One of the main reasons that we created The PIC IS zine was because we wanted to try to bridge the chasm between those of us on the outside and those who are incarcerated.
We were excited to hear the voices of youth who are jailed at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center reading from the zine. Thanks to our friends at Free Write Jail Arts & Literacy Program for making this happen. We invite you to listen:
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
“What Better Time Than Now?” New Text on Gang Unity Available for Prison Organizing
The Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective is proud to have just published a new piece of prisoner’s writing on unity, truce efforts, and political consciousness in US gangs. The zine presents a number of interesting topics like the forming of identity through historical consciousness and revolt, the co-optation of such identity through musical and artistic forms, and the role of street gangs in the rebellions of the future.
Of particular note is the connections the piece draws between the lived experience the author, a self-identified gang member and “social” prisoner, on the one hand, and the analysis of well-known anti-authoritarian and/or anti-colonialist heads like Lorenzo Ervin, Russell Maroon Shoatz, and Frantz Fanon, on the other. Many writings of these kinds come from the pens of known “political” prisoners; we’ve been excited to correspond with and present a discussion on gang truce and prison organizing efforts from a prisoner with a slightly different background. Of particular note for this editor is the simultaneous critique of a self-destructive gang culture and the urge to use these organizations as liberating forces – this wax and wane between a tendency towards self-destruction and “constructive” rage finds reflection in a wide variety of social movements all over the globe in the last year.
Needless to say, the issues discussed here are fairly universal to the facilities all over the US, and we encourage folks around the country who do correspondence with, maintain literature distros or libraries for, or who generally support prisoners’ organizing and rebellions to print and copy these en masse. This piece joins a number of other related texts in our collection, including “No, We Can’t All Get Along” by Jeff Chang and “Liberation or Gangsterism” by Russell Shoatz, that folks are also encouraged to make use of.
Click on this link to download the zine
Now you can find all of our resources in one place. Special thanks to Collective member Lewis Wallace for spearheading the development of the PIC Is… site and also to our friend and ally Micah Bazant for designing the beautiful site (pro-bono).
You can visit the PIC Is site HERE . Please spread the word to others.
We recommend this documentary for its portrayal of how young people are impacted by incarceration.
The Island is Ridiculous: RIKERS Inside and Out from Muralla Media Works on Vimeo.
We found this great video of our PIC Is Zine online and wanted to share it here. We are always happy when the zine is used as a teaching tool. Let us know how you use it in your work too!
The Prison Industrial Complex from Spiro Bolos on Vimeo.