UPDATED – Solidarity with Prison Labor Strikers

Sept9

Currently, incarcerated people in over 20 states, have organized to not give their labor to the prisons, starting this Friday, September 9.  While noise demos originally planned in Jessup and Cumberland, MD, have been canceled, there are still lots of ways that people on the outside can show solidarity and support the workers on the inside.  Most important now is to let the authorities know that our eyes are on them and they cannot retaliate against the striking workers without consequences.

To kick-off our support for the upcoming prison labor strike, the DC Industrial Workers of the World, in conjunction with DC Stampede and others, will be disrupting prison phone lines across the DMV demanding hands off our striking comrades and an END TO PRISON SLAVERY, NOW! Check out the facebook event for more details.

For more background on the prison strike and to find upcoming events, check out:

prisonstrike.com

supportprisonerresistance.noblogs.org

DC Stampede and Friends Tour Northern Virginia

DC Stampede and Tidewater Earth First helped give three northern Virginia Skanska executives a strong reminder that they cannot hide from the consequences of their action or inaction.

Stephen Skinner, Christopher Cardinale, and Amando Madan are all living with the fact that they can prevent the torture and murder of thousands of rabbits, mice, cats, monkeys, and dogs. And so far they have done nothing. Long after they’ve spent their big paychecks from building on animal cruelty, they will have to live with that if they do not take action soon. And we will continue to remind them of that simple truth.

DC- Support the National Prisoner Work Stoppage!

Wednesday, July 27, 6:30-8:30pm

The Potter’s House

1658 Columbia Rd NW

In coordination with the increasing resistance among incarcerated people, prisoners from Virginia to Oregon have called for a national prison work stoppage. This historic event will take place on September 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising.

Local groups have formed around the country to support the strike, and there is a lot we can do to help. Join members of DC Stampede, the Industrial Workers of the World, and other prisoner support groups as we write to incarcerated people to on July 27.

There will be more information about recent prison uprisings, and this will serve as a chance for people in DC to determine how we can continue to support the people inside who are putting it all on the line to end prison slave labor in the U.S. once and for all.

Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night – No Borders

Wednesday, April 27

6:30 PM-8:30 PM

The Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Rd NW)

Join us to celebrate May Day and international solidarity! This month, we write to those inside immigration detention centers, whose crime is crossing an invisible line on a map. We’ll provide a list as well as “how-to” information if you haven’t written to a prisoner before. We’ll be writing letters in English and Spanish — and if you can write in other languages, please let us know ASAP (DCStampede@gmail.com) and we may match you up with another speaker to write.

Just as prison walls cut through our communities, borders divide us from family members, friends, neighbors, and our fellow workers. With this letter-writing night and the May Day celebrations to follow over the weekend, we push back against these barriers with acts of solidarity.

Whole Foods Customer Leaflet!

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FUJ Solidarity Leaflet

Saturday, March 26, 2PM

Whole Foods, 1440 P St. NW, Washington, DC

Familias Unidas por la Justicia is a union of farmworkers in Washington state that has launched an international boycott of berries from Sakuma Bros Farm. Many of them are sold under the Driscoll’s label, so the union has demanded that grocery stores stop carrying the brand, and that consumers do not purchase them.

Familias Unidas has fought for and won important gains for workers, but they still face deplorable conditions. Child labor, pesticide exposure, and wage theft are common in the industry.

Most of us owe our health and basic survival to farmworkers. Please join the DC boycott solidarity committee to help raise awareness about the boycott, and pressure our grocery stores to drop Driscoll’s Berries.

Self Respect, Self Defense & Self Determination Screening

ppfilmThe second installment in our film screening series is happening this Saturday, March 19! The series is co-hosted by Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) and DC Jericho. We’re excited to hear some wise words from some movement vets. It’s a little late, but we’ll be celebrating International Women’s Day with this one, so come join us! More details below:

Saturday, March 19, 6:30

Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Rd NW), Wash, DC.

This film from Freedom Archives shows an event held at the First Congregational Church in Oakland on Sunday, March 14, 2004 with Mabel Williams and Kathleen Cleaver, welcomed and introduced by Angela Davis. These two inspiring women of the 60s Black liberation struggle met to share their personal experiences – resisting the KKK and police repression, forced into exile by government repression, and their international experiences in Third World nations. Mabel Williams, with her late husband Robert F. Williams, met with Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara and Mao Tse Tung to help internationalize support for the Black Liberation Movement. Kathleen Cleaver was Communications Secretary and the first woman on the Central Committee of the Black Panther Party.

