Prisons & Prisoners

Anonymous Comrade writes:

The Prison Industry:
Artistic Approaches to Activism
New York City, April 7, 2006

Film Screening and Discussion

Friday, April 7, 2006, 6:30PM

The New School
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center

55 West 13th Street
New York City

Admission: $10, free for students and alumni with valid ID

— Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director, Program in American Studies & Ethnicity, Associate Professor of ASE and Geography, University of Southern California

— Ashley Hunt, artist and activist

— Trevor Paglen, artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley
Temporary Services, artist collaborative, represented by Salem Collo-Julin

One of the primary rationales in the punishment of crime has been the assumption that the prisoner can be rehabilitated. Today, however, the role of the prison as a place for rehabilitation, growth, and personal advancement appears obsolete. Since the privatization of the United States prison system in the 1980’s, the system has become a vast $40 billion-a-year industry, the most elaborate in the world. At a time when the U.S. has achieved the highest rate of imprisonment per capita in the history of the world—in which, for instance, one in four African American men are under correctional supervision—the American public is slowly awakening to an unprecedented crisis of mass incarceration.

Investigating notions of punishment and imprisonment, repentance and acquittal, this discussion addresses the prison industry, focusing on artistic approaches to activism and reform. The evening’s program will begin with a screening of "I Won't Drown on that Levee and You Ain't Gonna' Break My Back" (USA, 2005) by Ashley Hunt which uses the New Orleans prison crisis after Katrina as a case study and a point of departure for a larger crisis in incarceration and rehabilitation.

This event is presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s year-long thematic cycle “Considering Forgiveness.”

TICKETS: Reservations can be made by email to Tickets can be ordered by phone with a credit card (212) 229-5488; in person at The New School Box Office, 66 West 12th Street, main floor, Monday–Thursday 1–8 p.m., Friday 1–7 p.m.

INFORMATION: 212.229.5353,
Website: Here.

"Hey You! Stop!"

Dave Segal

NYC activist Dave Segal reported to prison Monday, March 13th, where he will serve six months for actions he took to protest the war in Iraq. These are his words about the experience that took him there.

"Hey you! Stop!"

Those words marked the beginning of a year and two month journey that will end in three days when I report to the Fort Dix Federal Prison. In the dark, early hours of January 31st, 2005, I found momentum pushing me to go ahead with an action that I had very poorly prepared for. I had come to the Bronx that night after having scouted out an Army recruiting station next to Westchester Square in the eastern part of the borough. With a few lighter fluid soaked rags, I hoped to put some small dent in the huge military machine. I failed pretty miserably.

I arrived that night with no lookout and a poorly thought out escape plan. The feelings in my stomach, which I should have seen as a warning to turn back, I interpreted as general nervousness. I would just go ahead with the action and any kinks would work themselves out. After hammering out a section of the glass door of the building, I took out one of the rags, lit it, and tossed it inside on the carpet. I like to think it was the adrenaline that made me think that lighting the carpet on fire would burn the place down. No matter the reason, I was very, very wrong.

Al D. writes:

"The Green Scare:
Memory Against Foregetting"

Al D, for Rebel Cascadia

"The struggle of humanity against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." —Milan Kundera

Two weeks ago I found my name on a government list regarding the current "Green Scare," also known as the FBI's "Operation Backfire" against the grassroots ecology and animal movements.

The mysterious "No Contact" list contains the names of many radical, wonderful people—the people that perhaps would be the most outspoken in their support of those charged in this case—and for some unknown reason these people are supposedly banned from communicating with the defendants. I have tried to find out exactly what the list means, yet I've found no solid answers, but instead a general sense of paranoia, confusion and unease. I've come to view this ridiculous list as symbolic of the whole Green Scare campaign. Check it out here.

The U.S. government excels at dropping down on people's lives like a ton of bricks, and of course that's what it has done with this witch hunt. In the last couple months, it has incarcerated or otherwise hammered many amazing radicals, thereby traumatizing them, their friends, families, and movements. Federal prosecutors have also set a new standard for potential sabotage penalties: life in jail plus, oh, say, about 300 years.

Japanese Red Army Founder Sentenced

The founder of the leftist Japanese Red Army, once one of the world's most notorious radical groups, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Tokyo court for attempted murder and masterminding a 1974 attack on the French embassy in The Hague.

The Tokyo District Court on Thursday handed down the ruling on Fusako Shigenobu, 60, known as the "empress" for her leadership of the organisation, founded in 1971 in alliance with anti-Israeli Palestinian factions.

Two More Charged in Oregon with "Ecoterrorist" Arson
U.S, Newswire

United States Attorney Karin J. Immergut announced today that a federal grand jury in Eugene, Oregon, has returned two separate 14-count indictments charging Nathan Fraser Block and Joyanna L. Zacher in the May 21, 2001, arson at Jefferson Poplar Farm in Clatskanie, Oregon. Block and Zacher join four other defendants already charged in connection with the crime.

