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April Updates from B&P Chapters

Boston:

Black and Pink has given talks and workshops and held card writing sessions all around the Boston area throughout March, including at:
Asian American Resource Workshop (Prison Industrial Complex with an Asian/Pacific Islander resistance lens)
Youth Leadership Initiative at YWCA Boston (Prison Industrial Complex and Abolition 101)
Suffolk University panel on anti-shackling
Brandeis University

We bailed one person out of jail in March!

Black and Pink, as part of the anti-shackling coalition in Massachusetts, celebrates the passage of anti-shackling legislation unanimously in the Massachusetts House and Senate!

We have become part of the Make Shift collective and have started holding mail processing in the Make Shift space, which has been a refreshing change from our usual spot in a (mediocre) burrito shop downtown. =)

Black and Pink stands in solidarity with the ongoing fight against repression of pro-Palestinian resistance at Northeastern University. We had a strong presence at a solidarity rally against the suspension of Northeastern SJP, and released a statement in support of their struggle.

Black and Pink was part of a coalition called QueerUP (Queers Undermining Pinkwashing), which protested a pinkwashing event held by a Northeastern University LGBTQ student organization that sought to bring Zionist porn director Michael Lucas to speak about a film on LGBTQ people in Israel.

 

New Orleans:

Black & Pink- Nola helped coordinated the LGBTQ March and Rally For Safety In Solidarity on Wednesday, April 2nd.  This was held in response to an LGBT March against Hate & Violence which called for increased reporting of hateful attacks to the police, and emphasized the penalties for hate crimes including fines and jail time.  We were among 11 local and statewide organizations that signed on in support of a statement opposing increased policing as a solution (read the statement here).  There will hopefully be a community dialogue in the next few weeks to discuss the issue in more detail.

We had our first meeting at Fair Grinds coffee shop to discuss what a chapter in New Orleans might look like, and what other organizations already doing great work in the area we should reach out to!

 

Chicago:

Our Spring card writing party was lovely- we had 18 people show up to send cards to our 160+ inside members in Illinois. We also included an insert with a chapter update and survey questions asking for priorities, resources needed, communication ideas and feedback, and future involvement of inside members.

Our Food Systems and the PIC study group met up twice to discuss readings on the Agrarian origin of Capitalism: Enclosure, Property, and Globalization and “Animals”: Confinement, technology, and non-personhood.

We have Pen-pal Meet-ups planned for April and May, in which we’ll be welcoming survivors of the Burge Torture squad and survivors of Tamms Supermax Prison to talk about some of the particular violence of the Chicago Police Department and Illinois Department of Corrections. We’ll discuss how these histories might impact our pen-pals and how we can respond to and resist that violence both individually and collectively.

 

SF Bay Area (Flying Over Walls):

We had a quiet month. Our study group met in March and discussed readings related to gender and queerness in the PIC. The theme for our April session is Queer Issues in Immigration (readings here: http://flyingoverwalls.wordpress.com)

We had an intimate letterwriting night, with mostly returning folks and 1 new penpal matchup. We’re planning our letterwriting night for April in SF and hoping to do some outreach and recruitment in the LGBTQ community at local bars and events. We’re still figuring out best strategies and next steps for this.

 

Denver:

Denver had it’s first letter-writing potluck as a potential new Black & Pink chapter this past Sunday! We were able to send out about a dozen letters and are going to have about 8 prisoners from the Colorado portion of the listing paired up with regular pen pals.

As far as organizing a chapter of Black and Pink goes, it seems for the time being that Denver will be focusing on throwing cute letter writing socials. In the future, we are looking towards a variety of more direct

support. We’ve thrown around ideas of art showings, small publishing efforts, advocacy, and media campaigns. But for now, we want to focus on nurturing relationships with folks on the inside. It seems prudent to figure out what exactly are the needs and wants of prisoners in Colorado before moving forward with any projects.

Our next letter writing potluck is set for early May and we anticipate an organizing meeting prior to that to determine how the folks who have came through for events thus far feel about being a Black and Pink chapter, proper like. 🙂

 

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