My close compa Emily recent sent out this tendril of solidarity for a Salvadoran community she's close to which was recently hit hard by a hurricane. They've been left largely to fend for themselves and in serious need of material support. Please be generous, but even for those of us dealing with our own personal financial crises, our dollars can go a long way in El Salvador so even small amounts are worth kicking down...
As organizers and activists in the city of Philadelphia, we’re excited to find ourselves caught up in this vibrant new movement. Few things have happened in Philly since we can remember that have looked so much like a genuine expression of popular power and direct democracy on a large scale. In this movement, we see an opportunity to truly challenge a system controlled by and serving elites. We love this and are full-heartedly engaging in this insurrection!
Following the election of Obama, many folks involved with a spectrum of different anti-racist work were left dumbfounded by the rise of the aggressive and often explicitly racist white Tea Party movement.
On September 3rd police approached Askia Sabur in the doorway of a Chinese Restaurant at 55th and Landsdown where he was waiting for food. Police threw Askia to the ground and subjected him to a storm of violence. For nearly 3 minutes, 6 cops swung down on him with clubs, cracking his skull and breaking his arm in the process. A video recorded from a cell phone shows Askia on the ground, handcuffed by one hand, blows raining down with no indication he was even physically resisting the abuse, let alone attempting to fight off the cops.
From May 30 through June 1st, hundreds converged on Temple University for STOPMAX, a conference focusing on solitary confinement in US prisons. For a few days, former prisoners, their families and loved ones and others, mostly folks already doing organizing in some way related to supermax prisons or control units brushed shoulders, shared experiences and generally exchanged ideas, tactics and visions for what many of us want to see emerge as a renewed prison movement to end Control Unit torture.
The title of Angela Davis’ book Are Prisons Obsolete (2003) sounds nothing short of utopian. Here in the US, as Davis points out, prisons are integral to everyday life. In poor communities and communities of color, nearly everyone has family or friends who are among the 2.5 million plus doing time in this country. Television and pop culture in general (where pop culture = cop culture) reminds the rest of us that prisons are part of society.