Solidarity Statement Posted December 8, 2014 by NYSPJN


With these and many other chants and slogans, people all over the world, the U.S., New York State, and the Capital District are reacting with horror and rage to the non-indictment of the police officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.

New York State Prisoner Justice Network stands in solidarity with those protests and with the families and communities of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and the hundreds of other young people of color murdered by police violence. The fight against police brutality is an integral part of the fight against mass incarceration.

The protests go deeper than these two exonerated killer cops: they point to an entire system of injustice and racism, a police state of militarization and surveillance, a global policy of perpetual war,  a gulag of prisons and the criminalization of whole communities. We now see that there is total impunity for those who kill and torture in the name of official policy whether it be on the streets, in the prisons, or in the countries under murderous attack by the U.S. war machine.

NYS Prisoner Justice activists and advocates are right there with the other members of our communities organizing, marching, chanting, and protesting. Police killings, harassment, and racial targeting are part and parcel of the Criminal Injustice System that we call Mass Incarceration. The whole system flows directly from enslavement, Jim Crow segregation, and chain gangs and is designed not to keep society safe but to repress dissent and rebellion in oppressed communities of color.

We are enraged and outraged at the police and the system that produces and supports them, but we are also in awe and admiration of the brave, sustained, and massive resistance led by young people of color from Ferguson to New York City. If anything can shake this greedy, brutal, oppressive system it is the determination of young people of color, and all justice-loving people everywhere, not to put up with it any more.

New York State Prisoner Justice Network stands with that resistance and pledges to support it and be part of it with all our hearts and with all our strength, until the people win and injustice is replaced with genuine justice, equality, and democracy.