THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

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

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Risking prison rape for graffiti fame: counter-revolutionary.

This was released today by the Maricopa County Attorney's office (they kicked my own felony down to 3 misdemeanors, apparently. I hope that's all I'm facing, anyway). This 18-year-old is on his way to prison, and he's bragging about being a "king". 

King of what, exactly? 

He has no idea what he's really facing if he ends up in an Arizona state prison. Guys who are masters at beating, raping and killing cocky youth like him - not writing on church walls - are running the yards. They're going to eat him alive in there - he'll be candy for them. That's why so many others are just killing themselves once they arrive.

I hope not all the young taggers out there are really this naive'...please respect our hoods and find a way to express yourselves legally, people. I get some of what you're doing, guys, but don't go to prison for this kind of shit. Come Occupy Phoenix or protest police brutality with us and just bring chalk - or a piece of cardboard with your paint. Teach me some new techniques - I learn a lot from real writers and artists. Think of it as a challenge....I dare you to drop your cans for one day. Then we'll talk revolution, if that's what you're really all about.




-----------------from the MCAO---------------------


Graffiti Tagger “Shaggy” Faces Criminal Damage Charges

PHOENIX, AZ (October 12, 2011) – A Maricopa County Grand Jury has charged Daniel Alexander Lopez (D.O.B. 5/13/1993) with one class 6 felony count of Aggravated Criminal Damage and one class 5 felony count of Criminal Damage for allegedly committing multiple acts of graffiti that defaced property and structures throughout the Phoenix metro area over a three year period. He is believed to be one of the most prolific graffiti vandals currently in Maricopa County.

“Graffiti is not a harmless form of creative expression. It’s a destructive crime that victimizes entire communities by creating blight and encouraging additional criminal activity,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “In conjunction with the diligent efforts of Phoenix Police and the Phoenix Graffiti Busters program, my office will continue to aggressively pursue graffiti vandals and hold them accountable for their destructive actions,” he added.

On May 10, 2011 Phoenix Police Officers spotted Lopez trespassing on State property near an onramp to State Route 51 at McDowell Road. This area is near multiple freeway overpasses that are frequently targeted by graffiti vandals. Lopez was found in possession of a tip to an aerosol spray paint can and had white paint on his hands that matched the paint on the spray tip. Officers also found fresh graffiti tags in white paint on structures near the location where Lopez was apprehended.

Lopez later admitted to investigators that he had been “tagging” throughout the Phoenix area since 2006 using the name “Shag,” “Shaggy” and “Shagone.” The current indictment lists more than 30 victims who suffered damages in excess of $5,500. Victims include Family Dollar Stores, Sears, Arizona Department of Transportation, New Hope in Christ Church, and multiple private citizens.

Lopez told investigators he was well aware of the risk he was taking by engaging in graffiti vandalism, adding that he had no plans to stop until he was caught. “If you become a King you will get caught eventually and that’s the risk you have to take,” he said.

Referrals of juvenile graffiti cases to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office have spiked 46% in the last five years, while referrals of cases involving possession of graffiti tools have more than tripled. The County Attorney’s Office typically files formal charges on roughly 90% of criminal damage case submittals (ARS §13-1604), with resulting sentences ranging from probation to two years in prison or longer.

The indictment and information announced today is not evidence of guilt. Mr. Lopez is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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