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Elias sits down with Dr. Christopher Petrella, a Lecturer in American Cultural Studies and Associate Director of Programs for the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and contributor to Boston Review and Black Perspectives (African American Intellectual Historical Society) to discuss his work on exploring and exposing the private prison industry, which has previously been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, Boston Review, and The New Yorker, has appeared on ESPN and NPR, and has been debated in the U.S. House of Representatives. Strap in, Unsettlers, this is a good one!
Renown Scholar Forced to Discuss The Onion; a town with more prisons than stop lights; when private prisons become ubiquitous, are private prisons “normal”?; “mass incarceration” vs “the carceral state”; you don’t have to be in prison to be imprisoned–how are bodies criminalized?; immigration becomes a crime–crossing the Streamline; detainment as a “market”; bed quotas and minimum occupancy requirements for ICE and prisons; “if you build it, you will fill it”–empty prisons lead to uncomfortable questions; banks built the prisons; don’t get it twisted–“state-funded” prisons aren’t “better”; our previous “victories”; why stocks for private prison corporations surged after Trump’s win; race and the state; weaponizing a census; “real estate companies who dabble in incarceration.”
- Convict Sentenced To Generating $80,000 To $100,000 In Profits For Private Prison (The Onion)
- Detention Bed Quote Statement (National Immigrant Justice Center)
- Homeland Security Budget-in-Brief: Fiscal Year 2016 (DHS.gov)
- How Immigrants Became Criminals (Alan A. Aja and Alejandra Marchevsky, Boston Review)
- The Preservation of the White Race (Christopher Petrella, Boston Review)
- DHS memos detail aggressive immigration enforcement and speedier deportations (Michelle Mark, Business Insider)
- My four months as a private prison guard. (Shane Bauer, Mother Jones)
- Five myths of the private prison industry (Beryl Lipton, Muck Rock)
- How Speculating on Prisons Leads to Mass Incarceration (Christopher Petrella, Truthout)
- Justice Department will again use private prisons (Matt Zapotosky, The Nation)
- Corrections Corp. and GEO Group Prison Stocks Surge On Trump Win (Ben Popken, NBC News)
- The Private Prison Industry Is Licking Its Chops Over Trump’s Deportation Plans (Madison Pauly, Mother Jones)
- Did Private Prison Contractor Illegally Boost Trump? (Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Beast)
(Photo credit: FANG Collective)
Monday, March 20th
- 5:30-7:00 p.m. – City Council meeting for Cambridge at City Hall–there will be a vote on including more affordable housing in future development plans.
- 6:00-7:00 p.m. – Know Your Rights Training for Immigrants at The Parenting Journey (366 Somerville Ave). The Political Asylum/ Immigration Representation Project – PAIR is co-hosting this event for immigrants and supporters. There will be interpretation in Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. RSVP to email@example.com
- 6:30 p.m. – Community meeting with Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez on the 6th floor of MCPHS University (670 Huntington Ave.) in Boston
- 7:00 p.m. – The Community Church of Boston (565 Boylston Street, Boston) is showing “Thirty Seconds to Midnight,” a movie which covers three threats to all life on this planet: nuclear weapons, nuclear war, and the ongoing climate catastrophe. It features interviews with activists and authors as Dr. Helen Caldicott; Ray McGovern; Chris Hedges; Ann Wright; Peter Kuznick; and David Vine. Regis Tremblay, the director, will be at the showing.
Tuesday, March 21st
Wednesday, March 22nd
- 6:00 p.m. – Future City Building Projects & Net Zero Goals at Somerville High School (tentative)
- 6:00-9:30 p.m. – Intro to NVDA for POC, presented by the FANG Collective at their office in Pawtucket, RI (545 Pawtucket Ave – Park in the lot and enter building through lots entrance and follow the wolf signs!). This is a brief workshop for People of Color ONLY that offers an introduction to the history of Nonviolent Direct Action and its implementation as well as examples of intersectionality within our community/movements, affinity groups and their formation, consensus decision making, and a discussion on self-care and community care. Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/QuTsyfLkPG5q3S4U2 and contact Sherrie for any childcare/accessibility needs.
- 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Boston CosechAllies monthly meeting at 120 Boylston St, 10th Floor. If you’d like to join or start a circle but don’t know where to start, this is the meeting for you! IMPORTANT: For this location, we’ll need an RSVP list for the building, so definitely let them know if you can make it & they’ll add you!
- 7:00-8:00 p.m. – DSA electoral group meeting at 1370 Cambridge Street in Cambridge w/ Mike Sylvester, DSA member and Maine State Senator, speaking about his experience running for office.
- 7:00-8:30 p.m. – Commission on Energy Use and Sustainability meeting (every two weeks on Wednesday) at 167 Holland St, Somerville
- 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Boston Food Not Bombs has its weekly planning meeting during this time at Encuentro 5 (9 Hamilton Pl Suite 2a) in Boston. This is, of course, the long-running, non-sectarian, but definitely radical free food organizations that’s been serving in MA for decades now.
