Campaign Updates

ENLACE-POSTER_outline_campaign11x85The Prison Divestment Campaign began in 2011 from the need to launch a comprehensive strategy to decriminalize immigrants and people of color, end detention, end mass incarceration, and demilitarize the border. It was not only Politicians that we needed to target, but also the For-Profit Prison Industry and Wall Street who were the other powerful force behind mass incarceration, the police state, immigrant detention, and deportation. The Campaign has since become a national movement bringing together Black, Brown, and LGBTQ communities to end mass incarceration and immigration enforcement. The movement is working to divest from criminalization and incarceration, and demand reparations and reinvestment in our communities!

Enlace builds alliances among organizations working on immigrant rights, criminal justice, another social justice groups to end mass incarceration and achieve legalization for all immigrants. For additional information visit Enlace’s webpage

Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, Deportations & Detention

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The Prison Divestment Movement is part of a larger movement called #FreedomCities that is redefining what Safety and Freedom mean for our communities.

Activists Crash NYPD Event to Protest Police Brutality

Advocates for people of color and immigrants protesting police brutality showed up to the NYPD’s annual “National Night Out Against Crime” to outline their “vision of safety” for their communities, which they said should center on community investments rather than a heavy police presence.

“Night Out For Safety and Liberation,” established by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization that advocates for racial and economic justice for low-income individuals and people of color, is an annual event that occurs on the first Tuesday of August.

The New York Worker Center Federation, a multiracial movement of workers and immigrants organizing across sectors and issues, has been running the New York City event for three years. This year, the event took place in Brook Park in the South Bronx.

While the NYPD’s “National Night Out Against Crime” unites local precincts and residents every Aug. 1, the activists believe safety comes from having basic needs met, including quality schools, clean water and affordable housing.

Basma Eid, lead trainer for Enlace — part of Workers Center Federation — said they are shifting the conversation about “what safety is, what safety looks like.”

“It’s always imposed on us and the police, they talk about building partnerships with the community but at the same time, they are the ones who are policing us, that are putting our communities behind bars, that are enforcing a racialized criminal justice system,” Eid said following the event. “And so for us, we want them to understand that we don’t want more cops in our neighborhoods.”

At #SafetyIs rally, dozens of people in New York City imagine a community free of police violence

A protester holds up a sign that reads “Safety Without Policing.”
Source: Princess-India Alexander/Mic

BRONX, NEW YORK  People across the country participated in Night Out for Safety and Liberation events in 30 cities on Tuesday to demonstrate how they imagine a community without police violence. In the Bronx borough of New York City, NYC Freedom Cities and the New York Worker Center Federation hosted its own NOSL action.

Night Out for Safety and Liberation events began in 2013 as a response to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and the violence inflicted on black and brown communities by police. The event’s guiding mission is to promote the idea that police-focused solutions cause harm to people of color and don’t lead to better or safer communities. It also serves as a response to the annual National Night Out held by police departments across the country that aim to foster better relations between police and communities.

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Night Out For Safety and Liberation Asks How To Go Beyond Policing To Keep Communities Safe

Via Fast Company | By Eillie Anzilotti

n the South Bronx, New York, Cindy Martinez is heading up the team planning an NOSL event through Enlace, an international alliance that promotes racial and economic justice. It’s the nonprofit’s third year planning an NOSL event in conjunction with the New York Workers Center Federation (NYWCF), but the first with the Freedom Cities initiative, a collaboration launched on Trump’s inauguration day between NYWCF and a handful of other local organizations working against mass incarceration and over-criminalization.
The South Bronx, Martinez tells Fast Company, has seen a spike in police brutality as gentrification has spread through the neighborhood. But there are also, she adds, a number of groups working to combat those issues and create a sense of safety and community. In a local park, representatives from those groups will have a chance to talk to residents about their work at the NOSL event, and then, Martinez says, everyone gathered in the park will march to the nearby police precinct as an action against the National Night Out.
“One day a year of hosting a block party and trying to reach to our community by putting up a bouncy castle for our children doesn’t make up for the other 364 days of the year when that’s not happening–when we see ongoing murders by the police in our community, and see the effect of mass incarceration on our families,” Martinez says.
Like the event in the Bronx, the other NOSL events happening in communities offer a chance to highlight localized efforts to promote safety beyond policing. Leading up to the event, the Ella Baker Center has begun an online conversation with the hashtag #SafetyIs to those diverse efforts together in one place. While both Mohammed and Martinez acknowledge that it will take a larger effort and cultural shift to get to a point where cities can exist without the scrutiny of law enforcement, NOSL is one day out of the year that drives home just how possible–and how much more beneficial–it is.

