Kansas killed our father in a prison liar.I will spare this suffering to other families


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“We didn’t stop”: Los Angeles abolitionist coalition building up victories

JusticeLA activists have been dedicated to closing prison construction projects. And they “do not play the middle” Ivette Alé: “Even if we lose, we still win.” Photo: Provided by JusticeLA In late 2016, Los Angeles County was one of the largest prison systems in the world. There was a moment when it was decided to invest $ 2.2 billion in rebuilding and refurbishing the department. The old men’s central prison in downtown will be replaced by a new “mental health prison” operated by the Marshals Service, and the women’s prison in southeastern LA will be moved to a former Immigration and Customs (ice) detention center in the highlands. .. More than 80 miles outside the desert and city. Taxpayers funded the project and the activist group claimed that it would ultimately cost at least $ 3.5 billion. The contract was signed and the money was promised. The long-standing efforts of the judicial reform organizers to stop construction and redistribute funds for housing, education and community-based services have failed. But the battle wasn’t over. That year, grassroots activists reorganized and rebranded to form a broad coalition based on six organizations called Justice LA. They devoted themselves to closing the prison construction program. Then they held their first direct action, an art installation in front of the administration building where the Los Angeles County Supervisory Board turned the prison project into a green light. Activists installed 100 homemade prison bed replicas and created a mock prison dormitory for the general public. More than 200 supporters appeared in orange shirts with the words “I’m not the property of a LA County prison.” This action bypassed the traffic for more than 6 hours. “I won even if I lost,” said Yvette Are. “We didn’t stop organizing and putting pressure on the county.” 35-year-old Are is the coordinator of Justice LA, jailbreaking and resources for the communities most affected by imprisonment. We are working to increase. Overestimation and Underprotection is a series focused on police violence in the United States, following one of the largest riots in history. A year after the killings of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and Amad Arbury, systematic racism and fatalities that have been incorporated into police culture for centuries, both within the government and from grassroots movements. It is required to end the power. But with the striking differences in reform and approach to the revolution, and the continued strength of the police union, achieving drastic change faces more obstacles than ever before. At the core of the coalition was a group of young abolitionists who grew up in Los Angeles in the 90s, all of whom were children of imprisoned people or who were imprisoned themselves. Two years after the prison proceedings, JusticeLA adopted protests, public education, and policy recommendations to stop construction and finally win. First, the county has abolished the new women’s prison project. Then, in August 2019, they decided to withdraw their mental health prison program and invest in community services instead. Former State Senator Holly Mitchell, who, as of January, is a member of the Los Angeles County Oversight Board, described Justice LA’s success in closing the prison expansion program as “miracle.” “I fully admit that I put pressure on them to put a strain on the board. [the county board of supervisors] I don’t know if we did it ourselves, “she said. Mitchell said she was surprised by the fact that she was convinced that the county would withdraw from the multi-million dollar contract. Since then, they have built up their victories by compromising and ignoring the traditional political wisdom of “playing in the middle.” Instead, they pursue the goals of abolitionists, and so far all the campaigns they have carried out have been successful. ••• Ivette Alé has been one of Justice LA’s key engineers since its inception and has been the organizer since he was a student at the University of California, Berkeley. At an early age, they and their families moved from Mexico City to Southern California. A few years later, the main earners of that family were imprisoned. As a result, that and his family lost their homes. “Many of us [at JusticeLA] We are survivors of interpersonal and national violence and understand that punitive response did not help us as survivors.Photo: Courtesy of Justice LA [family member] My family would have been better if I had been treated with substance abuse and mental health instead of imprisonment, “said Are. “Very often, rhetoric about justifying imprisonment uses the story of survivors and victims to justify a punitive system … many of us. [at JusticeLA] We are survivors of interpersonal and national violence and understand that punitive response did not help us as survivors. Are and his colleagues are working to build an alternative to these responses, building a coalition based on some core principles. First, that is, when they advocate policy, they leave no one behind. Traditional judicial reform efforts tend to defend one community, for example Sith and Trance women, but stipulate that the effort does not apply to those who commit violent crimes. Justice LA