A discussion will follow the film. Facebook event here.

 

 

Skanska Execs, Have a Heart!

Three northern Virginia Skanska executives were very popular this Valentine’s Day! They and over a hundred of their neighbors received valentines, calling on them to let the animals into their hearts this year.

As many of us shared the day with loved ones, Skanska’s crew is building an underground lab that would subject thousands of animals to lives of isolated misery. Activists asked the executives, Christopher Cardinale, Amando Madan, and Stephen Skinner, to set Skanska’s drive for profit aside, and consider the animals. Those that live in the dungeon Skanska builds may never see the sun or feel the soil under their feet.

Concerned activists delivered the cards to over a hundred houses in the three neighborhoods, letting them know that their neighbor’s company will be responsible for unspeakable torture. The executives should know that it’s not too late to do the right thing, and hastily completing the lab will not wash their hands of innocent beings’ blood.

have a heart

Cointelpro101 Screening- 2/20!

DC Stampede is excited to co-host a screening of the documentary COINTELPRO 101 with DC Jericho and RAPP (Release Aging People in Prison). This is the first in a series of screenings, so stay tuned for more!

COINTELPRO_card

Political Prisoner Film Night: Cointelpro 101

Saturday, Feb 20, 7:00pm

La Casa, 3166 Mt Pleasant Avenue NW

 

Cointelpro 101 exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the US government in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Cointelpro refers to the official FBI COunter INTELigence PROgram carried out to surveil, imprison, and eliminate leaders of social justice movements and to disrupt, divide, and destroy the movements as well. Many of the government’s crimes are still unknown. Through interviews with activists who experienced these abuses first-hand, with rare historical footage, the film provides an educational introduction to a period of intense repression and draws relevant lessons for the present and future.

Following the film, former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn will join a community discussion with members of the Jericho Project, RAPP (Release Aging People in Prisons), and DC Stampede.

Better Late than Never: Report from New York

From No New Animal Lab:

#StormSkanska: Swarm New York Sparks Strong Impact Against Skanska

Report back from #StormSkanska: Swarm New York:

We have been campaigning against Skanska for over a year. On January 1, 2015, Richard Cavallaro took the position of CEO and President of Skanska USA, succeeding company veteran Michael McNally. The campaign to stop the Animal Research & Care Facility had recently been consolidated under the banner No New Animal Lab, and we made the point to inaugurate Richard with a simple letter, which urged him to cancel Skanska’s contract with the University of Washington and all plans to build an underground torture chamber for animals. Unfortunately, we had no hope that Richard would be diverted from his profit-seeking motives, and so we began efforts to #StormSkanska.

Fast-forward to today, in the wake of an amazing and inspiring weekend of action in New York, and we can see an important contrast.

#StormSkanska: Swarm New York started early with an impressive banner drop off of the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday, setting the tone for the weekend’s approaching actions.

On Friday, almost 200 protesters converged on the Empire State Building, which houses Skanska’s U.S. headquarters. Despite midtown Manhattan’s bustling streets, the chants of the mass of protesters could be heard up the skyscraper’s towering face. The crowd was joined by actor James Cromwell, whose staunch and vocal support of grassroots campaigns led to him passing out leaflets and talking with passersby.

That evening the crowd gathered at the NYU School of Law for the opening night of the weekend. Unfortunately, police presence also followed. Although NYU is a private school, they host many public events. Yet when the line of attendees gathered outside, NYU security demanded to know the names of everyone in attendance and required them to sign in and produce identification. Then the NYPD arrived, claiming that they received a call from their captain about a gathering of animal rights demonstrators. After some debate, eventually attendees were allowed entry without being coerced into identifying themselves to law enforcement and security.

The opening event started with a welcome from NYC Animal Defense League and No New Animal Lab before turning to a powerful Know Your Rights workshop presented by Bina Ahmad, public defender with the Legal Aid Society. James Cromwell decided to speak about his personal history of challenging the status quo and his eventual involvement in animal advocacy. He urged the crowd to continue to challenge power like that embodied in Skanska. NYC ADL finished off the night with a call to take action the following day.

