Holding My Own

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

More info International Day of Trans Prisoner Solidarity
@ [NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vd3d3LnRyYW5zcHJpc29uZXJzLm5ldC86Og==:www.transprisoners.net]

To coincide with this day, Austin ABC  released a zine titled “Holding My Own” for and by LGBTQ prisoners in Texas, featuring artwork, poems and essays. Our aim is to create a platform for creativity, and an opportunity to forge connections between people inside and outside of prisons while promoting non-criminalized identities and personal expressions.

“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.”

We would love to distribute our zine as widely as possible to prisoners, infoshops, community spaces, and other prison abolition projects.  If you are able to make a donation to cover cost of printing & shipping, please send via paypal to atxanarchistblackcross@gmail.com  (suggested $5-7)  – please shoot us an email with your address!  An online version will be available soon. 

Love & Solidarity!

Holding My Own

Benefit Show for The Prison Ecology Project

Austin ABC will be tabling at a benefit show for The Prison Ecology Project tonight from 7-10pm at MonkeyWrench Books.  There will be lots of rad bands for a great cause!  No one turned away for lack of funds.

“The Prison Ecology Project has been created by the Human Rights Defense Center in order to investigate, document and take actions to address the ways in which mass incarceration degrades the natural environment and the human health of those inside or nearby prisons and jails.
The mission of the Prison Ecology Project is to map the intersections of mass incarceration and environmental degradation, and create action plans to address the multitude of problems found there.”
More info here:
http://nationinside.org/campaign/prison-ecology/

The event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1505267643122254/

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Benefit Show for The Prison Ecology Project

Shout out for Support! Amazon on hunger strike!

Amazon, a transfemale from Gender Anarky in prison in California, began a hunger strike the morning of October 7, 2015 for transfer to a women’s prison. Amazon is legally a female. In January 2015, Amazon’s birth certificate was amended by the Office of Vital Records in Sacramento to record her sex as “female.” Under a new law signed by the governor, transexuals no longer need full sex-reassignment surgery to amend their vital records, but instead a doctor’s declaration of transition to reflect their current gender. Amazon accomplished this. She then applied for a transfer to a women’s prison. The prison required Amazon to present her new birth certificate. However, prison rules prohibit inmates from possessing birth certificates and Amazon asked the prison to verify the document with the Office of Vital Records. The prison refused to do so. Amazon then attempted to file a grievance over the issue, but she was again required to produce her birth certificate to pursue a grievance. This is an example of the notorious mind games that prison officials play on inmates to suppress legitimate issues and prevent them from seeking an administrative resolution of the problem.

Without other speedy recourse and thoroughly frustrated with the system, Amazon began a hunger strike. She has been trying since January to transfer and has been prevented unrealistically every step of the way by prison officials out of plain cruelty. She is under tremendous pressure, has anguished and cried. Almost daily she is mistreated by prison guards and inmates because of her female presentation, including sexual mistreatment. She remains determined and steadfast and will not stop her efforts and resistance, whatever it takes. Amazon is now 61 years of age and the stress and strain of hunger strike will be on her more than during her previous strike years ago. However, the last straw has given way and she is determined to stick it out and not begin eating again until she is issued paperwork for a transfer to a women’s prison. She will endure force-feeding if necessary, but this is her position.

Contact the warden of Kern Valley State Prison, Martin Biter, to inquire why he is keeping a legal female in a men’s prison against her will and why he won’t verify her legal gender on her birth certificate with the Office of Vital Records in Sacramento, and demand that Amazon be transferred to a women’s prison immediately. The phone number for Kern Valley State Prison is (661) 721-6300.

Send the same message to the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Jeffrey Beard, at department headquarters in Sacramento. He can be contacted at (916) 323-6001.

Contact Amazon at:
Eva Contreraz #C45857
P.O. Box 5103
Delano, CA 93216

Shout out for Support! Amazon on hunger strike!

Gender and the Prison Industrial Complex

This upcoming Wednesday, Dec 2, we will be screening the first half of a panel discussion entitled “Gender and the Prison Industrial Complex” at MonkeyWrench Books, 7pm.
If you are unable to attend the screening, the video can be found here:

“Queer liberation is only possible with the liberation of all oppressed and marginalised people. Challenging homophobia necessarily means simultaneously challenging and eradicating racism, misogyny, transphobia, classism, and xenophobia. Uprooting all these systems necessarily means opposing and uprooting prisons. If we do not oppose prisons and our culture’s hyper-reliance on containment, surveillance, and policing, our vision for justice is fundamentally incomplete.”

Afterward we will have an informal discussion and continue writing letters to queer & trans prisoners in Texas to show our solidarity. We will continue our efforts to compile a zine for and by them, to create a platform for them to voice their dreams and struggles.

 

Gender and the Prison Industrial Complex

Greetings!

Here is a little bit about who we are and what we do:

The Austin Anarchist Black Cross is a collective whose goal is prison abolition and our tactics to achieve this goal is through prisoner defense.

We define a prisoner as anyone who is imprisoned within the confines of an illegitimate, oppressive system or structure. These structures and systems include, but are not limited to: the prison industrial complex, the capitalist system and the inequality it breeds, institutionalized and socialized homophobia, sexism, racism, hierarchy, and classism, and the prison of coercion. As a prison abolition collective, the Austin Anarchist Black Cross wishes to among other things, abolish all prisons and institutions that wish to incarcerate free and autonomous individuals. The Austin Anarchist Black Cross collective believes in a consensus based community and life for all people.

We meet every Wednesday at MonkeyWrench Books (located at 110 N Loop Blvd E, Austin, TX 78751)  from 7pm to 10pm, sometimes later depending on the energy of the group.

There is a free world among us, and we cannot wait any longer!

Greetings!