I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Monday, September 28, 2009

Communiqué from an Absent Future: UCSC Occupation.

 Occupy California.

University of Santa Cruz California is worth watching tonight. Here's the link to their video coverage. Students there are demanding "the impossible": a more just, sustainable world than the toxic, bloody mess that my generation plans to hand off to them.

They want an end to capitalism.

They want everything.

They intend to hold out for months if necessary (though their site says the cops may hit them tonight) until they see their strategy of occupation and resistance catch fire at universities across the country, where students and employees alike are getting hit hard by this recession. They are an occupying force, and they are not there to negotiate. There will undoubtedly be arrests, and some will be further radicalized to help keep this thing moving forward.

In the meantime, they and their comrades will keep blasting the capitalist system with their brilliant and creative critiques of capitalism, visions for a new world, and statements of solidarity - which are directed most pointedly towards the center left, challenging progressives and social reformers to rethink the limits they set on what could be possible, and the grim consequences of settling for anything less.

Sometimes a little anarchy can be a good thing.

This kind of student movement makes visible the futures we've been so long told can never be, and expresses elements of the prison abolitionist struggle in a more accessible way than I could think of for college campuses, calling not for reforms but for a radical re-conceptualization and reordering of society. The literature from their website includes an interesting analysis of the interplay between the different social institutions which constitute the prison industrial system, particularly schools and prisons. It's embedded in a declaration or two, but once you come across it you'll recognize it for what it is. It begins to make the connections, at least.  The concepts aren't new; the generation shaping and employing them are, though, and I think they deserve the support of all good American radicals.

In Solidarity, from Phoenix, Arizona.


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