington is the second person who was targeted by SCI Rockview. He is a filer of grievances, and was thrown in the hole, left there in Rockview for a day longer, and then transfers to SCI Fayette. So this is kind of like the stressors that they try to, you know, they have a lot of control over the terrain.

So kind of like, one of the strategy pieces, for everyone to be thinking about how to lend support, has become the question of “where can we attack…?” How can we redirect the violence that this regime inflicts upon us, back at the structure of the State? What kinds of outside networks, inside-outside formations, above and underground relations, will it take to perform abolitionist prisoner support effectively? Like… beyond offering technical, material, and emotional support. Which are all important, but I keep asking how can non-imprisoned people use our relative freedom of mobility and access to resources, in ways that could give these inside demands a little more teeth? To lend political support. …What does it look like to turn it up a notch? If anything, to turn it up a notch as a compliment to all the already-existing work being done in this region? And to add to this…. where can we engage in militant attack that does not result in negative consequences on the inside?” Or, “is that an unavoidable outcome that needs to be planned for ahead?”

TFSR: Before we get into those questions, can you explain a little more about the difference between a call in campaign and a phone zap? Do you have suggestions for how they can be done effectively?

Frott: Okay. Yeah. So I think about the difference between a “call-in campaign” and a “phone zap.” A call-in campaign could be, you know, a brief thing. Or it could be a long-standing kind of thing, like multiple days. And a call-in campaign is, you know, like people calling in to inform offices about something or inform someone about something or circulate information about something through phone calls or emails—if you have a dedicated group of three-to-five people you can really cover lots of ground using this method. But its purpose depends on the goals. Say for instance, lodging a grievance or exposing how a grievance has been ignored. But the purpose isn’t necessarily disruption, per say. And I think the distinction between a “zap” and a “call-in campaign” is important to mention because when people call for a “zap,” they’re typically wanting a level of disruption. And that’s the distinguishing factor. People use these terms interchangeably. But I think this does a disservice in the realm of operational art.

I think about the difference in a couple different ways. And one is… I always use this reference… But Oakland Abolition and Solidarity has referred to phone zaps in terms of like a low-tech analog DDoS attack, or direct systems attack in internet tech terms. So image your calls into the prison offices is like flooding a server. Another analogy image is… picture an image of traffic going one way and then you’re driving into the side of it with another car. Or even driving the wrong way. What is the flow of an institutions communications traffic, on a daily level of its inner-workings and then you are jamming it up. You can think of it kind of like a sit-in occupation, also. Right?! Like the way that the students protested, in the student movement in California or New York City in the late aughts. They would take over the office of an administrators or chancellor and not allow them to work for an entire day, sometimes multiple. To make certain demands of against the raising of tuition, right? That is a way of materially jamming up the daily flow of an institution, right? And then, alongside phone zaps, we can also think about aligning such actions with more forms of sabotage, right? Internally and externally.

But the level of disruption and the level of like aggressiveness is really contingent on the goals of a phone’s zap or call in campaign. So, like sometimes you don’t want to exacerbate a situation because the situation for people in a prison is already highly vulnerable, right? So, for instance, if someone is facing repression for a very specific particular thing, like sometimes the best move is to not act aggressively in response right away. Sometimes the best move is to call and just feel out what’s happening, you know? So it’s contingent on the strategic objective or goal of what you need to do. And I think within that there’s a difference distinguishing between “tact” and the intensity of attack. So, like, you know given what the objective is, to use “tact” initially or not… Or if your goal is to wreak havoc and cause extreme disruption, then you dial up the intensity. So thinking also about approaches to escalation. Not like liberal staged, planned pseudo-escalation tactics. I mean like disrupting the day or week of some administrators entirely. Thinking about the like timetable of what is happening is important, too. You can lose sight of how much you have done, how much was effective, or maybe was effective at one point and now is not. And so keeping a log of everything happening is important to feel out your next moves, to make changes in strategy and approach.

