Sacramento: Former Prisoners Talk About Working Against Their Will at Capitol Rally!

Assemblymember Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) stood alongside advocates and activists, including formerly incarcerated individuals, at a rally held at the State Capitol. The event aimed to promote Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 8, also known as “The End Slavery in California Act,” authored by Wilson. The proposed amendment seeks to abolish involuntary servitude in California’s prisons by removing the exception for it from the state’s constitution.

In a passionate address to the crowd, Wilson underscored the urgent need to rectify the injustices perpetuated by forced labor within the state’s correctional facilities. She emphasized that ACA 8 represents not just a legislative endeavor, but a moral imperative to uphold the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their incarceration status. Wilson’s leadership in championing this cause has galvanized support from across the political spectrum and garnered attention both within California and beyond.

The rally, organized by All of Us or None of Us (AOUNOU), drew a diverse array of attendees, including formerly incarcerated individuals, advocates, justice-impacted leaders, and supporters from various communities throughout California. Their collective goal was to shed light on the harsh realities of prison labor and to advocate for meaningful reforms that prioritize rehabilitation and reintegration.

During the event, attendees had the opportunity to share their personal stories and experiences with forced labor in California’s penal institutions. Many recounted instances of coercion, exploitation, and abuse at the hands of prison authorities, highlighting the systemic challenges faced by incarcerated individuals in asserting their rights and dignity.

Sacramento: At Capitol Rally, Former Inmates Share Memories of Forced Labor  - City Pride Magazine

John Cannon, a member of AOUNOU and a formerly incarcerated individual, delivered a powerful performance of his hip-hop song titled “No Exception: All of Us or None of Us,” which resonated deeply with the audience. Through his artistry, Cannon provided a poignant commentary on the dehumanizing effects of forced labor and the urgent need for systemic change.

In addition to the rally, an exhibit featuring 400 black-and-white photos was on display, showcasing the faces and stories of individuals who allegedly died “at the hands of law enforcement.” This visual representation served as a stark reminder of the human cost of systemic injustice and underscored the importance of ongoing advocacy and activism.

Sacramento: Former Prisoners Talk About Working Against Their Will at Capitol Rally

Despite the challenges posed by entrenched interests and political inertia, the momentum behind ACA 8 continues to grow. Wilson and her allies remain steadfast in their commitment to advancing this critical legislation and ensuring that the voices of the formerly incarcerated are heard and heeded in the halls of power.

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As the movement for prison reform gains traction across the country, the rallying cry of “No More Slavery, No More Injustice” reverberates throughout California and beyond, signaling a new era of reckoning and redemption in the quest for justice and equality.

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