Category Archives: events

events

May 27th prisoner letter writing night at Hydra Bookshop

Join Bristol ABC and friends from 5-7pm on the 27th of May at Hydra Bookshop, Old Market, BS2 0EZ for our semi-regular letter writing night; get your questions about writing to prisoners answered, learn about class struggle prisoners and anti-prison struggles across the world, and maybe get a pen-pal of your own!

Here’s an excerpt from a letter of thanks we received after sending out 10 or so cards at the Anarchist Bookfair to show you how much this communication means to those who are locked up:

“Thank you so much for your wonderful card of solidarity and support that really lifted my spirits and diminished considerably the feeling of isolation that my current very difficult situation creates. […] I really was grateful to receive your card and it really did raise my morale and reassure me that I’m not completely alone”

-John Bowden

Jan 22 Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity – Info Night & Fundraiser in Bristol

Trans Prisoners Bristol

trans_new_A3

Background Info:

January 22, 2016 will be the first annual Trans Prisoner Day of Action: an international day of action in solidarity with trans prisoners.

This is a call to action against the system which seeks to erase our very existence. The survival of trans and other sex and gender minority people is not a quaint conversation about awareness, but a struggle for us to live in a world so determined to marginalize, dehumanise, and criminalise us – especially trans women, and especially Black, brown, and indigenous trans people.

We are discriminated against in every area of society including housing, healthcare, employment. Our survival is often precarious and many of us survive by work which is also criminalised – making us even more of a target for police harassment and the crime of “Walking While Trans’’.

Once incarcerated, trans people face humiliation, physical and sexual abuse, denial of medical needs, and legal reprisals. Many transgender people are placed in solitary confinement for months or years, simply for being trans. Trans women are usually placed in men’s prisons, where there is a massive increased risk of experiencing sexual violence.

Just as our lives are violently repressed on the outside, trans people experience extreme suffering and death within the walls of jails, prisons, youth facilities, and immigrant detention centers.

Trans Prisoner Day of Action on January 22nd is a day to acknowledge the experiences of trans and other sex and gender-minority prisoners. It’s about collaboration. It is about forging new relationships and dismantling the isolation of prison. It’s about resistance to state violence. It’s about solidarity between those who experience the violence of the system first hand and those for whom the state hasn’t come yet.

Many prisoner support and prison abolition groups around the world do so much excellent work writing letters to prisoners, educating the public with  letters to editors and articles for the media, holding protests and marches, organising queer communities to phone in and demand that trans prisoners be treated with respect and dignity, calling for an end to incarceration. Trans Prisoner Day of Action aims to make this work accessible to all who are in support – we encourage you to hold vigils for those in our communities who have been taken by State violence, to hold an event, host speakers, screen films, invite presentations, and hold workshops to spread the word on the experience of trans prisoners, share knowledge, and build strategies of resistance. Have dance parties and raise funds for people and groups already doing amazing work. Take action. Let’s join together and show our conviction in supporting each other and ending prisons once and for all.

This project was first imagined by Marius Mason, a trans prisoner in Texas, USA. Since then, through his friends and supporters, an international collective of people both inside and outside of prison walls have come together to make Trans Prisoner Day of Action a reality. We are trans and non-trans folks and friends and supporters. We join a long tradition of trans and queer people resisting state violence.

Join with us in the struggle for freedom.

International Day of Solidarity with Trans Prisoners – January 22nd 2016

All around the world this day will be a chance to stand in solidarity with trans people in prison. Join us for letter writing nights, film screenings, workshops, forums, vigils, actions, fundraisers and parties. Check the EVENTS page to see what’s happening near you. Or we can support you to host your own event.

This grassroots project, lead by trans prisoners and their supporters around the world, is an annual event to give solidarity and support for those behind bars, amplify the voices of trans prisoners and to organise with others both inside and outside.