- 7:00-9:00 p.m. Black & Pink has weekly volunteer drop-in hours on Wednesdays, as well. They’re at First Baptist Church (633 Centre St) in Jamaica Plain. “Bring a laptop, if you can. If not, you can help write birthday cards!”
Thursday, March 23rd
- 12:00 p.m. – Boston City Councilor Andrea J. Campbell & Prisoners’ Legal Services Present: Mariposa & the Saint, a play about ending prolonged solitary confinement written by longtime friends and current collaborators, Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca and Julia Steele Allen, through the prison wall, crafted only by letter over the course of three years. The play will be presented in the Ianella Chamber on the 5th Floor of City Hall (1 City Hall Square, Boston).
- 6:30 p.m. – Community meeting with Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez at First Baptist Church (633 Centre St.) in Jamaica Plain.
- 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Healthcare 101 – Teach-In for Single Payer and how to make a difference presented by Mass-Care at their office (9A Hamilton St) in Boston. Learn about the History of Single Payer, Republican health reform plans, Speaker training, Questions to ask at Town Halls, Volunteer opportunities with Mass-Care.
- 7:00 p.m. – Educational Forum on Immigration at Greater Framingham Community Church (44 Franklin St.): a forum on the issues faced by immigrants and refugees in our community and how we can advocate for them. Several community resource partners, including MetroWest Legal Services and MetroWest Workers Center and a representative from Cosecha, will be presenting.
- 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Somerville Alderman’s Regular Meeting (every 2nd and 4th Thursday) at Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Ave).
Friday, March 24th
- 5:30-7:00 p.m. – Rally at the State House in Boston to demand that the United States government recognize the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria as a legitimate political unit, and to end all support for the Turkish government and its war on the Kurds. Supported by members of the local Turkish and Kurdish communities and sponsored by the New England Kurdish Association, HDP Boston, and Boston Friends of Rojava and Syria. This is part of the International Michael Israel Week of Action, during which friends remember Michael Israel, a volunteer from the United States fighting alongside the SDF, who was killed in a Turkish airstrike conducted from a warplane provided by the United States.
Saturday, March 25th
- 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Food Not Bombs cooks for its Saturday Central Square Meal in Cambridge. E-mail us for details.
- 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. – MassAlliance Grasroots Campaign Training (day one of intensive two-day training). Location TBA (in Greater Boston).
- 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – City Life/Vida Urbana volunteer canvassing.
- 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Anti-Trump Rally to Counter-Protest a MAGA Event at 193 Salem St in Boston. Few details have been provided, and while there is a MAGA event listed on Facebook and elsewhere on the internet as happening that day, it is unclear if there are any organizations backing this. While we have no reason to believe the folks who created this event are not sincere in their intentions, please keep your wits about you and scope the scene before joining in.
- 12:00-3:00 p.m. – Black & Pink holds drop-in volunteer hours at this time each week at Swissbakers (168 Western Ave) in Allston.
- 12:30-4:00 p.m. – Food Not Bombs’ Central Square Meal is served at this time each week.
- 6:00-10:00 p.m. – Break the Chains: the semi-monthly, all-ages, all-gender radical dance party hosted by queer riot-folker Evan Greer is happening at Make Shift Boston (549 Columbus Ave). This installment will feature Amor Prohibida, DJ Lady Spindrift, Lady Mariposa, and Absinthe Rose. $10 – 20 sliding scale suggested donation to support touring queer artists. No one turned away. Wheelchair accessible.
- 6:00-11:00 p.m. – Food Not Bombs’ Haymarket Produce Rescue happens during these hours each Saturday. Volunteers meet up near Faneuil Hall at Haymarket (corner of Blackstone and North, across the street from a Hard Rock Cafe) to rescue and sort produce destined for the compost heap or landfill and deliver it, by car, to shelters in the Boston/Cambridge area to stock them with food. Volunteers with cars are especially needed.
Sunday, March 26th
- 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. – MassAlliance Grasroots Campaign Training (day two of intensive two-day training). Location TBA (in Greater Boston).
- 12:00-1:30 p.m – Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee weekly meeting at Encuentro 5 (9A Hamilton Pl in Boston). All are welcome, including people who are currently experiencing or have experienced homelessness. For an idea of what will be discussed, including the proposed agenda, or to be added to their mailing list, please email them.
- 5:00-6:00 p.m. – Black & Pink Family Dinner at Encuentro 5 (9a Hamilton Pl, Suite 2a) in Boston. Food provided by Food Not Bombs. A monthly dinner (last Sunday of each month) during which volunteers and everyone involved with Black & Pink can meet, talk, and share joys and struggles.