The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Arizona Prisons and the 2010 Political Campaigns

This is the Governor of the State of Arizona, Jan Brewer, on her front page, speaking to her main constituency out here, the National Rifle Association - the mainstay of "American Values."
Don't know where that leaves the rest of us who are looking for leadership from someplace other than the NRA.
Just so the rest of the world understands something: Jan Brewer, Russ Pearce, Joe Arpaio, Andrew Thomas, and the NRA do not represent all of us here in Arizona. Increasingly, those of us who disagree with them will no doubt end up behind bars. That's reason for encouragement, though: it means they're losing. Look for this to get worse before it gets better.

Those folks have a lot to do with the mess we're in today - dishing out the old "law and order" election year rhetoric that has us spending more on warehousing and killing prisoners than we're willing to spend on educating our youth: that's shameful for both Democrats and Republicans (who, I'll remind folks, are not the only two options out there).

This year we need to set the campaign agenda ourselves. They've already begun with their public appearances and comments - all we need is for a few people to turn up at each event - Republican and Democrats' events alike -and make the AZ prison industrial complex The Issue for every single one of them.

Haunt them at every campaign stop with the ghost of Marcia Powell. It can be totally legal; even low key. Just be visible and frank, take a picture or video, and send it in.

Are they building more prisons? Why not let the elderly and dying go?

Is the prison population going to grow in their vision for Arizona - or will it shrink, along with the number of uninsured and hungry seniors, veterans, and kids?

Do they support privatization of corrections or correctional health services? Will they auction off our family members to the lowest bidder?

Where are their investments in Arizona's future going to be made: education, or incarceration?

Hey Thomas: why do you ignore evidence of innocence and leave people in prison you know perfectly well don't belong there? We don't need more people in power in this state who can't admit a mistake.

Letters to legislators, the gov, and the media need to go out now too. Unless you need or assure confidentiality, copies of such correspondence should generally be posted on some publicly accessible website or it gets buried - send your letter to me, and I'll put it up and let whomever you sent it to know it's on the net for viewing. Then it'll be read even if it's lost in the mail.

Some of you can start up blogs too, you know. Or go to Arizona Indymedia and post an article or picture of your own. Check out what this blogger in Delaware is doing to bring the Department of Corrections front and center in the 2010 campaigns.

Don't settle for the heads of a few prison guards. Now is the time to deconstruct Arizona's carceral regime. Force an intelligent public dialogue before the primaries - no more slogans: we want real change.

1 comment:

Sam Haskins said...

My husband was recently denied on his habeaus due to the fact that he was late filing a paper by 26 days. He had hired 2 different attorneys, one here in Arizona who became to ill to represent him and withdrew from his case and one in California who was paid $12,000.00 and never even signed on or even did one thing to earn any of the money paid to him. Though we are not attorneys we tried to do the work ourselves and it cost us. I use to believe that it was about right and wrong and guilt or innocence. I am wiser now and know that it is only about the money. We have no judicial system only a legal system that should have to pay the same taxes as any other business in the United States. Arizona is for the privatization of prisons and is trying to do so through/with CCA out of Nashville Tennesee. However if anyone took their blinders off long enough to research who the investors are and how the private prisons are ran they would never allow this to happen. Shame on us as citizens for voting in the people who say that they are going to make things better time and time again, and shame on them for not doing what they said that they would do. We in Arizona need to clean house and we in America need to stop the Legal system and reinstate the Judicial system.