Block, age 24, and Zacher, age 28, were arrested today by federal agents in Olympia, Washington, where both reside. The agents also executed a search warrant at the residence. Block and Zacher will appear in federal court in Tacoma, Washington, where government attorneys will seek their return to Eugene, Oregon, to face trial.

The Poor Don't Belong in Prisons! Fight the WTO!

International Action Week, Feb 27th - March 5th 2006

in solidarity with 2 anti-WTO political prisoners who stand trial in Hong Kong, thousands of political prisoners behind bars worldwide, and millions of prisoners of WTO-related policies.

Women, Poor people, Farmers, Migrants, Workers don't belong in WTO prisons! Join Targetwto Commonfront in this International Action Solidarity

Hong Kong, FEB 15 (TargetWTO) – In Early March, two anti-WTO political prisoners will stand trial for charges of unlawful assembly during the Dec 17th occupation of Gloucester Road outside the 6th Ministerial Conference of the WTO. If convicted, they face a fine of HK$5,000 and imprisonment for 5 years.

Over 1,200 anti-WTO protesters were arrested on Dec 18th in Hong Kong. Fourteen were detained in Hong Kong for almost a month, not allowed to go to their home country to continue their livelihoods. On January 11th, charges against 11 were dropped. Charges against M. Yang Kyoung Kyu were dropped on Feb 14th. Conviction against the 2 standing trial would further face isolation from their home, family, and livelihood. The three
are M. PARK IN HWAN and M. YOON IL KWON from the Korean Peasants League (member of La Via Campesina).

The anti-WTO support group in HK has set Feb 27th to March 5th as the international action week to support anti-WTO political prisoners and continue derailing the WTO. While two face charges in Hong Kong, millions of farmers, women, workers and the poor are prisoners of WTO policies.

Targetwto Network is calling on people, groups and allies around the world affected by WTO policies to stage a protest during the International Action Week in order to derail the current Doha Round, to protect the lives of poor people and to stand in solidarity with all those who are prisoners of WTO and US imperial policies. Doha Round began in 2001 in Quatar as WTO's so-called development agenda. The Doha Round is aiming to strengthen the growth of corporations, profit and privatization before people and indigenous livelihoods.

Clare Hanrahan writes:

"The Line Has Crossed Us All:
'Aiding and Abetting' Conviction Brings a Six-Month Prison Sentence at School of the Americas Trials"
Clare Hanrahan

Thirty four peaceful protesters arrested during the November 20, 2005, vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, faced trial before Federal Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth on January 30 and 31st in Columbus, Georgia. All defendants were found guilty and face prison or probation.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

“Warrior Wind” Newsletter's First Issue Available

The first issue of “The Warrior Wind,” a newsletter against our society of confinement, is out now. It is available as a .pdf file, to print out and distribute locally, from either of the following two locations: here, or here.

The February newsletter contents include: “On the Recent Wave of Repression,” a look at the Northwest “eco-crime” cases; dispatches from eco-defense prisoner Jeff “Free” Luers; other repression and resistance news (grand juries, Auburn arrests, SHAC 7 trial, Chuk’shon Earth First! activists face sentencing, and “Belgium: Solidarity Against All Borders!”); information about the newsletter project itself; and finally a reprint of Ralph Chaplin’s poem “The Warrior Wind.”

We encourage you to make this project your own, not only through making copies and circulating the information within, but also by offering us your feedback and writing for future issues.

As repression increases, we believe that it has become more, not less, important for radicals to raise their voices. “The Warrior Wind” newsletter is one small gesture towards the sort of fight-back we desire.

Our first issue is dedicated to the memory of Bill Rodgers.

For a better world,
TWW Editors

Carolyn Thompson writes:

Free Father Gerard Jean-Juste Now!
Miami, Dec. 10, 2005

Miami's Torch of Friendship Down town Miami, Florida. Miami will bear wittnes to the united voices of tens of thousands of Haitians as we march for the liberaion of the Haitian people and the freedom of our beloved leader of the non violent resistance movement in Haiti Father Gerard Jean-Juste.

Father Gerard Jean-Juste was the founder of the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, and has lead a vigilant struggle of more than 30 years for the equal treatment of Haitian Refugees and now leads the call for the return to constitutuiona order and the return of the first democraticaly elected president of Haiti, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (removed by US Marines and a small band of Haitian business people called Group 184.

Mumia Abu-Jamal writes:

Veronza Bowers Held Hostage by Federal Prison System!
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Plan of Action:

Specific action requests include the concrete support of Bro. Bowers'
legal defense team; the concrete support of Bro. Bowers himself; and
to substantially increase the level of involvement of freedom-loving
people globally in spreading the word about this despicable travesty.

Purpose of Action:

Support Veronza Bowers, Jr. who remains in prison 18 months past the
expiration of a 30-year sentence he has already completed.

Syndicate content