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Fight Toxic Prisons National Convergence is in Texas this June

March 27, 2017

Activists gathered for the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons 2016 Convergence rally in front of the EPA on June 10, 2016. They invite you to join them in Texas June 2-5, 2017.

In its mission to challenge the prison systems that are putting prisoners and surrounding communities and ecosystems at risk of dangerous environmental conditions, the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) is taking its second annual convergence to Texas this year. In Denton and Ft. Worth on June 2-5, the gathering of activists from around the country will feature speakers, panels, workshops, protests and cultural activities, including an art show and hip-hop performances.

Some proposed topics:

  • Mapping Toxic Prisons
  • The History and Future of June 11
  • Building Multi-Racial Alliances Against Incarceration
  • Environmental Justice Lessons from the Pipeline Struggles
  • Next Steps to Free Leonard Peltier
  • Reports on the Sept. 9 Prison Strikes and the upcoming Aug. 19 Mobilization to End Prison Slavery
  • Queer and Trans Prison Resistance (J22)
  • Prison Abolition under Trump
  • Updates on the Letcher County BOP Plan
  • Long-term Support for Eco/Animal Prisoners
  • International Movements against Prison Expansion

Background

FTP is inspired by the abolitionist movement against mass incarceration and the environmental justice movement, which have both been led by the communities of color who are hardest hit by prisons and pollution. Last June in D.C. they gathered activists and revolutionaries from across the country to explore the intersections of those movements. They also highlighted the role of political and social prisoners in bringing this cross-movement analysis to the forefront.

FTP is inspired by the abolitionist movement against mass incarceration and the environmental justice movement, which have both been led by the communities of color who are hardest hit by prisons and pollution.

Then they took their voices to the streets of the Capitol. Together with former prisoners and banners declaring support for those yet to win their freedom, they blocked the entrance to the Bureau of Prisons and then moved on to the major intersection between the FBI and the Department of Justice. It was an amazing display of intersectional solidarity … and they’re doing it again this June, in Texas.

Why Texas?

Environmentalists know Texas as the financial headquarters of the oil and gas empire that controls the nation’s political system, where fights against pipelines like the Dakota Access, Keystone XL and Trans-Pecos have captured the attention of the nation.

Prison abolitionists know Texas as home to one of the most brutal and corrupt state prison systems in the country, where extreme heat is coupled with tainted water, and vocal participants from the September prisoner strike like Keith “Malik” Washington sit in long term solitary confinement, subjected to both.

Environmentalists know Texas as the financial headquarters of the oil and gas empire that controls the nation’s political system. Prison abolitionists know Texas as home to one of the most brutal and corrupt state prison systems in the country.

Those who focus attention on support for political prisoners may know Texas as the current residence of prominent voices from the inside, such as Marius Mason, Ana Belen Montes and Aafia Siddiqui, who are locked in Carswell federal prison’s special Adminstrative Unit. This facility has faced years of scrutiny for its extremely restrictive policies and poor conditions.

Kicking off the Close Carswell Campaign

Prisoners and their loved ones have been documenting abuses in this prison for years with little to no response from the Bureau of Prisons that overseas it.

Technically the site is known as a Federal Medical Center (FMC) and is designed to house female prisoners who have special health-related needs. Over 1,500 prisoners are currently housed there. The facility is surrounded by toxic military Superfund sites from the Air Force base where it is co-located.

This prison also formerly held political activists including Lynne Stewart and Helen Woodson.

The goal of the Close Carswell Campaign is to immediately shut down the overly-restrictive Administrative Unit, which BOP states only contains 24 beds, and call attention to the poor general conditions of the supposed medical facility.

Keep up to date at FightToxicPrisons.org.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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5 thoughts on “Fight Toxic Prisons National Convergence is in Texas this June

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