portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

actions & protests | corporate dominance | police / legal

Expanding Jail Solidarity

I've been thinking...
This morning I was thinking about Jail Solidarity.

It's such a great concept. It is one of the places where the best of humanity shines through: compassion, support, understanding, etc.

We too often forget that most life in industrial civilization is a kind of jail. It is very easy to blame the people who work for corporations, in office buildings, or at niketown, or in any of the countless jobs that perpetuated the system.

The food has been locked up, the land enclosed, there are fewer and fewer options.

How can we have Jail Solidarity with all the people who can not come out to actions or can not commit the time to create the alternative society? These people are not the problem, they are in jail and they need our help.

How can the concept of Jail Solidarity become a vehicle for transforming the way people feel about livlihood, and about the protesters that they see in the streets from their offices, wishing they could join in.

I remember in Seattle N30 1999 when I was in jail and I heard all of the people in the streets outside using "Repeat after me!" to send messages inside!

What would it be like to hear thousands of people sending their support to you while you are inside your cubicle, factory, and so on...? Probably transformative, mind blowing.

Thoughts?
Just do it 04.Dec.2003 09:09

.

I see people waiting for friends and loved ones outside of the Injustice center everyday, Particularly in the evening. Almost always the people waiting and people of color. Often it is raining and cold. If you wanted to you could show jail by being there with food or even just yourself. If you have some bucks I'm sure bus/cab fare would be more than welcome/

that's true, too. 04.Dec.2003 09:19

poster

Hey, that's a cool idea, too.
What I meant was solidarity with the people trapped in their jobs.

Solidarity on my mind 04.Dec.2003 09:20

Bork jamieandjoe@mutualaid.org

I'm the one who wrote The Lades Of Dade.

I saw worse in the women's facilities in Philly three years ago- I should have written about it. I helped get demands out of there but I deeply regret not following through enough. I should have done more. We all need to follow through when it comes to prison solidaity. To all the philly women prisoners- I'm sorry.

I do not intend to let this go by me again. I saw worse in Miami-Dade that I didn't include in the article.

The strip seach on entey each time you go to and from court is an example. You don't just pull down your pants and cough - you then have to present your ass and sex to the guards with cheeks spread and cough again. Sometimes repeatedly.

The entry cells were totally filthy- worse than the pods by far. Also, I didn't include all the instances of physical abuse by the guards- "Esmerelda" and the other prisoner who got punched for the phone calls were just two prisoners subjected to that sort of thing that I witnessed. I actually toned down some things that I believed happened just because a "protester prisoner" was there. I was try to relate more typical days; not the exceptionally bad ones. I didn't even discuss the pepper spay in restrained priners eyes stuff.

Nor did I get into Aramark's [a food prep company brought in as part of privitization efforts by Jeb Bush in order to lower costs on prison food] small and rotten food portions well enough.

I hope others will join me in devoting some of their energy to fighting the prison industial complex. Critical resistance is contemplating radio brodcasts into the prisons. We need to get more demands out and communicate them to other prisoners to help prisoners unify and organize themselves. The women of dade wanted that.

Another way would be if at least one radical near each prison volentered in one of those art or religous progams and thus got in to talk to prisoners and get conditions and demands out. Or work towards the same end with prisoners familiies- especially the ones one stand outside trying to get in to see there loved ones. We need to help facilitate communication between prisoners and raise the awareness of those on outside.

Prisoner Solidarity 05.Dec.2003 10:32

eyes wide more help needed. org

Greetings Portlander, I get your sentiment when you compare people trapped in their livlihood to people trapped in prison or jail...

Yet, here is lesson number one with dealing with prison and prisoners: Try to be careful with your word useage. Yes, living is a sort of prison but in making the comparison, you are diminishing the experience and the reality of prisoners. If you want to realize just how free you are then start studying incarceration.
If anyone needs a blast of reality when they whine for more or complain about thier oppression, then befriend a prisoner (not just any prisoner !?! -be aware), help a prisoner, raise money for a prisoner, go to the release/solidarity sight and offer some of what you have to give...yea great idea for sure. Tell everyone, especially the youth! and begin to understand that you could be next. Prisons need prisoners to offer those job positions to the onez "trapped" in their jobz.
Lesson two about dealing with prisoners: there is not a big comparision to one day, three days, even six months in jail/prison and a lengthy sentence. Do not think that the prison experience is easily understood or easily compared. Be respectful in this matter, be aware, be active, be mad as hell...