A Day To Break The Silence + Convergences

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for a National Day of Action to Stop Mass Incarceration on Thursday, April 19th.  These national actions has everything to do with, and joins with, the upsurge associated with this “Trayvon Martin moment.”

On April 19th everyone who is concerned about injustice will join in saying — NO TO MASS INCARCERATION!  There will be rallies and demonstrations in cities across the country,  from New York to Houston, to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.  College and high school students will hold teach in’s and other actions on their campuses.  There will be cultural events held on that day.  And the architects and enforcers of mass incarceration will be challenged over the inhumanity of the policies they are inflicting on society.  Why?  Because,

  • More than 2.4 million people, most of them Black or Latino, remain warehoused in prisons across the country;
  • Black and Latino youth are treated like criminals by the police and the criminal justice system, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive their encounters with police to prove their innocence;
  • Former prisoners wear badges of shame and dishonor even after they serve their sentences — discriminated against when applying for jobs, denied access to government assistance, not allowed in public housing, denied the right to vote.

In a short statement being released and circulated nationwide today, Wednesday, April 4th, it declares:

“It is time and way past time to stand up and say NO MORE!  Our youth are being treated like criminals—guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence.  The vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin concentrates the racial profiling that leads into more than 2.4 million people being warehoused in prison and the millions more who are treated like second-class citizens even after they’ve served their sentences.  April 19th must be a day of standing up and saying NO MORE to all of this.  Join us to organize a day of teach ins and rallies in high schools and colleges; a day of youth, tired of being demonized, taking to the streets—joined by many others from different backgrounds, races and nationalities who stand with them; a day of speaking bitterness to the way the whole criminal justice system abuses millions of people. All saying in a powerful voice: NO to mass incarceration and all its consequences.”

April 19th Convergences (so far):

Chicago: 5:00 pm – Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams)
Los Angeles: 4:00 pm – Pershing Square (5th & Olive, Downtown LA);  5:00 PM – March to  LAPD Headquarters.
New York:   4:00 pm – One Police Plaza. (Downtown Manhattan); 5:30 pm – March to Union Square.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network, answering the call made by Carl Dix and Cornel West, are the initiators of the “Stop Stop & Frisk” campaign in New York.  To contact the Network, please email stopmassincarceration@ymail.com, or call 866-841-9139 x2670.