STRIKE STATEMENT (released May 5, 2012)
The Jail Support Group is Going on STRIKE!
The Jail Support Group is going on strike now that the jail support process is completed for May Day.
We have no demands. We are autonomous. Expect us.
Providing jail support shows solidarity and care for the people in our movement. Outside of OWS, jail support is included as a key part in planning an action. When you plan a lecture, the event isn't over until the chairs are stacked, floor swept, and lights turned off. It is problematic to assume someone else will clean up after your event. Isn't jail support similar?
Because jail support is a combination of care and clean up, two kinds of work traditionally labeled “women’s work,” it continues to be undervalued regardless of the gender of the people doing the labor. If OWS is to truly be a people’s movement, we must re-value compassion and clean up as crucial. We, as a community, must take responsibility and step up for jail support. Without this, we lack a sustainable movement where we act responsibly to our allies and ourselves and responsibly defend ourselves against state repression and law enforcement.
We have repeatedly asked organizers to plan for jail support when they plan an action with a risk of arrest, which is just about anything political in NYC. This has not happened nearly enough. Jail support needs to be done for actions regardless of size, number of people arrested, or whether or not the arrested are your friends. Occupation is also an action and needs jail support. This work should not fall on a few individuals. We are tired of organizers and activists thinking jail support is someone else's responsibility.
What you can do:
- Visit http://wiki.occupy.net/wiki/Jail_Support for information on how o do jail support.
- Share your knowledge and experiences doing jail support with others.
- If you plan an event, make sure jail support coverage is part of your plan. Coverage should be lined up for up to 48 hours after your action ends.
- If you participate in an action and people are arrested do some jail support for them, even if you don’t know them.
- If your friend is arrested during an action you didn’t participated in help with jail support.
- If you see someone arrested as part of OWS, but it's not part of a specific action, start talking to people and figuring out who can go do jail support.
A few pieces of advice:
- Be careful about people's info and respect their privacy. Don't share the legal names of arrestees with anyone who doesn't need to know.
- Any information you gather can be subpoenaed, so be careful with what you record. This is especially true of information saved in email, google voice, google docs, facebook, and twitter.
The Jail Support Group in not going to disappear. We will be around to help you learn how to manage the jail support process. The Jail Support hotline is not shut down, but there is going to be very limited service, but will be checked periodically. You won't get a fast response, but we will try to answer questions when we can. We won’t, however, be going to precincts and courts or lining up coverage.
Stop saying that jail support is important and praising us for all the good, hard work we do. Start showing that jail support is important with your actions and your priorities.
If you have you ask, that's part of the problem
(Members of Jail Support Group, Training, Coordination, and Dispatch)