The prison administrators are always adapting, so these things can also unfold in phases. Not all pressure is felt at once. A phone zap is a very simple tactic of asymmetrical warfare against a carceral institution. There are times strategic retreat and regrouping is necessary. To pause doesn’t mean to detract pressure. And call-ins and zaps should be used in relation to other tactics, best when fit into a broader plan or strategy to get what it is you want or to do what you feel is necessary. Occasionally you can get a sympathetic person on the phone that works in the prison… and then all of a sudden someone is now out the hole and back in general population. This is something that I think a lot of people who have never been to prison or have been forced to interface with the prisons to ensure a loved one is getting proper treatment, is that there are certain times where a prison worker (even if they are still, structurally a pig) can become sympathetic to what’s happening. This is often not the case. So don’t bet on it in many situations. [faint laugher] They are like… not your friend… [laugher]… but they can be a point of contact in certain situations that you can keep in your back pocket.

So sometimes it’s about, you know, tact, right? And then sometimes it’s more about attack. For instance, the call-ins and zaps for this struggle against SCI Rockview. There’s this person who works in the office who is named Nicki Paul. She’s the grievance coordinator. She’s also the superintendent’s assistant. She’s also the community liaison. She’s holds like three other fucking titles in the prison. Essentially the facility warden and PA-DOC officials in Mechanicsburg shove all of the public flack onto her. So we have reason to believe this cover up is coming from up high. But Nicki is also very deceptive. And we also learned that she is the actual coordinator that denied the grievance Charles G. had filed about the guards hanging nooses.

So we kept getting redirected to her. And, it’s like, “okay, they’re going to redirect us to her. They’re all ignoring our calls at this point, sending things to voicemail, or directing us to her. She’s lying every time. The responses she is giving sometimes don’t even line up.” So, we’re like, “okay, what’s an escalation tactic? Oh let’s record her ass.” So, now another comrade got two recordings of her. We kept hearing all these stories about people calling in, how family and wives of people were calling in and treated very poorly on their calls. So someone called in and recorded. Those recordings are leaked online now, if anyone wants to hear for themselves.

Another thing to just keep in mind when doing a “call-in” action or phone zap, is providing a short, succinct script for people who aren’t familiar with the situation, but would like to participate. And making short, succinct scripts and narrative (with some readily available numbers) allows for people who don’t necessarily have time to study the context of a thing, but really want to throw down because they’re seeing the posts about what is happening, they’re following the story, they’re hearing it from friends or whatever, you know. And you can share those even with loved ones of people in the facility, and they could be reading them. But to be honest, loved ones of prisoners are the originators of the phone zap tactic. To be honest it is just a simple facet of life when you care or are concerned on the outside. You will call in, sometimes daily, to demand fair treatment or some sort of immediate condition to be addressed. You are interfacing with the prison systems constantly. And for many people whose loved ones are inside, they know the matter best. So the scripts tend to be more for people who want to participate but have not been centrally involved in coordinating the zap.

The other suggestion I would make is that what you need is a phone cluster, or small group of people committed to the zap, to sharing feedback, and recognizing patterns, and to decide when a goal has been reached or if it is necessary to switch up your approach and methods. So, you have, like, a tiny group of people, like a pod or a cluster of people who you’re sharing the information with constantly. It’s not just one person making calls, collecting all the stuff, but you have a kind of little tree, or listserv, or group chat, you know. Some sort of way that you’re talking, or regularly meeting to communicate what’s happening. It is a little accountability structure for yourself and also to document things, to keep up the morale also. You never want to just assume that if you post a public call for a zap on social media, people are going to call in. That rarely actually works. More times than not, people won’t. They will help boost it. Which is important. They’ll circulate it, and it’s kind of cool how many people are down and interested in it, but the chances of people not calling more than once if they see it on social media is actually very high. It sounds silly, but some people will get this: you ought to make sure that you’re actually doing the zap that you are sharing publicly, and that you have a crew (even just a second or third person) that is ready for it so that you’re not just slinging it on people and expecting them to stop their day, right? Sometimes there’s an emergency you can’t, you know, prepare, but sometimes you can be like “hey, tomorrow we’re going to do a zap” or let people know at least a little bit of in advance if you can. So, that would be my advice, in no specific order of importance.

Safear Ness, an abolitionist who is formerly-incarcerated and part of the projects In the Belly and Study and Struggle, has a great article that he wrote while inside about Phone Zap strategy, and the importance of having some group capacity to act to seize the time. The was first put out on the studyandstruggle.com website, but is also available for download in the True Leap Press catalog.

TFSR: And a lot of people may be nervous about their phone numbers getting noted by the prison or their legal names coming up on caller ID: do you have tips for keeping safer while engaging in a phone zap? Do you use something like a burner Google Voice number, or call with your regular phone?

