November 25, 2014

Justice for Michael Brown's murder!

Poughkeepsie saw an amazing turnout after the Grand Jury's decision not to prosecute Officer Darren Wilson for Michael Brown's murder. Another young, black man gunned down, unarmed in the street. We marched from the Dutchess County Jail shouting "no justice, no peace" and the crowd of well over 500 filled up the street for almost a block. Later we rallied at the Malcolm X Park, finally ending with the chant of "love!"

A very large contingent of Vassar College students participated, bringing racial diversity to the rally. Not so in the prison we could see over the low shrubbery. Silhouettes of black prisoners in the cell windows gave us the hands up salute as we passed by.

November 20, 2014

Dutchess County Ferguson Rally

Ferguson is waiting for the grand jury's decision.  The present plan is to meet the day after the decision at the Dutchess County Jail at 6pm. We ask that people bring candles. We may place the candles in the shape of a body.  Please get the word out it is over a 100 days since Mike Brown was shoot and it would be nice to have over 100 people. More info to come. All over the country city's are planning to take the same action. Let's make sure POK is well represented .


-->See the Ulster County Ferguson Rally below

How Ferguson showed us the truth about police

Ulster County Sherrif Suspends Warrant Checks at DSS

  • By James Nani
    Times Herald-Record 

    Posted Nov. 18, 2014 @ 8:19 pm 

    KINGSTON - Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum backed down Tuesday evening on his new protocol of doing warrant checks on everyone walking into county Social Services.
    "I am willing to suspend it," Van Blarcum announced to an Ulster County committee meeting Tuesday night.
    In exchange, Ulster County Legislator Tracey Bartels agreed to draw back her proposal to throw out the entire Ulster County Sheriff's Office division from county buildings and hire private security.
    But Bartels, a Democrat from Gardiner, made it clear to Van Blarcum that she wasn't satisfied with simply suspending the policy.
    "I want it ceased," Bartels said.
    Bartels had authored an amendment to Ulster County Executive Mike Hein's 2015 proposed budget to cut $926,805 from the county's building security division. That would have removed three sheriff's deputies and fired seven security guards.
    Bartels has decried the practice of running warrant checks on everyone who walks into the county's DSS building, joining a chorus of civil rights organizations that said the practice stigmatizes those in need. They also say the protocol potentially violates the civil rights of those entering the building.
    Just a few minutes before he made his announcement, Van Blarcum had said he not only believed in the practice but liked to expand the practice into all county buildings.
    Starting last month, deputies began asking for identification at the door of DSS to check warrants.
    County DSS Commissioner Michael Iapoce has said he initially allowed the warrant-check policy, but backed off after public outcry. He then asked Van Blarcum to put it on hold. He refused.
    County legislators now say they'll draft a countywide policy to address the issue in all buildings.
  • - See more at:

    November 18, 2014

    All out the day after the decision

    All out the day after the decision
    Broadway in Front of City Hall, Kingston, NY
    2:30 pm

    November 16, 2014

    Demonstration on Wednesday, December 17 at noon

    At last evening's ENJAN meeting, we agreed to join numerous other organizations across the country in a demonstration on Wednesday, December 17 at noon (local time) to call for an end to the Drug WarDecember 17 marks exactly one hundred years since the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act, the first federal drug prohibition law, and hence the essential beginning of the War on Drugs. Our demonstration will be in front of the Dutchess County Courthouse on Market Street in PoughkeepsieOther organizations will demonstrate at other county courthouses across the nation.

    This national demonstration is the brainchild of Dean Becker, contributing expert in drug policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, host of weekly radio program Cultural Baggage on Pacifica (KPFT) devoted to the drug war, lecturer for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), and author of the 2014 book To End the War on Drugs.

    November 4, 2014

    Panel Discussion on the U.S. Prison System: Saturday, November 15


    Panel Discussion on the U.S. Prison System
    Saturday, November 15, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

    Panel Discussion "Behind Bars: Inmates, Counselors and Volunteers": Saturday, November 15, 3 - 5 pm
    Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
    Gallery Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 12 - 6 pm

    On November 15, 2014, in conjunction with the current exhibition Henrietta Mantooth: Jailbirds & Flowers, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild will host a panel discussion featuring an array of guests who have intimate experience of the New York prison system, ranging from incarceration to counseling and creative mentoring of inmates. Panelists include Andre Noel, who was an inmate of 12 years at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility. There, Noel learned modern dance and created Figures in Flight, a dance company comprised of men who have spent part of their lives in prison. He will give a short dance performance as part of the event. Susan Slotnick, who taught Noel dance as part of her own intensive volunteer effort at bringing movement and emotional release to inmates at Woodbourne and other facilities, will also be a participant on the panel.

    Other panelists are Gustavo Ramirez, M.A., the Program Director of the Secure Residential Treatment program in Springfield, Massachusetts; Greta Baker, the Artistic Director of the ArtTree Theater Troupe at Eastern Correctional Facility, the maximum security prison in nearby Napanoch; and Kathleen Donovan who has a Master’s degree in dance and teaches improvisational theater with the ArtTree Theater company at Eastern Correctional Facility. Lastly, the panel includes Ines Fernandez, MSW, a counselor and social worker who has worked at Eastern and other prisons.

    The featured artist, Henrietta Mantooth, who packed the Kleinert/James Gallery with a talk on October 25, will also participate in the discussion. As a vivid backdrop to the panelists, the exhibition features Mantooth’s The New Jim Crow, a monumental, theatrically composed installation in which birds recount tales of the injustices in prisons today.

    The panel, starting at 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 15, is free to the public.

    Henrietta Mantooth: Jailbirds & Flowers is curated by Nancy Azara and Matthew T. Leaycraft.

    Image credit: Henrietta Mantooth, The New Jim Crow, 2014. Mixed media installation. Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock.


    November 1, 2014

    Monday, Nov 17 at SUNY New Paltz

    SUNY New Paltz Department of Sociology and Students Against Mass Incarceration present:

    The Problem with Carceral Feminism: Race, Gender and Mass Criminalization, a public lecture by Dr. Beth Richie, Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Criminology, Law and Justice, and Sociology at University of Illinois Chicago.

    MondayNovember 17th, 2014, 3:30pm, SUNY New Paltz, Lecture Center 100, Free and Open to the Public.

    The emphasis of Dr. Richie's scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors.  Dr. Richie is the author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012) and numerous articles concerning Black feminism and gender violence, race and criminal justice policy, and the social dynamics around issues of sexuality, prison abolition, and grassroots organizations in African American Communities. Her earlier book Compelled to Crime: the Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women, is taught in many college courses and often cited in the popular press for its original arguments concerning race, gender and crime. 

    This event received generous support from CAS, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Black Studies, theDepartment of History, the Scholar's Mentorship Program, the Honors Program, and Residence Life at SUNY New Paltz.  Co-sponsors include the Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Native American Studies Program and the Humanistic and Multicultural Education Program.