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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Early Prisoner Release. Please.

Friends of Marcia Powell's who have been able to connect this week struggled over the best message to make the case for prisoner release. This is the one aspect that seems to have received the least coverage, but it is what has prisoners and their loved ones holding their breath: the healing touch of human connections.

From Thursday, November 19, 2009. Arizona Capitol Grounds, Phoenix.

Prisoners have families, too.

...The best part about this action this morning was all the prisoners who got to see what we'd left on the sidewalk yesterday, and who saw me arguing with the cops after writing this today (thanks to the guy from the state who declined to press charges, by the way).

This poor guy had the job of cleaning up after us once already this morning and now had to do it again. As he approached my masterpiece he said quietly, without looking up: "I hope you appreciate the irony of what I'm about to do." Then he smiled.

I didn't want to get him into trouble by talking to him, so we kept it short and sweet. When I apologized for the mess I told him there are more people than me working on this, and he thanked us all for our support and solidarity. He was pretty touched. It helps prisoners a lot to know there are people in the community who care what happens to them, even though we may be strangers. It validates that regardless of their guilt or crime we at least recognize their humanity, and will defend certain basic rights.

So, when you're doing stuff and taking pictures, imagine being a prisoner getting a postcard with a photo of your action on it. It may make them laugh, smile, or maybe even cry, but it should tell them that they and their families are not alone in this.

I'll have more on this morning when I get my 35mm roll developed, but that's the main thing I wanted to share for now. Oh, yeah - and a shout out to Timothy with the Grounds Department.

(from earlier this week)

thinking of what better ways Arizona's corrections money could be spent...

window paint is great stuff to work with...

what seemed most important to communicate about early prisoner release...
The legislature reconvenes Monday, but deals will be brokered this weekend.  
If you have anything to say at all about the budget, don't wait.

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