We recognize that Prisons are a replacement for the Plantations.
Although the 13th Amendment states:
“There shall neither be slavery nor involuntary servitude unless duly convicted of a crime.”
New Afrikans, Indigenous, Chicanos, and other non-European people are disproportionately incarcerated due to the mass unbalance of wealth, property, and privilege in this kkkountry. For hundreds of years, New Afrikans during chattel slavery were not allowed to gain property or wealth for their labor, while the Europeans were reaping benefits off their abuse, never allowing a balance in resources. We must highlight there was not a need for prisons until New Afrikans were deemed “free” or “emancipated” and able to gain “wealth.” Recognizing that the economic structure created by the Europeans would crumble without free labor, prisons were erected to replace the plantations.
Class contradictions are embedded in the foundation of this country. This is NOT “our” country, some of us were forced to become citizens without our input or consent.
We also recognize the gendered and cissexist construction and maintenance of prisons and jails, and the carceral system put in place to further erase and brutalize queer and trans people forced behind bars. This brutality falls most strongly on our queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Color siblings held captive.
With its roots and structure built and constantly being rebuilt in white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism, and based in exploitation and theft, the prison industrial complex exists as a continuation of plantations. And as one of the most gendered and cissexist institutions a person may be forced into. As a result, the prison industrial complex enables extreme and specific types of class-based, racialized, and gendered violence.
We believe in and emphasize the need for a diversity of tactics: Educate, Agitate, & Organize.
Education is a process that is always unfolding through our experiences, reflections, and collective voice. We seek to develop a deeper understanding of the carceral system by facilitating communication: inside, outside, and across points of struggle. Together we can develop and sharpen the tools to dismantle the carceral system mentally as well as physically.
We seek to agitate among our families, our neighbors and communities toward a deeper understanding of the contradictions of society and push for direct action to abolish modern prison slavery and genocide.
Building a united front amongst the PEOPLE in our community is imperative. Where the people are united is where the power resides. Every person (org) brings a different dynamic, whether experienced wisdom, book recommendations, or networking skills. It is our goal to unite these groups to fight collectively.
As a Regional Organizing Committee division of the National Coordinating Committee for “Prison Lives Matter,” networking with existing abolition organizations, amplifying each other’s fights, sharing resources, and uniting is a pivotal part of our Collective.