on the same topic as my last post -- please read this statement, it's so good and so important.
( The Denver Chapter of INCITE! and Denver On Fire Respond to Verdict in Angie Zapata CaseCollapse )
To All CR members, Allies, and Comrades of New Orleans,
Prisoners and Families of New Orleans needs your help immediately!
If you haven't heard already Hurricane Gustav is headed for New Orleans and is predicted to be a category 3 hurricane, the same as Hurricane Katrina. There will possibly be a mandate for all people (outside of prisons and jails) of New Orleans to evacuate starting tomorrow August 29th, the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It is predicted that hurricane Gustav will pose great flooding potential regardless of its category rating, the levee that broke by elected official's decisions during Hurricane Katrina has not been fixed to it's potential, or replaced.
The over crowding Orleans Parish Prison, located in New Orleans, holds 2, 500 prisoners (this count is not certain, due to lack of information given to the public.) Although not official, we have information that the Prisoners of Orleans Parish Prison will be evacuating to Angola Prison and Hunt Prison in the next coming days and are also prisons that can be affected by Hurricane Gustav due to overcrowding.
During Hurricane Katrina there were prisoners able to evacuate and others who remained locked in their cells with a minimal chance of survival. Prisoners were left in flooded cells, with no food, and had minimal ventilation, to say the least. Family members, of prisoners who were held at Orleans Parish Prison, are still in the fight to locate their loved ones who had been evacuated to other prisons during Katrina. Due to the flooding, lack of organization and care from New Orleans Department of Corrections and elected officials, prisoner's records were also missing. As a result, prisoner's constitutional rights have been violated.
This abuse can not happen again!
What will happen to the prisoners of Orleans Parish Prison located in New Orleans this time?
Critical Resistance (CR) is demanding that the elected officials of New Orleans will not create the same devastating wrongs as they did to the prisoners of Orleans Parish Prison during hurricane Katrina.
1. we demand a full and safe evacuation of all prisoners
2. we demand to know what the evacuation plan for prisoners is
3. we demand to see a public document about that plan immediately
4. we demand information about how we can find people after an evacuation
We are urging every member, ally and comrade of New Orleans across the country, to make at least one call to:
Sheriff Malrin Gusman: 504.827.8505
(James Carter's secretary said "Orleans Parish Prison is Gusman's prison")
James Carter: 504.658.1030
(Criminal Justice Council Member who is able to put pressure on the sheriff even if they say they can't)
You can also send an email: JCarter@cityofno.com
please put in your email subject: How will you protect prisoners this time?
Please call as many times as you can to put pressure on them and let them know our demands and it is their job to be accountable to us!!!!!!!!
For further information from us please contact Critical Resistance New Orleans:
Mayaba: 917.385.5472 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Koolblack: 504.813.4714 or email@example.com
(If you can't get through due to evacuation please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information)
finding this poem in a book at the penn bookstore saved me when i was feeling crazy the other day. read. footnote preface, Sirens Knuckles Boots is the name of Dennis Brutus's first book of poetry, published in Nigeria when he was in prison (in South Africa). if you want to read some of his poetry, check out his website.
Stone Hammered to Gravel
(for poet Dennis Brutus, at eighty)
by Martín Espada
The office workers did not know, plodding through 1963
and Marshall Square station in Johannesburg,
that you would dart down the street between them,
thinking the police would never fire into the crowd.
Sargeant Kleingeld did not know, as you escaped
his fumbling hands and the pistol on his hip,
that he would one day be a footnote in the book of your life.
The secret policeman on the corner did not know,
drilling a bullet in your back, that today the slug
would belong in glass case at the museum of apartheid.
The bystanders did not know, as they watched
the coloured man writhing red on the ground,
that their shoes would skid in blood for years.
The ambulance men did not know,
when they folded the stretcher and refused you a ride
to the white hospital, that they would sit eternally
in hell's emergency room, boiling with a disease
that darkens their skin and leaves them screaming for soap.
The guards at Robben Island did not know,
when you hammered stone to gravel with Mandela,
that the South Africa of their fathers
would be stone hammered to gravel by the inmates
who daydreamed a republic of the ballot
but could not urinate without a guard's permission.
Did you know?
When the bullet exploded the stars
in the cosmos of your body, did you know
that others would read manifestos by your light?
Did you know, after the white ambulance left,
before the coloured ambulance arrived, if you would live at all
that you would banish the apartheid of the ambulance
with Mandela and a million demonstrators
dancing at every funeral?
Did you know, slamming the hammer into the rock's stoic face,
that the police state is nothing but a boulder
waiting for the alchemy of dust?
Did you know that, forty years later,
college presidents and professors of English
would raise their wine to your name
and wonder what poetry they could write
with a bullet in the back?
What do the people we call prophets know?
Can they conjure the world forty years from now?
Can the poets part the clouds for a vision in the sky
easily as sweeping curtains across the stage?
