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August in Chicago –it’s happening!

Hey there pen-pals, volunteers & supporters!

Here’s some updates & announcements from the crew at Black & Pink Chicago this month.  As always – follow us on facebook for more up to date info, and drop us a line at blackandpinkchicago@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Fam Mail:

“Queer Reels: A Fundraiser for Black & Pink Inside Members”

Sunday, August 21 6-9 at the Dojo in Pilsen.

Suggested donation of $1-5 at the door/ no one turned away for lack of funds. We will also be tabling with merch including “Solidarity not Solitary” T-shirts and patches, and raffle tickets!

Pen-pal Matching Night will take place next on Monday August 15th, from 7-9pm at 656 W. Barry.  Come through if you’ve been meaning to be matched but haven’t started writing yet!

Community Dinner

Community Dinner teamed up with the Chicago  Community Bond Fund in July. We had over 40 community members from our groups come together to share a meal and stories with each other. We are hoping this event kicks off a series of community dinner collaborations between other abolitionist organizations in Chicago that we have crushes on. We also celebrated our 3rd birthday of being a chapter with birthday brownies!

Our next ‘Community Dinner’ will be on Wednesday August 24th from 6-8 at 637 S. Dearborn, with Love & Protect.  They are hosting a letter-writing night to find pen-pals for more of their members, and we’ll be joining that effort and providing a meal for all who come through.  Join us!

Political Education
Political education did a PIC 101 workshop for Fed Up Fest: A Queer & Trans punk fest. The workshop used a “crime map” to explore the root causes of crimes, which stage police come into the scene of a crime, and the systemic oppressions that make up what the prison industrial complex is.

Advocacy

From our friends at Uptown People’s Law Center we’ve learned about this critical opportunity to take action on solitary confinement. Although IDOC has published proposed regulations which might reduce the harm of solitary confinement, these proposed regulations don’t apply to people who are essentially in solitary and who rarely get to leave their cells, including those in protective custody, a form of solitary that is often used to ‘protect’ LGBTQ folks from violence by subjecting them to the violence of isolation. Furthermore, the proposed regulations still exceed the 15-day maximum for solitary confinement stipulated under international law.

How can you help? File a public comment by August 15th, stating your concerns about the use of solitary in IDOC. Important: if enough people comment, IDOC will have to hold a hearing. Submit your comment, and get your friends to submit as well!

Comments can be submitted to:

Ms. Echo Beekman, Rules Coordinator

Illinois Department of Corrections

1301 Concordia Court

P. O. Box 19277

Springfield, IL 62794-9277

Re-entry

Do you know of friendly landlords who will rent for super cheap and/or not do background checks?  Do you have old furniture or clothes to donate?  Do you want to be a friend to someone who’s just getting out of prison and looking for community support?

Let us know – we have members getting out all the time and the situation in Chicago for folks returning from prison is stark. (Half of all prisoners who get out go back in within 3 months of getting out).  There are very material ways to show up for people on the regular, and all of us has something to offer.

E-mail blackandpinkchicago@gmail.com with any contributions or ideas you have.

Other stuff that is super rad and relevant:

The Movement for Black Lives released a platform of policy demands.  If you haven’t taken the time to read it – change that.  This is a really big deal. Many of the demands align with our own abolitionist visions and principles, and we look forward to seeing the ways that organizations and communities across the country continue to put these demands into action.

Aaaaand this month marks 6 years since the passing of Marilyn Buck.  Not familiar with her?  She was a white anti-imperialist who was a part of the team that liberated Assata Shakur from prison and became a political prisoner in the US for 29 years.  She died of cancer in 2010, but not until she had left a powerful legacy about the meaning of solidarity in practice.  Check out this interview with her here: https://vimeo.com/16406539

 

That’s all for now – onwards,

B&P Chi

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