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Events Upcoming

June 26, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Join us for our regular meeting on Wednesday, June 27th at Howard University at 7:00 p.m.

We will be out at the Wells Fargo banks in Shaw and Columbia Heights again this coming Friday.

On Saturday, the Justice 4 Trayvon Martin Committee is holding a People’s Assembly on Police Abuse, Racism and Misconduct in Baltimore.  Details here.

“Protect and serve each other” – Peaceful Streets Project

June 26, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

The Peaceful Streets Project is a volunteer, grassroots undertaking uniting Austinites behind the common goal of ending the institutional violence taking place on Austin streets. Through organizing, training, and direct action tactics, the Peaceful Streets Project seeks to support marginalized communities in understanding, exercising, and standing up for their rights.

In order to accomplish these goals, the Peaceful Streets Project is undertaking the following actions:

  • Police Accountability Summit on July 14th featuring a free, full day of workshops and speakers
  • Fundraising to purchase 100 video cameras to give to trained activists in traditionally marginalized communities so they may hold aggressors accountable
  • At least two “Know Your Rights” trainings leading up to the July 14th Summit
  • Ongoing “Police Complaint Department” events in public spaces to enable Austinites to go on record with their stories of police abuse. Read samples of testimonies collected so far
  • Continuously building alliances with other community initiatives to support one another’s work

Through these actions, the Peaceful Streets Project aims to create a more just and peaceful Austin free of institutionalized violence. The Project is currently looking for volunteers as well as donors and sponsors to help us make this ambitious effort possible.

Read the rest at Copblock.org

The Unbelievable Brutality Unleashed on Kids in For-Profit Prisons

June 26, 2012 By: admin Category: Private Prisons, The GEO Group

Michael McIntosh couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had come to visit his son at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility near Jackson, Miss., only to be turned away. His son wasn’t there.

“I said, ‘Well, where is he?’ They said, ‘We don’t know.’”

Thus began a search for his son Mike that lasted more than six weeks. Desperate for answers, he repeatedly called the prison and the Mississippi Department of Corrections. “I was running out of options. Nobody would give me an answer, from the warden all the way to the commissioner.”

Finally, a nurse at the prison gave him a clue: Check the area hospitals.

After more frantic phone calls, he found Mike in a hospital in Greenwood, hours away. He was shocked at what he saw. His son could barely move, let alone sit up. He couldn’t see or talk or use his right arm. “He’s got this baseball-size knot on the back of his head,” McIntosh said. “He’s got cuts all over him, bruises. He has stab wounds. The teeth in the front are broken. He’s scared out of his mind. He doesn’t have a clue where he’s at – or why.”

Read the rest on Alternet.

Ohio Super Max Hunger Strike Update

June 26, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Two weeks after the hunger strike that began on May Day at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) one man named Cornelius Harris resumed hunger striking on his own because of slow progress on the realization of striker’s demands. Mr Harris refused more than 50 meals over at least 17 days. In a letter dated June 6th, he was still refusing food and vowed to stay on until “a clear picture is painted as to what changes will be made”. A trusted prisoner source has since confirmed that Mr. Harris resumed eating after a meeting with Warden David Bobby.
It’s unclear what changes have been made, but according to prisoners, Warden Bobby has made changes. There have been reductions in commissary prices, and there is a state-wide investigation into price differences and over-charging. Level 5 B prisoners at OSP are still separated from their visitors by bullet-proof glass, but are no longer required to wear handcuffs during visits. There is talk about more frequent and meaningful security review assessments.

The New Jim Crow Infographic

June 18, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Save Bernadette’s Home

June 18, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Bernadette Coly was living the American dream, and we need your help to keep Wells Fargo from snatching that away. Bernadette came from Senegal seeking a better life, working as a nursing assistant and settling in Silver Spring, MD, where she bought a home, attained her citizenship, and raised five children. But in 2010, she stopped receiving full child support payments from her ex-husband, she couldn’t afford food, clothing, and shelter for her family, despite taking on a second job.

