FALL 2016 Links/Radical News

No Loop 202: Land Protectors at Moadag Thadiwa

Support Prisoner Resistance!

Support Prisoner Resistance!
2016 Nationwide Prisoner Strike updates!

Its Going Down!

Its Going Down!
News on the Global Resistance....

SOS: Free Bresha Meadows

SOS: Free Bresha Meadows
art by molly crabapple
Read this Slate article about 15 year old Bresha Meadows, facing murder charges for killing her abusive father. If you have survived abuse, or endured the hardships of the incarceration system - and lived to tell about it, then what you could say to her prosecutor right now could matter. If that's the case, please go here, and help this kid while we still can.

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:


Friday, April 11, 2014

Guilty of walking while trans in Phoenix: Activist Monica Jones.



At the 2014 Phoenix Pride Parade
this cop actually threatened to arrest me for chalking him- 
which means he was ready to put me in cuffs and drag me off against my will, 
and could have legally killed me if I resisted or tried to flee. 
Hell, he'd probably get a promotion for killing me.
Anyway, how is it that cops think arresting people isn't violent?
Moreover, how could all these social workers and community non-profits 
dedicated to serving marginalized people 
stand by and not call that out as violence as well?
 

I will save my comments for a separate post in which they won't be directly linked to  SWOP-Phoenix or Monica Jones, because I don't speak for either and I won't be as polite as this press release is about the injustice I witnessed today. Monica, however, was an awesome witness and advocate for human rights in court today, and is dealing with the verdict with more grace than I could ever hope to muster. 

Blessings to all the good friends who turned out to support today, and those around the world who have been raising hell about the violence that is ASU's Project Rose

Oh, and come to this talk on April 17th with all your questions and concerns for the ASU school of Social Work. The talk is by the architect of Project Rose; what a fitting conclusion to ASU"s "2014 Humanities Lecture Series", as we all have so much to learn from her.

"Dominique Roe-Sepowitz will conclude the spring 2014 Humanities Lecture Series at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus with her presentation, “Sex Trafficking In Arizona.” Hosted by the School of Letters and Sciences, the lecture starts at 6:30 p.m., April 17, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, room 128, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix." (https://asunews.asu.edu/20140409-az-sex-trafficking-lecture)

See you all there!
--------------------

BREAKING from SWOP-Phoenix
Contact: Margie Diddams, 480-553-3777,
swop.phx@gmail.com

Guilty Verdict for Monica Jones Reveals Broken Legal System: 
Urgent Need For Action

PHOENIX--- Over 50 supporters rallied in front of the Phoenix Court house this morning in support of ASU student and anti-1062 activist Monica Jones. Ms. Jones was facing unjust charges of “manifestation of intent to prostitute,” a vague and discriminatory law that criminalizes activities like waving at cars, talking to passersbys, and inquiring if someone is a police officer. The ACLU of Arizona joined Jones’ lawyer in contesting the constitutionality of the manifestation statute. Dan Pochoda of the ACLU explained in his arguments, “The statute eviscerates first amendment rights.” In a packed courtroom filled with supporters wearing “I Stand With Monica Jones: Stop Profiling Trans Women of Color” t-shirts, the judge found Ms. Jones guilty based solely on the statements of the police officer who targeted Monica for her race and gender. Supporters across AZ and the nation are in an uproar about the injustice of this ruling.

In Arizona and across the country, trans women of color like Ms. Jones are routinely profiled and swept up in the criminal justice system on prostitution-related charges, due to a phenomenon many call “Walking While Trans”---a widely held belief by law enforcement and others that all transgender women are criminals.  Because of the injustice that leads people to take pleas against their best interest due to lack of community support, Ms. Jones decided she was going to fight the charges, so that no more trans women, sex workers, or people profiled as sex workers would have to face these injustices. Ms. Jones has remained adamant about her innocence, and that sex workers need rights, not arrests. Ms. Jones stated after the verdict, “As an African American and as a woman, the justice system has failed me.”

In light of this devastating ruling, SWOP Phoenix (Sex Worker Outreach Project) and Monica Jones will fight the case in an appeals process, while building national and international momentum against unjust policies that target trans women, people of color, and sex workers. SWOP Phoenix is calling on people from around the country to keep demanding justice for Ms. Jones. Meanwhile, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders is monitoring the trial as an example of discriminatory policing and retaliation on activists organizing for human rights.

Ms. Jones states, “I am saddened by the injustice that took place at my trial this morning, but we are not giving up the fight. It’s time that we end the stigma and the criminalization of sex work, the profiling of trans women of color, and the racist policing system that harms so many of us.”