by JM Wong
On this year’s May Day, as we grieve and witness the calamity of state-sponsored or state- manufactured violence; the premature (because utterly preventable) COVID epidemic deaths raging from India to Brazil due to fascist governments more invested in power than people; and the unceasing state lynchings from Columbus, Ohio to North Carolina and Seattle, Washington — we need the memories that Lucy Parsons bequeathed our struggles for which this day, International Workers Day, was created.
Lucy Parsons should be a household name at any May Day celebration. She had a vision of freedom for the working classes who had been made by histories of colonialism, slavery, settler violence, and migration. Her vision challenged the internationalism of capitalists who professed a right to universal exploitation while creating borders and racial systems to divide those they exploited or killed. Today, Parsons’ erasure is part of the whitewashing of labor history in the United States that abets American empire. Remembering her is a reminder that she and so many others, even in the belly of the beast, left us the foundation and resources for a workers’ internationalism that revokes capitalist claims to exploitation and reconstructs our global connections for the purposes of shared freedom.
Continue reading OPINION: Reclaiming the History of May Day
by Senait Brown
After King County Executive Dow Constantine committed King County to converting all youth detention units at the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center to new uses, effectively ending youth detention in the jurisdiction, Senait Brown — a long time No New Youth Jail organizer — penned a letter to her son Malcom about the magnitude of this development.
To My Son (Baby Brutha) Malcolm,
One day you will look back and find the footprints your mother has left behind, and when you look back, I hope you will see the revolutionary fire that sparked my audacity to become a Black mama and bring you into this world.
Continue reading OPINION: Birth and Rebirth in the Time of No New Youth Jail
by Megan Munk
As a resident of Forks, WA, I am encouraged to see that our community has been proactive in taking steps to minimize the impact of COVID-19 when it comes to our town. We closed parks, are staying at home, and made changes to our hospital and pharmacy protocols to limit contact.
But I am worried that we are not taking into account a large population that is within our community and currently incarcerated. As of May 5, 24 incarcerated people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 36 prison staff members. Only twenty incarcerated people at Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC), one of the local prisons on the West End of the Olympic Peninsula, have been tested.
Continue reading OPINION: Clallam Bay Corrections Center Increases COVID-19 Risk on West End of Olympic Peninsula
by COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network
May Day arose as a day to celebrate the working class and our life and death struggles for liberation. We honor that legacy of resistance and solidarity today.
We are facing an unprecedented situation in the history of workers’ struggles and the racial capitalist system of exploitation and expropriation. Amidst the chaos of COVID-19, the rich continue to prioritize profit, private property and control over our bodies and labor. The police and military surveil and criminalize our acts of resistance. They will gladly sacrifice human life to continue the relentless pursuit of profit.
Continue reading OPINION: May Day 2020: People Must Be Put Before Profits, Every Human Is Essential
by Sharon H. Chang
At precisely noon last Thursday, under quiet blue skies, a line of cars pulled up to the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Purdy and jolted the day awake. “Free them all! Free them all!” yelled protestors, honking their horns while maintaining a safe distance from each other. Bewildered guards stood by the prison parking lot as protestors shouted through a bullhorn, held protest signs out of car windows, and even blew a trumpet. Simultaneously, protests were also taking place in Olympia, outside the Governor’s mansion, and outside the Monroe Correctional Complex.
Continue reading We’ll Never Flatten the Curve If People Are Behind Bars
by Carolyn Bick
Every day, Dave M. works in the Washington Corrections Center kitchen. He stands right next to fellow inmates, all of whom are currently without masks, to make meals for the rest of the prison’s population. He says nothing in the kitchens have been moved or changed to make it safer for himself and his fellow kitchen workers. All the measures the Department of Corrections has announced its prisons are taking? He says they’re just for show.
Continue reading “We Know There Are Sick People in Here”: Inmates Claim DOC Measures Just for Show
We live in a dangerous world. People leave the house in fear, in fear of the world outside. The crime, the robberies, the rape, the murder. In these grim streets with piss stained alleys, they see danger around every corner. Those fears are what make the world dangerous; in the name of protection many children have been slain. All in the name of the injustice system, all in the name of public safety, but is the public safe?
Continue reading OPINION: Toxic Prisons are the Reality of the Injustice System