A Critical Resistance Donor Call, September 2016
The conversation, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion, highlights the legacy of prisoner-led organizing for freedom as well as the political and social context in New York state that make closing Attica a keystone in the fight to shut down more prisons and bring people home to healthy, strong communities.
Critical Resistance NYC was a strong organizational participant in the Beyond Attica Coalition and campaign. Beyond Attica is a statewide coalition of organizations and community members joining together to close Attica and increase political will to decarcerate NY. In recent years, the New York (NY) state prison population has dropped 28% from 1999-2014,* but these closures have been limited to minimum and medium-security prisons. And rural jail populations continue to climb, while the New York City Police Department has extended its grip over communities of color in NYC proper. The Beyond Attica platform calls for decarceration to be part of an abolitionist transformation, not just a fight to close one prison: “We believe a safer and stronger New York is possible where resources wasted on caging people are freed to build the things that help communities thrive: education, housing, healthcare and human services.”
The call was part of a week of powerful organizing efforts to increase momentum for prison closure in NY: it follows the Beyond Attica coalition rally demanding the closure of Attica at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office on 9/8 and primes us for a Profiles in Abolition event in NYC on 9/16/16.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS:
Jack Norton is member of Critical Resistance- New York City and participant in the Beyond Attica Coalition. He is currently a fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. In addition to organizing for prison closure in New York state, he is currently writing a dissertation on the geography and political economy of mass incarceration in New York.
Five Mualimm-ak is a Human Rights Advocate & the co-founder of the Incarcerated Nation Corp., a collective of post incarceration professionals that run projects that serve those incarcerated , previously incarcerated & their family. Since returning from incarceration Five now works with the ACLU & NRCAT as a human rights defender, teaches the conditions of incarceration with the United Nations & continues to work with the Student Alliance for Prison Reform the nation’s largest student collective against mass incarceration. Five works to create statewide collectives that address statewide issues of incarceration. Five is a human rights advocate with T’ruah the rabbinical call for human rights. With INC five produces media content for major media networks around incarceration. Learn more here (video) and here (article).
Laura Whitehorn is a founding member of the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) campaign in New York and a former political prisoner.
Check out more Critical Resistance Donor Calls & Webinars here.