Frott: Well, a couple of things. One is Google Voice you could use. Yeah. That works fine. Using your regular regular phone and dialing *67 actually works pretty well. *67 blocks caller ID when you call. It’s like the old school way to do it. That’s how we would prank call friends in high school. Or prank call a fucked up business owner if they were racist to a friend. It will show up in, you know, your regular phone history. But your number won’t show up on the other side’s caller ID. You can make Google Voice numbers and call using a VPN. And you can also make burner emails on like ProtonMail. And spam/harass the prisons electronically. Now, if you’re trying to call and like make a real threat that you don’t want traceable at all, at all, I highly recommend not doing that from your legal phone or through a smart phone/digitally-traced number anyway.

Yeah. So people can check out some of those phone zap scripts and information from the Rockview struggle on abolitioniststudy.com. They are also on Twitter and Mastodon, as “@abolitionstudy.” Those pages have been circulating a lot of info about what is going down, and theory related to what outside support can look like beyond the logic of care work—beyond care work, or maybe as a different type of care work, what do we mean as anarchists, as liberationists, anti-colonialists, or as abolitionists…. What does it mean to embody what we say, when we make the claim “solidarity means attack”?
There’s another website, Philly Anticapitalist. Some of your listeners are probably aware of this page. It’s a dot noblogs counter-info site that’s unrelated to the “@abolitionstudy” page I mentioned. It’s an autonomous website that’s anonymously ran. There has been more local analysis coming out on it regarding SCI Rockview, and there is an open invitation for people throughout Pennsylvania to tap in, and take autonomous action in solidarity with the prisoners at SCI Rockview, in solidarity with the prisoners who were reprimanded by the facility and forcibly transferred, and in solidarity with their loved ones. This autonomous action can be framed anyway people see fit, however the idea is that we would like to see more combative techniques used to double-down on the prisoners demands that the noose-hanging guards be fired and an external investigation of Rockview be made.

When you take action for anything or have a position paper on the SCI Rockview struggle, or struggle against PA-DOC more broadly, you can send this type of stuff to Philly Anticap for underground statements, or even Scenes of the Atlanta Forest, because its submission process is encrypted well. And you can send things to Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition to as it relates to above ground shit. And they have instructions to do it on both of their pages. And so, I guess those are the central forums. And then some of the analysis has also been publicized by In The Belly and testimony of family members is about to air on In The Mix. These are all above ground formations as well. This is because they’re both abolitionist projects based out of Pennsylvania. Although they encompass imprisoned comrades from around the country, they are forums for discussion around what’s happening at Rockview right now, and in the prisoner resistance movement in Pennsylvania.
They’re not the only places and things. They are not examples of how all people in PA-DOC prisoners think and organize. They’re not centralized intentionally vanguard kind of projects. They are just platforms among other platforms that exist to amplify the work of inside abolitionists in particular, and voices from struggles across and against the walls more generally. We don’t know everyone. Much of this is open invite kind of things. Anyone can send them analysis for dissemination. So, yeah. So, you could look to those two places in the future as things unfold. DC IWOC’s Instagram is also posting reportage about the phone’s app actions specifically. Philly Anti-Repression and Pittsburgh homies have been amplifying calls on social media relentlessly. Everyone inside appreciates this.

But yeah, there is a certain constellation of people catalyzing, and the work began from struggles inside this specific prison. It hopefully will continue to grow in its capacity to disrupt. There is no promise of that happening. But there is a committed group of people that are decentralizing the work, and making calls for autonomous participation that feels refreshing to see, and touches on relatable grievances shared by most people impacted by PA-DOC. We are still connected with people in the prison, but we are now forced to divide strategy between offensive reasons: pushing the demands on the attack, and defensive reasons: making sure the people who faced repression and were transferred are in our view, to prevent further retaliation. On both fronts our combat right now remains against CO impunity.

TFSR: So, what is an example of some of the stuff you mentioned that has been posted on Philly Anti-Capitalist recently. You mention Scenes of the Atlanta Forest has been accepting anonymous claims, statements, and reports as well? This is analysis and action coming from other local anarchists, beyond your immediate circles?

