April 19, 2014 @ The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington, U.S.A
Thursday, April 17th:
“The House I Live In”
Lecture Hall 1, The Evergreen State College, 6:30 PM
Co-Sponsored by Abolish Cops and Prisons
Friday, April 18th:
“The Law in These Parts”
Lecture Hall 1, The Evergreen State College, 6:30 PM
Co-Sponsored by TESC Students for Justice in Palestine
Saturday, April 19th:
The Evergreen State College Longhouse; Olympia, WA
8:00 AM: Registration/Check-In w/ coffee and tea
9:00 AM: Opening Remarks
9:15 – 10:30 AM: Mass Incarceration 101: From Palestine to the U.S. (Longhouse)
Dr. Karam Dana, Larry Jefferson and Steve Niva
Moderator: Therese Saliba
10:45 – 12:15 PM: Workshops (All workshops take place in Seminar II building)
- Immigrant Activism & The Northwest Detention Center, (Room B1105)
Therese Saliba and Maru Mora Villalpando
Recent hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention center (NWDC) in Tacoma have brought media attention to the impacts of immigrant detention and deportations on targeted communities. This workshop focuses on the recent strikes, as well as the history of activism at NWDC, an ICE facility under the Department of Homeland Security that is run by Geo Group, a private corporation that also runs the facility at Guantanamo Bay. We will address how NWDC fits into the model of the post-9/11 security state, with its increasing militarization of the immigration system. This system has led to unprecedented mass deportations, human rights violations, and the separation of families. In response, Latino and Arab/Muslim activists have been involved in organizing protests and vigils, responding to immigration raids, supporting hunger strikes, and providing advocacy and legal support. We will also discuss what we can do to support detainees, their families and communities, who are demanding that deportations be stopped and that centers like NWDC be shut down.
- Political Prisoners, Decolonizing Prisons and International Solidarity, (Room B2107)
The point of intersection between the U.S.-prison movement and struggle for Political Prisoner (PP) amnesty with international solidarity activism is inseparable. Many U.S.-held PP’s have been incarcerated for their resistance to settler colonialism, slavery and genocide. In addition they all have been resisting police brutality, political repression and the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). Many PP’s are people of color; those whose ancestors were forced off their indigenous lands in Africa and the Americas. In the 21st century the ever-expanding population of persons in the PIC, Guantanamo or ICE detention centers are enslaved subjects of the U.S. Empire. This presentation will discuss the emergence of a PP movement in the last decade of the 20th century and how this potential relates to other aspects of revolutionary social change in context of working for PIC abolition, PP amnesty and international solidarity. This presentation will discuss ongoing work supporting prisoners and other oppressed people globally in creative ways. The end goal is stimulating critical thinking and pushing participants to become more involved in anti-colonial organizing attacking the root causes of neoliberal globalization and neo-colonial imperialism.
- Youth Incarceration and the School-To-Prison Pipeline, (Room B2105)
Naomi Tajchman-Kaplan, Alex West and Amin Odeh
As defined by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the school-to-prison pipeline is “a nationwide system of local, state and federal education and public safety policies that pushes students out of school and into the criminal justice system. This system disproportionately targets youth of color and youth with disabilities. Inequities in areas such as school discipline, policing practices, high-stakes testing and the prison industry contribute to the pipeline.” In the occupied Palestinian territories, the Israeli military often arrests, detains, and imprisons Palestinian children as an act of racialized intimidation and criminalization. This workshop will address these systems, identify their similarities and unique characteristics, and examine the effects on targeted populations. Topics discussed will include the intricacies and interrelatedness of immigration and deportation, poverty, racism, the child welfare system, and homophobia/transphobia.
- An Alternative to Punishment: Transformative & Restorative Justice, (Room B1107)
No New Jim Crow Seattle
No New Jim Crow Seattle Campaign will introduce transformative/restorative justice as a way out of our current system of mass incarceration, punishment, marginalization, and oppression. We know that our criminal legal system is not just — that it jails, imprisons, and disenfranchises especially people of color, poor people, and LGBTQ people. Transformative/restorative justice is an alternative based on the practices of indigenous people around the world. People come together to understand conflict and harm and decide collectively what needs to be done to heal broken relationships and make wrongs right. The workshop includes a panel discussion, video demonstrations, and a role-play of a restorative circle.