makes no distinction between them. “I try not to feed the binary of who deserves and who doesn’t deserve,” Alé said. Second, they said they would never help make something that would have to be dismantled in the future. Proposal 25, a measure for state voting in the November 2020 elections, abolished bail, but some activists and scholars perpetuated racism and poverty criminalization and expanded judiciary. I replaced it with risk assessment software. JusticeLA favored the end of cash bail, but did not see the trade-off as a true step towards reforming pretrial detention. (The state has since moved towards the abolition of bail.) The large foundation of Justice LA’s individuals and organizations is partly due to a broad approach. Diana Zniga, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and leader of the California Union for a responsible budget, said in early 2017 when plans to build a prison seemed unstoppable. I realized that I needed a broader coalition than those who were explicitly abolitionists. Together they recruited some activist colleagues to create Justice LA. Mark-Anthony Clayton-Johnson, founding executive team member of Justice LA, said: The group’s decision to reshape their approach. Clayton-Johnson, Alé, and his colleagues persuaded reformers (though not explicitly abolitionists) to join groups such as the Service Employees International Union and the ACLU in Southern California in the common pursuit of justice reform. “We … have to expand, and even organizations that do not explicitly state themselves as abolitionists will decline and will have to fight for the demands of abolitionists. I don’t feel it, “said Marc-Anthony Clayton-Johnson. Photo: Decision-making power within Justice LA’s Courtesy Coalition, however, remains in the core group of members of established grassroots groups such as Dignity and Power Now and Youth Justice Coalition, and rests solely on previously imprisoned blacks. Increasingly colored people. Toussaint Losier, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said: “And they do it in a way that distinguishes it from what we have found in other parts of the country where there are organizations and even local coalitions that are good at doing this aspect to eliminate others. In fact, JusticeLA has focused on a wide range of criminal justice policy issues. They successfully fought in a November 2020 election vote to win Major J, who would allocate $ 360- $ 900 million in county funding to social services. Then they fought successfully to pass the bill. In November, they won a surprising victory in a campaign to replace cash bail, which required voters to consider subtle debates about racist algorithms. It is inconsistent with some of their regular political supporters, including then State Senator Holly Mitchell, who co-authored the original bill to eliminate cash bail that Proposal 25 would have endorsed. It was the case. “In the process of policy making, the concept of gradualism can get impatient,” Mitchell said. “If you start on a particular path around a policy shift, and if it’s not ideal, you’re worried that you shouldn’t go that path at all.” did. “But we were able to have a conversation. I heard their point of view. They heard me,” Mitchell said. At the core of the coalition is a group of young abolitionists who grew up in Los Angeles in the “crime-stricken” 90s. Photo: Courtesy of Justice LA Still, Justice LA faces a sudden obstacle. Gallup Center on Black Voice, founded in response to last summer’s uprising, said the overwhelming majority of black Americans and Hispanic Americans needed “major changes” in law enforcement. However, only 22% of black Americans and 20% of Hispanic Americans are in favor of abolition. In fact, the vast majority of blacks and Hispanic Americans want to maintain their current level of law enforcement in their neighborhood. Burnout is always dangerous in the other tissue spaces where he worked, says Clayton Johnson. To prevent that, Justice LA leaders are devoting resources to mental health and creativity. Clayton-Johnson is an acupuncturist, Cullors is a multimedia artist, and Alé is a former fashion designer in the moonlight as DJ IZLA. He pointed out that creative involvement with colleagues and peers eases tensions and strengthens relationships. It requires your fingers to be in the heartbeat of the community. “That’s what it’s about to be an artist,” they said. “You can look back on your personal and community experiences in a way that people can identify.” Their artistic events tend to be the most intimate type of activity. In June 2020, Justice LA held an event inspired by Tupac Shakur’s poetry collection “Rose Blooming from Concrete”. The group placed thousands of roses in front of the court as a tribute to those killed by law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County. Dignity and Power Now, one of JusticeLA’s founding groups, holds card-making events in front of the county prison on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, presenting artwork to visiting families. I am trying to do it. “Our work, especially the tradition of organizing blacks, has a long tradition of joy as a fundamental force,” said Clayton-Johnson. “Even at moments of conflict, or even moments of really tense political struggle, we still have the right to it.” That is, that is the world we are trying to build, right? “

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