Thank You from Kevin Cooper

(This is the message that Kevin Cooper prepared for the March 1st benefit for Occupy4Prisoners)

This is Kevin Cooper, and I’m calling you to say something to each and everyone of you who is fighting for our collective human rights.

Especially to those of you who on February 20th came to this modern day plantation called San Quentin prison to show your support for, and solidarity with people like me.

That something I want to say is “Thank You”!

What you have shown, and continue to show is the truth, there is no power greater than the power of the people!

The late Malcolm X once stated that “Power in defense of freedom is greater than power on behalf of tyranny and oppression!”

I wholeheartedly agree.

Peace to you, and thank you again.

In Struggle & Solidarity,

From Death Row at San Quentin Plantation,

I’m Kevin Cooper

Join Occupy4Prisoners at Occupy the Capitol

Occupy4Prisoners will be taking our Truth Mob and banners to the Occupy the Capitol action taking place TOMORROW – Monday, March 5th. Join us! Education not Incarceration!

Postcard: Occupy the Capitol

Website: http://occupyeducationca.org/wordpress/?page_id=430

 

 

M5 Action

UPDATED INFORMATION

The plan for Monday is that when our march and rally ends at 12:30 pm,
thousands of us will remain here at the Capitol. Politicians and the
state assembly have failed to stand with us, the 99%. So many of us
will go inside the Capitol Building for a People’s Assembly to
ourselves decide how to make the 1% refund education, jobs, essential
services, and a better future.

Here is the schedule:
10 am – March begins at Southside Park
11 am – Student association sponsored Rally to Fund Our Future
1 pm – People’s Assembly Inside the Capitol Building
4:30 pm – Nonviolent Direct Action Training inside the Capitol Building
5:30 pm – Afterwork rally in solidarity with Occupy the Capitol

Occupy Education and Refund California adopted the following
nonviolence statement for the action that we ask everyone who comes to
respect:

“The Occupy the Capitol action will be a mass nonviolent action.
Those involved in its organization will not engage in acts of property
damage either inside or outside the capitol and do not condone such
acts. Decisions about tactics will be made democratically.”

If you don’t see your departure location listed here, and you are a
student or employee at an educational institution, contact your
student government to see if there is a bus leaving your school for
March 5.

If you can’t find a ride on a bus from your school, want help
organizing a carpool, or have other questions about getting to
Sacramento on March 5, contact us at ReFundCA@calorganize.org

Here is updated bus departure information:

*UC Santa Cruz: UCSC East Remote Parking Lot, 6am, March 5
*UC Davis: ARC Parking Lot, 8am or 9am, March 5
*City College of San Francisco: 50 Phelan Avenue (Upper Parking Lot,
Near Riordan High School 7:30am
*SF Civic Center: 7:45am
*Fresno State University: Student Recreation Center at Woodrow and
Shaw Ave, 6am, March 5
*Berkeley: Bancroft & Telegraph, 7:30am, March 5
*UCR: University Avenue adjacent to Parking Lot 24, 12:30am, March 5
*UCM: Kolligian Library Traffic Loop, 7:30am, March 5
——-
Thousands of students, parents, teachers, and workers will flood into Sacramento on
Monday, March 5th. How long we stay will be up to you.

Join us to demand that Wall St. and the 1% pay to refund education, jobs, essential services, and a better future!

10 am: Mass March Beginning at Southside Park at 6th and T Streets

11 am: Rally at the Capitol Building

12:30 pm: Lunch at the Capitol Building

3:30 pm: General Assembly and Nonviolent Direct Action Training to Occupy the Capitol!

5:30 pm: Rally on North Steps in Solidarity with Occupy the Capitol

For a seat on the bus, more information, or just to let us know you’ll be there, visit: http://www.occupyeducationca.org/march5 or http://www.refundcalifornia.org/march5

Call 510.549.3863 or email uaw2865@uaw2865.org with questions about scheduling buses

OCCUPY THE CAPITOL!

Links: Postcard
Sign up for the March 5, 2012, action here.

Report on March 1st Benefit

From Organizer Rachel Victoria:

What a night!  A benefit fundraiser for Occupy4Prisoners brought in a crowd of between 300-350 people. In addition to the screening of newly released documentary, Broken On All Sides, the program consisted of music, an introduction by the Truth Mob, and a line up of eloquent speakers, including Barbara Becnel, Elaine Brown, and Angela Davis.   Statements from incarcerated individuals, giving voice to those behind walls,  included a call-in from from Kevin Cooper from San Quentin’s death row. it was an amazingly successful night that exceeded our expectations, and left me breathless with hope and amazement.

Heartfelt gratitude is extended to Allen Michaan.   His longstanding generosity and support of the movement is legendary.  He made this event possible.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended last night’s event and/or supported it in any way.  Special thanks to Crystal and  Barbara for their efforts to help create the program, and to Denise for bringing the Message Wall and organizing the Truth Mob.  And thanks to each of the musicians,  speakers, readers, assistants, and other individuals who contributed to the program, publicity,  and/or logistics.