Bernadette approached Wells Fargo asking for a modification, but they refused to even discuss the possibility, simply telling her to sell her home. With nowhere to take her children, she refused, and Wells Fargo foreclosed. Now they’re preparing to sell her home.
Wells Fargo received nearly $37 billion from taxpayers as part of the bank bailout and made over $8 billion in profits during the first quarter of 2012 alone. It should be helping out people who are struggling – in large part because of the economic downturn it helped cause. Instead, it’s been targeting immigrant communities with predatory loans, financing private prisons, and driving the foreclosure crisis.
We say no more. Sign our petition and support Bernadette as she takes a stand against corporate greed. Remember, banks don’t need houses, families do!

Events Upcoming

June 12, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Our next Criminal (in)Justice Committee meeting will be on June 13th at Howard University.

We will be out in front of the Wells Fargo Banks in Shaw and Columbia Heights this Friday starting at 4:00 p.m.

On the 16th, at Sankofa Cafe, Thomas Ruffin (Troy Davis’ post conviction attorney) will be discussing the Troy Davis and Marshall Eddie Conway cases as they relate to the death penalty.

One Thousand Years of Solitude

June 12, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Imagine spending a month alone in a windowless cell the size of a small bathroom.  Now multiply that by 100, and you can begin to understand the average period of solitary confinement endured by prisoners held in the Security House Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison.

The SHU, as the unit is called, houses more than 1,000 men, most of them remaining in solitary confinement for years, even decades.

According to official prison statistics, more than 500 prisoners at the SHU (or about half the total population) have been held there for more than 10 years. What is more, 78 prisoners have been held at the SHU for more than 20 years.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit public interest law firm, filed a class action complaint in federal court last week on behalf of ten named plaintiffs who are incarcerated in the SHU, calling the SHU’s solitary confinement regime “inhumane and debilitating.”  The plaintiffs, who had originally filed the case without legal assistance, have each been held in solitary confinement for between 11 and 22 years.

These numbers are stunning no matter how one looks at them. A recent European human rights court case condemned Russia for holding a prisoner in solitary confinement for three years, which, compared to the length of prisoners’ stays in the SHU, is a short stint. In the aggregate, prisoners held at the SHU spend thousands of years in their cells alone. It is a large-scale experiment in sensory deprivation and social isolation.

Read the rest on Counterpunch.

Western banks ‘reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade’

June 12, 2012 By: admin Category: Uncategorized

The vast profits made from drug production and trafficking are overwhelmingly reaped in rich “consuming” countries – principally across Europe and in the US – rather than war-torn “producing” nations such asColombia and Mexico, new research has revealed. And its authors claim that financial regulators in the west are reluctant to go after western banks in pursuit of the massive amount of drug money being laundered through their systems.

The most far-reaching and detailed analysis to date of the drug economy in any country – in this case, Colombia – shows that 2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country, while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates, and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries.

“The story of who makes the money from Colombian cocaine is a metaphor for the disproportionate burden placed in every way on ‘producing’ nations like Colombia as a result of the prohibition of drugs,” said one of the authors of the study, Alejandro Gaviria, launching its English edition last week.

“Colombian society has suffered to almost no economic advantage from the drugs trade, while huge profits are made by criminal distribution networks in consuming countries, and recycled by banks which operate with nothing like the restrictions that Colombia’s own banking system is subject to.”

His co-author, Daniel Mejía, added: “The whole system operated by authorities in the consuming nations is based around going after the small guy, the weakest link in the chain, and never the big business or financial systems where the big money is.”

Read the rest on the Guardian.

Events Upcoming

June 05, 2012 By: admin Category: Events

Our next Criminal (in)Justice Committee meeting will be on June 13th at Howard University.

We will be out in front of the Wells Fargo Banks in Shaw and Columbia Heights this Friday starting at 4:00 p.m.