Tag Archive: anti-prison

“We Remember” – Some Brief Accounts from Durham’s Ferguson Solidarity March, November 25th

IMG_20141125_233915The following is a series of vignettes from the march that took place in downtown Durham on Tuesday night, November 25th, in solidarity with the struggle in Ferguson. The march was promoted online as well as with handbills and posters distributed in the thousands all over the city, and occurred before and simultaneously with a rally organized by multiple leftist groups. This series of personal accounts does not seek to establish a linear or all-encompassing narrative of what occurred, so much as provide some impressions, sights, sounds, and emotional reactions.

* * *

There’s not many of us at the front doors to the library, only a few pockets of people looking curious if they’re in the right place, but more show up soon. Eventually a large crowd of hundreds has gathered. Media people walk around asking, “Who organized this?” When it becomes clear no one plans to claim ownership of this moment, a series of older Black women start to speak. The topic is familiar: the fear of losing a son or brother, the cheapness of Black life in this shit world. One woman carrying a large white sign with pictures of her son, killed by cops in Winston-Salem, brings the crowd to tears. A bus driver still in her neon vest says a prayer, but she’s followed up by a young black man who’s visually enraged, screaming about how prayer isn’t gonna do it, that it’s “time to burn something.” Finally the crowd releases, cheers, claps, people scream “fuck yeah.” A young women I know only vaguely from weird Leftist circles confesses, “I’m ready to smash something.” Skaters show up. Another guy who I haven’t seen since the Trayvon marches shakes my hand. (more…)

“Silence Mumia Law” Protesters Drown Out PA Governor

mumiaFrom emajonline / By Betsey Piette

OCT 21, 2014

Lots of media were on hand Oct. 21 to record the moment when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett put his signature on the “Revictimization Relief Act” – dubbed the “Silence Mumia Law” by civil rights activists. The problem was that none of media could hear Corbett speak. Nearly 50 protesters standing a short distance away from Corbett’s press conference at 13th and Locust Sts in Philadelphia drowned him out with constant chants of “Our brother Mumia is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “One term Tom!”

In what would seem to be a Hail Mary effort to revive his failing reelection bid, Corbett, his political business allies and the Fraternal Order of Police cynically set up shop on a sheltered portable stage at the location where Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed in Dec. 1981. Political activist and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who happened upon the scene, was framed by police for the shooting and subsequently served over 30 years on death row before being released into general prison population in 2011. Abu-Jamal maintains his innocence.

The same movement that has steadfastly fought to free Abu-Jamal responded with less than 24-hours notice to turn out on a weekday to confront the state’s latest effort to silence him. They were joined by prisoner rights groups and civil liberties forces that see the anti-Abu-Jamal law as a blanket attack on the constitutional rights of all prisoners, and a dangerous precedent at a time when more attention is focused on mass incarceration. (more…)

Means to a Means (Reflections from the Northwest on the Anti-Prison Struggle)

adx-florence-4-244x300From pugetsoundanarchists.org

In August of 2012 voters in king county approved a tax levy to fund the construction of a new Juvenile Detention Center at 12th and Alder. Those in opposition to this re-build began to organize themselves amid a flurry of activity and conversation. In the end, some posters went up, an anarchist analysis of the new project was published in the local anarchist periodical, a few meetings happened, a few noise demos? and then nothing but the same old activist strategies, the same old campaigns.

Recently a call has been issued for the re-emergence of an anarchist response to the construction of the new jail. This is an effort to begin to ask ourselves why and how we would answer this call. It is not an attempt create a program for struggle or an outline for how conflict should play out, but to share a process of reflection with a broader group of anarchists in the Seattle area. The struggle against prison society is comprised of many on- going and specific battles against existing prisons and attempts to disrupt the building of new jails and detention centers. We seek to reflect on some of the ways that conflict against prison society has manifested in the past and to apply lessons learned in the Northwest and elsewhere to the context that is unfolding before us. This text is our humble contribution towards the development of an ongoing project of (self) critical analysis and attack. (more…)

Solidarity shines brightly on New Year’s Eve

durham1From Amplify Voices

I think the protest on the 31st is an awesome idea. This jail is pretty messed up…It is as if it’s a game to them–’I wonder how much time I can take from them today?’ It’s pathetic.”–Durham jail prisoner

Me and my cell mate will be looking for you all on New Year’s Eve.” –another Durham prisoner

Prisoners at Durham County Detention Center saw and heard demonstrators on New Year’s Eve, as dozens of people joined together to drum, chant, dance, and light up the night sky and show their solidarity with those locked up in Durham and around the world. Carrying signs and banners with messages such as “Outside to Inside: You are not forgotten,” “Prison: Slave Ships on Dry Land,” “(Love) for All Prison Rebels,” and “Happy New Year to All Humans,” the demonstrators continued their percussion, dancing and skateboarding for nearly two hours, bringing tidings of love and rage to three different sides of the jail, to facilitate maximum exposure to inmates. In addition to the steady and raucous noise made by drums, pie tins, kazoos, and other noisemakers, a number of paper lanterns were launched into the night sky at different points in the evening, making for a beautiful scene and an apt metaphor: the fire of freedom burns strongly inside and outside for as far as the eye can see–and beyond.

“It was awesome,” a first-time New Year’s Eve demonstrator said afterward. “Everyone had a lot of energy, and the drums are really loud.”


