On Monday, Oct. 28, Democratic presidential candidates fielded questions from formerly incarcerated people for the first time during a nationally-broadcast forum.
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Last year, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and All of Us Or None joined the Western Center for Law and Poverty and a broad-based coalition of 140 organizations to repeal the lifetime ban on CalFresh and CalWORKs for people with drug-related felony convictions. Effective April 1, 2015, no person will be deemed ineligible for either CalFresh or CalWORKs aid because they have a prior federal or state felony drug conviction.
Our struggle to abolish SHU torture units is inextricably linked to the broader struggle to seize cultural hegemony in the U.S. from the ruling class and its tool, the state. Our collective efforts have repeatedly exposed the state’s contradictions and sparked the people’s appetite for freedom and new social relationships. These activities undermine the reactionary character structure upon which authoritarian society is based. These actions are thus revolutionary.
Typically we don’t show up to the fight until several of us have been shot. We don’t show up early on not because we don’t care, but because in general we don’t know how. That’s why Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) is establishing a policy academy to increase civic participation by formerly incarcerated people, both locally and statewide. Our first training drew 50 people to the Watts Labor Center in Los Angeles.
At Legal Services for Prisoners with Children’s 35th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 19, headlined by Dr. Angela Y. Davis and Michelle Alexander, I noticed immediately the “logo,” a phoenix rising from the ashes, the theme for California Coalition for Women Prisoners’ 15th Anniversary celebration of the Fire Inside two years ago. All of Us or None is 10 years old now, and LSPC at 35 is the parent of CCWP.