Thursday, July 8, 2004

Inmate solidarity rally on Monday


The Monsoon Anarchist Collective (MAC) calls for a solidarity rally to be held in support of inmates rights.

WHAT: Maricopa County jails house prisoners awaiting trial or serving sentences of up to one year, and conditions in the jails have been cited by human rights group Amnesty International and the US
Department of Justice as inhumane and unconstitutional. Two weeks ago inmates in Maricopa County's Durango Jail went on hunger strike to take action against the poor conditions prevalent in County jails.

2,200 inmates refused meals to take action against the horrible quality of the food served and to demand that a third meal be served, as only two are served in Maricopa County Jails. In the days following the start of the strike, inmates returned to eating, but a core group continued the hunger strike. The strike has ended now, but the poor conditions of the Maricopa County's jails persist, and, at least, one of the strike organizers has faced harassment and unjust persecution for organizing inmates to stand up for their human rights. Members of the Monsoon Anarchist Collective, Phoenix Copwatch, and Mothers Against Arpaio came together and held a solidarity rally two days after the strike began. We gathered at Durango Jail and received a lot of support from family members and friends of inmates who were going to the jail for visitation, but most importantly, the word was
passed on to inmates by their family members and friends coming to visit them, and letting them know that folks on the outside support their struggle. Come out to the Sheriff's Office on Monday to stand in solidarity with inmates rights and struggles and against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, their lies and their brutality.

MAC has three demands to support the struggles of County inmates:

1. We demand an end to the harassment and unjust persecution of inmates who participated in the Durango Jail hunger strike and the hunger strike organizers.

2. We demand that the inmates demand of three meals a day be acted upon immediately by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and that inmates receive a more balanced and healthy variety of food.

3. We demand that Maricopa County close the Tent City jails immediately due to the brutality delt by the guards upon inmates and the well known and documented flagarent disregard for human rights and life.

WHERE: 100 W. Washington in downtown Phoenix. Meet at the northwest corner of Washington St. and First Ave. at the Wells Fargo Bank Plaza, where the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is located. Parking is located on the streets and is metered, as it is a work day it may be difficult to find metered parking space. There is a surface parking lot just east of Patriot's Square Park inbetween Central Ave. and First St., and Jefferson and Washington. The daily rate is $2.00 and is a few minutes walk from First Ave. and Washington where the rally will be held. There are other parking garages around the area and fees will range in price.

WHEN: Monday, July 12th at 9:30 AM.

For more info, read Amnesty's report on Maricopa County Jails:

Contact us at: pac@...