Frott: Yes, it is coming from multiple angles. Above-ground abolitionist networks and prisoner advocacy groups, have been organizing on legal and extra-legal fronts. Public calls for research, discussions about the principles of an autonomous campaign, all this is circulating. Coordinating with family members is happening. There is also an underground element, which feels distinct and separate. But it is hard to tell what that will look like as of now. There was an attack on security vehicles recently, inspired by the calls to mobilize against SCI Rockview. Multiple vehicles had their tires slashed. And the responsibility claim was by some anarchists on Philly Anticap. So there is potential for both attacks on infrastructure to give some teeth to the demands. And there is potential for this campaign to devolve into a more general struggle to close SCI Rockview. At least this is the feeling I gather.

We need help propagating this underground initiative, as some of us who have been most involved in this struggle to-date, on the outside, are constantly forced to interface with the prison facilities and administrators. So, we need more autonomous cells activated. And we need people to do this smartly and without trace. And when people take action, it needs to really be in line with the spirit of abolition and anti-authoritarianism. So permanent conflict with PA-DOC, until these very basic and reasonable demands are met.

More conversation about the difference between a “diversity of tactics” and direct action always can be had, for sure. The language if kind of used interchangeably in the materials coming out. But I think if the goal of an abolitionist revolutionary in this situation would be encourage others to act in ways that offer inside activity a little more staying power… like, to give inside demands a little more teeth… We need people to resort to more creative acts of disruption, ya know. And we need them to show for all that there’s joy to be found in the attack.

I’d like to close with reading uh… reading two statements that were posted in the last two weeks. Both are on Philly Anti-Capitalist. Okay so I am going to read these three statements verbatim. But the following words are not mine directly.

The first is an excerpt from a piece on Philly Anticap, called “SCI Rockview Autonomous Campaign,” published on March 27th:

What is happening right now at SCI Rockview is an autonomous campaign to get two guards fired and for one to received mandated therapy as an act of “mercy.” An autonomous campaign means that it is open to all for participation, using tactics according to their own abilities and needs. It means it is decentralized and not led by a single party, non-profit, or institutionalized entity. It is a type of campaign that anyone who is impacted by the violence of PA-DOC can join in, anonymously or as their full legal selves. It means a diversity of tactics and direct action are on the table always. It is a type of campaign that has no registration form or membership fees. It simply means that if you are moved by or can relate to the unfolding struggle of prisoners at Rockview, then you are qualified to participate. The situation is becoming more dire by the day in this facility, with the staff initiating a backlash that has put multiple people in the hole (solitary) and even transferred one prisoner out of state.

One specific need that potentially can be fulfilled is further research into specific highly responsible prison officials, which is information available in the phone zap scripts and press releases. This information can be circulated somewhere where people familiar with this kind of research can encounter it.…”

Six days before that article was published on Philly Anti-Capitalist, some outside supporters of people imprisoned by PA-DOC released a position paper that .. uh um … we also learned that this comes from longstanding set of discussions between comrades on the ins and outs. By people who have had extensive experience with support role tactics such phone zaps, care work, and other militant experiments with backing demands of collective action inside. So, you know, that piece is titled “Notes on abolitionist insurgency & prisoner support in Pennsylvania”, published March 21st. It begins with a statement by one of the comrades who was removed from Rockview, but was there for the last few years. That part reads:

As prisoners, we can riot & take control of the prison at any time, but that won’t relieve us of this living death. We need our comrades in the world to take the fight out of the halls of legislation & to the prison walls themselves. Only then can we actually end this war. An assault on both fronts would make the difference between us banging on the walls & us breaking them down. When the world sees this, it will show that the facade of invincibility that the system has cultivated over generations of slavery is just that: an illusion.

Okay, so then the outside comrades, reflecting on his words, then write, very persuasively, about the need to level-up our outside forces. I don’t want to really read the whole thing. I think people can just search for the title in a search engine. So what i want to do is pull out the over a dozen questions that are threaded throughout the piece.

  • How can we embolden our comrades on the outside (who are willing to take physical risks) to provide forms solidarity that actually give inside demands a little more teeth?

  • What does autonomous direct action in solidarity with collective action inside look like for abolitionists on the outside, and where are the targets that would be most decisive for attack?

  • How can we better develop collective capacity for decisive attacks on PA-DOC from the outside, in conjunction with demands on the inside?

