By Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI)-Howard University
The NYPD showed its true colors on October 1st as they faced off with protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge. The demonstration of five-thousand originated from lower Manhattan at the Occupy Wall Street(OWS) encampment, as protestors marched across the bridge to Brooklyn the police trapped, or “kettled,” the march and carried out a mass arrest of over seven-hundred. This followed a week of harassment of the OWS encampment and actions by police. As OWS has drawn from increasingly wider layers of disaffected and exploited people, its clear that NYPD tactics are aimed at stifling the movement.
On Thursday September 29th California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation threatened harsh reprisals against hunger-striking prisoners. At least six thousand California inmates are refusing meals in eight prisons across the state. Inmates are striking for the second time this year over inhumane living conditions, including some inmates being held for decades in windowless cells. The response of the prison authorities has been to threaten to throw more inmates into these dungeon-like isolation cells.
The rich and powerful have been waging a fierce struggle against the working class and oppressed communities from which they wring their massive profits. Now, at the seat of American economic power, and in its deepest, darkest dungeons the people are starting to fight back. At their essence these two struggles are about power. Whether the powers of war, racism, and profiteering will control the streets and operate a brutal far-flung complex of repressive institutions. Or whether they will be forced to yield to the power of the popular masses.
The occupation movement continues to grow, and the will of the striking prisoners remains strong. Now is the time to take action, to stimulate and swell the ranks of the struggle against the profit-over-everything, racist, sexist, brutal, and obsolete capitalist system.
Students Against Mass Incarceration remains committed to the struggle against the repressive apparatus that seeks to keep order in the face of class exploitation and racial oppression. We extend our solidarity to those in the streets and in the prisons who continue to fight against austerity and the oppressive police state.
SAMI was founded in February 2011 at Howard University. The mission of the organization is to raise awareness about the prison industrial complex, political prisoners, and recidivism. We feel the aforementioned are the fundamental issues of our generation and can only be addressed through radical and militant Black activism linked to previous social movements but revised for a 21st century context.
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