At around noon on Saturday, people began converging in Heckscher Park near Huntington Village. By 1pm, over 100 protesters were prepared to set off for the home of Richard Cavallaro. Police were surrounding the park with the looming threat of moving in on the crowd. Galvanized by the energy of the mass convergence and inspired by the thought of the individual animals for whom we are fighting, the protest immediately stormed onto Main Street in downtown Huntington. Police soon surrounded and tried to force the protest onto the sidewalk.

The Suffolk County police presence seemed constant and overwhelming, yet everyone pushed forward the nearly 2 miles to the home of Cavallaro, at 6 Castle Harbor Rd., Huntington Bay, NY. His house was swarming with police and private security, inside and out. In spite of these attempts to build his home into an impervious fortress, two activists were arrested as they boldly attempted to scale Richard’s roof with a ladder and unfurl a banner from the top. Private security tackled and assaulted these two activists and detained them until police arrived on site. Much to everyone’s surprise, Richard Cavallaro rushed outside to revile the crowd of protesters. Apparently the thought of protesters crossing police and security lines to climb onto his roof was just too much for him. He threw the ladder away from his roof and then, acting like an embarassment to his company’s reputation, he could be heard screaming, “fuck you!” and other obscenities to the protesters with his face flushed red. He had to be forced inside by his hired security and someone who seemed to be a Skanska PR representative, but we will never forget the look of Richard Cavallaro’s horrified face staring down the mass protest outside his house. It is all the indication we needed to know that we stirred the hornet’s nest.

The two arrested were taken into custody down the road, so the protest followed as a jail solidarity rally before returning to the park. Police were still everywhere, flocking to the protest with blaring sirens and horns from all sides. The entire spectacle effectively disrupted the affluent doldrums of downtown Huntington and Huntington Bay. After an eventful day, participants congregated in Brooklyn for a Punk Rock Karoake benefit.

After storming Skanska at their homes and offices, protesters trekked to the Malvern, PA area, headquarters of Vanguard Group. Through its nearly 7 million held shares, totaling 1.7% of shares outstanding or $1.12 billion, Vanguard Group is the fifth largest institutional investor in Skanska AB. Vanguard holds more shares in Skanska than any other U.S. financial institution. They took the protest literally to the front doors of Frederick William McNabb, Chairman and CEO, at his home at 421 Timber Lane, Devon, PA, and Mortimer Joseph Buckley, Chief Investment Officer, at his home at 420 Meadowbrook Ave., Wayne, PA. Vanguard is financing Skanska to build this lab and is entangled with animal cruelty. They have come to the attention of the No New Animal Lab campaign.

This weekend was a success! Thanks to all who came out to ‪#‎StormSkanska‬ and ‪#‎SwarmNY‬! We took it to the streets, their headquarters, the CEO’s front yard, and to some of their largest investors. Today stands in stark contrast to one year ago, when the campaign against Skanska was just starting to blossom. We know we are getting to them like we never have before. We are having an impact. The effectiveness of the grassroots was captured in Richard Cavallaro’s bitter grimace–we can storm Skanska, we can swarm their most important US figures, we can threaten their finances, and we can and will stop this lab.

This weekend was only possible because of grassroots organizing and grassroots support. Thanks to everyone who came together to make it happen. This took a lot of resources, so please make a donation to the campaign to sustain this pressure!

Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night: solidarity with LGBTQ prisoners

PPLWN_dec2015_1

Wednesday, February 3

6:30 PM-8:30 PM

The Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Rd NW)

Join us for our next night of solidarity with the people in our movements who have had their freedom taken from them. We’ll provide all the materials, a list of prisoners from various radical movements with short bios, and a quick “how to” for anyone who would like some guidance.

This month, we focus on LGBTQ prisoners, experiencing both the repressive control of the state as well as institutionalized homophobia. LGBTQ prisoners can be singled out and segregated from others prisoners in solitary confinement, simply because of their identity. They face higher rates of sexual harassment and assault, and trans prisoners are often incarcerated with prisoners of the opposite sex and denied appropriate medical care for gender dysphoria. Check out the links below to learn more:

http://www.blackandpink.org/

http://transprisoners.net/

http://www.socialism.com/drupal-6.8/articles/inmate-exposes-vicious-system-gay-and-trans-prisoners-plagued-bigotry

We hope you join us in standing with Marius, Niara, Chelsea, Ky, Lisa, Jay, and too many others still behind bars.