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Posts Tagged with "prison industrial complex"

Outside the elegant St. Francisco Hotel during the lunch hour, protesters picketed as big pharma execs pretended not to notice them. – Photo: Anka Karewicz

Outrage against big pharma!

January 25, 2016

“This conference that we are picketing … is an obscene reflection of the reality of this country today, that the most important thing is money and profit and not human needs!” – Carole Seligman, speaking at the demonstration – It was in their fancy tailored suits and with suspicious eyes that big pharma CEOs and investors got interrupted by protestors and speeches such as the above as they came and went from the too-big-to-fail JP Morgan-sponsored conference on “health care” (read: profit care) at the elite Westin St. Francis hotel on Union Square in San Francisco on Monday, the 11th of January, 2016.

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On Friday night, Jan. 15, during rush hour, “Reclaim MLK” protesters shut down the major intersection of Geary at Webster in the Fillmore, once San Francisco’s Black heartland, called “Harlem of the West” until Blacks were driven out, first by Redevelopment, now by gentrification. – Photo: Joel Angel Juárez

Fighting for justice: It’s a unity thing

January 20, 2016

On Friday night, Jan. 15, many young people gathered outside of the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church for the start of the “Reclaim MLK” weekend, a 96-hour action dedicated to non-violent protest against police terrorism and gentrification. During rush hour, “Reclaim MLK” protesters shut down the major intersection of Geary at Webster in the Fillmore, once San Francisco’s Black heartland.

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'Victory! UC Divests!' by Afrikan Black Coalition

Black students persuade University of California to divest from private prisons – Wells Fargo next

December 18, 2015

Afrikan Black Coalition Political Director Yoel Haile states: “This victory is historic and momentous. Divesting $25 million is a good step towards shutting down private prisons by starving them of capital. This is a clear example of Black Power and what we can achieve when we work in unity. This victory belongs to the masses of our people languishing behind America’s mass incarceration regime.”

“No Price Is Too High” – Art: Damon Shuja Johnson, E-20385, RJDCF FA5-116, 480 Alta Rd., San Diego CA 92179

Prisoners, where is thy victory?

November 25, 2015

“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.” – Gandhi. Corrections Corporation of America and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is the epitome of this quote, and it is not enough for those reading this to agree with the truths delineated herein.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Reflection on IDEA, our nation’s special education law

October 26, 2015

Have you heard of the IEP? Well, it’s shorthand for special education. It is a program that is eating Black children, boys and girls at an alarming rate. Though it sounds benign and helpful, if too many of the children are Black, then there is a problem. It is a form of tracking; and any program that targets our children, puts them in a classroom where they are stigmatized by the larger student population (when they find out), is wrong.

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Stand firm collectively and denounce the actions that caused the death of Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell

October 24, 2015

Here’s where we are: Everyone who claims to be committed to the Agreement to End Hostilities needs to take care not to allow our beloved revolutionary giant Hugo “Yogi” Pinell’s death to be just another tragic and senseless bullshit reactionary violent statistic. Stand firm collectively and denounce those actions that caused Yogi’s death! This is a wake-up call to action!

Dorsey Nunn on Hugo Pinell and the Agreement to End Hostilities: An old man’s opinion

August 25, 2015

Since my release in October 1981, my deepest commitment in life has been to fight for the full restoration of civil and human rights of formerly incarcerated people and for those who have the current misfortune of occupying cages. It is through this lens that I attempt to come to grips with the tragic murder of Hugo Pinell and its possible ramifications.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Clemency has become so rare for ordinary people that it is seldom even demanded in marches and rallies. An exception in recent years were the mass protests around the country demanding that Georgia pardon, not execute Troy Davis, a prisoner on death row who firmly maintained his innocence. Despite the loud and long outcry, including this march in September 2008, Troy was executed on Sept. 21, 2011. – Photo: Michael Schiffman

Expand clemency! Freeing 46 is a start but not enough

July 15, 2015

On July 13, President Barack Obama followed up his March 2015 pardons of 22 federal prisoners by commuting the sentences of 46 federal prisoners who had served time for what has been described by the Washington Post as overly harsh sentencing. On Thursday, July 16, Obama will meet with law enforcement officials and prisoners at El Reno, the first time a sitting president has visited a federal prison.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Proposed SF jail would likely displace affordable housing residents in SOMA

June 26, 2015

Californians United for a Responsible Budget filed an appeal challenging the environmental report put out by the SF Planning Department regarding the proposed construction of a jail at 855 Bryant St. as insufficient. A central concern for opponents of the jail is that the planners of the project did not seriously assess the high likelihood of displacing people in 14 Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) units living at 480-484 Sixth St.

After the Civil War, to maintain slavery, Black people, including children like these, were convicted of bogus crimes and forced to work for free. Just like today. Isn’t it time to end slavery?

We must leave the crops in the field

June 23, 2015

We have an opportunity to confront ourselves realistically, to have a stake in a real opportunity for freedom. The only way we can have an impact on the system is to make their oppression of us a financial burden that diminishes their profits rather than increases them. If they use the profits from your labor to write laws to keep you in prison, what does it profit you to work for them? If they intend for you to rot away in a cell, then let their crops rot away in the fields!

