Monday, April 2, 2012

April 19 in Chicago: Stop Mass Incarceration!

People across Chicago will rally on Thursday, April 19, 2012, to Stop Mass Incarceration! Meet at 5:00 p.m. at Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams). Join the April 19 Facebook event page and invite friends.

CONTACT US to help make this event a success: stolenliveschi [at]

Attend the Monday, April 16, 7:00 p.m. planning meeting at Revolution Books (1103 N. Ashland)

Tweet with us! Follow @stolenliveschi and use the hashtag #SMI A19.

Add your story to the"Bear Witness: Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration" Tumblr page. This is a space where you can submit your videos and share your stories of harassment by the cops, and treatment by the system -- to paint a complete picture of the genocidal actions and character which characterizes the system of mass incarceration. Bear witness to crimes against the people!

BACKGROUND (from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network)
This country imprisons more people than any other country on the planet. On Thursday, April 19th, everyone who is concerned about injustice must join in saying -- NO TO MASS INCARCERATION -- in a loud voice. There must be rallies and demonstrations in cities across the country. College and high school students must hold teach in's and other actions o n their campuses. There need be cultural events held on that day. The architects and enforcers of mass incarceration must be challenged over the inhumanity of the policies they are inflicting on society. A lot of important work has been done on this front. Michelle Alexander and others have done a lot of exposure of the horrors of mass incarceration. Prisoners, activists and others concerned about injustice, including a number of prominent have been involved in building resistance to this problem. It is crucial that this resistance be taken to higher level -- NOW. We must do this because:
  • 2.4 million people, 60% of them Black or Latino, are held in prisons across the US.
  • Racial profiling practiced by police and courts serves as a pipeline to these horrific numbers.
  • People in prison are subjected to torture-like conditions.
  • The formerly incarcerated face discrimination, even after they've served their sentences.
We must do this now because in this very political time -- with the presidential elections heading into full swing -- the horror of racially targeted mass incarceration is being hardly mentioned. And when it does come up, it is raised only to call for even harsher measures. Only our independent mass action can puncture this atmosphere -- putting this injustice forcefully before society and challenging everyone who is concerned about justice to take a stand.

Signers to the National Call (list in formation):

