Join us in marching on the BOP against new prison proposals in Letcher County, KY and Thomson, IL, Monday morning . Meet 7am at Union Station/Columbus Circle. Bring signs, banners, drums, trumpets, etc.
The following is a tentative schedule for the Convergence, and is subject to change.
3pm There is a meeting on with the EPA Re: their policies on prison pollution and environmental justice. The room that is reserved is at capacity, but we are inviting people to have a presence out front to inform EPA staff of our position and to do general outreach for the convergence. Please join us. Location: 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20460
6pm – 8pm Convergence orientation, snacks and tabling. Stop by for a welcome packet and schedule updates, in Room 214.
(All events at UDC Law School building, unless specified otherwise.)
8am – 9am Breakfast on site
9am – 10am Orientation and Tabling
10:00am – 12:00pm
Opening Plenary: Toxic Prisons, Eco Prisoners and Growing our Movement Description: This will be a panel introducing the convergence, offering an overview of the prison ecology concept, the history of June 11, eco-prisoner solidarity, the fight against a new prison in Letcher County, multi-racial solidarity work and movement strategy. Along with organizers from DC, KY, and FL, this session will include a call-in from current OH death row prisoner Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar) of the Lucasville 5.
12:00pm Lunch break
1:30pm – 3:30pm Voices from Former Prisoners
Description: Hear experiences and insights from both political prisoners (people who were locked up for their dedication to struggle and liberation) and social prisoners who were politicized as a result of their experience in prison. Including Jihad Abdulmumit of the Jericho Movement, Ray Luc Levasseur of the United Freedom Front, Nick Todd of indigenous Lakota prisoner organization Maza Tipi Oyate, and other participants TBA.
3:45pm – 5:45pm Workshop/Panel Block
[Note: It was difficult to overlap these important issues, but our hope is that you can get with several others, split up the time slot, and then swap notes and connections in order to further cross-pollinate our organizing efforts.]
1. International Resistance to Maximum Security Prisons
Description: Exploring the growing use of tools such as solitary confinement and Communication Management Units to repress social movements, and the response in several countries including the US, Belgium, Greece and the UK. Organizers from Bloomington ABC will be joined by former political prisoner Daniel McGowan.
2. Prisons and the Environment
Description: Activists, lawyers, academics and family members of prisoners will discuss some examples of prison pollution and environmental justice issues around the country, including toxic sites and climate-related risks at prisons, immigrant detention facilities and youth jails.
6:00 – 7:30pm Dinner Break served at UDC
7:30 – 9:30pm in Room 518, the Moot Courtroom (no food allowed)
Panel & Discussion: “Defending the Earth & Abolishing Prisons: Voices from the Struggle,” Featuring: Ramona Africa of the MOVE organization; Peter Clark of the Int’l Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; Eric McDavid (recently released former eco-prisoner entrapped by FBI); Peg Millett (eco-prisoner of the Arizona 5 case in 1989); and NEWLY ADDED Daniel McGowan (a former eco-prisoner and an organizer of the first June 11 Day of Solidarity in 2004.)
Description: Panelists will look at connections between various movements who have had to support their prisoners; lessons learned from the inside and outside; and the future of a movement focused on the liberation of land, air, water and people.
8am – 9am Breakfast
9 – 11 am Workshop Block I [The DC Jail noise demo is being cancelled.]
1. Organizing Against Prisons in Rural Appalachia and Beyond
Description: While there has been much focus on the BOP’s newest proposal for East Kentucky, the rural prison boom has been occurring all over the country for the past 25 years. This workshop will include stories from challenging the prison system in Appalachia and in other rural communities as well, including Upstate NY and Central Valley of California.
2. Resistance Behind Bars
Description: Discussion focused on building towards the upcoming September 9 call for a national prison strike from the Free Alabama Movement, the Industrial Workers of the World. and others. This workshop will also look at models of inside/outside solidarity work that is happening around the country. Presented by IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, and the Durham, NC Inside-Out Alliance
11am – 12:30pm Roundtable on Prisons, Police and Pollution
Description: This will be an opportunity for networking among all groups represented at the convergence. Each group will get several minutes to share its mission, goals and current projects. Please come prepared to have any organization or movement you are part of represented. Check out a list of endorsing org for an idea of who will be present.
12:30 pm Lunch Break
[Note: Again, it was difficult to overlap these important issues, but our hope is that you can get with several others, split up the time slot, and then swap notes and connections in order to further cross-pollinate our organizing efforts.]
2pm – 4pm Workshop/Panel Block II
1. Justice for Transgender Prisoners
Description: Building off the success of the first international January 22 Day of Trans Prisoner Solidarity, this workshop will be a discussion of supporting queer and trans prisoners, featuring participation from Xy Hawkins of Austin Anarchist Black Cross as well as Cindy Crabb from Marius Mason’s support committee, and a member of the Black and Pink network.
2. Supporting Prisoners and Their Families
Description: Former prisoners and their friends/families will discuss lessons learned and future possibilities for long-term prisoner support, including those who are impacted by being left on the outside and considering post-release transition. Shandre Delaney will be moderating. Delaney is a family member of a prisoner and coordinator for justice for Dallas 6 Campaign. Panelists include: Theresa Shoatz (of support campaign for Russell Maroons Shoatz), Donna Hill of Human Rights Coalition, Pittsburgh (Hill’s daughter is a lifer, in for defending herself from rape.) Jenny Esquivel (of support campaign for Eric McDavid), and Daniel McGowan (former eco-prisoner and avid prisoner solidarity activist).
4pm – 6pm Workshop/Panel Block III
1. Solidarity with Immigrant Detainees
Description: The past several years has seen a wave of powerful organizing inside immigrant detention facilities, often led by youth and women, who in some cases have infiltrated facilities to expose conditions and assist with deportation cases directly. This workshop will look at immigrant solidarity starting at the U.S./Mexico Border. Including organizers from the Arizona-based group No More Deaths and National Immigrant Youth Alliance.
2. State Repression and FBI Entrapment
Description: The use of informants and provocateurs has a long history of incarceration for many politically-active people targeted by the State. While the primary target in recent years has been Muslim activists, it has also increasingly included environmentalists and anarchists. This workshop will aim to learn from experiences of various communities who have faced FBI repression. Including former eco-prisoner Eric McDavid and advocate from the Liberty 7 case in Miami, Florida, Max Rameau.
6pm – 7pm Dinner Break
7-10 pm Action preparations for morning visit to Bureau of Prisons
This will include planning, coordinating transportation, sign/banner making, etc.
7am Quick breakfast to go (Location TBA). Hit the streets…