Saturday, December 20, 2014

Camden Decarceration Kick Off Meeting 12/20/2014 Minutes

Press release for event:

Minutes Camden Kick Off – Decarcerate the Garden State
Ferry Library 852 Ferry Avenue, Camden 12/20/2014 908-881-5275
I.                    Introductions There were 12 in attendance, some expressed a wish to keep their participation on the QT so the full list of attenders is not provided . . . but some in attendance included Gary Frazier, George Hornsby, Queneke King, Bob Witanek, Robert Colby-Witanek
II.                  What is Decarcerate the Garden State
The newspaper NJ Decarcerator was distributed and some of the highlights of the NJ Decarceration Act proposal were described.  Other aspects of our work including the Tour de Decarcerate and the Justice Committee were described.  There was some around the table discussions of personal experience and what sort of content a Camden approach to decarceration should include.  Participants talked of their personal experiences in the system and some of the mechanisms in place that are absolute obstacles for any success even post incarceration (like barring from housing, no access to jobs, other stigma, voting rights).
III.                Proposed event
Model we have followed: Key note to give the overview of issue, local speakers tie mass incarceration into other local issues and the impact on local community, representative(s) from Decarcerate the Garden State / other organizations to lay out what is our plan for struggle for decarceration.
We agreed and reserved the same space of the 

 Ferry Library 852 Ferry Avenue, Camden for a panel discussion presentation, 3 – 5 pm, Saturday, January 24, 2015. 

  We are seeking a key-note speaker and as a back up plan will use the Johanna Fernandez video in place of an actual key note .  Gary Frazier will conduct Camden based discussions to develop the content of the portion of the program on how mass incarceration impacts the Camden community and Camden’s stake in decarceration and Decarcerate the Garden State will present its plan of action to build a statewide movement to win sweeping decarceration in NJ including the NJ Decarceration Act, distribution of the NJ Decarcerator paper, continuing the Tour de Decarcerate panel discussion building in local communities and the Justice Committee to free political prisoners and support calls for justice for incarcerated and others in NJ and elsewhere.
The rest of the topics of the meeting were incorporated into the discussions described.
IV.                Does Camden agree to host event?  Pick potential dates, pick potential locations and assign someone to firm up locations.
V.                  Brain storm on details of event, organizations, speakers, promotions, news and other outreach.  Volunteer / assign for tasks.
VI.                Other apects of our work: distribute paper, circulate petition, participate in social networking, look for other cities to organize, writers for blog, justice committee, support for Assata, Kwadir Felton, others
VII.              Any other issues / announcements

Addendum - recent Newark event 

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