A brief fight between two inmates, Emanuel Williams, 51, and Earl Harris, 44, and two guards at Louisiana State Penitentiary, has spawned a movement that hopes to rewrite the 13th Amendment, Newsweek reports.

The penitentiary is also known as Angola, because it sits on the site of the former slave plantation named after the African country where many Louisianian slaves originated. A prison farm, many of Angola's prisoners do hard manual labor. The 13th Amendment states that the government can use prisoners as slaves.

After the fight, 40-year-old prisoner Roy Walker got down on the ground and refused to work any longer. Twenty-seven other prisoners joined him.

Following the break-up of Walker's protest, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a union that represents prisoners across the United States, issued a work stoppage. The stoppage included the union's demands that state and federal government officials “end legalized slavery."

To this, the prisoners at Angola added that they want a national conversation about "how state prison farms across the country came to hold hundreds of thousands of people of African descent against their will."

The union also asked how a government can condone slavery with a clean conscience: "We are urging that local, state and federal governments who currently hold hundreds of thousands of African-Americans on prison farms across the country be investigated for antebellum criminality, involuntary servitude and slavery." 







The strike and demands are the latest actions of a movement known as the "Decarcerate Movement," which seeks to lobby the government to prevent “the circumstances and conditions that have been allowed to fester in the oppressive environment, do not allow for rehabilitation, but make sinking further into oppression [inevitable].”

Louisiana Department of Corrections Communications Director Ken Pastorick confirmed the fight and strike took place but said that work has continued as normal on the prison farm following the two events.

Williams is serving a 55-year sentence for a 1991 armed robbery. Harris is serving a life sentence for aggravated second-degree battery conviction with no possibility of parole, probation or suspension. Walker is serving a 50-year sentence for conspiracy to commit armed robbery and an attempted manslaughter conviction. All three were "disciplinary segregated"  following the fight and strike.