“We’re not going to go anywhere if we can’t win the people.”
This interview was conducted in early January 2021, ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic and on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration. Jared Ware, cohost of the podcast Millennials Are Killing Capitalism and independent journalist covering twenty-first-century prisoner movements, speaks with incarcerated organizer Maurice Smith (a pseudonym). Smith agreed to the interview on the condition of anonymity due to the high likelihood of retaliation for his national organizing work. Smith is a member of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS), a national membership organization of incarcerated human rights advocates. JLS is most well known for calling the 2018 national prison strike and issuing its “10 Demands.” This conversation has been edited and condensed for publication.