Monday, August 8, 2016

Reaffirming Our Sept 9 Plans - Conf Call Fri 8/12 6:30pm 712-770-4010- Access 100577

Conference Call Meeting Friday 6:30 pm EST
Conf:712-770-4010- Access 100577

Facebook Event:

Since May = Decarcerate the Garden State partnered up with Peoples Organization for Progress has enthusiastically pursued a drive for statewide organizing around the September 9 mutil-state prison strike. 

There have been about a dozen statements of support from around the state and participation by dozens in several organzing phone conferences.

We have been envisioning possibly 3 major events – Newark, Trenton and Camden and possibly more on or around that date. 

In Highland Park there is a panel discussion planned and hosted by Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War on September 10 as part of this effort.

There is also discussion of a possible youth organized musical event on September 10.
The idea is that the coordinated events would highlight the fact that enslavement is a continuing injustice in the USA as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution specifically allows enslavement for punishment for crimes – if you are duly convicted.  Also they are intended to send a message to NJ’s political establishment to start to answer our resounding demand to Decarcerate the Garden State. 

Coinciding with the organizing drive has been the release of the US Sentencing Project study that has documented that NJ has the worse probability ratio of all states in the nation with Black residents 12 times as likely as whites to be incarcerated.

However at this point I think we need to assess if we really have the traction to successfully handle this level of activity.

While there has been significant support verbally from numerous groups and activists around the state, there is also tremendous competition for resources and activist attention from the plethora of other pressing issues and most of all the presidential elections which always seems to sap activist energy and focus.

If we do not have the strength and muscle to make this happen – we need to make that decision pretty much immediately.

We can decide to either:
Continue to organize around the current plan.
To downgrade the effort to something more do-able.
To put the plan on the shelf for a time when NJ can better handle it.

I recognize that the effort could have suffered partially from my own over enthusiasm and my mistaking the expressions of support and the commitments to carry through with activities as those efforts actually occurring.  To be honest – there are many pledged actions that had not occurred – some of them by me personally.

So if the plan depends upon actions being carried out in a timely way – but that has not generally occurred on an over all basis, then the best thing to do is to reassess to make sure we still want to do it.

So I would like to invite everyone to call in tomorrow night at 6:30 pm to assess if this is still a “do-able” thing.  You can also comment here but it would be better if folks called in.

I think in order to assess our potential – where there is not a local group dedicated to an event – we need at least a committee of 4 – 6 people that commit to make the event happen, to bring in local forces, secure permits (if that is the plan) – select the venue  - etc. 

So lets see if we can do this reassessment and see if we have it it in us for September 9.

Everybody is for ending mass incarceration but given the current status of affairs, elections, all the other isseus on the floor – it is not everyone’s top priority.  That is understood – but in order for this to happen on September 9 – we need some commitment from a much larger set of people to make it happen.

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