Thursday, April 19, 2012

People From Across Chicago Converge to say NO to Mass Incarceration!

National Day of Resistance - Say NO to Mass Incarceration!

Contact: Grant Newberger, 312-217-2202,

Thurs April 19
5:00 p.m. Rally at Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams) Chicago
7:30 p.m. Chicago Police Board Meeting - Olive Harvey College

People From Across Chicago Converge to say NO to Mass Incarceration!
-- Chicago Police Murders Fuel Local Action--

Chicago 4/19 -- Representatives of Occupy El Barrio and Occupy 4 Prisoners will join local poets, clergy, as well as activists in the cases of victims of Chicago police shootings such as Flint Farmer, Rekia Boyd, and Ricky Bradley, to initiate a nationwide movement to combat mass incarceration.

People everywhere, including local Chicago churches such as Wellington Avenue UCC, have delved into the problem of mass incarceration, greatly assisted by the best-selling book, "The New Jim Crow," by Michelle Alexander. The Trayvon Martin murder and recent arrest of George Zimmerman have galvanized the public nationwide, and people in Chicago have all become aware of the violence against people of color through high-profile cases such as the police shooting of Flint Farmer. The community has come together around the need to protect immigrants from persecution, incarceration, and deportation, particularly with resistance to the erection of an ICE facility in Crete, IL. Several weeks ago, approx. 500 people gathered at UIC for the "Forced Out" conference on deportation and incarceration. Local advocacy groups such as the Community Renewal Society are aggressively pursuing campaigns to reverse the consequences of mass incarceration and stigmatization of people with records. Occupy the SouthSide has initiated a campaign to "Stop the American Genocide (STAG)."

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for a National Day of Action to Stop Mass Incarceration on Thursday, April 19th. These national actions has everything to do with, and joins with, the upsurge associated with this “Trayvon Martin moment.”

On April 19th everyone who is concerned about injustice will join in saying — NO TO MASS INCARCERATION! There will be rallies and demonstrations in cities across the country, from New York to Houston, to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. College and high school students will hold teach in’s and other actions on their campuses. There will be cultural events held on that day. And the architects and enforcers of mass incarceration will be challenged over the inhumanity of the policies they are inflicting on society. Why? Because,

More than 2.4 million people, most of them Black or Latino, remain warehoused in prisons across the country;
Black and Latino youth are treated like criminals by the police and the criminal justice system, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive their encounters with police to prove their innocence;
Former prisoners wear badges of shame and dishonor even after they serve their sentences — discriminated against when applying for jobs, denied access to government assistance, not allowed in public housing, denied the right to vote.

In a short statement being released and circulated nationwide, it declares:

“It is time and way past time to stand up and say NO MORE! Our youth are being treated like criminals—guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence. The vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin concentrates the racial profiling that leads into more than 2.4 million people being warehoused in prison and the millions more who are treated like second-class citizens even after they’ve served their sentences. April 19th must be a day of standing up and saying NO MORE to all of this. Join us to organize a day of teach ins and rallies in high schools and colleges; a day of youth, tired of being demonized, taking to the streets—joined by many others from different backgrounds, races and nationalities who stand with them; a day of speaking bitterness to the way the whole criminal justice system abuses millions of people. All saying in a powerful voice: NO to mass incarceration and all its consequences.”

April 19th Convergences (so far):

Atlanta: 4:00 PM Downtown at the Five Points MARTA Station for a protest, speak-out, street theater and march.
Chicago: 5:00 pm - Federal Plaza at Dearborn & Adams
Houston: 3:30 pm—Convergence, intersection of Cleburne and Tierwester, March to Houston Police substation.
Los Angeles: 4:00 pm - Pershing Square, 5th & Olive, Downtown LA; 5:00 PM - March to LAPD Headquarters.
New York City: 4:00 pm - One Police Plaza, downtown Manhattan; 5:30 pm - March to Union Square.
San Francisco Bay Area: 12 noon - Rally, California State Building, Van Ness & McAllister - March to Federal Building, 7th and Mission Streets.
Seattle: 3 pm—speak-out and picket, King County Jail, 5th Ave. & James St., downtown Seattle.

National Signatories:
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;

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

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