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Durham Police Department “Intelligence” Report

December 17, 2014

durham-police-department-profileDear “Intelligence” officers at the Durham Police Department,

We can see by your intelligence report that you’re curious and confused about the nature of this blog in particular, blogs in general, and possibly the entire Internet.

This is the Prison Books Collective Blog.

We link to lots of articles and announcements that we find relevant about prisons, policing and your criminal justice system, both locally and beyond.

You may notice we are not many things to which we link or events that we announce.

For instance we aren’t the Catholic Workers, Trianarchy, News and Observer, WRAL, Truth Out, Peter Gelderloos, Playboy, Denver Anarchist Black Cross, SubmediaTV, NPR, Amplify Voices, ThinkProgress, Anarchist News or Aljazeera; in fact the things that we are not go on and on and on.

We also aren’t your scapegoat. But nice try.

until every cage is empty,

the Prison Books Collective bloggers

On New Year’s Eve, Bring the Noise!

December 10, 2014

demoFrom Amplify Voices

New Year’s Eve Prisoner Solidarity Noise Demo

For all humans locked up and their efforts to resist
Against prisons and the world that creates them

For the 4th year in a row, the hundreds of people held captive inside Durham jail — who are getting just two sandwiches for dinner and are freezing in their cells with no heat — will hear us on the outside and know that they are not alone and that their struggles will not be forgotten in 2015.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
7:30PM
Meet at CCB Plaza (Corcoran & Chapel Hill Sts.), then march to the Durham County jail @ 217 S. Mangum St.

canibalBring signs and banners, drums, buckets, pots and pans, and anything that makes noise and light.
Bring your love and support for prisoners, your hopes and visions for liberation in 2015, and your rage and anger for a system that locks up our family, friends, and comrades.

LET’S KEEP MAKING NOISE.

For more about what’s going on inside the Durham jail, visit amplifyvoices.com.
Need a ride? Email insideoutsidealliance@gmail.com or call 919-666-7854

Dec. 25th, Annual Christmas Caroling at Central Prison

December 10, 2014

christmasThursday, Dec 25th, 10am Christmas Caroling Outside Central Prison- Meet under the railroad trestle on Western Blvd. Enter Boylan Heights through Boylan Ave.

All are invited to the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House annual Christmas morning witness and caroling at Central Prison at 10 A.M.  We will  rally around the perimeter of the prison on Christmas morning to sing carols. Drummers will also be there to make a joyful noise. We hold a big Merry Christmas sign and bring the only cheer the inmates get on Christmas (The warden does not allow visiting on Christmas to give more guards the day off).  Singing starts around 10 am.  Believe me, this is a great way to remember what the season is about.  Peace and Blessings, Patrick O’Neill

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

What’s Worked in the Past: Learning From Ferguson

December 20, 2014

ferguson-poster_small-for-webFrom Counter Punch/ by Peter Gelderloos

This is the second part of a three part series. The first part can be read here.

The announcement of the non-indictment of Darren Wilson caught me on the road, traveling to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday. The next day I found myself in a protest, one of over a hundred occurring across the country. There I witnessed a scene that has played out many times before, and was probably being repeated at that exact moment in other cities.

A few protesters had just vandalized a yuppie restaurant on a strip targeted for heavy gentrification in that particular city. The windows were spraypainted with a slogan related to the murder of Michael Brown, and the restaurant’s sandwich board was stolen and pulled into the streets.

Read more…

Durham Jail: During demonstration, c.o.’s threaten to beat and taze inmates

December 19, 2014

durhamFrom Amplify Voices

Hey, —,

I’m glad to hear from someone like you and what you stand for is a real good thing, man. I was sitting in my cell reading the letter you sent me and I seen in one part of the letter you ask me if we could hear or see you all. Yea, we could see y’all outside the jail and on the news, too. I guess whoever has the power over the jail did not like that at all, so they put the whole jail on lockdown meaning that they put us in our cells when we still had time to be out. No showers, no looking at T.V., no phones, and you eat in your cell. The c.o.’s came in and said if we did not lock back they were going to beat and taze us, so we said “Don’t shoot, our hands is up” and we all locked back into our cell. For almost two weeks they were putting the jail on lockdown, and no one knows why, as the c.o.’s say. They taking the V.I. (visitation) from us, saying our fam have to go online to see us. But they still find a way to take our money. Man, it’s crazy, we need help in here!

Thanks 4 lookin out we need you!!! And yeah, I like to read books.

K. C.

The Ex-Worker #32: White Supremacy and Capitalism, From 1492 to Ferguson

December 19, 2014

cop sniperFrom Crimethinc.