  • What targets can we choose on the outside that do not exacerbate repression for the comrades situated on the inside? Or is this simply part of the equation that we must equip and be prepared for?

  • How, then, can inside and outside move at once? And in this context, how do aboveground formations move horizontally with an underground to fill in the gaps in work that one another is unable to do?

  • What are the institutions, contractors, buildings, and other structures that enable PA-DOC to function in the first place?

  • If it is a prison “industrial complex” what is the constellation of sites that allow it to function, that give it coherence and life?

  • If the prison regime is upheld by numerous institutional connections & centers of gravity — that exist far beyond the “reified” site/scene of “the prison” itself — then where are the most impactful targets to attack in solidarity w/ prisoners taking collective action?

  • For abolitionists who are not inside the prison itself, what does disruption in solidarity with collective prisoner action look like beyond (only) non-conflictual protest?

  • Are people within prisons/jail/detention the only ones who are expected to engage in material disruption? To take risks? Are we just vessels of emotional solidarity?

  • Where then, would the targets be, for outside abolitionists to exert greater pressure? How might this change perspectives of strategy? How might thinking more expansively about the terrain of engagement illumine new tactical horizons?

  • Or maybe the objective of pressuring the state to meet a specific demand from inside is the wrong way to practice attack and direct action altogether?

  • Yet strikes typically have demands. So what then do we do with our bodies, our (relative) mobility and access to information/resources/tools that are foreclosed to people who take collection action for particular goals while locked up?

  • Where are the logistical chokepoints? What are targets of attack and sites of disruption that don’t result in severe backlash to comrades struggling on the inside? Where are the vulnerabilities to prison management’s morale and how does one remove the will of guards to endure?

  • What is the relationship between a local-to-state government, the internal fiefdoms of prisons & jails, & the contractors whose fate is tethered to the regime’s institutional reproduction? How can tensions or antagonisms between such entities be exacerbated by outside sabotage?

To bring this strategy to life we not only need comrades who are up for the task of directly attacking in solidarity with inside collective action, but we also need a range of people to take up this cause at the level of research, propagation, and expanding capacity for regional anti-repression work and community care.

We need people who can map the institutional form of PA-DOC. We need people to map the digital communications infrastructure. We need people that understand how the nodes of institutions that make up PA-DOC within Pennsylvania branch out to every corner of the US settler colonial territory, with offices, remote workers, contractors, etc… all within reach of someone who is willing to take action, yet simply needs a map to take part. We also need a more focused effort of people who are not involved in combative actions directly to participate in defending the fire of revolt as it spreads. This can be done by simply organizing letter writing nights to support people in the case that they catch charges for the risks they take. This can also be done by focusing in on building or strengthening networks that provide care and mutual aid within your local spheres of movement and community.

TFSR: Thanks so much for this discussion. Before we sign out, is there anything else you would like to share, or leave us to chew on as an audience?

Frott: Well last off, I’d just like to say that the demands of the prisoners who began this resistance in SCI Rockview, who are now scattered around PA-DOC after the retaliatory transfers…. the demands of these prisoners are very reasonable and concrete. They are something that people can rally behind in a way that removes power from the correctional officers without expanding the legitimacy of policing on the whole. All that is essentially being asked for is the firing of the guards, and for one to get mandatory therapy as an act of “mercy.” And the other demands is that um…. That the facility be placed under an external investigation. This is beyond anything that a “hate crime” law can encompass, to be really real…. What you will find when you dig, even just at the surface level, is that this isn’t corruption at all but a perverse, sadistic, procedural operating norm. What you’ll see when you dig, even at the surface level, is a facility rotten at the roots, yet functioning as designed.

So, in terms of this specific struggle at SCI Rockview, after the experience working together, even over only the span of a few months, many of us would now like to see SCI Rockview condemned and closed, with no prison ever allowed to be built again in Pennsylvania. To bulldoze SCI Rockview is the idea, and then maybe bulldoze PA-DOC entirely. To do this, but to do so while also demanding that no other carceral facility be built in its place. We want immediate decarceration, prison closures, and the creation of more pathways to freedom. So yeah, we want this as part of an overall abolitionist vision—not only of freedom for individual people immiserated by captivity.… Its a vision of total liberation for the entire criminalized-survivalist class. Free our people, free the land. End capitalism. End colonial patriarchy. And end this white Civilization death cult.