All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party (GC); Gbenga Akinnagbe, Actor; Rafael Angulo, Professor of Social Work, USC; Edward Asner, Actor; Lawrence Aubry, Convenor, Advocates for Black Strategic Alternatives; Hadar Aviram, Associate Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law*; Lucy Bailey, Independent, LA Ca; Nellie Bailey, Occupy Harlem; Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis, Director of Peace and Justice, All Saints Church. Pasadena, Ca.; Jared Ball, VOXUNION Media, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Social Justice Committee, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists; Rev. Dr. Dorsey O. Blake, Presiding Minister, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples; Blase Bonpane, Ph.D., Director, OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS; Herb Boyd, Harlem-based author, educator, journalist and activist; Bob Brown, co-director, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) Institute; Elaine Brower, World Can't Wait, Military Families Speak Out; Richard Brown, Former Black Panther Party; John L. Burris, Civil Rights Attorney; Rev. Richard “Meri Ka Ra” Byrd, Senior Pastor, KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science; California Coalition for Women Prisoners; Kendra Castaneda, Prisoner Human Rights Activist with a family member in CA State Prison Segregation Unit; Denika Chapman, mother, and Marco Scott, uncle, of Kenneth Harding, Kenneth Harding Foundation; Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters, Cornell University; Solomon Comissiong, Executive Director, Your World News Media Collective (; Community Futures Collective, Vallejo CA; Drucilla Cornell, Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University; Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, Vanderbilt University; Oscar De La Torre, Founder/Executive Director, Pico Youth and Family Center, Santa Monica, CA; Emory Douglas, Black Panther Party/Alumni; Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist, co-initiator of Campaign to Stop “Stop and Frisk”; Kevin Epps, Independent Filmmaker/Activist; Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report; Dr. Henry Giroux, Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada; Rebeca Guerrero, Los Angeles, CA; Jeff Haas, Civil Rights Attorney, Activist and Author of The Assasination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther; Kelley Lytle Hernandez, Professor of History, UCLA; Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Naquan Heyward, Jr., killed by NYPD; Jeremy Hiller, Education Not Incarceration; Mike Holman, Executive Director, Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund*; Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) members Mary C. Singaus, Douglas MacMillan, Margaret Hutchinson, Stephen L. Fiske, Susan Anderson, Ed Fisher, Anthony Manouses, and Andy Griggs, Los Angeles CA; The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3; Melvin Ishmael Johnson, Director of Dramastage-Qumran Workshop; Mesha Irizarry, Idris Stelly Foundation; Tom Kleven, Professor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Cephus 'Uncle Bobby' Johnson, Oscar Grant Foundation; Robin DG Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA; Robert King, Freed Angola 3; Wayne Kramer, Jail Guitar Doors USA, Co-Founder; Patricia Krommer CSJ, Pax Christi So. California; Roshanak Kheshti, Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego; Sarah Kunstler, Esq., National Lawyers Guild NYC*; Laura Magnani, American Friends Service Committee; Joe Maizlish, Los Angeles, CA; BM Marcus, Community Director, Comm. Advocate Organization, Brooklyn NY; Dr. Antonio Martinez, Institute for Survivors of Human Rights Abuses, and co-founder of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture; Carlos Meza, Occupy Whittier; Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen (Unity Methodist Clergy), President, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Cal-Pac; Peter McLaren, School of Critical Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Rev. Darrel Meyers, Presbyterian Church USA; Nancy Michaels, Associate Director of the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation; Aaron Mirmalek, cousin of Leonard Peltier, LPDOC, Oakland, CA; Gregg Morris, Assistant Professor, Journalism, Department of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author of "The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America; Rev. Sala Nolan, National Minister for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, United Church of Christ; Oakland Education Association Representative Assembly; Occupy Education, Northern California; October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation (New York Committee); Kelly Phillips, Symple Equazion/ author of "The Art of Frowns to Smiles"; Laura Pulido, Visiting Professor, Department of Black Studies, UCSB; Professor, Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, USC; Willie and Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View Black National Newspaper; Anthony Rayson, curator of South Chicago Anarchist Black Cross Zine Distro; Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Rector Emeritus, All Saints Church, Pasadena, CA; Joyce Robbins, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Touro College; Dylan Rodriguez, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside, and founding member of Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex; Stephen Rohde, Chair, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; Lila Salas, Occupy Whittier; Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, Freedom Church; Dan Siegel, Civil Rights attorney; Jonathan Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law, U.C. Berkeley; Ellen Snortland, author, activist, performer; Jahan Stanizui, Culver City Interfaith; Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait; Heather Thompson, Departments of African American Studies and History, Temple University; Paul Von Blum, African American Studies, UCLA; Jim Vrettos, Professor of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Anne Weills, National Lawyers Guild; Cornel West, author and educator, co-initiator of Campaign to Stop “Stop and Frisk”; Tim'm T. West, Community Activist, Youth Advocate, Hip Hop Artist/Poet; Hadar Aviram, Associate Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law*; Anita Wills, Occupy 4 Prisoners; Clyde Young, Revolutionary Communist, and former prisoner;

Add your name to endorse this call by emailing name, affiliation, and city to

*For Identification Purposes Only.
Update: April 13, 2012

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See the national Stop Mass Incarceration website for updated information on actions scheduled nationally.

Photo courtesy FJJ. 

1 comment:

  1. I really would appreciate hearing of torture like conditions practiced in American prisons. I am NOT one of the people that advocates for harsh treatment or denial of rights for inmates. I have been in the corrections business for 40+ years and have always treated prisoners with dignity and respect up to the point that it is reciprocated. The need for the use of force is a reality but I have never used more than what was needed. Has there ever been abuse? Yes, but it is dealt with quickly and appropriately. While there may be some prejudice in the field, I must stand up for my brothers and sisters who do the job the few want and fewer can handle. The job is done professionally and with honor and deserves the respect of the public they serve.