12:00 – 12:30: Gather Lunch (Longhouse)
12:30– 1:45 PM: Prisoner Testimony Plenary
Kimberly Mays, Jose Moreno, Ramzi Da’na and Saed Bannoura. Moderator: Sarah Shourd
2:00 – 3:30 PM: Workshops (All workshops take place in Seminar II building)
- The Continuum of Incarceration in the United States,(Room B2107)
This interactive workshop will utilize the Popular Education and Participatory Research strategies employed by Gateways for Incarcerated Youth to facilitate a discussion on the Prison Industrial Complex. We will seek to develop a collective understanding of the development of mass incarceration in the United States over a 500+ year period and explore how that impacts communities organizing for self determination.
- Supporting Prisoner Strikes From Palestine to Pelican Bay, (Room B2105)
Maru Mora Villalpando, Saed Bannoura, Ed Mead, and Danica Brown
From Palestine to Pelican Bay supporting prisoners of empire is difficult work. Effectively tending to the needs of incarcerated and detained persons takes a considerable amount of detail and patience. Day by day prisoners and detainees are brutalized in different ways such as solitary confinement and other forms of torture. What can be the most challenging solidarity work is supporting the collective efforts of prisoners engaged in strikes. Prisoners face the most difficult retaliation and backlash from the prison administration when on strike. This facilitated workshop will discuss the ins and outs of supporting Prisoners on hunger and work strikes. We will focus on recent examples such as Pelican Bay prison in Northern California and the more recently started strike at the regional Northwest I.C.E. detention center in Tacoma, WA.
- Solitary Confinement in the U.S: History, Effects and Aftermath as told by an Expert/Survivor, (Room B1107) Sarah Shourd
In this workshop Sarah Shourd will trace the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons — from the failed isolation “experiment” that began in 1829 at the Eastern Penitentiary in Pennsylvania to its precipitous rise in the 70’s as the prison population exploded during the so-called “War on Drugs.” Shourd will cover the physiological and psychological effects of prolonged isolation and it’s aftermath, based both on her experience of 410 days in solitary confinement while she was held as a political hostage by the Iranian government from 2009-2010 and the extensive research, writing and advocacy work she’s done in role as Contributing Editor at Solitary Watch over the last three years since her release.
- Solidarity First: Using Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaigns to Support the Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, (Room B1105) Mohammed Usrof, Amin Odeh & Elizabeth Moore
This workshop will highlight the importance of solidarity-based organizing by following the leadership of Palestinians and using the tactic of BDS. Panelists will speak to the importance of accompaniment, successful, and ongoing BDS campaigns, and the need for a cross-movement struggle against imperialism in Palestine and beyond.
3:45 – 4:45 PM: From Theory to Practice: Networking, Announcements, and Closing Remarks (Longhouse)
Mass Incarceration in the U.S. & Palestine:
A Conversation With Angela Davis and Noura Erakat
Moderated by: Dr. Savvina Chowdhury
7:00 PM | Washington Center for the Performing Arts
CO-SPONSORED BY:TESC Students For Justice in Palestine; Gateways for Incarcerated Youth; Al Shabaka; WhyIslam.org, a project of Islamic Circle of North America; Creating Dangerously: Experiments in Feminist and Diaspora Art (TESC program); Friends of Sabeel North America; Current Economic and Social Issues (TESC program); Abolish Cops and Prisons; Christian Peacemaker Team; The Jericho Movement; Washington Incarceration Stops Here (WISH); Peter Miller & Lee Knightly; Diane Adkin; No New Jim Crow Seattle; Palestine Solidarity Committee -Seattle; Alliance For Global Justice; Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation;International Trauma Treatment Program; Books to Prisoners; Media Island International; Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights; Oregon Jericho; Evergreen Political Information Center; Political Economy of Media (TESC Program); Portland Anarchist Cross; Olympia Food Co-op; and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign.