National Meeting Held for October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration

April 7, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


April 3-4, New York City. A national meeting was held to strategize for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration. Carl Dix and Cornel West, who had called for the meeting, gave opening talks on the first day.

Ninety people came together from all over the country to discuss how to make October 2014 a month of powerful resistance that encompasses thousands taking to the streets in many cities on the October 22nd National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation; a major concert and other cultural expressions; panels and symposiums on campuses and in communities; sermons in churches, mosques, and synagogues, and more—a month that takes the movement of resistance to mass incarceration to a whole new level. People came from Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, and New York, as well as from North and South Carolina; Dayton, Ohio; Stockton, California; and Jacksonville, Florida.

There was a great mix of people, old and young, of different nationalities, from many different walks of life: immigrants involved in the struggle to stop deportations and in support of the hunger strikes at detention centers; professors, social workers, and retired nurses; Black youth who are criminalized and brutalized by this system; parents whose children have been murdered by the police; ministers, high school teachers and college students; people working in the legal system and in the media; those who have loved ones in prison as well as former prisoners, including those who have experienced the terror of solitary confinement. Pam Africa talked about the ongoing struggle to free political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and upcoming events around his 60th birthday, linking this with the overall struggle against mass incarceration.

A major item on the agenda was to discuss the draft of a Call/Mission Statement for the Month of Resistance. Lively discussion with lots of participation resulted in many suggestions to the draft that have now been sent to the interim steering committee to be finalized. Working groups also met to hammer out concrete plans for October including fundraising; media, including getting out the voices of prisoners; faith communities; campuses; immigrant-related incarceration; artists and performers, and more. will post the Call/Mission Statement soon. will have ongoing coverage and plans for—and how you can get involved in—the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration.

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