We are Staten Islanders who were shocked, saddened, angered, and ultimately moved to action by the NYPD’s harassment and murder of Eric Garner which took place on July 17th, 2014, and the subsequent miscarriage of justice when one of his murderers, Daniel Pantaleo, received a non-indictment in December of that year. Staten Island Against Racism and Police Brutality (Siarapb) subsequently formed as a diverse multi-racial and multi-ethnic group of students, faculty, and members of the community on the eve of the non-indictment that had had enough with the harassment, murder and impunity of the NYPD, and the larger patterns of police brutality, mass incarceration, and Stop & Frisk, Broken Windows, and Quality of Life policing which disproportionately targets people and communities of color here in Staten Island and across the United States.
As we write this, we are coming up on two years of justice denied, as Eric’s children are deprived of their father, while the officer that killed him walks free. It has also been two years of justice misplaced, as his friend, Ramsey Orta, who filmed and released the video of Eric’s murder, continues to be subjected to a prosecutorial witch hunt for challenging the authority of the NYPD. Two years later we are still calling for justice to be brought to the parties responsible for Eric Garner’s death and for greater accountability from our justice system. Continue reading →
Peace Action of Staten Island (PASI) is a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the nonviolent resolution of conflict, the abolition of nuclear weapons, and the promotion of culture based on human rights and economy rooted in human needs. To us, violence, and in particular state-sanctioned violence, is not simply the act of war and expanding militarization. It also encompasses degradation of our environment, policing which criminalizes, harasses, humiliates, and brutalizes communities and people of color through the bogus War on Drugs, and the deprivation of freedom through surveillance and imprisonment. It is also the economic exclusion of exploitative wages and wage theft, which are exacerbated within prisons and prevent people from meeting their basic needs.
It is a tragic fact that our country has chosen to value corporate interests over the well-being of its residents. That it supports the profitability of privately-run prison industries over the ability of individuals, both incarcerated and within low-income communities, to make a fair living and fully participate in society. That it willingly undercuts the lives of millions of people in order to drive corporate profits through a system of forced uncompensated or barely-compensated labor. Continue reading →
Prisoner supporters across the country are keeping up the pressure on prisons!
In New York people gathered for a fundraiser on the 3rd, and a noise demonstration on the fourth. They gathered outside a federal prison in Brooklyn which houses federal pretrial, federal sentenced, and a lot of immigration cases. Also at this prison are a number of the 120 people arrested during a raid of public housing project in the Bronx a couple of months ago.
“Outside we chanted “brick by brick, wall by wall, we will make this prison fall” and inside, over the fence, we saw fists raised and heard others banging on their cell windows.”
The demo was co-organized by mothers and organizers up in the bx at the houses, iwoc, and abc. Here is video and pictures, from the facebook event.
In Wisconsin, folks turned out lots of solidarity for their comrades on hunger strike. They held banners over the freeway all week, and spent from 8 am to 1 pm at busy intersections outside the WI DOC central office, creating a very visible presence, then they delivered a letter, including new rules for solitary confinement, written by the hunger strikers, as a way to move toward resolution.
Prisoners at multiple facilities in Alabama initiated a work stoppage on Sunday May 1st. Prisoners at Holman, Elmore, and St Clair announced the strike, there are reports of shut downs elsewhere in Alabama, and the administration denies that any facility other than Holman is on strike. Holman Prison, outside of Atmore Alabama has been the site of ongoing resistance since two back-to-back uprisings took over the facility in early March.
Holman houses the tag plant, a factory that produces license-plates for the State of Alabama with coerced labor of prisoners.
Perhaps more impact than shutting down the tag plant, striking prisoners are refusing to do the various jobs needed to maintain the prison itself. Everything from menial tasks of laundry and cleaning to preparing food and skilled maintenance jobs are typically done for free by prisoners themselves.
When they refuse, ADOC is forced to pay people- either correctional officers, or scabs, to maintain the prison and feed the prisoners. As a result, already unsanitary and substandard conditions at these prisons are degrading further. Paying staff overtime, or hiring outside workers will strain the already tenuous budget of the Alabama prison system. ADOC can hardly afford to operate it’s prisons with the help of compliant prisoner-slaves, so by refusing to work, the prisoners render their continued confinement impossible. Continue reading →