Anthony Robinson Jr. 2015, web cropped

The New Underground Railroad Movement

June 23, 2015

The New Underground Railroad Movement is a grassroots inside-outside organization that recognizes that the institutionalization of mass incarceration is the greatest civil rights and social issue we are faced with today. The New Underground Railroad Movement is dedicated to shutting down the “prison industrial complex” through tactical, organizational and grassroots work strikes, boycotts and class conscious empowerment.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Uhuru Baraka Rowe, aka Brian Lee Rowe, web, cropped

My struggle for freedom in the midst of Virginia’s Truth-in-Sentencing and Abolition of Parole laws

May 25, 2015

I am a 38-year-old Black male from the city of Richmond, Virginia, who has been incarcerated for over 20 consecutive years. I am serving a 93-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole for my participation in a robbery that resulted in the shooting deaths of two innocent people. Having exhausted all available post-conviction remedies in the courts, prisoners like me have few avenues to regain our freedom here in the commonwealth of Virginia.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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“Prison Oppression” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Moving forward with our fight to end solitary confinement

May 20, 2015

Greetings of solidarity and respect to all similarly situated members of the prison class unified in our struggle to end long term solitary confinement and win related long overdue reforms to the broken California prison torture system! As one of the four principle prisoner class representatives, I am presenting this further update on where things stand with our human rights movement from my perspective.

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Starve the beast

May 6, 2015

African Americans constitute / 12 percent of the nation, / 50 percent of the prison population. / That’s mass incarceration / Modern day enslavement / Casting a wide net / Landing a big catch: / The poor, the Black, the innocent … / Forever strange fruit / Courtrooms abound with Black youth / Legal lynching ensues / The gavel is a noose / Freedom dismissed / American justice amiss / School to prison pipeline / Lucrative slave ship …

Successful motion in court strengthens California prisoners’ case against solitary

March 10, 2015

Pelican Bay prisoners named as plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the use of solitary confinement in California gained an important victory yesterday. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of a motion allowing prisoners who have been in solitary confinement for more than 10 years, but have been transferred out of Pelican Bay State Prison since the lawsuit was first filed, to remain eligible as class members in the case.

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“Know Your Rights” – Art: Criss Garcia, J-93559, PBSP SHU C1-112, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Amplify the voices these prisons try to silence: Fight censorship from California to Pennsylvania

February 24, 2015

Departments of corrections and state legislatures are putting into place chilling bans on free speech and expression by prisoners, formerly incarcerated persons, family members, friends, journalists, advocates and activists. Pack the courtroom for the hearing on Abu-Jamal v. Kane, challenging Prisoner Gag Law SB 508, on Thursday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m., in U.S. Courthouse, 228 Walnut St., Courtroom 2, Harrisburg, Penn.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Dred Scott is buried about a mile down the same road from where Mike Brown was murdered.

The value of Black life in America, Part 1

February 17, 2015

The same mindset that allows a police officer to summarily execute an innocent, unarmed Black person in the street is the same mindset that allows an officer to plant evidence and lie on the witness stand. It allows a judge to appoint a knowingly incompetent defense attorney, and it allows a prosecutor to withhold evidence, use false evidence, to overcharge and to discriminate with impunity.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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The artist writes, “With the utmost respects to all the PBSP SHU Short Corridor representatives for having the brilliant foresight and wisdom to move the whole system in such a profound and positive direction, I thought respectfully to capture their sentiment in art. In solidarity.” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Prisoners’ Agreement to End Hostilities as the basis for the abolition of ‘legal’ slavery

December 25, 2014

On Oct. 10, 2012, the Pelican Bay D-Short Corridor Collective, men from various cultural groups and walks of life, put into effect the historic “Agreement to End Hostilities,” perhaps the single most significant “door to genuine freedom” opened in American society in recent human history. What makes it so significant is not simply its motive force but, more importantly, its true potential for our collective liberation as a society.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Spokesperson Melvin Ray, Free Alabama Movement

‘Let’s just shut down’: an interview with Spokesperson Ray of the Free Alabama Movement

December 2, 2014

My message is not just to the men and women in these solitary holes. I myself am in one right now. My message is to the whole 2.5 million victims of mass incarceration and prison slavery. Everyone! All of us around the country, let’s just shut down. Wherever you are, just stop working. If you are in solitary confinement, spread the word to those rotating in and out. When they try to lock up those who organize and lead the shutdowns in population, don’t even give up.

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The all-Black and Brown cast of “Superheroes,” running Nov. 21-Dec. 21 at the Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor in Frisco, will be looking for you! From left, they are Britney Frazier, Myers Clark, Delina Brooks, Donald Lacy, Juan Amador and, in front, Ricky Saenz. This play is a must-see for the Black and Brown communities and everyone who cares about justice.

Thespian Donald Lacy talks Gary Webb, cocaine and the play, ‘Superheroes’

November 21, 2014

Thespian Donald Lacy is one of the stars of the new play “Superheroes,” which starts today and runs through Dec. 21 at the Cutting Ball Theater. “Superheroes” looks at the cocaine era in U.S. history from the perspective of a series of people interlocked in the scheme, or the uncovering of it. Check out renaissance man Donald Lacy, the father, journalist, activist, comedian, thespian and so much more as he speaks on Gary Webb and “Superheroes” …

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