Creativity and Abolitionist Organizing

Former Death Row prisoner Kenneth Foster Jr. wrote us about some topics that are on his mind when it comes to prisons, the death penalty, and organizing. We agree that the people we are up against can be very creative in their thinking about ways to harm and oppress others, and the same amount of creativity is needed to oppose them!

 

He wrote:

“The following are 5 articles that deal with prison and death penalty issue. Pay special attention to 2 things:

  1. The 13th Amendment issue. I’ve been saying for years now that if the 13th Amendment never changes, mass incarceration will never change. As long as “involuntary servitude” exists, profits will prevail over people.

  2. As diverse as pro-death penalty people are in finding new ways to carry out state sanctioned murder, we must be just as diverse to overcome. Activism’s success depends on its creativity and new dynamic, trendsetting methods.

I share these stories with the hopes they will spark some ideas and make us remember why we have to stay serious and dedicated.

In Solidarity,

Kenneth E. Foster Jr.

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/apr/2/prisons-and-jails-impose-more-restrictions-mail-visits-curtail-contraband/

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/apr/2/california-supreme-court-upholds-death-penalty-reform-law/

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/apr/2/florida-supreme-court-approves-use-hypnotic-drug-executions/

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/apr/2/challenge-three-drug-execution-protocol-revived-eleventh-circuit/

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2017/nov/6/colorado-narrowly-rejects-ballot-measure-end-slavery-punishment-crime/

We would also like to add a few articles that address slavery and the need for creativity in organizing:

A recent article about Chris Young’s campaign for clemency also touched on this topic in regards to his use of videos in his clemency campaign. Chris has an execution date for tomorrow, the 17th, please consider taking action.

ICE detainees sue over forced labor

Rural economy celebrates the return of private detention facility(in Raymondville, TX)

The transformation of a former Bronx jail into a reentry center for ex-cons signals ‘new hope’ for the borough

What are other options for converting vacant prisons? Turns out there are plenty.

What are creative ways we can oppose these systems? One way we must show more creativity is in finding ways to erode these systems bit by bit, and to erode the perceived need for them. Taking away some of their power and erasing the economic incentive are just two pieces of that!

 

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