Federal and state authorities must provide full emergency assistance now for all states in danger!

With Hurricane Florence fast approaching, there are thousands of people behind bars with no ability to evacuate on their own. They are completely at the mercy of the state. People around the country are writing and calling state and federal authorities to make sure that no prisoner be left in the path of the hurricane.

The governors of North Carolina and Virginia today bent to this pressure, finally promising evacuation, but South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has so far refused to do the same. Specifically under threat are the inmates at the Lieber Correctional Institution in Dorchester County and Ridgeland Correctional Institution in Jasper County.

Today PSL and other activists in South Carolina rallied to demand the evacuation of the prisons (pictured). You can help this effort by calling and Tweeting the South Carolina authorities now, wherever you are, to demand the same:

  • South Carolina Governor’s Office: 803.734.2100
    Twitter- @HenryMcMaster
  • Legislative Liaison/Special Assistant to the Director Dexter Lee: 803-896-1731

Louisiana prisoners suffered greatly during Hurricane Katrina, as did those in Texas during Hurricane Harvey. We will not allow these deadly and intolerable conditions to be replicated again in South Carolina. The state has the legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all inmates. We must keep up the pressure until we are assured an evacuation plan is in place for all inmates.

This massive call-in initiative has been promoted by the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, and thousands of other activists who have been organizing for the last month for the heroic #PrisonStrike.

The plight of the prisoners points to an even wider problem. As Florence barrels towards the shore, likely to cause a massive disaster, many working-class and oppressed communities are directly in its path but are not receiving sufficient information, evacuation assistance or supplies to protect themselves. As in Katrina and Harvey, the government’s “order” to evacuate is completely insufficient. Tens of thousands of poor and working people will not be able to evacuate because of poverty, lack of transportation, and lack of funds for motels and gas. There will be a massive loss of housing, and need for food and other supplies for the region. Those who suffer will be blamed for their own decision not to leave.

We demand full evacuation assistance and emergency aid now!

The capitalist way — each person for themselves, where those with the means evacuate and others are left to fend for themselves — is sure to increase the scale of human suffering, and threatens to turn the natural disaster into a monumental man-made one.