Date(s) - Friday 03/22/2013 - 03/23/2013
11:00 pm - 2:00 am
Exodus! Russell Maroon Shoatz and breaking out of the prison industrial complex: a book launch event featuring Colia Clark, Theresa Shoatz, and Milk Not Jails, plus welcome to the Sanctuary by Pastor Willy of Missing Link Street Ministry.
Russell Maroon Shoatz is a political prisoner who has been held for more than thirty years, including two decades in solitary confinement. He was active as a leader in the Black Liberation Movement in Philadelphia, both above and underground. His successful escapes from maximum-security prisons earned him the title “Maroon.” This is the first published collection of his accumulated written works, and also includes new essays written expressly for this volume.
Despite the torture and deprivation that has been everyday life for Maroon over the last several decades, he has remained at the cutting edge of history through his writings. His work is innovative and revolutionary on multiple levels:
• His self-critical and fresh retelling of the Black liberation struggle in the U.S. includes many practical and theoretical insights;
• His analysis of the prison system, particularly in relation to capitalism, imperialism, and the drug war, takes us far beyond the recently-popular analysis of the Prison Industrial Complex, contained in books such as The New Jim Crow;
• His historical research and writings on Maroon communities throughout the Americas, drawing many insights from these societies in the fields of political and military revolutionary strategy are unprecedented; and finally
• His sharp and profound understanding of the current historical moment, with clear proposals for how to move forward embracing new political concepts and practices (including but not limited to eco-socialism, matriarchy and eco-feminism, food security, prefiguration and the Occupy Wall Street movement) provide cutting-edge challenges for today’s movements for social change.
Colia Clark is a long time activist and educator, and a veteran of the civil rights movement. Her work has included activism in the fields of women’s rights and workers’ rights, as well as activism and advocacy for homeless people and youth. Most recently, she has worked with the Cynthia McKinney for President campaign with “Power to the People.” Clark is a chair of Grandmothers for the Release of Mumia Abu Jamal. During the Civil Rights era, Colia Clark was a Special Assistant to Medgar W. Evers, field Secretary for the NAACP. Clark later joined the Mississippi Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) doing voter registration work.
Ms. Clark has recently been active in humanitarian relief efforts for Haiti. She believes that the rebuilding of Haiti starts with the removal of occupying troops from the UN and the US.
Theresa Shoatz discusses the fight against the expansion of the prison industrial complex (PIC), and the effect that the PIC has on young people, working-class families and communities of color. She is an anti-prison industrial complex activist involved with Decarcerate PA and many other groups. Her father is Russell Shoatz, a Black Panther Party member and co-founder of the Black Unity Council, has been in jail for 40 years. He has spent 30 of those years in solitary confinement. She has been organizing about issues of prisoners’ rights since a young age.
Milk Not Jails is an economic alternative to the prison industry, a dairy marketing and distribution co-operative. It is also a political campaign building an alliance for a sustainable and just regional economy. Milk Not Jails is building a regional economy that depends on bringing city residents local, healthy food, not locking them up.