Why Climate and Prison Activists Are Working Together 


Climate Justice Not JailsMilk Not Jails is fighting to end mass incarceration and is fighting for a more livable world. In that world, urban and rural New Yorkers work together to build a sustainable economy where once imprisoned people are employed and once struggling farms flourish. That is why we are part of the Peoples Climate March.

Mass incarceration reinforces environmental racism. In New York City today, Blacks and Latin@s make up 86% of arrests, confrontations which have recently escalated to police beating a young Latino man, and murdering an unarmed Black man. Meanwhile, in the South Bronx, Harlem, Bushwick, and South Brooklyn, people are twice as likely to die from air pollution, yet Mayor DeBlasio has made it a priority to arrest people of color just for walking down the street. We must create a world where everyone can march in the streets for climate justice.

New Yorkers are bound together by food and criminal injustice. When New Yorkers are arrested in food desert neighborhoods in Brooklyn, they are sent to prison in counties like St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton, which according to the USDA have their own rural food deserts. When New Yorkers in state universities eat the cheapest food available on the market, they’re getting same food as New Yorkers in state prison. Because these issues are interconnected, so must our struggle to create solutions to food and criminal injustice.

To change everything we need everyone. We need to reform parole so all eligible people in prison can return to their communities to parent, mentor, and organize. We need to end Dean Foodsdairy monopoly, so farmers can focus on defending farmland from development. To create climate justice we need to create a movement that sees all life as valuable and all injustice as an obstacle. Help us make that a reality this Sunday, September 21st at 10:30 am in the People not Prisons contingent meeting in front of the Natural History Museum on Central Park West. See you in the streets.

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