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May 23, 16

Omaha ABC on the tenuous line between direct action and #OmahaGives nonprofits

Submitted to It’s Going Down 

Omaha Anarchist Black Cross is not a nonprofit, it is a loose affiliation of prison abolitionists. Our fight is the freedom of prisoners and the total destruction of the prison system catapulted by racist and capitalist forms. Nonprofits are ground under the heel of neoliberal capitalism in their quixotic quest of social justice. However, those forms currently require our tacit participation to offer material support to those locked inside these systems through means of fundraising for commissary or books or stationary.

Although not a nonprofit, Omaha ABC finds itself donning the mannerisms of these groups by feeling compelled to show success stories created by our minimal work, graphing calculated gains and returns on investments of time or cash. This is how the State controls dissent within actual nonprofits, by tying them down with red tape, and short of physically tearing down walls, it is how the State controls prisoner support networks, too. In all we do, we must never cede ground gained. If we must act like nonprofits, then we must steal their faces and co-opt their medium. We must show the gains made by those inside each prison revolt and work stoppage.

#OmahaGives is a neoliberal event on May 25th, organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to “grow philanthropy” in the three-county metro of Omaha, Nebraska. “The goal is to inspire the community to come together for 24 hours to give as much as possible to support the work of public 501c3 nonprofits in the metro area. The minimum donation is $10 and there is no maximum,” as the mission statement claims it was small donations responsible for racking up last year’s total of nine million dollars. Spread over 789 participating nonprofits, nine million isn’t a substantial amount. Months of prep work that go into planning and promoting events for a 24-hour online fund drive is months of wasted labor and time away from providing a social service. The Foundation is made of a board of local capitalists and sponsored by billionaire corporations with offices in metro Omaha such as Ameritrade, Burlington Capital Group, Google, Gallup, and Mutual of Omaha. #OmahaGives is high profile, but low yield, and most organizations will have to expend more labor on writing grant proposals, statistics and fundraisers.

This centralized mode of blitz funding mediated through a parent foundation claims to streamline the red tape and paper chase nonprofits are forced to work through in order to secure funding to provide the help they were each formed to offer.  In other words, the philanthropist-industry created a solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist.

@OmahaABC is appropriating the hashtag #OmahaGives to collect donations for direct support of the Tecumseh rebels and to link up to others before the national prison strike on September 9th 2016. We’ll be on the street with these posters (pdf) and other literature while begging liberals for cash.

Prairie fire to the prisons

Write to these folks, send a Westie to their commissary, and give until it hurts: Inmate Name and #, Tecumseh SCI, P.O. Box 900, Tecumseh, NE 68450

Daryl Eskridge #72481

Yaking Dunn #76188

Clenton Sanders #68620

Deanthony Smith #79991

Justin Busch #76147

David Casillas #74035

Clyde Flemons #78260

Shaquille Renshaw #78812

Frederick Gooch #65759

Write to Andrew at: Lincoln CC, 3216 W. Van Doren St., Lincoln, NE 68522

Andrew Lyle #75554

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This submission came to It's Going Down anonymously through itsgoingdown.org/contribute. IGD is not the author nor are we responsible for the post content.

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