Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network strongly supports this pressing call to action by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee – New York City and Free Them All for Public Health and urges broad participation in it by all defenders of Palestine, Palestinian political prisoners, and the prisoners’ movement. To learn more and boost the campaign, see these organizations’ social media toolkit and follow their Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as the hashtag #AbolitionFromNYC2Palestine.
Table of Contents
- Call MDC Brooklyn: Operator, 718-840-4200
- Call the Manhattan Detention Complex: Operator, 212-225-1341
- Call the NYC Administration for Children’s Services: David A. Hansell, Commissioner, 212-341-0903
- Call New York City Council:
THE COMMON STRUGGLE!
This Friday, April 17, is Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, and abolitionists of NYC stand in solidarity with Palestinian freedom fighters caged by the Israeli occupation. As COVID-19 continues to spread inside carceral sites around the world, demands for safety and liberation are pouring out from behind the walls.
Though struggling to survive distinct political conditions, comrades in New York and Palestine are linked under a continuum of oppression. The NYPD and Israeli military enforcers have historically shared training and surveillance technologies. American companies like HP and Motorola sell enslavement management tools to U.S. and Israeli prison networks alike. Multiple forms of governmental and corporate power are complicit in this deadly exchange.
Where does today’s outbreak fit in? Simple: to authoritarian states already structured to rob, silence, and kill people deemed undesirable or undeserving, COVID-19 becomes not a problem but an extension and tool of punishment and deprivation. In this moment, we cannot expect that systems designed to punish, degrade, and exterminate will recognize institutionalized violence or the humanity of their captives. We cannot expect settler colonialism and white supremacy to cede power of their own volition.
MAKE YOUR CALLS!
Cases of COVID-19 in New York’s jails, prisons, and youth and immigrant detention centers have skyrocketed. These places are already designed to be vicious, unhealthy, overcrowded, and highly secretive. As any large-scale crisis would, COVID-19 has enabled modern-day slavers to reinforce their control over dominated bodies by exploiting the very conditions that make viral transmission possible.
This is the federal jail in Sunset Park where COVID-19 continues to spread among comrades and staff! Tell the operator:
“I am calling in support of the people who are caged at MDC Brooklyn, where there is a dangerous lack of ventilators, medical infrastructure and supplies, and personal protective equipment or soap for incarcerated people. The people you’ve incarcerated have already tested positive for COVID-19. What are you doing to ensure that incarcerated people have access to healthcare and hygiene supplies and that families are being updated as to the health status of their incarcerated family members inside?”
2. Call the Manhattan Detention Complex: Operator, 212-225-1341
This is the municipal jail from which our comrades have smuggled out important demands for harm reduction! Tell the operator:
“I am calling in support of the people who are caged inside of the Tombs. The people under your control have already demanded that facility overseers immediately: 1) administer COVID-19 tests to all people inside the facility; 2) provide hygiene products and sanitizing of common objects, including phones; 3) give tablets to all incarcerated people so they can contact loved ones outside; 4) halt all invasive searches of bodies and belongings. What are you doing to ensure that these demands are met?”
3. Call the NYC Administration for Children’s Services: David A. Hansell, Commissioner, 212-341-0903
This is the city agency that manages Horizon Juvenile Center, the abusive Bronx facility in which children with coronavirus symptoms are being forcibly clustered! Tell Commissioner Hansell’s office:
“I am calling in support of the youth who are caged at Horizons and Crossroads and facing dangerous exposure to COVID-19 in unsafe and unhealthful conditions. It is beyond time to end youth incarceration in our city. I am calling to demand that you and the City Council make a plan to immediately release all people under 18 caged in NYC and return our young people to their families and communities.”
4. Call New York City Council:
These Councilmembers chair the committees that collaborate with NYC’s policing and carceral systems!
- Deborah Rose, Chair of the Youth Services Committee, 718-556-7370 (district) and 212-788-6972 (legislative)
“I am calling to urge Councilmember Rose to use the powers of her committee chair to end youth incarceration in our city. I was horrified to learn that ACH is forcing children with COVID-19 symptoms to crowd into Horizons in the Bronx. The fact that our city is using a detention center to quarantine vulnerable youth is beyond disturbing. Is this outbreak convincing Councilmember Rose that we need a total dismantling of the way we are punishing under-resourced children? What is she doing to take action?”
- Rory Lancman, Chair of the Committee on the Justice System, 718-217-4969 (district) and 212-788-6956 (legislative)
“I am calling to urge Councilmember Lancman to use the powers of his committee chair to end youth incarceration in our city and to speed up the release of as many people as possible from municipal jails. Councilmember Lancman has been outspoken about the problems with our current juvenile detention system and adult criminal legal system. Right now, children with COVID-19 symptoms are being forcibly crowded into Horizons in the Bronx. He must also be aware of the skyrocketing cases of COVID-19 on Rikers Island and in the Manhattan Detention Complex. What is Councilmember Lancman doing to get incarcerated people out of harm’s way? Can he start by calling for the release of as many people as possible, including anyone over the age of fifty, living with high-risk health conditions, inside due to parole violations, and/or serving a sentence of less than one year or within one year of their earliest release date?”
- Keith Powers, Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, 212-818-0580 (district) and 212-788-7393 (legislative)
“I am calling to urge Councilmember Powers to use the influence of his committee chair to speed up the release of as many people as possible from municipal jails. Councilmember Powers has been present for countless public conversations about the inherent dangers of the city’s carceral system. Now, cases of COVID-19 are skyrocketing across city jails. What is Councilmember Powers doing to protect incarcerated people? Can he start by calling for the release of as many people as possible, including anyone over the age of fifty, living with high-risk health conditions, inside due to parole violations, and/or serving a sentence of less than one year or within one year of their earliest release date?”
SHARE YOUR FINDINGS!
Right after your phone calls end, please fill out this form to tell IWOC NYC’s organizers how your calls went and what kinds of responses you received. Thank you for adding your voice to this fight and for raising the voices of our loved ones inside!
Download all graphics here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1pgpAqKVx4eVBOY6qIKQgn9ZlKAeIJJkP