And on this day finds itself as Occupy Wall Street day one thousand and something, I think. And Occupy Wall Street and that all things police brutality and beyond movement Black Lives Matter, are still moving fast. And in case you haven’t heard, the Calls To Close Down Rikers Island Are Getting Louder to where even government officials are addressing the topic of closing down Rikers Island. And in case you have been hiding out under a rock or stuck in the stone age and haven’t heard again, Rikers Island is this infamous prison, or jail, located in New York City that can be compared to Abu Ghraib, a torture chamber, a concentration camp, a place with no oversight, where you have to worry for your life from the guards more so than the prisoners themselves. And Rikers Island was named after Richard Riker, who sent bounty hunters to the south to collect slaves. And a modern day slave plantation Rikers Island is. And so there has been a March to Shut Down Rikers Island protest, a A Rise Up October Rikers Island Protest and other protests held recently around Shutting Rikers Island Down. And so just yesterday, Campaign to Shut Down Rikers held a Rally at Mayor de Blasios office to #ShutDownRikers! at New York City Hall to Shut down Rikers. Justice for Kalief Browder. And that Facebook event invite for this event read something like:
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called closing Rikers a “good concept” but that we need to “get real”…while he authorizes $1 billion per year to run a racist torture chamber infamous for its culture of violence: Rikers Island jail complex.
For the 11,000 people locked up on Rikers, “getting real” means an immediate end to solitary confinement, the immediate shutdown of Rikers, and full divestment of the city’s $1 billion from mass incarceration. Instead, our campaign demands investments into our communities in the form of community-based social services, mental health care, rehabilitation, and due process protections.
Recent debate among elected officials about shutting Rikers shows—finally—acknowledgment of govt. responsibility for failing practices within the criminal (in)justice system. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have voiced support for closing Rikers Island, a jail notorious for countless acts of brutality and bloodshed at the hands of correction officers. 90% of people detained on Rikers are Black or Brown, 80% could walk free if they had bail money, and 85% are awaiting trial or their next court appearance, not convicted of any crime. 40% of people held there suffer from mental health issues and need care not cages. Rikers has failed the people of NYC for far too long.
Join Akeem Browder, brother of Kalief Browder, and the Campaign to Shut Down Rikers:
Tuesday, February 23rd at 9 AM
City Hall – East side entrance at Park Row
Bill de Blasio: There is nothing unrealistic about shutting down Rikers. The time to close the racist torture chamber called Rikers Island is now!
Endorsed by (in aphabetical order): ICE FREE NYC, Incarcerated Nation Corp., International Socialist Organization (NYC), Millions March NYC, New Yorkers Against Bratton, NY Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement, NYC Jails Action Coalition, NYC Shut It Down, People’s Power Assembly NYC, and more TBA
#ShutDownRikers #Justice4Kalief #BlackLivesMatter
And what, if anything, does this have to do with a No Police State.