End Mass Imprisonment
Seattle Families and Activists Speak Out against the New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow' shows how the war on drugs that began in the early 1980s has led to a system that incarcerates more people than any other country in the world--imprisoning a hugely disproportionate number of African American men. In prison, people work for extremely low wages and incur debts. When they are released -- they cannot vote, cannot live in federally subsidized housing, and have to check the box on most job applications. This discrimination in respect to voting rights, housing, and employment has recreated a system too much like the Jim Crow system in America before the Civil Rights Movement.

Over the past year we've witnessed a surge of police and vigilante violence against African Americans in the United States. In Seattle, a federal civil rights investigation over a two year period uncovered that officers committed civil rights violations in one out of every five incidents in which officers used force, and the regular use of excessive force and discrimination against minority communities. These include the police abuses of Josh Lawson, Christopher Franklin, Terry Jefferson, Martin Monetti Jr., Daniel Maceo Saunders, Angel Rosenthal, D'Vontaveous Hoston and Christopher Harris--in addition to the police murder of John Williams. Now, the City of Seattle also wants to build a new Juvenile Detention Center.

At the forefront of this growing movement are the families of the victims of discrimination who are bravely taking a stand for justice and fighting for a world where these atrocities are a thing of the past. This event brings together families and activists standing up to racial profiling, brutality and mass incarceration in Seattle.

Sponsored by: Mount Zion Baptist Church Social Justice Ministry, No New Jim Crow in Seattle Campaign, Real Change, Rev. Rich Lang of University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle Human Rights Commission, International Socialist Organization

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