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.

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)


ANTICOLONIAL zines, stickers, actions, power

Taala Hooghan Infoshop

Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual AID


The group for direct action against the prison state!

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO

Black Lives Matter PHOENIX METRO
(accept no substitutions)



PHOENIX: Trans Queer Pueblo


AZ Prison Watch BLOG POSTS:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Exposing ALEC: SRP transgressions in the mainstream

 ---relatively decent coverage from News---


Protesters of coal mining arrested at Tempe SRP building

AZ Republic/12 News

Twelve people were arrested on suspicion of trespassing Friday at the Salt River Project administration building in Tempe as they protested the effects of coal mining on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona.

At least 75 protesters crowded the entryway and sidewalks of the building beginning at about 10:30 a.m. Participants complained that SRP, a co-owner of the Navajo Generating Station, and Peabody Energy, which supplies coal for the plant, have been responsible for an assortment of environmental and health problems.

"Coal mining has destroyed thousands of archeological sites and our only water source has been seriously compromised. Their operations are causing widespread respiratory problems, lung diseases, and other health impacts on humans, the environment, and all living things,'' wrote Louise Benally, a resident of Black Mesa, in a letter to SRP and Peabody.

The letter demanded that SRP honor the Clean Air Act and the EPA's highest standards, and that Navajos have more input into decisions related to the plant's impact.

SRP responded that the utility has maintained a strong working relationship with Navajos and other Native Americans.

"We have worked diligently with Native American tribes for years throughout Arizona," SRP spokeswoman Patty Garcia-Likens said. "As the largest and most important source of energy in the Southwest, the Navajo Generating Station is also a large employer of the Navajo Nation."

She said about 82 percent of the employees at the power plant are Navajo, and the plant owners provide thousands of dollars annually in scholarships and charitable contributions to the community.

At the start of the protest, the crowd was mostly in the outside entrance to the lobby. SRP officials asked the group to exit. Tempe police approached the scene and began making arrests. Police also formed a line so others would back up to the sidewalk area.

The crowd chanted songs and gave proclamations including, "SRP has got no soul, hey hey ho ho," and "Clean water is under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back."

On the scene were many police officers and representatives of the Tempe Fire Department. No force, gas or mace was used, Tempe police spokesman Steve Carbajal said.

Benally, a Black Mesa community member, said she has been affected by SRP.

"Our people are not getting compensation for what's going on," Benally said. "Let them (SRP) know we need justice, need compensation for minerals from our land."

The number of protesters grew as the event went on. SRP was not expecting the protest, spokesman Scott Harelson said.

"Our concern is for the safety of our customers and employees," Harelson said.

Customers were directed by SRP employees around the protest so they could pay their bills. Harelson believed the protest was because of SRP's support in the American Legislative Exchange Council's conference going on Friday in Scottsdale. SRP is a sponsor in the event.


No comments: