10 October, 2009

Beyond Prisons: Toward Community Strategies

[English below]

Le Projet de correspondance pour prisonnier(e)s, Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec (ASTTeQ) et le Centre 2110 présentent:

Au-delà des prisons, vers les stratégies communautaires:
Travail de soutien dans et contre le système carcéral

samedi le 24 octobre à 16 h 00 (jusqu'a 18 h 00)
au 1710 Beaudry au Comité social du centre-sud (metro Beaudry)

Présentations de:

Gisele Dias - Prisoner HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), Toronto

Peter Collins - Activiste du VIH/SIDA et prisonnier au Bath Institution en Ontario

Amazon Contreraz - défense des droits des personnes incarcérées, activiste trans et prisonnière à Corcoran, Californie

Sadie Ryanne - DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), Washington DC

Farah Abdill - organisatrice communautaire, Montréal

Ces présentations donnera l'occasion aux organismes communautaires et aux individus de se regrouper le temps d'un après-midi pour discuter de plusieurs manières d'élargir nos modèles présents de soutien et de services, et d'oeuvrer vers un mouvement élargi afin de mettre fin à notre dépendance sur le système carcéral.

Les présentateurs(trices) - des prisonnier(e)s, ex-prisonnier(e)s et allié(e)s - vont présenter leurs projets actuels, qui incluent le soutien des prisonniers gaie et transsexuelle, la prévention du VIH, le plaidoyer pour l'autodétermination des prisonnier(e)s ainsi que des initiatives locales pour soutenir les détenu(e)s. Comment pouvons-nous lutter contre la violence de l'expansion des centres de détention, du taux montant de transmission du VIH dans les prisons, de la négligence médicale et de l'isolation, en tant des organismes communautaires? À travers ces discussions, nous espérons forger des alliances entre différents groupes communautaires et renforcer la lutte quotidienne contre les prisons et à l'intérieur des prisons.

*****
la traduction chuchotée, un service de garderie et des tickets de bus/métro sont disponibles

pour obtenir des directions, des informations sur l'accessibilité des lieux ou si nous pouvons faciliter ta présence de tout autre façon, contacte-nous!

514 848 2424, poste 7431
info(at)prisonercorrespondenceproject.com

www.prisonercorrespondenceproject.com

>>>>>>>>>

The Prisoner Correspondence Project, Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec (ASTTeQ), and the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy present:

Beyond Prisons, Toward Community Strategies:
Supporting work within and against prisons

Saturday October 24th from 4pm to 6pm
at the Comité Social Centre-Sud at 1710 Beaudry (metro Beaudry)

Featuring:

Gisele Dias - Prisoner HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), Toronto

Peter Collins - HIV/AIDS activist and prisoner at Bath Institution, Ontario

Amazon Contreraz - jailhouse lawyer, trans activist and prisoner at Corcoran, California

Sadie Ryanne - DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), Washington DC

Farah Abdill - community organizer, Montreal

Beyond Prisons, Toward Community Strategies will be an afternoon of community organizations and individuals coming together to discuss the ways we can expand our existing models of support and service provision, as prisoners, exprisoners and allies, and work towards a broader movement to end our reliance on prisons.

The presenters--made up of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and allies--will introduce their current projects, which include gay and trans prisoner support, HIV prevention, advocacy for prisoner self-determination, and local initiatives to support folks inside prisons. How can we confront the violence of prison expansion, deepening rates of in-prison HIV transmission, medical negligence and isolation? Through these discussions, we hope to forge coalitions between different community groups and strengthen the day to day struggles both within and against prisons.

*****

whisper translation, childcare, and metro/bus fare available • wheelchair accessible

For directions, information about accessibilty, or if there are other ways we can support your attendance, please contact us:

514-848-2424 x 7431
info(at)prisonercorrespondenceproject.com

www.prisonercorrespondenceproject.com

Decolonize Okinawa and Guam and Everywhere

If you aren't familiar with bilaterals.org already, I encourage you to check it out. The following comes from the bilaterals.org page on War, geopolitics, and human rights:

