2011 Prison Project Conference
On Saturday June 11, more than 80 Raza attended the annual Chicano Mexicano Prison Project (CMPP) Conference on Raza and Colonialism. This years conference was organized under the theme, “Prisons: Terror for the Poor, Profits for the Rich!”
In a effort to continue the struggle to end the mass incarceration of Mexicanos/Raza, stop the terrorizing of prisoners, and expose the billions of profits that rich white-capitalists make out of the prison industry –the Chicano Mexicano Prison Project held its “Annual Conference on Raza Prisoners and Colonialism”.
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San Diego, CA – El sábado 11 de junio, más de 80 personas asistieron a la Conferencia anual sobre Prisiones y el Colonialismo del Comité de Presos Chicanos Mexicanos (CMPP). La Conferencia se organizo bajo el lema “Prisiones: Terror para los pobres, ganancias para los ricos.”
Como esfuerzo para continuar la lucha por poner fin a la encarcelamiento de Mexicanos/Raza, y poner alto a la expansión de las prisiones, así como desenmascarar las ganancias que los gingos capitalistas reciben como parte de la industria carcelaria- el proyecto de Presos Chicano Mexicano realizó su Conferencia Anual sobre Presos Mexicanos y el Colonialismo.
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CMPP workshop at SDSU MEChA 2010 High School Conference
PRISONS AND JAILS ARE BEING USED AS WEAPONS OF OPPRESSION AGAINST LA RAZA!
On Nov. 20, 2010, San Diego State University MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) held its 40th Annual High School Conference. Organized under the theme, “Spreading Consciousness Through Solidarity Across All Borders”, over 500 Raza youth from throughout the barrios and communities of San Diego County attended the conference.
SELF-DETERMINATION AND UNITY
The main objective of the conference was to provide Raza students the experience of attending a University event that specifically encourages Raza to see a future for themselves in higher education, as well as empowering them with the principles of self-determination.
Every year, the Chicano Mexicano Prison Project (CMPP) a collective of Unión del Barrio, facilitates a workshop at the SDSU MEChA conference. Educating our communities to the reasons for the massive and ever growing incarceration of Raza and other oppressed nationalities (African, Asian-Pacific, etc.), is one of the main goals of the CMPP. Hence it sees the space created by MEChA as a means by which to realize this goal. The CMPP especially does out reach to young Raza with the objective of stopping the cycle that leads Raza into prison. Moreover, the CMPP wants to encourage them to use their education to help those Raza who were victims of the drugs, racism, and violence –conditions imposed upon our communities by the capitalism-colonialism system within which we currently exist.
WEAPONS OF OPPRESSION
At this year’s conference, the CMPP organized a workshop titled: “HOW PRISONS AND JAILS ARE BEING USED AS WEAPONS OF OPPRESSION AGAINST LA RAZA!” The goal of workshop was to address: (1) What prison life is really about; (2) What all of us can do to fight back against the incarceration/imprisonment of Raza; and (3) What we can do to keep from being arrested and becoming one of the hundreds of thousands of Raza locked-up prison camps throughout the United States.
Presenting on behalf of the CMPP were Tobias Hernandez and Ernesto Bustillos. In a standing room only capacity, some sitting on the floor, over 40 young people attended the workshop. They listened attentively as the Tobias and Ernesto summed-up how the CMPP saw the question of prisons and La Raza. They explained that all Raza can do “their part” to put an end to the terror and nightmare of the prison industrial complex. This process, they explained, begins with educating ourselves and others to the reality of the prison system and by joining an organization that will struggle until we put an end to the incarceration of Raza.
RAIN DIDN’T PUT OFF THE SPIRIT OF THOSE ATTENDING CONFERENCE
The keynote speaker of the conference was Eduardo “Kiki” Ochoa, a teacher of Social Justice at Lincoln High School and member of A.R.E (Association of Raza Educators). Compañero Ochoa gave both a motivational and informative presentation, explaining how his own life is a testament to –we not only can uplift oneself– but to struggle for all of nuestro pueblo.
