A Proposal for Action to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and All Others Who Want to Fight the New Jim Crow
We face an emergency situation.
All this amounts to a slow genocide that is breaking the bodies and crushing the spirits of countless millions of oppressed people. A slow genocide which could easily become a fast one. This is unacceptable and must be stopped! And it is up to our grassroots efforts to stop it.
Nearly two years ago some of us met to pull together a movement not just to protest this, but to END IT. Some things have been done – we have supported the 2011 prisoners’ hunger strikes in California; participated in actions across the country in protest of the murder of Trayvon Martin; and participated in many protests in communities across the country against police murder. And, in particular, we launched a major campaign of mass nonviolent direct action against the notorious stop-and-frisk policies in New York City.
This has been important. But it is not nearly enough.
Our movement of resistance to mass incarceration must make a big leap ahead in the coming months, becoming a major force in US society capable of beating back this slow genocide and building up the strength and organization needed to actually STOP IT. I want to suggest a combination of initiatives for this summer that I think could, together, amount to a major step in this direction and, right now, make a huge leap in putting this in the forefront of people’s minds.
THIS HAS TO START NOW! We need to spread the word on the planned hunger strike and the Call for unity inside and outside the prisons. We need to gather statements of support for the actions of the prisoners. We need to plan tribunals and other forms to involve broad sections of people in standing with the hunger strikers. If at all possible, we must through this protest force the state of California to meet these demands and make it unnecessary for these prisoners to take such a desperate action; but we must also be prepared to support them through what might indeed be a necessary and very difficult struggle.
Even as we focus on this, we need to continue working to build a powerful movement on resistance to mass incarceration overall. This means:
As part of doing this, we need to get further organized. This means encouraging the formation of chapters of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network all over the country.
These are my ideas on what we need to take up in the months ahead. There is an urgent need to map out an approach to the continuing slow genocide of mass incarceration that grinds away engulfing the lives of tens of millions of oppressed people. In doing this, we need to base ourselves on what we have accomplished so far while facing squarely the need to go much further.
Get back to me with your thoughts on this proposal. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steve Yip at (917) 868-6007.
By: Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, Co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network
April 14, 2013