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Mpls. City Council members urge Chase to Divest from Prisons & Immigrant Detention

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Via Star Tribune | By Emma Nelson

Minneapolis City Council members are calling for JPMorgan Chase to sever its ties with the Trump administration and divest from private prisons and immigration detention centers, the latest move by city leaders to push against the administration from a local level.

Council Members Elizabeth Glidden, Cam Gordon and Lisa Bender sent a letter to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on June 27 calling for the bank to withdraw from President Donald Trump’s business council, issue a statement against Trump’s “anti-immigrant, refugee and Muslim agenda” and stop financing private prison companies and immigration detention centers.

How #FreedomCities Can Make All People of Color Safer

Via TruthOut | By Zenobia JeffriesArea Muslims and local immigration activists participate in a prayer and rally against President Donald Trump's immigration policies on January 27, 2017 in New York City. The Freedom Cities campaign expands on the sanctuary movement to create a framework for cities to offer protection to all oppressed people in the United States. (Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

Area Muslims and local immigration activists participate in a prayer and rally against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on January 27, 2017 in New York City. The Freedom Cities campaign expands on the sanctuary movement to create a framework for cities to offer protection to all oppressed people in the United States. (Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

This summer will mark the third anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, a New York man who was killed by police officers outside of a neighborhood convenience store in Staten Island (he was suspected of illegally selling loose cigarettes). Garner’s death is one of many that has raised Americans’ concerns about the increasing number of Black men, women, and children killed by US law enforcement officers.

At only 13 percent of the US population, African Americans are killed by police, incarcerated, live in poverty, and have poor health at higher rates than White Americans, who make up the majority populace. These numbers and conditions are much the same as those attributed to other disenfranchised citizens, including Latino Americans, who are 17 percent of the population.

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Reality Check: More Police Officers Don’t Equal Safer Neighborhoods. #FreedomCities Now!

Via Yes Magazine | By Zenobia Jeffries

This summer will mark the third anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, a New York man who was killed by police officers outside of a neighborhood convenience store in Staten Island (he was suspected of illegally selling loose cigarettes). Garner’s death is one of many that has raised Americans’ concerns about the increasing number of Black men, women, and children killed by U.S. law enforcement officers.

At only 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans are killed by police, incarcerated, live in poverty, and have poor health at higher rates than White Americans, who make up the majority populace. These numbers and conditions are much the same as those attributed to other disenfranchised citizens, including Latino Americans, who are 17 percent of the population.

Contemporary movements continue to address these tragedies.

Black Lives Matter is campaigning against the criminal justice system, calling for an end to racial profiling, police brutality and killings, and for officers to be held accountable for their actions. The Movement for Black Lives policy platform, released last summer, is demanding the reallocation of resources to improve and protect the lives of all Black people in the United States—citizens, immigrants, cis, trans, queer, gender nonconforming, and differently-abled. And, in response to the Trump administration’s deportation machine, cities are looking for ways to create safe spaces for immigrants and refugees in the sanctuary movement.

Earlier this year, a campaign was launched to extend these ideas to all marginalized groups that need safety. Named Freedom Cities, this campaign expands on the sanctuary movement to create a framework for cities to offer protection to all oppressed people in the United States.

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These Cities Might Just Save the Country

Via The Nation

STARVING THE PRIVATE PRISON BEAST

In other excellent news, New York has become the first major city to fully divest its public pension funds from the private prison companies that profit from the racism, violence, and corruption of this country’s criminal-justice system. In an announcement on June 8, City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced that New York had sold more than $48 million in stocks and bonds from three different companies—G4S, GEO Group, and CoreCivic. Besides private prisons, the latter two companies also operate for-profit immigration detention facilities. The move comes after multiple media investigations, including several by The Nation, as well as a series of federal audits, found a pattern of human-rights abuses and gross ineptitude across the industry.

“With Donald Trump in the White House, we’re seeing more and more industries try to profit from backwards policies at the expense of immigrants and communities of color,” Stringer said in a statement, when announcing the divestment action. “But because of this major new step, we are demonstrating that we will not be complicit. We are standing up for what’s right.”

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the City Council voted unanimously on June 27 to begin taking steps toward divesting $40 million from its holdings in Wells Fargo, which has come under fire in recent years for defrauding consumers, funding the Dakota Access pipeline, financing private prison corporations, and otherwise engaging in disreputable practices. Los Angeles joins numerous other cities, from Seattle, Washington, to Missoula, Montana, that have announced their intentions to cut ties with the banking behemoth.

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