Most of you have probably seen the “save the date” flyers regarding September 14th at Riverside Church that we have been circulating for the past couple of months; or heard about it from us directly. In collaboration with Mumia we have been organizing this anti-mass incarceration event the night after the 41st anniversary of 1the Attica Massacre. Above you will find a flyer for electronic use for the event. We will have palm cards available at a later date for hard copy distribution.
We are specifically demanding that Attica be shut down, in support of the call that the Correctional Association of New York made several months ago for this. No, shutting down Attica will not end mass incarceration. But Attica is like Alcatraz, and like Pelican Bay and so many others are becoming, an important symbol of the worst of mass incarceration. To shut it down would be symbolic of our fight against mass incarceration and the racism, disenfranchisment, and brutality built into it. Similarly, calling for the shutting down of solitary confinment units would not end mass incarceration but, again, it is a challenge to the inhumanity and barbarity of the prison industrial complex, and could lessen the cruelty inflicted on our incarcerated sisters and brothers. UN Special Rapporteur has spoken out very effectively against solitary confinement, defining it as constituting a form of torture.
Finally, not surprisingly, the event is calling for Mumia’s freedom and the freedom of all our political prisoners. We succeeded in getting Mumia off death row, and that was a great victory, but life in prison without parole for Mumia or anyone else was never our goal. We want Mumia and all our political prisoners FREE!
In organizing this event, we are building on the wonderful commemoration of the Attica Uprising and Massacre of 1971 which was held at Riverside Church last September.
The event is a packed and dynamic one. Speakers and panelists will be: PAM AFRICA, MICHELLE ALEXANDER, ANGELA DAVIS, SOFFIYAH ELIJAH, JAZZ HAYDEN, MARC LAMONT HILL, and CORNEL WEST. (WE JUST GOT WORD TODAY FROM CORNEL PERSONALLY THAT HE WILL BE JOINING US AT RIVERSIDE CHURCH IN PERSON RATHER THAN BY VIDEO AS ORIGINALLY ANTICIPATED). ASHA BANDELE WILL MC THE EVENING, AND SUZANNE ROSS WILL MODERATE THE PANEL. Questions will be invited electronically as well as that evening in writing for the panelists to address so as to have the maximum input from the audience.
We obviously cannot have everyone speak, as there will be book signings for two different books at the end and beginning of the program. But we very much want your organization’s’ endorsement for the evening. A list will be circulated prior to the event and on the 14th of all the organizations that endorsed the evening. Please send your endorsement to Sept14th2012@gmail.com
as soon as you can. .
We invite you to bring your literature and materials for tabling prior to the program. We don’t yet know about what fee might be involved and exactly what time that will be. Tickets will be sold at $10 each so as to maximize the attendance of those with limited income. We will be announcing the ticket selling arrangement shortly.
Suzanne Ross and Pam Africa
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal