Keep Fighting the Prison-Industrial Complex this August!

Photo by Inside-Outside Alliance

Keep Fighting the Prison-Industrial Complex this August!

There are a number of great opportunities to educate yourself and support local and national victims of our nation’s corrupt and unjust prison industrial complex this month:

1) A fundraising concert by What Cheer? Brigade on Tuesday, August 2 at 7:00 pm at the Pinhook. This concert supports local efforts to join the call for a national prison strike on the 45th anniversary of Attica, September 9th.

2)  A forum on the history of prison uprisings on Thursday, August 4 held by Inside-Outside Alliance featuring Cynthia Fox and Rafiq Zaidi. Discussion will center on black power activism in prisons from the 1970s to the present.  The event will be at 7:00 pm at the downtown Durham public library.

3) A solidarity protest on Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30 pm outside the Durham County Detention Facility at 219 S Mangum St.

Report Back from #DurhamBeyondPolicing Rally


On Thursday, July 21st around 6pm, hundreds of Durham residents gathered in front of the Durham Police Department to protest against the construction of a $71 million dollar police headquarters set to be built in East Durham, and the ongoing police violence in this country. The demonstration was held by the #DurhamBeyondPolicing, a campaign comprised of Southerners On New Ground, Black Youth Project 100: Durham Chapter, #SayHer Name Durham Collective, and UE 150: City Workers Union. The campaign is fighting for the immediate termination of the $71 million dollar police HQ, and reinvestment into the Durham community. This investment includes more affordable housing, food access, funding for public schools, alternatives to policing programs, jobs, and livable wage.

The demonstration was comprised of drumming from Batala Durham, a new music project of international samba reggae music, a political theater performance by members of Southerners On New Ground, and speakers from UE150, Black Workers for Justice, Workers World Party, Durham Solidarity Center, #DurhamBeyondPolicing, BYP100: Durham Chapter, Raise Up: Fast Food Workers Union, Spirithouse, Standing Up Against Racial Justice and SONG. During this monumental programming, seven demonstrators chained themselves to the gate of the Durham Police Department for over 5 hours, while seven white allies blocked the street chained together, demanding an end to police violence. These protesters held their ground and created space for community to embrace and support them. Eventually, the Durham PD evacuated the scene and the demonstrators considered this to be a win! Next thing for the campaign will be a #DurhamBeyondPolicing Assembly taking place Wednesday, August 17th. Please look out for more details.

 NC Voter ID Law Overturned!

The following is from July 29, 2016 by Anne Blythe:

RALEIGH  Federal appellate judges on Friday struck down a 2013 law limiting voting options and requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls, declaring in an unsparing opinion that the restrictions “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law was adopted with “discriminatory intent” despite lawmakers’ claims that the ID provision and other changes were designed to prevent voter fraud.

The ruling – which could have implications for voting laws in other states and possibly for the outcome of close races in the swing state of North Carolina – sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, who in April issued a 485-page decision dismissing all claims in the legal challenge.

“In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees,” the ruling states. “This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.”
Read more here:

NLRB Upholds Union’s Right to Support Israel Boycott

The following press release was sent out by the the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE).

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reaffirmed its dismissal of an unfair labor practice charge brought by an Israeli law firm against a U.S. union, the United Electrical Workers, over its support of protests against Israeli policies including the union’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) movement.

At its national convention in Baltimore August 16-20, 2015, the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) adopted a resolution endorsing the BDS movement to pressure Israel to negotiate peace with the Palestinians and end the occupation. UE is the first national U.S. union to endorse BDS. The full resolution is attached.

On October 23, the Israeli law firm Shurat Hadin filed a charge with the NLRB alleging that UE’s resolution violated the prohibition in U.S. labor law against “secondary boycotts.” The union disputed the charge, arguing that Shurat Hadin’s action was an attempt to interfere with the First Amendment rights of the union and its members to express opinions on political and international issues, and also that the Israeli firm’s allegation were factually untrue. OnJanuary 12, Region 6 of the NLRB dismissed the charge. Shurat HaDin then appealed to the Office of the General Counsel of the NLRB, and on May 26 that office denied the appeal.

Read more here…