“We need a day of bold activity — a day when college and high school students hold rallies and teach ins on their campuses, when religious institutions open their doors and invite their congregants and others to speak bitterness about abusive policing, when youth take to the streets determined to no longer accept being criminalized in silence and others from many different walks of life join them. A day when people in the prisons find ways to be part of the resistance, when cultural events targeting mass incarceration are held and statements saying no to this genocide signed by a broad array of prominent people are published as ads in newspapers. All of this involving all kinds of people, from different walks of life and points of view, all saying NO to Mass Incarceration. And thru this beginning to change the way people in society look at mass incarceration and winning many of them to stand against it.”
A Call for a day of this kind of activity has been issued, and I am writing you to urge you to join the effort to make it happen as powerfully as possible. (The text of the Call is below.) This Call has been issued by: Nellie Bailey, Solomon Comissiong, Carl Dix, Cornel West and Clyde Young. Add your name to the issuers of this Call, circulate it to those you know and become part of the process of working out the ways to bring the vision of this day in the paragraph above to life. I propose that the date for this day be April 19th.
We have to spread this day of resistance to as many cities and as many campuses as we can.
- More than 2.4 million people, most of them Black or Latino, remain warehoused in prisons across the country;
- Black and Latino youth are treated like criminals by the police and the criminal justice system, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive their encounters with police to prove their innocence;
- Former prisoners wear badges of shame and dishonor even after they serve their sentences—discriminated against when applying for jobs, denied access to government assistance, not allowed in public housing, denied the right to vote.