Filed under: Action, Incarceration, Midwest
Report back from a series of events in solidarity with call from Jailhouse Lawyers Speak to resist Biden’s 94 Crime Bill.
Milwaukee organized a number of events for the 25th anniversary of the 94 crime bill.
We started the week off with street theatre. We constructed a giant paper mache Joe Biden puppet head to trot out during the week and promote the anniversary. The head has a speaker inside that plays Joe’s early 90s era racist drivel on a loop.
Milwaukee will be hosting the 2020 Democratic National convention, so Monday morning Biden visited a DNC planning meeting at the high class Pfister hotel. He was escorted by a couple prison guards named “Fascist Scum” and “Class Traitor”. A williewonka-looking guy on a soapbox with a saxophone-playing Bill Clinton sock puppet completed the entourage.
Unfortunately, other events we planned to have Giant Bidenhead visit during the week were rained out, but with the extended primary season, there will surely be more chances to use the puppet. We can even update his audio to include the latest racist drivel from Biden’s comments during the latest primary debate.
On Friday the 13th itself, we coordinated with a number of local anti-prison and police organizations to hold a tweet storm integrating Jailhouse Lawyer’s Speak’s talking points with those generated by more mainstream organizations like Leader’s Igniting Transformation, JustLeadership USA, Black Leaders Organizing Communities, and the Lberatemke campaign. Our tweets focused on the connections between the crime bill and the 10 demands of the 2018 prison strike.
#prisonstrike demand 4: #94CrimeBill expanded funding for Truth in Sentencing laws across the country. To this day 35 states receive money under the law for incarcerating people exceptionally long sentences. @JoeBiden also supported the AEDPA which restricted appeal rights. pic.twitter.com/eQvl1NRMOJ
— Burn Biden's Bill! (@prisoneresistnc) September 13, 2019
Then we joined a well-attended afternoon press conference hosted by All of Us or None that included calls for repealing the 94 crime bill and Truth in Sentencing. County Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson spoke about her resolution calling for the repeal of the 94 Crime Bill, and State Representative David Bowen spoke on an upcoming bill he’s co-authoring to remove Truth in Sentencing from Wisconsin. As anarchists we don’t want to focus praise on these politicians, but rather to recognize and celebrate these steps as the process by which the prison rebels’ demands come closer to realization.
At sunset we gathered for a noise demo outside the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility. MSDF is a facility built in 2001 to accommodate the influx of incarceration caused by tough-on-crime policies like Biden’s 94 crime bill. It’s also the focus of a campaign to free thousands of people from restrictive community supervision policies and the cycle of revocation. We blew and banged on noise-makers, played music and chanted through a loud megaphone, and projected messages on the side of both MSDF and the county jail across the street.
People held in MSDF cannot flash their lights or reach the windows to respond to our noise demos, but they’ve written or called out in the past to report that sometimes they can hear us.
Our lightshow targeted Governor Tony Evers because he campaigned on reducing the prison population and promised he would close MSDF. Instead, he’s expanded DOC budget and capacity, and invested over $8 million in years-long construction projects at MSDF.
Like Joe Biden, Tony Evers is a democrat who takes the votes and support of the black community for granted while pursuing harmful prison-expanding policies. We support the community’s rage against these political opportunists, while continuing the fight for total liberation through the abolition of police and prison.