Occupy movement challenges prison-industrial complex
By Betsey Piette | Workers World | March 4, 2012
Demonstrators chanted, “Tear down Jailhouses! Build up School Houses!” outside Heery International Inc.’s Philadelphia office as part of a national call from Occupy Oakland to Occupy for Prisoners on Feb. 20.
Heery, which profits from private prison construction, was paid $316 million in October to build a Graterford Prison extension to house 4,100 more inmates and a new death row facility.Organized by DecarceratePA and endorsed by Occupy Philadelphia, the protest targeted the disparity between increased funding for prison construction while Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett slashes funding for education and is pushing for more cuts. Continue reading
Protests demand human rights for prisoners
By Judy Greenspan | February 27, 2012
San Quentin, Calif. - Despite police blockades and freeway ramp closings — forcing demonstrators to hike to the rally site in front of the prison — activists occupied the front of San Quentin Prison for several hours on Feb. 20. That day had been designated as the National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.
Demonstrations were also held in about 15 cities around the country, including New York, Boston and Los Angeles. In New York hundreds of mostly youth in the multinational crowd rallied at the Lincoln Correctional Facility in Harlem and then at a Wells Fargo bank. Continue reading
Via Families for Freedom
Hundreds March in Harlem against Mass Incarceration & Private Prisons
Members of Families for Freedom joined with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Immigrant Worker Justice working group and the OWS Prisoner Solidarity working group to protest the connection between investment in private prisons and the mass incarceration of prisoners and immigrant detainees. Hundreds of protestors marched in Harlem highlighting the role private prison companies have played in supporting anti-immigrant policies, leading to record detention and deportation rates. The protest ws part of a national day of action during which over 15 cities held protests in solidarity with the ongoing hunger strike at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, with communities dispossessed by the criminal injustice system, and with political prisoners everywhere. Continue reading
From N.C.T.T. Corcoran SHU to the Occupy Movement
“The Constitution, then, illustrates the complexity of this American system: that it serves the interests of a wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers to build a broad base of support. The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support are buffers against the Blacks, the Natives, the very poor Whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law – all made palatable by this fanfare of patriotism and unity.” – Howard Zinn
Greetings, Brothers and Sisters. A firm, warm and solid embrace of revolutionary love is extended to you all. These words by Brother Howard Zinn are particularly relevant to the survival of the evolving Occupy Wall Street Movement, as these truths have been integral to the success of populist organizing in the U.S. historically and are central to the proposal we’re putting forward here.
Most of you, at this point, are familiar with the NARN Collective Think Tank (NCTT) from the many progressive programs and ideas that have come out of this body from both Pelican Bay SHU and here in Corcoran SHU, most recently our work in the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. Like the Arab Spring, which is still rocking the Middle East, and our own struggle to abolish indefinite confinement in sensory deprivation SHU torture units (see the five core demands from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity), the Occupy Wall Street Movement expresses a fundamental rule of materialist dialectics as they apply to social development – i.e., the transformation of quantity into quality – expressed eloquently by the Honorable Comrade George Lester Jackson some 40 years ago: “(C)onsciousness is directly proportional to oppression.” Continue reading
Occupy for Prisoners Comes Out Against Mass Incarceration
by: Yana Kunichoff | Truthout
| February 22, 2012
Each time the 100-strong crowd assembled for the national Occupy for Prisoners day roared below the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago on Monday evening, the lights in a couple of windows would flicker on and off – prisoners up above, responding to the chants of “build schools, not prisons” and “we’re with you, brothers and sisters.”
Occupy for Prisoners rally held in Durham
Durham, NC – Holding signs and shaking noise-makers, about 50 people gathered outside the Durham County Detention Facility on Feb. 20. The protest brought out a diverse group of people, who held banners that read “No more prisons” and “Solidarity with prisoners everywhere.” Others held placards saying, “End prisoners abuse and solitary confinement.” Dozens of people honked their car horns in support as they drove past the demonstration.
In the distance and several stories above, inmates crowded around the few windows that looked out onto the plaza, waving to the demonstrators. Continue reading
Fresno jail protesters call for more rehabilitation programs
By Gene Haagenson | ABC | February 20, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – Protestors rallied outside the Fresno County jail on Monday. They were asking county leaders to dedicate more money to drug treatment and mental health programs as an alternative to jail.
This protest outside the Fresno County Jail was aimed at getting the attention of the Board of Supervisors. Under legislation called AB 109 board members will have discretion in how to spend state realignment funds. Continue reading
Protesting prisons-for-profit that prey on the poor, powerless immigrant detainees
By Albor Ruiz | New York Daily News | February 22, 2012
Occupy Wall Street groups march on Wells Fargo bank in Harlem
Incarcerating poor, powerless people for profit is a despicable business, but it sure is profitable.
“Hello Harlem, we’re here to help” reads an unintentionally ironic sign in a Wells Fargo bank, a major investor in two private prison companies, the GEO Group and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) that in 2010 made a whopping $2.9 billion in profits. Continue reading
Occupy Wall Street Takes On U.S. Prison Conditions
By Laird Harrison | The Huffington Post | February 21, 2012
SAN QUENTIN, Calif., Feb 20 (Reuters) – Hundreds of anti-Wall Street demonstrators and prison reform activists joined forces outside San Quentin State Prison in California on Monday to protest high incarceration rates and living conditions for inmates.
Speakers said the state’s sentencing laws were too strict. They called for an end to solitary confinement and the death penalty and said children should not be tried as adults. Continue reading
Occupy Oakland rallies at San Quentin, turning Presidents Day into Prisoners’ Day
By Paul Liberatore | Marin Independent Journal | 02/20/2012
The Occupy Movement turned Monday’s Presidents Day holiday into Prisoners’ Day.
As part of a national “day of solidarity” with inmates, about 700 Occupy demonstrators rallied peacefully outside San Quentin Prison’s East Gate on Monday in support of prison hunger strikers protesting solitary confinement and other human rights issues.
Many of the demonstrators were from Occupy Oakland, whose members clashed with police in January, when 400 were arrested. Continue reading
Via Free Speech Radio
Occupy movements in different cities have taken on specific issues – from fighting evictions to challenging ordinances on free speech - and today, across the country, events are taking place to bring attention to the nation’s prison system. The US imprisons more people per capita than any other country, and the prison population is overwhelmingly men of color. The private prison industry has also been expanding, and along with it, laws aimed at putting more people behind bars. but the opposition to this system is growing, with many protests coming from inside the fortified institutions. The nationwide protest today, organized by the occupy movement and inspired by prisoners, attempts to address the harsh conditions and policies which have created mass incarcerations. FSRN’s George Lavender reports on one of the events, taking place in California. Click here to listen to the report
Occupiers, activists, and protesters oppose the big money incarceration machine
Reginald Johnson | The Examiner | February 20, 2012
Occupy D.C.’s Criminal Injustice Committee and other organizations participated in National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners, where people from around the country protested in front various jails and prisons around the country. In the District of Columbia, nearly a hundred people protested outside the D.C. Jail. Continue reading
Ohio Prisoners Fast in Solidarity
At least 20 prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP- Ohio’s Super-Max prison) will refuse food on Monday February 20th in Solidarity with the National Occupy for Prisoners Day of Action.
The fast was called by Siddique Abdullah Hasan, a Muslim Imam on death row at OSP for his alleged involvement in the 1993 Lucasville Uprising. In January of 2011 Hasan and other death row prisoners wrongfully convicted in relation to the Lucasville Uprising staged a successful hunger strike, winning their demands for improved conditions and access to legal resources. Continue reading