For years, Washington prisoners have used Cultural Awareness Groups (CAGs) (CAGs) as spaces for collective growth, liberation, healing practices, and inside-out organizing with local partners like Liberation Media NW and No New WA Prisons.
In March of 2023, WADOC shut down all of the cultural groups (Black Prisoners Caucus, Nuestro Grupo Cultural, and Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group or APICAG) to replace them with official, state-run “diversity” programming. In response, prisoners organized against the policy, holding an in-person rally of outside supporters and a series of phone-zaps. Prison officials then launched a campaign of retaliation and repression: searching APICAG leadership’s cells and removing property, and putting APICAG leaders in the hole.
Organizers inside and outside of WA prisons are asking allies to help uplift the struggle in WA prisons for CAGs far and wide. Check out the following documents and look out for future calls to action for solidarity.
- This zine that folks created gives a good history of CAGs, their importance, and early mobilization against their removal.
- Take Action: Check out more detailed information and community demands in this Call to Action: APICAG Under Attack Call & Email Now.
- Here is a link to the APICAG social media post/slides
- Solidarity statement from the Latinx prisoner’s group at Stafford Creek Correctional Center (SCCC): Nuestro Grupo Cultural Stafford wrote a solidarity statement.
- In Washington state? Take Action by using this easy to fill in form to send a pre-drafted email to targeted DOC officials.