#32: White Supremacy and Capitalism, from 1492 to Ferguson – Rebellion has erupted around the country in the aftermath of grand jury decisions to allow the murderers of Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York to go free without legal charges. Why did this happen, when authorities knew that this would spark furious protests and international condemnation? In Episode 32 of the Ex-Worker, Clara and Alanis try to understand the persistence of racist police violence by delving into the historical roots of capitalism and white supremacy in European conquest and colonization of the Americas and the transatlantic slave trade. Along with a survey of resistance and backlash since the grand jury announcements, we share excerpts from the recent feature “The Thin Blue Line is a Burning Fuse,” tracing the role of anti-police anger in catalyzing nearly all recent major social upheavals around the globe. [Agency] http://www.anarchistagency.com), a new anarchist media project, shares an excerpt from an article analyzing the Ebola outbreak and anarchist perspectives on public health. We run through a wide range of news, discuss listener comments on transcripts and international coverage, and even offer a radical holiday song!

You can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to podcast@crimethinc.com. You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

Dear Chelsea Manning: birthday messages from Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam and more

December 18, 2014

chelsea(Blog Editor’s Note: Have you written Chelsea a birthday card yet? It’s not to late. Check out our Political Prisoner Birthday Poster for December here to get her address and more.)

From The Guardian

Yesterday, December 18th, Chelsea Manning – heroine, whistleblower and inmate – turned 27. She has been behind bars for four years and eight months, ever since her arrest for leaking ­classified US documents. There isn’t much prospect that she will be released any time soon. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence, with the earliest possibility of parole being in 2021. She has appealed to Barack Obama for a pardon. It seems unlikely he will grant it.

It is against this gloomy and unpropitious backdrop that leading writers, artists and public figures from around the world are today sending Chelsea birthday greetings. Their contributions include letters, poems, drawings and original paintings. Some are philosophical – yes, that’s you, Slavoj Žižek – others brief messages of goodwill. A few are ­movingly confessional.

All send a powerful reminder: that for millions in the US and beyond, Chelsea Manning is an inspiring moral figure who deserves our continued support. Her leaks, published in 2010, at a time when Manning was unhappily stationed with the US military in Baghdad, revealed the true nature of America’s twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also ­illuminated the gulf between Washington’s private thinking and its public diplomacy.

Edward Snowden sums up the mood of collective ­gratitude: “I thank you now and forever for your extraordinary act of service and I am sorry that it has come with such an unbelievable personal cost. As a result of your courageous act, the American people are more informed about the ­workings of our government as it positions itself for endless war … For this we all thank you. Happy birthday, Chelsea.” Read more…

Durham: Two days of protest are marked by arrests, prayers

December 15, 2014

pigscumFrom News and Observer

— On a day when members of African-American churches across the country wore black to protest fatal police shootings of unarmed black men, they were joined by members of four Triangle congregations who gathered in one of East Durham’s most troubled neighborhoods.

The group of about 75 people prayed, marched and blocked two intersections Sunday afternoon in a renewal of public protests against the killings. The event came less than a day after police arrested 11 people during a protest-related attempt to block the Durham Freeway in which police in riot gear confronted marchers. Read more…

Dan Berger Illustrates Centrality of Prison to Civil Rights Struggle

December 15, 2014

alcatrazFrom Truth Out

Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era, by Dan Berger, University of North Carolina Press, 416 pages with 28 illustrations, $34.95 hardcover. (Release date: November 14, 2014). 

Dan Berger’s exhaustively-researched study of the ways prison, and the threat of incarceration, impacted the nationalist politics of the 1960s and ’70s zooms in on what he calls “the intersection of black protest and state repression.” Much of the narrative is focused on George Jackson and his effect on activists both inside and outside of lock up. In addition, while the book is steeped in the hyperbolic language of the era, it offers an inspiring glimpse into the lives of men and women who were willing to risk everything for equity, freedom and justice.

Berger situates the development of prisons squarely within the history of the American republic. “The United States has been a leader in carceral violence because of its roots in settler-colonial racism and its egalitarian distrust of state power, which, paradoxically upholds degrading punishment over beneficent state action for those deemed ‘criminals,'” he writes. Skin color, of course, is key.

“Chattel slavery initiated a racial regime rooted in confinement,” he adds, and even when slavery was officially ended, bondage became a tool of authoritarian displeasure, with those deemed guilty of unlawful behavior sentenced to a period of enforced separation from their associates.

“Throughout American history,” Berger continues, “the idea of criminal justice has been bound up with anti-black racism: Black communities have been disproportionately harassed, policed, arrested, tried, convicted, confined, killed and generally thought to be deserving of punishment.” Read more…

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