Although it rained throughout the day, the conference was a success. The day’s agenda included dozens of workshops, entertainment, and lunch. The message throughout the conference was one of cultural pride, unity, and what everyone can do to better themselves, their families, and their communities.
The CMPP salutes SDSU MEChA for their continuing efforts to better our communities and struggle for the self-determination of La Raza.
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TEACH IN ON RAZA & PRISONS
On Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) and the CMPP (Chicano Mexicano Prison Project) co-organized a Teach-In (informational gathering) on the campus of San Diego City College. Those presenting were Ernesto Bustillos of the CMPP , Wendy Craig representing the APSC (African People’s Solidarity Committee), and Abel Macias (Chicano Studies Instructor). The moderator was Fernando Avila, member of MEChA City College. The topic of the Teach In was “Education, Not Incarceration”.
Schools Are Becoming Pipelines to Prisons
The objective of the Teach-In was to expose the students to the role that criminal justice and prison system play in the oppression of Raza and other poor/working class communities within the current borders of the United States. The Teach-In specifically aimed to inform students how the criminalization and mass incarceration of Raza is impacting Education.
The presenters pointed to several facts:
(1) More money is being spent on prisons than schools.
(2) As students are pushed out from schools through boring-irrelevant education and zero tolerance policies used mostly against Raza and African students, schools are becoming pipelines to prisons.
(3) Prisons are profit-making enterprises where “rich white people” are making billions out of the “Prison Industrial Complex.
Engaging in Politics, Making History
It is important to note, that whereas some college instructors were “talking” about Politics and History just 300 yards from the Teach In, over 25 young ladies, most teen moms, along with a handful of City College students, had joined MEChA, Chicano Mexicano Prison Project/Unión del Barrio, and the African People’s Solidarity Committee “in engaging in Politics” and “making History” –and through struggle, liberating space from the capitalist-colonialists who control San Diego City College.
The CMPP will continue to make efforts to reach more students. We are open to suggestions, from honest and progressive forces, as to how we can make our outreach work more effective.
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Critical Resistance Round Table
On January 21 and 22, 2010, Critical Resistance (CR), organized two events around the question of prisons and their relationship to the current educational cut backs. Organized under the theme of FEE HIKES, BUDGET CUTS: PRISON EXPANSION AND US, the events were part of a two-day program held at UC San Diego at the Cross Cultural Center (Communidad Room).
Ernesto Bustillos, founder of Unión del Barrio and member of the Chicano Mexicano Prison Project raised several points:
• Youth, especially Mexicans and Africans, are key targets of the police and this why we find more Raza are in prisons than at the university.
• Prisons are political weapons of the capitalist-colonial system and are used to control and lock-up anyone who struggles or has the “potential” to rebel against racism, poverty, and other forms of oppression.
• The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) has become increasingly important to the capitalist-colonial system, because economically, the prisoners have become a profitable “commodity”/venture. Literally hundreds of thousands, mostly white and upper class people are making money out of the prison industry.
• It is in the interest of students and social activists to struggle for prisoners’ rights, as the odds are that they too will end up doing some prison time, especially if they are effective at challenging the root cause of injustice (Capitalism).
• As almost everyone is guilty of breaking some law, the only difference between most people in the outside and those inside prisons, is that those inside got caught.
The participation of the CMPP event was important as it enabled the project to bring awareness to the question of prison to the university community.
If the CMPP were not present at the Round Table, those present would have left without having heard a perspective fundamental to understanding the Capitalist-Colonial Prison Industrial Complex.
2008 CMPP Pinto Art Show
Organized To Win Over Prisoners To The Struggle For The National
Liberation Of All Mexicanos
CMPP Continues Its Work in Defense of Raza Prisoners
The Question of Raza Prisoners
CMPP Moves Forward the Struggle in Defense of All Raza
Summing Up the Work of the CMPP