New Face of Organized Labor: Prison Inmates Using Cell Phones

organized laborThe new face of organized labor is the prison inmate with a smuggled cell phone. And the tipping point for this grassroots organization, at least in the state of Georgia, was the banning of cigarettes.

Last weekend, inmates in seven Georgia prisons were able to pull off a nonviolent strike, reports Sarah Wheaton in The New York Times. The demands included being paid for the work they do, more education, decent food, and changes in sentencing rules.

Revolution often starts among those who feel they have nothing to lose or nothing left to lose. Throughout history around the globe, youths -- who haven't yet acquired material possessions, professional standing, or status -- frequently set off these game-changing movements.

In America, baby boomers still in school started the counterculture. Now it's students in London who are taking on the establishment, including the royals. More of those attacks are expected in England. The lion's share of prisoners likely perceive themselves as having little or anything of value to lose.

Those sympathetic with the labor movement among prison inmates might tutor them in the strategies and tactics of one of America's greatest minds in organizing -- Saul Alinksy. Alinksy's book 'Rules for Radicals' guided generations of activists. Those included the young Hillary Clinton, who wrote her college thesis on Alinksy.

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