A statement from Formerly-Incarcerated People (members of All of Us or None and Occupy for Prisoners)

To the Occupy Oakland family, all supporters of Occupy Oakland, and the larger Occupy Wall Street movement:

We are writing to appreciate everyone who has ever supported PEOPLE inside jails, prisons, and detention facilities throughout the country. We are also writing to ask for support from everyone planning to participate in February 20th National Day of Occupy in Support of Prisoners. PEOPLE in prisons – a nice name for cages – as well as formerly imprisoned PEOPLE, are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in our society. We have been labeled as “offenders”, “criminals”, “convicts”, “ex-offenders”, “ex-cons”, and many other dehumanizing terms, and are scapegoated for causing society’s fundamental problems. We are PEOPLE, and not the labels they use. The real “criminals” are those who run Wall Street, who are responsible for genocide, racism, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination. They lead the attacks against communities throughout America.

Feb 20th is a National Day to support PEOPLE inside cages who express their solidarity with the 99% and to support PEOPLE seeking social, economic, and other forms of justice. With the help of our supporters, allies, and larger communities, we aim to create a safe space to allow the voices of PEOPLE in captivity to be heard.

Many of us inside as well as out in the “free” world live by a code of conduct and support self-determination. We strive to build and follow leadership in our collective and public actions. We do not advance individual agendas over our collective needs. We further pledge to treat each other with respect and not allow differences to divide us, to accept responsibility for any acts that may have caused harm to our families, our communities or ourselves, and to play an active role in making our communities safe for everyone.

Seldom if ever, are people inside asked or given a safe space to tell their stories. The broader Occupy Oakland and general public need to know what is going on inside these cages, how the bottom of the 99% are treated by the 1%, and the need to meaningfully include people inside as we build our collective efforts.

We ask everyone reading these words to support our efforts to create a safe, secure and genuinely inclusive space for people inside, and to build a genuine role for their voices in the February 20th National Day of Occupy in Support of Prisoners. We do not want to create or exacerbate conditions that endanger anyone’s freedom. We know police have attacked our sisters and brothers at Occupy encampments all over the country. We ask everyone participating to remember that for many of us even a mass arrest could escalate to a parole violation and a return to prison. We also want to guarantee the safety of family members with loved ones inside because they are the lifeline for PEOPLE in cages.

We ask you to be our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers!

With Humility,

Formerly-Incarcerated People from All of Us or None and Occupy for Prisoners

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7 thoughts on “A statement from Formerly-Incarcerated People (members of All of Us or None and Occupy for Prisoners)

  1. [...] A STATEMENT FROM FORMERLY-INCARCERATED PEOPLE (MEMBERS OF ALL OF US OR NONE AND OCCUPY FOR PRISONER… [...]

  2. We Have No Rights

    Our democracy is a myth,
    Our leaders can’t be trusted;
    Our government is corrupt,
    And our system is busted.

    We have no rights,
    Save those we defend;
    We have but each other
    On which to depend.

    –IronBoltBruce, once published in Bikers Behind Bars

  3. [...] Occupy4Prisoners has put a Call-Out to the Occupy Oakland Nonviolent Caucus, and others to help organize a training for Participants and Volunteers for the Feb 20 action at SanQuentin.  This training is to help support the request of the organizers who would want to keep this event as safe as possible, in solidarity with currently or formerly incarcerated people.  To learn more about the reasons for this request from the organizers of Occupy4Prisoners, please see the following statement. [...]

    • Doussa says:

      Thank you for you comment Lynne. In my heart I belivee Michael Moore would be more than happy to retire because the world was functioning well and in truth. My wish too.

  4. [...] rally to express their solidarity with those who were currently or previously incarcerated.   The action request was that the event be peaceful and safe, understanding the risk that arrest posed to these [...]

  5. [...] rally to express their solidarity with those who were currently or previously incarcerated.   The action request was that the event be peaceful and safe, understanding the risk that arrest posed to these [...]

    • Alberto says:

      Dear La Andrew,Great to hear from you. I’m assuming WDCC aleadry has a pen pal ministry. What are you thinking? I see you’ve been to kensington3p.com we have people from different churches that use the supplemental materials page for their letters. Also we offer churches w/o a pen pal ministry to go through us if they like. This allows their church to participate in a pen pal ministry w/o a point person and the preacher doesn’t have to be troubled with another thing on his plate. Blessings my sister in the Lord Dan Burger

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