Pictures & Reportback from U.S. Social Forum


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June 25, 2010 – MILK NOT JAILS took its agenda to the U.S. Social Forum this summer to introduce people across the nation to our concerns about the urban-rural connection. Hundreds of people came out for our ice cream social after a challenging week of workshops, People’s Movement Assemblies and networking.  At Milliken Park on the Detroit River, we took a break from conference rooms and convention center hallways to do some popular education about rural economic policy and how it impacts criminal (in)justice policy in New York State.

Performers from New York and Pennsylvania provided the audience with a new puppet show, “MILK NOT JAILS,” and carnival games, including “Pop the Prison!” and the classic milk jug coin toss. Dozens of people had their photo taken in our MILK NOT JAILS photo booth and yelled out “milk not jails!” before the camera flashed.

Rude Mechanical Orchestra paraded from Cobo Hall down the Riverwalk, bringing with them a pilgrimage of U.S. Social Forum attendees hungry for a scoop of ice cream.

The event took place after a picnic for formerly incarcerated people organized by All of Us or None, American Friends Service Committee – Criminal Justice Program (Michigan), Helping Our Prisoners Elevate (HOPE), Prison Creative Arts Project, Detroit Action Commonwealth, and Campaign for Justice.  We were excited to share the park with such an incredible group working to build political leadership among people whose freedom has been stolen from them as a result of the prison industrial complex.

For those of you who had your photo taken in our photo booth, please find your picture in our online photo album and download it to your computer and social networking sites to share with your friends, family and community. And for others who took photos at the event, please send them to us so that we can share the event with those who were unable to attend.

Moving forward, MILK NOT JAILS will be focusing its attention back on New York State. We hope that our presence at the U.S. Social Forum this year helped to kick start a new conversation about the prison industrial complex and how it interacts with other economic systems. And we hope to return to the next U.S. Social Forum with some big wins and strategic input to share with movements across the country.


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