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Dec 3: Beyond Bars conference - Bellingham, WA

Beyond Bars Conference - Bellingham, Wa - Fairhaven College
Addressing the Politics of the Prison Industrial Complex
December 3rd, 10am-5pm
FREE! WITH LUNCH PROVIDED by Bellingham Food not Bombs.
Dec 3: Beyond Bars conference - Bellingham, WA

A conference bringing together a broad range of speakers and presentations to address the increasing incarceration rate in the United States, and its effect on diverse population in our society. Also a commemoration of Dec. 3rd, an International of Solidarity with Political Prisoners.

BEYOND BARS
The Politics of the Prison Industrial Complex
December 3rd, 10am-5pm
Fairhaven College
FREE! WITH LUNCH PROVIDED by Bellingham Food not
Bombs.

A conference bringing together a broad range of
speakers and presentations to address the increasing
incarceration rate in the United States, and its
effect on diverse population in our society. Also a
commemoration of Dec. 3rd, an International of
Solidarity with Political Prisoners.

For more information or disability accommodations,
please call (360) 650-6804, or e-mail
 AS.ROP.Social.Issues@wwu.edu

Confirmed speakers:
* Kirsten Anderberg, activist/agitator and
journalist,specializing in Poverty and Human Rights
Issues
* Books to Prisoners, sending free books to prisoners
since 1973
* Pippa Breakspear, educator/addictions specialist,
producer of On the Rocks: Treatment, Not Incarceration
* Mark Cook, a former Black Panther who has served
24-plus years behind bars as a political prisoner
* Christina McLean, Chris McIntosh Support Campaign (
www.supportchris.org )
* Danielle Ni Dhighe, Coordinating Committee Member,
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North
America
* The November Coalition, a non-profit grassroots
organization educating the public about destructive,
unnecessary incarceration due to the U.S. drug war.
* Matthew Walton, co-producer producer of Sundance, an
opera on the trial and incarceration of Native
American political prisoner Leonard Peltier
*** And more to be announced!

Films showing throughout the day:
* Corrections—how the racial and economic inequality
in the US are emerging from the wall's of today's
prisons.
* David Gilbert: Lifetime of Struggle—a rare
opportunity to go behind prison walls for discussion
with this lifelong anti-imperialist activist and
political prisoner.
* What I Want My Words To Do To You—the story of a
writing group led by playwright and activist Eve
Ensler at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for
women.
* Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives—produced by
the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, focusing
on the life and work of prisoner and activist Charisse
Shumate.
* USA, INCarcerated/Visions of Freedom—the state of
imprisonment in the US, as told by the organization
Critical Resistance
* Green with a Vengeance and 22/8—the story of
eco-prisoner Jeff Leurs
*** And many more, to be announced!

Sponsored by the WWU Social Issues Resource Center,
Legal Information Center, Drug Information Center,
Ethnic Student Center, Women's Center, Department of
Human Services and Rehabiliation, Middle East
Solidarity Organization, Bellingham Political Prisoner
Solidarity Committee, Anti-Racist White Student Union
(more forthcoming)

Directions: When approaching Bellingham from the
north or south on Interstate 5, take Exit #252, marked
Samish Way and W.W.U. Turn west onto Samish Way and
follow the signs to Bill McDonald Parkway. At South
College Drive, take a right. Fairhaven College and its
gravel parking lot will be on the right. Parking is
free.

WWU Social Issues Resource Center Statement -
On December 3rd, 2005, the Social Issues Resource
Center will host a conference bringing together a
broad range of speakers and presentations to address
the increasing incarceration rate in the United
States, and its effect on diverse population in our
society.

In recent years, the amount of people in either prison
or jail in the United States of America surpassed the
two million mark. This puts the USA as the greatest
incarcerator in the history of the world. And while
its current growth has now slowed compared to the past
thirty years, the incarceration rate in this country
continues to increase.

At the same time that the imprisoned population
continues to grow and prisons continue to be built, it
seems that little to no public discussion occurs about
the value of the practice. Politicians both to the
left and the right rarely raise the issue, fearful of
any approach to crime other than one stressing the
strictest punishments.

Yet the very magnitude of the impact of prisons on
people in this country demands the public discussion
begin. Dedicated to raising awareness and educating
the WWU community on a variety of social issues, the
Social Issues Resource Center can hardly think of a
better issue that relates to so many concerns in this
country at this time.

Incarceration is increasingly a local concern. In past
months, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire
and the State legislature approved construction of a
new prison facility in Connell, WA. In Whatcom County,
mirroring developments in counties across the state,
voters recently approved the spending of $350,000 to
plan future facilities, including a new jail.

At the same time, incarceration reflects a host of
painful disparities. At a time when institutional
racism is in the public eye following the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina, it becomes increasingly harder to
ignore that African Americans, while making up 12.7%
of the overall US population, account for nearly 50%
of those in US prisons and jails.

These and other concerns are what we hope to raise
with the hosting of this conference. The conference
will, we hope, pass on the lessons and facilitate the
networking that will initiate a discussion of
incarceration at WWU, its presence in Bellingham, in
Whatcom County, and the US at large - a discussion we
hope that will continue far beyond December 3rd.