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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Copwatch and Anarchists help bring down Sheriff Joe; Homeland Security finally ends 287g with MCSO

My earlier post was critical that the US Department of Justice hasn't gone far enough to prosecute Joe Arpaio, but my Spacebook community reminds me that a lot of people helped move the feds to act as they did today, and that was no small piece of ground we just took. It led to the decision by Homeland Security to finally cancel the 287g agreement they have with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), as noted below by Janet Napolitano. 

Without the work as well as the sacrifice of a lot of people - folks who don't put on body armor and guns, but have taken great personal risk nonetheless to document and fight our dear sheriff's crimes - today's DOJ ultimatum to Maricopa County never would have come. So, while I wish we were getting more from the feds (and sooner), I'm grateful to all those in this community that helped get us this far. 

Much of the evidence the DOJ and ACLU have against the MCSO - particularly in regards to their practice of racial profiling - was provided by people like Dennis Gilman and a fleet of observers with camcorders (organized by everyone from the unions to PUENTE) trained by Phoenix Copwatch (full of anarchists).  Props to the undocumented targets of racism, the UUs and black bloc(kers) alike who turned out for the protests when they were both big and small, to keep Arpaio's criminality and his incompetence in the public eye. Finally, thanks to all those journalists, (left and center) and bloggers who have helped amplify the voice of resistance out here, too, rather than just echo what comes out of the MCSO's propaganda machine.

So, relish this day and what comes of it; let's just not forget that the bigger picture without this one man - the capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy and prison industrial complex that have devastated so many lives and communities - will continue to exist long after he's history. Remember, too, that the DOJ is part of perpetuating tyranny as well...


Statement by Secretary Napolitano on DOJ’s Findings of Discriminatory Policing in Maricopa County

Release Date: December 15, 2011
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is troubled by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) findings of discriminatory policing practices within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).   Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust.  DHS will not be a party to such practices. Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating MCSO’s 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office access to the Secure Communities program.  DHS will utilize federal resources for the purpose of identifying and detaining those individuals who meet U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) immigration enforcement priorities.  The Department will continue to enforce federal immigration laws in Maricopa County in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor.”

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