Highlights of the struggle

Bay Area

By: David Russitano

Going back to May, we co-hosted a great tour stop at De Anza Community College, along with a very active campus organization called Students for Social Justice. Speakers on the panel included Barbara Becnel, Elizabeth Terzakis, and Veronica Luna. Veronica kicked off the program by telling her personal story about her uncle who is currently on death row in San Quentin. Veronica's son, who is a member of Students for Social Justice, was the moderator for the panel. About 35 people came to the event. And with such a great group putting on the meeting and the fantastic speakers, it's no wonder that many who came would like to get involved and possibly organize another tour stop in the fall.

After the success of this event, we organized a study group around Angela Davis's book, Are Prisons Obsolete?, which traces the development of the prison industrial complex. In her book, Davis argues that a more just society would have no need of prisons. The first part of the study group was well attended and there was an exciting discussion that lasted longer than we expected. We plan to finish this book at our next meeting, which will be in September.

As the summer was coming to a close, we threw a BBQ for the friends and family network in the Bay Area. This was a very successful event drawing many members around that haven't been active in the group lately. There were about 15 people there who were also excited to coordinate similar informal gatherings as well as prison visits. Our next meeting with the network will be on October 12 at Larkspur Landing at 2 pm.

Finally, we are getting ready for the Critical Resistance Year 10 conference that will be in the Bay Area the last weekend of September. Critical Resistance is an important organization that does prison abolition work. Over three thousand activists are expected to attend the event. Our chapter will be holding a workshop that will include a live call from a prisoner and feature Martina Correia, the sister of death row prisoner Troy Davis.