Video by Sallydarity / set to Comin' up from Behind ( Marcy Playground)

Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...


This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.

Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.

Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.

I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.

In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.

I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281. collective@phoenixabc.org

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
arizonaprisonwatch@gmail.com



AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy Oakland: Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

More food for thought on what it means to "Occupy Together" on occupied land. I haven't seen anyhting like this come to the Occupy Phoenix GA yet...

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by Joanne Barker
Saturday Oct 29th, 2011 3:21 PM
Memorandum text that was passed as proposal to the General Assembly at "Occupy Oakland" on Friday, October 28, 2011.
RESOLUTION: Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial (and imperial) nation, and that non-indigenous people are guests upon stolen indigenous land; and

WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that Oakland is already occupied land; Oakland being the historical territory of the Chochenyo Ohlone people; and

WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that indigenous peoples here and around the world continue to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of colonizing nations like the United States, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen the “Occupy Wall Street” movement; and

WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” acknowledge that after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we all find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to live sustainably at peace with the community of Life; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that those participating in “Occupy Oakland” seek the genuine and respectful involvement of indigenous peoples in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral lands; and

As a signal to the national “Occupy Wall Street” movement and the indigenous peoples here and there who have felt excluded by the colonialist language of occupation used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Oakland" aspires to “Decolonize Oakland" – to “Decolonize Wall Street” – with the guidance and participation of indigenous peoples; and

Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, those participating in “Occupy Oakland” respectfully invite indigenous peoples to join the uprising against corporate greed taking place across this continent. “Occupy Oakland” wishes to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implores indigenous peoples to share their wisdom and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help restore true freedom and democracy in this country, to initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land.

In Solidarity,

Corrina Gould (Chochenyo Ohlone),
American Indian Child Resource Center of Oakland
Joanne Barker (Lenape [Delaware Tribe of Indians])¸ SFSU
Luz Calvo, CSU East Bay
Andreana Clay, SFSU
Andrew Jolivétte (Opelousa/Atakapa-Ishak), SFSU
Melissa Nelson (Anishinaabe [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]), SFSU
Kathy Wallace (Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa), SFSU
John-Carlos Perea (Mescalero Apache), SFSU

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