Neoliberal globalization and war are two sides of the same coin. Throughout many parts of the world there has been little “hidden” about the links between corporate interests, globalization, and militarization. Under the guise of the war on terror, the war on drugs and “humanitarian” missions, U.S. military forces continue to back U.S. corporate and geopolitical interests from Iraq to Colombia, from Honduras to the Philippines. We can see it in the war on Iraq and how the US Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded “reconstruction” contracts to corporate backers of the Bush Administration. We see it in plans for a U.S. free trade agreement with the Middle East by 2013, based on imposing a network of bilateral FTAs on individual Middle Eastern governments. We can see it in the renewed U.S. military presence in South East Asia, especially in their joint exercises with the Philippine military alongside a continued wave of killings of hundreds of activists linked to movements resisting imperialism. Their mission is to make the world safe for capitalism and the U.S. empire and to crush communities and economies organized around different values and principles. Free trade and free market policies are frequently accompanied by repression of dissent.

This is old news in Okinawa for the many activists and others who have fought US military occupation for decades.
The military occupation of Okinawa begs questions beyond those related to struggles for sovereignty. From 1945 until 1972, twenty years after the US occupation of Japan was supposed to be finished, the USCAR (US Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands) continued, but even after Okinawa reverted to Japanese state administration, the US military presence continued and continues as we all know, as do efforts to liberate Okinawa from US military occupation. In terms of the US military presence in Okinawa, the cost of which is largely underwritten by the Japanese government, there are probably about 40,000 US military employees in Okinawa at any given time if you count Department of Defense employees along with all the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine members. Of course, some of those employees are accompanied by family members. The relocation of 8,000 Marines and their family members might seem like a small victory in the struggle for Okinawan liberation from occupation. However, for folks in Guam, where those Marines are scheduled to be relocated, the impact will be huge.

In 2007, the US Congress approved $193 million (US) in military funding to expand the construction of bases in Guam, where US bases already take up over a quarter of Guam's total land. Like Okinawa, Guam has been subjected to colonial Japanese administration (1941) and US administration (1898) before. If plans proceed, the majority of Guam's population will be US military personnel within a few years.

Yesterday on Democracy Now, Julian Aguon spoke about this relocation process:

The military buildup was first announced in 2005. Basically, the United States had made a bilateral agreement with the Japanese government to transfer some 7,000 US Marines from Okinawa to Guam, in large part due to Okinawan mass protest against military presence, because they shoulder roughly 70 percent of the US military presence in all of Japan in Okinawa. So, that was in 2005. Fast-forward to 2009, we see that the US has recently announced that the number—it keeps ballooning. It’s really unbelievable, because now it’s set to include 8,000 US Marines and their 9,000 dependents, another thousand troops from South Korea, as well as an outside labor—foreign labor workforce estimated upwards of 20,000 people. So we’re talking about a four- to five-year injection of a population increase of 20 percent in five years.
So that’s really—what we’re concerned about, the indigenous Chamoru community of Guam, is that we haven’t exercised self-determination yet. Guam remains one of only sixteen non-self-governing territories, i.e. UN-recognized colonies, of the world. We don’t even vote for the US president. We have no effective, meaningful representation in the US Congress. And the entire buildup was announced, and it was basically—any Chamoru consideration was really de facto. We’re never really at the table. We were just informed by the US that they were going to bring in outside population of these many tens of thousands of people.
And the entire population of Guam is set roughly at 171,000 only, and the Chamoru population makes up roughly 37 percent of that population. So, really, this demographic change will have irreversible consequences, and we don’t even have the infrastructure, and no money has been really—has been, in essence, promised to the government.
...And basically, the way I see it is, the needs of my people are buckling. We’re not going to be able to withstand so much more weight.


Writing for the Washington Post, Blaine Harden characterizes the plans as a "peaceful military incursion," and deflects attention away from the effects of long-term colonization through descriptions like the following:

The Pentagon has chosen Guam, a quirkily American place that marries the beauty of Bali with the banality of Kmart, as the prime location in the western Pacific for projecting U.S. military muscle.

...To lessen chances of conflicts with local people, the Guam government has asked the military to hold special courses in "how to behave" before the Marines arrive and to periodically conduct refresher courses.

For more informed analyses and reprieves from/alternatives to the characteristic distortions of white supremacist official discourse, check out the Decolonize Guam blog.