For those who could not be there, the program portion of the event is available on ustream at this link:  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20818490
The film itself was a serous eye opener about the Prison Industrial Complex, and it got rave reviews.  Here’s one,  posted on twitter,  by OakFoSho:
What an EPIC documentary. Tears in my eyes. Everyone see “Broken on all Sides.” Wow. #Occupy4Prisoners #OO #OWS 
One of the highlights of the evening was  an stunning vocal performance

by Elaine Brown after the screening. Tributes to the Jackson brothers, one each to George and Jonathan,  were moving and powerful.
 Elaine ended the program with “We Shall Overcome.”
The glow of this night will will linger for some time.  I had previewed the film twice before on a small screen.  But seeing it in a theater with over 300 clapping, cheering activists  was a completely different experience!  Scenes such as an Occupy Philadelphia march with a speaker calling “We Need a Movement! “ or “Let us believe that if Harriet Tubman could organize slaves without an ipad, email, cell phones… that surely we can organize people across the United States of America now!”  were moments not to be forgotten.
We do have a Movement,  and we are organizing.  That is clear.
Truly blessed and honored to do this, in solidarity with each of you.

Oakland – Documentary Showing March 1 Featuring Angela Davis, Elaine Brown and Barbara Becnel

Occupy4Prisoners Benefit at the Grand Lake Theater on March 1 at 7:00 pm
“Broken On All Sides is a compelling documentary addressing racial inequities within our criminal justice system and its devastating collateral consequences.” – James E. Williams, Jr.
The evening’s program will feature Angela Davis, Elaine Brown, Barbara Becnel and readings of statements of incarcerated people. This recently released documentaryBroken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration, and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S.  takes us inside the prison system, exposing the racism and brutality at it’s core.  The film features Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
$10 donation.  No one turned away due to lack of funds. All proceeds benefit Occupy4Prisoners
GRAND LAKE THEATER
3200 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610

For Immediate Release: OSP Prisoners Declare Victory After Three Day Hunger Strike

Contact: Ben Turk
Email: RedBirdPrisonAbolition@gmail.com
Phone: 330-333-0826

On Wednesday evening, twenty-five prisoners at Ohio’s super-max prison ate their first meal since Sunday night. The hunger strike was inspired by the Occupy4Prisoners National Day of Action called by Occupy Oakland. According to Siddique Abdullah Hasan, one of the hunger strikers, they initially intended a one day fast as a “symbolic gesture, a way of locking arms with the people on the outside.”

By Monday evening, the prisoners had decided to issue demands and continue refusing food. Their demands included specific changes in the conditions of their confinement at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) as well as calls for broader reforms. They resumed eating after Warden David Bobby agreed to grant a number of their demands including:

1. Reversing the recent decision to reduce outdoor recreation time for prisoners to a schedule alternating between 3 and 4 hours per week
2. Improving enrichment programming, including new movies and religious movies for the prison television station.
3. Bringing the head dietitian from Central Office in Columbus to review OSP food policies and hear prisoner complaints about inedible and scorched food.
4. A number of specific instances of price-gouging, skimping and lack of variety in the commissary.

Hasan said “Warden Bobby has been a man of his word in the past, so we don’t anticipate the kind of situation going on in California” referring to slow response to negotiations during last years large prisoner hunger strikes in California.

The prisoners consider their hunger strike a victory because they won these specific demands and also because they helped raise awareness of state and even nation-wide issues regarding the artificial economy of state pay and commissary prices. 

Prisoners from across the institution participated in the hunger strike, including Siddique Abdullah Hasan a Muslim Imam who has been on death row fighting what he says is a wrongful conviction following the 1993 Lucasville Uprising. More information about the Lucasville Uprising is available on a new website Hasan and other prisoners helped create at LucasvilleAmnesty.org

Oakland: Documentary Showing

March 1 | Grand Lake Theater Showing of “Broken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S.”

“Broken On All Sides is a compelling documentary addressing racial inequities within our criminal justice system and its devastating collateral consequences.”- James E. Williams, Jr.

http://www.brokenonallsides.com

March 1 – 7.00 pm
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Ave. Oakland, CA 94610
$10 Donation. No one turned away for lack of funds
Proceeds go to Occupy4Prisoners

F20 Reports

Check out our growing collection of photos, videos and news reports from the National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners: https://occupy4prisoners.org/f20-reports-pics-videos/

Please send write-ups, reports, pics, and videos of YOUR action to occupy4prisoners@gmail.com

Press Release from Ohio

Ohio Prisoners Fast in Solidarity
Phone: 330-333-0826

At least 20 prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP- Ohio’s Super-Max prison) will refuse food on Monday February 20th in Solidarity with the National Occupy for Prisoners Day of Action.

The fast was called by Siddique Abdullah Hasan, a Muslim Imam on death row at OSP for his alleged involvement in the 1993 Lucasville Uprising. In January of 2011 Hasan and other death row prisoners wrongfully convicted in relation to the Lucasville Uprising staged a successful hunger strike, winning their demands for improved conditions and access to legal resources.
Outside supporters in Columbus OH will be staging a demonstration downtown, delivering symbolic letters to politicians and officials involved in maintaining, managing and expanding the prison system in Columbus, in Ohio and across America. They will demand increased state pay and reduced commissary and telephone prices in Ohio prisons. The continuous rise of commissary and telephone prices, while prisoner pay remains the same creates an artificial economy and living conditions akin to modern slavery.
More information about the protest can be found online at RedBird Prison Abolition’s website:  http://www.redbirdprisonabolition.org/2012/02/occupy-for-prisoners.html

Truth Mob Video, How-to and Script

The TRUTH MOB is a creative action that combines speaking truth about mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, while doing outreach for the Feb. 20 National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners. The fundamental principle is from the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Solidarity Committee: amplifying the voices of imprisoned people.

A group of people converges on a public place and one by one, speak truth about what’s going on with the US prison system: facts and then writings by current and former imprisoned people, including political prisoners. The speaking is 5-10min, then the Feb 20 event is announced and flyering occurs about the prison industrial complex.

Script here.