This is the proposal that was passed at the Occupy Oakland General
Assembly, on Monday, January 9th 2012, and a list of endorsers in
For more information and/or to endorse, email occupy4prisoners [at]
gmail [dot] com.
ENDORSERS (list in formation)
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Kevin Cooper Defense Committee
Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu Jamal
Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu Jamal
National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
Occupied Oakland Tribune
Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression
Prison Activist Resource Center
Prison Watch Network
San Francisco Bay View Newspaper
Stanley Tookie Williams Legacy Network
We are calling for February 20th, 2012 to be a “National Occupy Day
in Support of Prisoners.”
In the Bay Area we will “Occupy San Quentin,” to stand in solidarity
with the people confined within its walls and to demand the end of
the incarceration as a means of containing those dispossessed by
unjust social policies.
Prisons have become a central institution in American society,
integral to our politics, economy and our culture.
Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new
prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased
Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for
millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 7.3
million people—who are disproportionately people of color—currently
incarcerated or under correctional supervision.
Imprisonment itself is a form of torture. The typical American
prison, juvenile hall and detainment camp is designed to maximize
degradation, brutalization, and dehumanization.
Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. Between 1970 and 1995, the
incarceration of African Americans increased 7 times. Currently
African Americans make up 12 % of the population in the U.S. but 53%
of the nation’s prison population. There are more African Americans
under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or
parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War
The prison system is the most visible example of policies of
punitive containment of the most marginalized and oppressed in our
society. Prior to incarceration, 2/3 of all prisoners lived in
conditions of economic hardship. While the perpetrators of
white-collar crime largely go free.
In addition, the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated
that in 2008 alone there was a loss in economic input associated
with people released from prison equal to $57 billion to $65
We call on Occupies across the country to support:
1. Abolishing unjust sentences, such as the Death Penalty, Life
Without the Possibility of Parole, Three Strikes, Juvenile Life
Without Parole, and the practice of trying children as adults.
2. Standing in solidarity with movements initiated by prisoners and
taking action to support prisoner demands, including the Georgia
Prison Strike and the Pelican Bay/California Prisoners Hunger
3. Freeing political prisoners, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard
Peltier, Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning and Romaine “Chip”
Fitzgerald, a Black Panther Party member incarcerated since 1969.
4. Demanding an end to the repression of activists, specifically the
targeting of African Americans and those with histories of
incarceration, such as Khali in Occupy Oakland who could now face a
life sentence, on trumped-up charges, and many others being falsely
charged after only exercising their First Amendment rights.
5. Demanding an end to the brutality of the current system,
including the torture of those who have lived for many years in
Secured Housing Units (SHUs) or in solitary confinement.
6. Demanding that our tax money spent on isolating, harming and
killing prisoners, instead be invested in improving the quality of
life for all and be spent on education, housing, health care, mental
health care and other human services which contribute to the public
On February 20th, 2012 we will organize in front of San Quentin,
where male death-row prisoners are housed, where Stanley Tookie
Williams was immorally executed by the State of California in 2005,
and where Kevin Cooper, an innocent man on death row, is currently
At this demonstration, through prisoners’ writings and other
artistic and political expressions, we will express the voices of
the people who have been inside the walls. The organizers of this
action will reach out to the community for support and
participation. We will contact social service organizations, faith
institutions, labor organizations, schools, prisoners, former
prisoners and their family members.
National and International Outreach
We will reach out to Occupies across the country to have similar
demonstrations outside of prisons, jails, juvenile hallsand
detainment facilities or other actions as such groups deem
appropriate. We will also reach out to Occupies outside of the
United States and will seek to attract international attention and
We have chosen Monday, February 20, 2012 at San Quentin, because it
is a non-weekend day. Presidents’ Day avoids the weekend conflict
with prisoners’ visitation, which would likely be shut down if we
held a demonstration over the weekend.