Payday Men’s Network
Payday, an international and multiracial network of men working with the Global Women’s Strike, sends our greetings and support to the Cages Kill – Freedom Rally today in Santa Cruz. The great range of local, national and international groups supporting the rally speaks to the stake we all have in holding officials accountable for murder and torture, wherever they or we are. The power of your actions in Santa Cruz strengthens campaigns of which we’re part: in Pennsylvania in support of the Dallas 6 – prisoner whistleblowers who are fighting “riot” charges for exposing gross prison abuses, including coerced suicide and use of a torture chair; and in the UK in support of Kevan Thakrar, a wrongly convicted immigrant prisoner held for years in solitary confinement, the form of torture favored by US and increasingly UK prisons.
We have been working for justice and in support of military refusers and whistleblowers – among them Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange – and other prisoners. (Our website is refusingtokill.net). Our experience is that the women family members are the mainstay of campaigns for justice the world over. We also take our lead from the great California Prisoners’ Hunger Strike and its deeply anti-racist Agreement to End Hostilities, which made the strike possible, and which is a challenge to us on the outside to cross the divides among us as effectively as the prisoners have. The Cages Kill – Freedom Rally has taken this to heart and deserves our every support.
Abolitionist Law Center, Dallas 6, Human Rights Coalition Statement for Cages Kill – Freedom Rally
This statement is on behalf of Human Rights Coalition, who are fighting for prisoner human and civils rights, the Abolitionist Law Center who are taking it into the courts and the Dallas 6 prisoners who are on the front line in the war against injustice, corruption and brutality. Collectively we are the voice and the boots on the ground for our brothers and sisters inside. We are in solidarity with the mission of Sin Barras and support their efforts to fight for change and to make a difference. What is happening in Santa Cruz is happening all over the country. We must build alliances in this war on the people and bring an end to the continued criminalization and targeting of vulnerable members of society. Our leaders must recognize that prison is not the answer to poverty and that there are viable alternatives. Furthermore, when someone becomes incarcerated, they do not lose their human rights, they do not lose their civil rights. Prisoners should be protected under the same laws as those who are put in place to enforce these laws. It is a right of prisoners to be in a safe and healthy environment and to not be subjected to any form of torture or abuse. We should not have to fight for accountability of those whose job is to serve and protect. A traffic stop should not end in death just as a prison sentence should not turn into a death sentence. This is a very important time in history and it is now or never that we must take a stand, by saying no to prison expansion, systemic racism and the lack of accountability of our law enforcement, justice system and prison system.
The Dallas 6 salute all those present at the Cages Kill Rally and express the following quotes in solidarity:
“They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Time and time again I see government officials in this sweet land of liberty abusing their power and taking advantage of those whom they have pledged to protect. They say justice is blind. Well I say, ‘if this current system is based upon justice, then maybe we need justice with a vision. Justice that can see clearly because blind justice is only leading to destruction.”
Even through the face of brutality and the injustices we endure, our fight will be a victorious one because of the people. I believe in the people. There is power in the people!
–Andre Jacobs (poem)
We must replace corrupt judges
with honorable men
who love justice and kids
more than cash
and overcome the greed
or material wealth
as my conscious heart cries out in agony
for every color and creed
for real justice and equality
yeah, “justice for all”
Corruption is corruption and it is time we reclaim our rights and liberties without question. I am calling on anyone who may be affected by governmental encroachment on their rights to join us in solidarity in this movement to put an end to Judicial, Legislative and Political corruption of the Law Enforcement System, starting today, state by state, county by county.
South Bay/Santa Cruz Facilitators group of the Pachamama Alliance:
We of the South Bay/Santa Cruz Facilitators group of the Pachamama Alliance are committed to social justice in all its forms and stand in solidarity with Sin Barras in working to end the Prison Industrial Complex. To that end we endorse the Cages Kill-Freedom Rally on January 24 and support the working demands. We find the lack of accountability and inhumane practices of our own local criminal justice system shameful and will provide information to members of our group and encourage them to attend the rally as well as pass the word on to their own networks.
Statement in Support of “Cages Kill” Rally
Steve Pleich, Director, Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project
Vice Chair, ACLU Santa Cruz County
“Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a jail.” Those words have never been so true as they are today. Because not unlike our brothers and sisters who are caged by those bars and imprisoned behind those walls, we too are caged and imprisoned. We are caged by a prison/industrial complex that is building new jails and prison cells at an unprecedented rate and we are imprisoned a policy of mass incarceration driven by a war on drugs and fueled by institutionalized racism.
It is said that the only history that matters is the history we make for ourselves. So on Saturday at the “Cages Kill” Rally let us stand in solidarity and saw in one loud voice “Not One Day More.” We will no longer be caged by prejudice and intolerance. Nor will we suffer others to be. We will no longer be imprisoned by failed government policy. Nor will we suffer others to be. Let it be known that we have come together at this time and in this place to free our brothers and sisters and ourselves.
And let that be the history we make together.