One of the big problems we've been focusing on is cleaning. We're in our cells 23 or 24 hours a day and when we do leave we're escorted, handcuffed, by two officers. A group of S-S-Is (Support Service Inmates) come through sweeping, mopping, and cleaning twice a day. The problem with that is half of the time, they barely clean and the officers don't give the S-S-Is enough cleaning supplies. The other half of the time the S-S-Is don't show up. It takes a crew of at least five S-S-Is to properly clean. Earlier tonight, only two came through and all they did was rush through with brooms, doing what I assume was supposed to be sweeping. Earlier today the officers spilled tea on the run and we were all waiting for the S-S-Is to come through to mop it up.
When they didn't, everyone hollered at the officers working the pod and asked why only two S-S-Is came through. We all begin citing policy on cleaning and the officer working there quickly said, "Y'all just don't start any shit! I'll get a Sgt. down here!" Being that all of us have participated in numerous direct actions, all of these officers know that we won't hesitate to cause some major incidents. Therefore, our complaints are much more likely to be addressed.
Sgt. Thompson came on the pod and walked right up to my cell: "We're gonna have the S-S-Is on the pod cleaning all night so y'all can calm down". He went to Gabriel and Kenneth's cell, told them the same thing, then left. We were all somewhat surprised and we wondered if the Sgt. was serious.
As Im writing this, two more S-S-Is magically appeared so now a total of four are on the pod cleaning with fresh cleaning supplies.
Remaining silent is like giving this system a pat on the back and whispering in its ear, "It's OK. Continue to oppress, no one cares!" Sometimes, simply bringing attention to a problem can get the issue resolved.