Global Noise Demo for Prisoner Solidarity: New Year’s Eve 2013/14

canibalInside and Outside Prisons, Jails, & Detention Centers around the World

from Anarchist News

This event is inspired by the North American call out for a day of action against prisons in the New Year of 2010/2011, which happened again in 2011/2012 and again last year, & remains relevantly unchanged.

Noise demos outside of prisons in some countries are a continuing tradition. A way of expressing solidarity for people imprisoned during the New Year, remembering those held captive by the state. A noise demo breaks the isolation and alienation of the cells our enemies create, but it does not have to stop at that. (more…)

The Ex-Worker Podcast: Prisons and Prison Society

The Ex-WorkerprisonsFrom Crimethinc.

In the latest installment of our bimonthly podcast, we discuss the current US prison system and its roots in the state itself, before turning our attention to movements for the abolition and/or destruction of prisons. Our special guests include a comrade from supermax lock up and Midwest Pages to Prisoners Zine Distro. News and a review of Between Predicates, War by the Institute for Experimental Freedom round out the episode.

Download the episode or stream it online or read the full transcript. 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 email us at podcast@crimethinc.com. Episodes appear on the first and third Sunday of every month.

TWAC Storms Prison Industry Giant GEO Group’s HQ in Boca Raton

[Update: As of 10:40 am, four TWAC folks who were occupying the GEO lobby have been arrested. The police removed the doors to the building to get them out. Sounds like that might be an inconvenience! We are told donations towards legal support can be made here. For those who missed the story last week, TWAC organizers also confronted the history of colonization and genocide in St. Augustine by disrupting a re-enactment of Ponce de Leon “discovering” Florida. Bad-asses.]


TWAC storms the GEO Group HQ in Boca Raton

TWAC storms the GEO Group HQ in Boca Raton

by EF! Newswire

The movement powerhouse which has come to be known across the country as TWAC, the Trans and Womyns’ Action Camp, has done it again!

This morning at 9am, following the first east coast TWAC camp, which took place in south Florida, activists stormed the lobby of GEO Group a prison-for-profit corporation located at 621 NW 53rd Street, Suite 700, Boca Raton, FL, 33487.

Two folks u-locked themselves to lobby doors, keeping them open long enough for a crowd to enter and disrupt business as usual for GEO Group (who is still reeling from an ass-whooping by FAU students which got their name kicked off the Boca campus’ new sports stadium.)

TWAC occupying GEO Group lobby

TWAC occupying GEO Group lobby

As of 10am, we’ve received updates that police have locked exterior doors to building with 5 activist remaining inside blocking office doors.  A crowd of 40 remains outside chanting and raising a ruckus. The entire road into the business complex of the GEO corporate office has been blocked by law enforcement!

TWAC, which was born out of the Earth First! movement in the Pacific Northwest, has become a leading example of linking struggles to grow a more effective solidarity-based grassroots direct action movement.

Women and trans folks out there feeling like you missed out? Don’t fret. TWAC Cascadia will be holding an ecodefense action camp this Summer in western Oregon, July 23-29, 2013: “a week of discussion, skillshares, networking, workshops, story telling, and action.”

The morning’s TWAC press release had this to say, in English and Spanish, about GEO Group:   (more…)

Durham New Year’s Eve Demo: Noise, More Noise, and Lots of Rage


Joining dozens of similar demonstrations around North America and the world, on New Year’s Eve fifty or so comrades and several family members of inmates met up at 7:30 pm at the jail in downtown Durham to show our rage and hatred for the prison system, and our solidarity with prisoners on the inside. Armed with black flags, pots and pans, a drum corps, and numerous banners (“Against Prisons,” “Solidarity with Prisoners Everywhere,” “Total Liberation from Domination,” “Love for All Prison Rebels,”) we chanted, screamed, and directed a cacophonous melody of anger at the guards changing shifts. It was subtly amplified by the shouts and banging of prisoners from the small plexiglass windows of their cells, whose faces were visible as dark silhouettes standing out against the modernist architectural gloom of the building complex. (more…)

New Blog Seeks To Amplify The Voices Of Durham Prisoners

durhamAmplify Voices Inside is a new blog put out by a group of concerned individuals from Durham. The blog seeks to amplify the voices of Durham’s incarcerated population and their loved ones. The blog was started as a response to a letter sent by inmates inside the Durham County Jail protesting their conditions. The letter received poor media coverage, so the blog’s authors created this blog to help expose the abuse at Durham County Jail and be a resource for the incarcerated and their families.  They are seeking more stories from folks inside Durham Jail and their family and friends.

Warden in Prisoner Hot Sauce Abuse Relieved of Duties

(from NBC-17, also click here to view a clip of the 11pm nightly news, which features the prison books collective)

The warden at a North Carolina prison where inmates said they were forced to rub hot sauce on their genitals has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pamela Walker said Tuesday that Sampson Correctional Institution administrator Lafayette Hall would be assigned to other duties while the State Bureau of Investigation probes what happened at the Clinton facility. A second employee also has been reassigned.

Six inmates allege correctional officers forced them to perform numerous humiliating acts, including gulping hot sauce and slathering it on themselves, resulting in painful blisters. The male inmates also reported being forced to simulate sex acts for the entertainment of the guards, as well as to capture and kiss wild snakes while working on a road crew.