2018 Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence in Pittsburgh June 8 – 11
Location: University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 3900 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260
About the Convergence
Once again, the Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence will occur coinciding with June 11 weekend, building off the 14 years of organizing solidarity with snared saboteurs and caged liberationists of the ecological resistance. The Pittsburgh gathering will be the third annual nationwide convergence of FTP, or the #FightToxicPrisons movement.
Our venue will be University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building.
This year we will gather in Pennsylvania to highlight struggles led by prisoners and their allies across that state, including repeated instances of contaminated water, black mold and toxic land adjacent to, or directly underneath, Pennsylvania’s prisons. The state is also home of the world’s best known prisoner journalists, Mumia Abu Jamal, and political prisoners from the MOVE organization, who have long advocated for organizing at the intersection of prisons and ecology.
Pennsylvania has been the site of many prisoner-led struggles against mass incarceration, for prisoners’ rights and for environmental justice. A convergence in this state will allow participants to learn from this history and the current affairs, in particular, lessons from prisoner activists and jailhouse lawyers about SCI-Fayette, SCI-Mahanoy, SCI-Frackville, SCI-Graterford, SCI-Dallas and SCI-Forrest, to name a few.
Additionally, PA has hosted a fierce resistance to the fracking onslaught over the past decade, with direct action to halt pipelines, drilling sites and other oil and gas infrastructure from destroying forest habitat and human communities alike.
Being in PA also puts us geographically between the Mid-Atlantic metropolitan hubs and the rural communities of Appalachia. The convergence will draw from the experiences of both the urban areas heavily targeted by the police state and remote regions that have been turned from coal company towns to prison towns. In particular Letcher County, East Kentucky, where just last month the federal Bureau of Prisons secured half a billion dollars from Congress and a final Record of Decision on their long-contested Environmental Impact Statement.
As in years past, we will coordinate with former prisoners and facilitate call-ins from imprisoned activists across the country.