This Saturday - August 19, 2017 - human rights defenders from around the country will gather in Washington, DC for the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March to advance the human rights of incarcerated people and demand that the 13th Amendment be amended to abolish slavery in all its forms. The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is a proud to support and expresses solidarity with the march.
USHRN member, iamWE Prisoner Advocacy Network, is hosting the march. USHRN Deputy Director and National Membership Director, Amanda Chavez Barnes, will join other USHRN member organizations, such as the Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign, the National Jericho Movement, and the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee to offer advocacy, testimony and solidarity at the rally.
“The fight for human rights does not stop at the walls of prisons, jails, and detention centers. We cannot stand by and watch as all levels of the US government dehumanize, exploit, and enslave millions of human beings in this country. We stand with human rights defenders across the United States at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in demanding that the 13th Amendment be amended to abolish legalized slavery in all of its forms,” said Amanda Chavez Barnes.
The 13th Amendment states that slavery and involuntary servitude are illegal, except in the case of punishment of a crime. Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights forbids and prohibits slavery in all its forms and is a human rights violation. Legalized slavery and the prison industrial complex is a product of structured discrimination rooted in the ideology of white supremacy. In the wake of recent violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA it is clear that any human rights agenda in the United States must address and stop hate violence as well as structural racism head on. When we look at the ways in which people's lives are impacted - between legalized slavery and exploitation of labor, the disproportionate levels of arrest and incarceration of communities of color and Black communities in particular, among many other injustices and indignities - it is clear that the prison industrial complex as we know it is a violation of human rights.
Join us and take a stand for prisoners’ human rights and against white supremacy this weekend. To directly support Black organizers on the ground in Charlottesville in the wake of the violence last weekend, click here to donate.
The march will take place Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 11:30am-12:00pm and will march from Freedom Square (the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) to Lafayette Park, where the rally will take place starting at noon. The organizers are asking people to gather at Freedom Square by 11am. The rally will take place from 12:00-5:00pm. There is a permit for the march.
To learn more about the history of prisoners' human rights & the historical connection between the prison industrial complex and slavery, read this interview with law professor, Angela A. Allen-Bell.