Hey SPEARfam!

As the semester hurtles towards a thrilling conclusion, SPEAR is still moving full steam ahead!! The Ban the Box campaign is heating up towards direct action on May 8th; Voting Rights is planning a phonebanking event to advocate for reenfranchisement in New Jersey; production is beginning on the Project Solidarity Zine; and FISAP, Re-entry and DOVES programming is in full swing.

Has your project wrapped up, or have you been searching for a good time to jump into activism with SPEAR? As always, SPEAR will have its weekly working full group meeting this Monday, March 4th at 8 p.m. in Campus Club, and all are welcome to get involved with the work SPEAR is doing anytime!

Our D.O.V.E.S. team, which hosts social and educational events for young women from a local alternative incarceration facility (and is looking for new members!) will meet at 7:30 p.m. in campus club.

New to SPEAR? Fill out this onboarding guide to get fully plugged in to all things SPEAR and to schedule coffee with one of our presidents to talk about how you can get more involved!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. Show solidarity with our friends at Rutgers for Petey Greene’s Prison Awareness week from April 22nd to April 26th! SPEAR will be putting together a van to travel to the Voting Rights event on Tuesday, April 23rd, leaving at 7:45 from behind Frist. Please RSVP on this 2-second form so we know who is coming!

  1. Mark your calendars for the upcoming Ban the Box direct action at the next CPUC meeting: Monday, May 6th, at 4:30! In response to the President’s ongoing refusal to respond the the Ban the Box campaign, we need EVERYONE, and we mean EVERYONE to show up for the Q&A session, walkout, and Teach-in with formerly incarcerated speakers!!! It is incredibly important that we turn out for this teach-in to unequivocally demonstrate to the University that we are not going away, and that we will not be silent about the University’s complicity in the carceral state.

  2. The Voting Rights committee is holding an informal phone banking event in collaboration with Princeton's brand new Coffee Club, to advocate for a piece of legislation in the New Jersey Congress that would effectively grant those formerly and currently incarcerated with the right to vote. On Monday, May 6, between the hours of 1pm and 5pm, come to Campus Club to call key members of the New Jersey House and the Senate in advocacy for the expansion of the right to vote, along with free gourmet coffee and pastries courtesy of the Coffee Club!

  1. Check out this week’s Woke Wednesdays video with the Ban the Box Campaign! Explore the common app’s decision to remove the question on previous convictions, leaving with each university, including Princeton, the choice of banning the box. Woke Wednesdays asks students: should the University should consider conviction history when making admissions decisions despite how the criminal justice system disproportionately targets communities of color? Check out the video here, and don’t forget to sign the Ban the Box Petition !!!

  1. From our friends at YDS, Whig-Clio, College Dems, and AJP: Have you been thinking a lot about what the current state of unionization is here in the US? What kind of relationship it has with our efforts and other forms of political organizing, especially around the upcoming election? Its relationship to labor movements internationally? We’re excited to announce our upcoming event with Kevin Cooper, the Deputy Political Director of the Communications Workers of America, which is the largest telecommunications workers union in the country and one of the most influential unions in progressive politics today.  He’s coming to campus to talk with us about political organizing through unionization, its relevance in today's tumultuous political climate both in America and internationally, and why it matters in the context of other political movements and our own work as feminists with intersectional aims—labor rights and reproductive justice go hand-in-hand! The event will take place on Friday, April 26th from 4:30-6:00pm at Frist 302, and it will be preceded by a private, boba meet-and-greet chat from 3:00-4:00pm in Butler 1915 room (RSVP here if you want to join us, and we will let folks know if they can join on a first-come, first-serve basis)

  2. This spring, The Nassau Literary Review is organizing its sixth annual Collegiate Literary Conference on the theme of “Art as Resistance: Identity and Politics in the Arts”. We would love to see you at any or all of the events listed here!

TIME/LOCATION: 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, April 27th, 2018 in Lewis Library 138

FEATURING:

  • a panel with BOMB Magazine (Raluca Albu), Winter Tangerine (Yasmin Belkhyr), The Nassau Literary Review (Priya Vulchi), and Princeton’s Ellipses Slam Poetry Team (Michael “Scooter” Liapin)

  • student readings in conversation with Jason Schneiderman.

  • workshop led by Alicia Grullon entitled “A Connection to Power: On Art, Land, and Food Sovereignty” (REQUIRED registration here, limited space)

  • keynote address by Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of the award-winning novel, Here Comes the Sun

Please RSVP to the conference using this form.

Headlines:

Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind  Rachel Kushner, The New York Times

“I get where you’re coming from,” she said. “But how about this: Instead of asking whether anyone should be locked up or go free, why don’t we think about why we solve problems by repeating the kind of behavior that brought us the problem in the first place?” She was asking them to consider why, as a society, we would choose to model cruelty and vengeance….where life is precious, life is precious.” *HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!*

Torture does happen in N.J.'s prison, former inmates say. It's called solitary confinement. New Jersey Star-Ledger.

“Under international law, more than 15 days of isolated confinement can be considered to be torture. Yet in New Jersey, some people are held in isolation for months. For 22-23 hours a day they are left only with a bed and their thoughts in a room that's typically no more than 8-by-10 feet.” *Includes narratives from Mark, Lydia, and Ron!!*

 

Congress Considers Making College More Accessible To People In Prison Elissa Nadworny, NPR.

“Now, there's renewed interest in giving adults behind bars better access to higher education. A new bipartisan bill in Congress would allow incarcerated people to use federal Pell Grants — designed for low-income students — to pay for higher education, including college classes and workforce training.”

In New Effort to Deter Migrants, Barr Withholds Bail to Asylum Seekers Michael D. Shear and Katie Benner, The New York Times.

“The Trump administration on Tuesday took another significant step to discourage migrants from seeking asylum, issuing an order that could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely while they wait for a resolution of their asylum requests. The order — which directs immigration judges to deny some migrants a chance to post bail….could undermine the basic rights of people seeking safety in the United States….‘We are talking about people who are fleeing for their lives, seeking safety. And our response is just lock them up.’”

Border Patrol Holds Hundreds of Migrants in Growing Tent City Away From Prying Eyes Justin Glawe and Justin Hamel, The New York Times.

“Five U.S. Army tents meant for battlefield hospitals have been repurposed to hold men, women, and children, including infants. Two of the tents were erected over the past week, expanding the facility’s capacity by several hundred people. The tents are tightly surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire, leaving virtually no space for people to roam outside. Inside the tents, according to a congresswoman who was granted access, hundreds languish in fetid conditions.”

SPEARlove,

Kiki, Amanda, and Masha

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