A beard is not the mark of a prophecy
but the history of a man's face
No angel shoved you into the crowd
you ran because the blood racing to your heart
warned a prison grave would swallow you
No oracle spread a banquet of vindication before you
in visions; you mailed your banned poems
cloaked as letters to your sister-in-law
because the silence of the world
was a storm flooding your ears.
South Africa knows. Never tell a poet: Don't say that
Even as the guards watched you nodding in your cell
even as you fingered the stitches fresh from the bullet,
the words throbbed inside your skull:
Sirens knuckles boots. Sirens knuckles boots.
Sirens knuckles boots.
please forward widely.
RELEASE: Homeowners Fighting Police Brutality Illegally Arrested, Never Charged
Home Closed by Dept. of Licensing & Inspections, Property Seized by PA State Police
Press Conference: Tuesday, June 17th, 1 pm, Outside West Side of City Hall
On Tuesday, June 17th, at 1pm, the owners and residents of 1652 Ridge Avenue will hold a press conference on the western steps of City Hall to inform reporters and interested parties about the June 13th police action seizing their property and sealing off their home. Please read the release below for more details.
Contact: Hannah Sassaman, email@example.com, 267-970-4007
Andy Switzer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 267-269-5448
On the morning of Friday, June 13th, 2008, plainclothes detectives and a Ninth Precinct Police Captain entered a Ridge Avenue home without a warrant and arrested four Philadelphia community members - Daniel Moffat, Trevor Burgess, Andrea Okorley, and Jennifer Rock. These residents were pulled from their home at 1652 Ridge Avenue, arrested, and detained without charges at the Ninth Philadelphia police precinct for over twelve hours. Less than twenty four hours later, almost half a dozen other law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Housing Authority, had conducted a tour of the property, and the Department of Licensing and Inspections had closed and sealed the property.
While police claimed entry to the property under the pretext that it was an abandoned building, the residents of 1652 Ridge Avenue have owned and lived at the property for up to four years, while they worked on and improved their house. They have been active members of the Francisville neighborhood – partnering on community food distribution and community garden projects, among others.
On one of the hottest days of the year, these community members were locked into police cars, waiting to discover the nature of the criminal charges against them, as multiple officials searched their home. "They said it wasn't an arrest," says Mr. Moffat. "The police captain [Wilson] said he'd do me a favor, and put us in a cell because it was so hot outside. I asked, if we weren't being arrested, why we were being sent to be processed in jail? He smiled at me in a joking manner, and said, "Call it a kidnapping." That was my last word with Captain Wilson before later that night, when I was in jail." Moffat and his housemates were never charged with a crime.
The residents of 1652 Ridge Avenue learned that night, while in jail, that the Department of Licensing and Inspections had written up their home for multiple code violations – and that they would have only a few hours the next day to retrieve personal possessions, before the house was sealed to them and all other nonofficial entrants. When the residents returned to their home the next day, they found that personal papers, books, and computers had been rifled through or confiscated. Trevor Burgess, who returned to his room Saturday morning under police escorts, noted, "The only thing I really noticed they messed with was my photographs. All my photographs were just, like, torn through and all over my room. [The policeman] kept asking me about the photographs."
"When I was allowed to enter the building, to get stuff out, when I got to my room, my room had been thoroughly searched," said Moffat. "My computer was gone. I was informed that the Department of State had taken my computer for evidence. I couldn't find my phone list that was posted on the wall. I couldn't find a notepad with a bunch of my notes in it. I couldn't find this little book with a lot of phone numbers in it."
Residents stress that this incident happened just a week after they had begun circulating petitions about police surveillance cameras that had been installed in the neighborhood. Francisville, which abuts the newly affluent areas of Fairmount and Spring Garden, has seen a rise in police presence and in residents being asked for identification in their own neighborhood and in front of their homes. "It's clear to me that you don't have to be doing something wrong in order to be targeted by the police," said Andrea Okorley. "The fact that we were communicating with our neighbors about the presence of surveillance cameras was threatening enough."
These residents have called on press to not only hear their story, but to deepen coverage of increased police presence in the city – and the ways in which the city is driving out residents who have lived there for generations. "I want to go home," says Jennifer Rock. "But this is not an isolated incident. So many others are losing their homes or their freedom – and they can't be here to speak today."
Police Critics' House Seized
by Prometheus Radio | 06.14.2008
Homeowners were released from custody at 3am after being held without charges for up to 14 hours. They are being told they will no longer be able to access their property without violating a trespassing law.
June 14th 8:10 AM Philadelphia. Homeowners were released from custody after being held without charges for up to 14 hours early this morning. The 4 were taken into custody yesterday after police arrived at their door without a warrant demanding entry to the premises. Upon being refused entry without the proper paperwork they arrested the homeowners and forced entry to the premises. After arresting the homeowners the police proceeded to call the Department of Licenses and Inspections which found the property in violation of various codes and permits and ordered the building cleaned and sealed. Homeowners were told they will have 1 hour at ten am to retrieve personal belongings before their home is sealed. Officials claim that the homeowners will no longer be able to access their property without violating a trespassing law. Police cruisers sat watch in front of the property all night long. Homeowners were released at 3:30 in the morning. Representatives of the homeowners will be present to make a statement while they retrieve some of their possessions. The police operation was led by 9th district Commanding Officer, Captain Wilson.
