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#COVID19MutualAid
Organize Networks of Care with HBB!

 

Dear Humanities Behind Bars members and supporters,
 

In response to the current global pandemic that is the coronavirus, we wanted to reach out to our community, volunteers, friends, comrades and family on the inside and outside in solidarity and to remind us all to be gentle and caring with one another in these troublesome times. We want to show our support and remind our comrades behind bars that we are thinking of them and fighting for them in the midst of this public health crisis. Please check out our social media stories for concrete ways you can engage in local and global abolitionist action while socially isolating, as we will continue our frequent posting of phone zaps and other campaigns. Our collective work has never been more critical when we see the current state of living conditions and medical treatment (or lack thereof), the cancellation of visitation rights, the negligence of CDC guidelines by the state, and the violent lack of care that is constitutive of the Prison Industrial Complex as a structuring logic of society as a whole.

Humanities Behind Bars will always continue the work of creating a just world that replaces cages with deep forms of communal care. This pandemic will not stop us. As abolitionist Eric Stanley recently wrote, "In times of intensified pressure, always choose to escalate resistance."


We also want to offer hope during this time and remind our community that in spite of this global pandemic, we still see that another world is possible. People have been building networks of mutual aid, prisoners have gotten free, and folx have been stepping up to support their communities. To quote our comrades at Critical Resistance: "Abolitionist measures, while often brushed off as drastic by mainstream voices, are now being lifted up as the most effective and practical steps to protect the health of people under the control of the prison industrial complex (PIC) during the spread of COVID-19."
 
For more information on the coronavirus and its impact on incarcerated comrades, please check out these important resources and campaigns:
 
Critical Resistance’s most recent newsletter including demands for community members and loved ones behind bars.
 
The Marshall Project’s report on the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to imprisonment and immigration enforcement and detention centers.

Baltimore IWOC GoFundMe campaign to a free hotline in order to track COVID outbreaks in prisons, mobilize direct support networks, and coordinate advocacy efforts.
We have made the decision to move our in-person monthly Chapter Meeting & Letter-Writing Hours at the Muse Writers Center online in acknowledgement of collective health measures and social distancing. This means that we still plan on meeting this upcoming Thursday, March 26th from 7pm – 9pm via two separate Zoom meetings. The first meeting will be our letter-writing session webinar from 7pm – 8pm, where we will continue to connect our volunteers with an incarcerated comrade and learn how the act of letter-writing can cultivate networks of care.
 
Pen-Pal Matching & Letter-Writing Webinar Link
 
We will then spend 8pm – 9pm in another separate Zoom session for our virtual chapter meeting. We plan to discuss current and ongoing efforts while also checking in with volunteer teachers and tutors. Much of this time will be dedicated to further developing the strategic plan that our members have been diligently working on throughout the semester! Please join us for one or both meetings!
 
Virtual Chapter Meeting Link
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about the coronavirus specifically or our program generally.

As always, stay in the know of upcoming events via our social media platforms, where we will be posting additional opportunities to get involved and sharing mutual aid efforts.

 

In love and struggle,

HBB Team

 

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