See more about the day below. If you’d like support in organising anything in the UK please contact: info@prisonabolition.org

Trans Prisoners Day

More About the Day

This grassroots project was initiated by Marius Mason, a trans prisoner in Texas, US. This annual event is being lead by trans prisoners and their supporters from around the world. It is a chance for those on the outside to remember those behind bars, give real solidarity and support and raise awareness about issues facing trans prisoners. It is a chance for those on the inside to have a voice and organise together.

As queers we know the terror of scrutiny, disgust and isolation; we have all be denied the ability to live our lives. For trans people in prison, those problems are doubled by the physical and emotional restraints of a literal cage. For decades, early queer activists showed active solidarity and support for their imprisoned brothers and sisters – they wrote letters, had marches, and demanded not just that they be treated with respect and dignity, but their total and unconditional release. Queer and trans prisoners organized with each other and the outside world. Join us in reviving that tradition.

We hope that events will happen in as many locations as possible around the globe. They will include: letter writing, film screenings, presentations, workshops, queer-friendly shows or parties, fundraisers, vigils and actions. A key feature will be the opportunity for those on the outside to write letters of solidarity to those on the inside. Check out a full list of events HERE.

We will be producing a zine (small DIY publication) featuring writing and artwork from trans prisoners and former prisoners from around the world and the grass roots organisations and groups who support them and who advocate for an end to oppressive prison systems. This will be distributed to those inside as well as be available at events. We will also be producing a postcard series featuring artwork by prisoners.

If you have contacts in prison, you might be able to help us reach out to trans people to invite them to organise with us, contribute to the zine and postcard projects, or go on the list to receive letters from the events. We welcome contact from trans prisoners regarding other ideas for support they would like to see from this project.

To get involved contact us: transprisonersolidarity@riseup.net

Join us on January 22nd in shining a light on the plight of trans prisoners. On this day, and every day, get involved in projects that support other trans and queer prisoners, and look into the other struggles which Marius participates in – it’s one fight against the society that is killing us, one way or the other. Live your life with pride, joy and freedom, and extend those feelings to others; don’t let the walls of prison or society act as a limit.

Prison Abolition Debate in Bristol

11988763_10153831656625337_8767802786892504499_n

See the facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1527787087537835

University of Bristol, Queens Building, Room 1.8

at 6:00pm – 7:30pm in UTC

A joint event hosted by Bristol Think, the Howard League for Penal Reform and Bristol Left will be bringing together a panel of four to debate whether we should be fighting for prison reform or prison abolition. Speakers will include those involved in prison abolition and prison reform activism. It will take place Thursday 3rd December in Queens Building at the University of Bristol.

Invited speakers include:
– An organiser in Bristol Anarchist Cross
– An organiser in the Empty Cages Collective
– Michael Naughton – Senior lecturer in Sociology and Law at the University of Bristol addressing issues in crime, justice and specifically the wrongful conviction of the innocent (https://twitter.com/DrMNaughton)
– Final speaker tbc…

On the panel we will be looking at questions:
What is wrong with the prison system?
What is wrong with the criminal justice system?
Is the prison system actually tackling harmful behaviour in our society? And if not, why not?
Does prison work help to “rehabilitate” prisoners or is it a form of forced labour?
Should we abolish prisons or should we reform them?
What alternatives are there to prisons?
What do we do about the really dagerous people?
And we will be taking questions and points from those in the audience, in what will hopefully lead into a more open discussion.

For anyone wishing to inform themselves a bit more about the UK prison system and about prison abolition and reform here are some things to get you started:
http://www.howardleague.org/weekly-prison-watch/
http://www.prisonabolition.org/new-article-prison-industrial-complex-occupied-times/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtoy0uHsn9Y (Juliet Lyons on the need for prison reform)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4WSHvZetkw (Reina Gossett on prison abolition and what about the really dangerous people)

ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME!!!

Image

Visions of Abolition Film Showing in Bristol

Film Showing Bristol

Image

Fundraiser for Eric King

Eric King Poster

Image

Winter Warmer 2015

Winter Warmer 2015