There will be a press conference and community meeting on Monday night, 6pm, at the playground at 19th street and Wiley.
June 13th, 2008. Philadelphia Police descended upon the home of homeowners who have been questioning police tactics in Mayor Nutter's new "stop and frisk" program. 4 residents were arrested in their home at 17th Street and Ridge Avenue, and the police are in the process of sealing the building. The homeowners are being held at the police station, no charges have yet been filed.
Homeowners had been circulating petitions calling upon Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Ramsey to attend community meetings on the use of excessive force, surveillance cameras, and the new "stop and frisk" policy. The mayor and police chief have declined to attend these community forums, but instead have seized the home and possessions of those who question "Stop and Frisk," and are currently holding them in jail. While many civil liberties advocates and residents of affected neighborhoods have questioned the new police tactics, few imagined that simple criticism of a city policy could result in the seizure of one's home and subject residents to arrest.
See http://www.phillyimc.org/en/node/68912 for more info.
NY TIMES: 3 Detectives Acquitted in Bell Shooting
JUSTICE FOR SEAN BELL AND ALL VICTIMS OF POLICE VIOLENCE!! COME OUT TODAY! APRIL 25th - VOICE YOUR OUTRAGE!!
PEOPLES' JUSTICE for Community Control and Police Accountability is calling for a rally and community speak-out in front of the Queens DA's office TODAY at 5:30 pm @ the Queens DA's Office 125-01 Queens Blvd. (between Hoover Ave & 82nd Ave.) E or F train to Union Turnpike
In Nov. 2006, Sean Bell was murdered by the NYPD in a hail of 50 bullets. His friends - Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman - were seriously injured. 3 of the officers involved were acquitted of all charges in a bold affront to the human rights of Sean Bell and all of us.
The NYPD's murder of Bell and attempted murders of Benefield and Guzman are NOT isolated or random events. They represent the continued targeting of communities of color by the police and the lack of accountability for police misconduct and abuse.
Endorsers (list in formation):
Allianza Dominicana, Audre Lorde Project, Black Radical Congress-NY, CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Center for Constitutional Rights, Congress for Korean Reunification, Critical Resistance, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), DJ Chela, Domestic Workers United (DWU), El Puente, FIERCE, Fr. Luis Barrios – St. Mary's Episcopal Church (West Harlem, Manhattan), Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), Hasan Salaam, Hip Hop Caucus, Immigrant Justice Solidarity Project, Iglesia San Romero de Las
Americas, International Action Center, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), Justice Committee, Lynne Stewart Organization, Make the Road by Walking, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Mano a Mano, May 1st Coalition, National Hip Hop Political Convention, New Abolitionists, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, October 22nd Coalition, Parents Against Police Brutality, Party for the People, Rebel Diaz, Regeneracion, Revolting in Pink (R.I.P), Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities (RIPPD), Sylvia Rivera Law Project, VAMOS Unidos. War Resisters League, Where We Live Radio Program/WBAI-FM NY.
For more information about today's rally/community speak-out, Peoples' Justice, and other cases of police violence go to:
www.peoplesjustice.org and www.myspace.com/peoplesjustice or email email@example.com.
Rally will include performers & speakers who have been directly affected by police brutality, including:
* Speakers will include: Juanita Young (founder of Parents Against Police Brutality, and mother of Malcolm Ferguson who was killed by the NYPD plainclothes officer in March 2000); City Councilperson Charles Barron; Margarita Rosario, activist & mother of Anthony Rosario & aunt of Hilton Vega who were killed by 2 NYPD detectives in 1995 (the detectives were former bodyguards of Giuliani); Jesus Gonzalez from Make The Road NY & the Bushwick 32 case; Nicholas Heyward Sr, whose son Nicholas Heyward Jr was killed by the NYPD in 1994 when he was 13; Allene Person, mother of Timur Person, who was killed by NYPD 2 days before his 19th bday; JoAnn Mickins, mother of Corey Mickins killed after being shot 27 times by plainclothes officers; family member of Fermin Arzu, Honduran immigrant worker & father of 3 who was killed by an off-duty cop; Lisa Claudio, fiancée of Jayson Tirado, who was killed by off-duty NYPD officer in road rage case; Ryan Nunez's mother, whose 16 year old son Ryan was attacked by NYPD while eating at McDonalds exactly 1 year after Sean Bell was murdered.
* Performers will include: Rebel Diaz & Spiritchild of Movement in Motion
post a comment. post anything that you want, & post it anonymously. anything. a story, a secret, a confession, a fear, a love--anything. be sure to post honestly. post twice if you'd like. or as many times as you want really. then, if you want, put this in your lj to see what your friends (& perhaps others who you don't even realize read your lj) have to say. if you're not sure what to say, tell me what you really think of me.
attn philadelphia & new york (and elsewhere, if you want a phone reading)