HAVOQ’s Prison Abolition and Solidarity Workgroup was formed at the end of 2011 with the vision of building up enough knowledge through organizational collaboration, study groups and direct action to begin offering teach-ins, popular education workshops and street theater about the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) – and specifically issues within the PIC as they relate to queer and trans folk. We hope to bring queer visibility to the issue as well as HAVOQ’s signature ferocity and fabulosity!
At the moment, our focus is on letter writing as a means to develop solidarity with folks on the inside and an understanding of their lived experiences.
We join TGI Justice Project monthly (usually every 1st Wednesday) for legal support letter writing clinics and have our own monthly letterwriting nights. TGIJP is is a group of transgender people—inside and outside of prison—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom. Our support of TGIJP has given us the opportunity to increase our legal support skills and our knowledge about resources and current situations facing queer/trans prisoners.
Every month, we also host our own Prisoner Letterwriting & Discussion Nights. These usually begin with facilitated discussions of current issues within the criminalization system/prison industrial complex followed by an orientation to penpal guidelines for new folks and quiet time for letterwriting. Making a real life connection based in friendship, support and solidarity with someone behind bars is one of the most important ways to fight the prison and criminalization systems, which is *designed* to isolate folks from their families and communities.
Other past solidarity actions and events include:
2013: Sending a flagging contingent to the February 26th Chowchilla Freedom Rally at Valley State Prison.
2012: A banner drop and contingent in support of the February 20th Occupy San Quentin event, hosting a Valentines for Prisoners event with CCWP, showing up in support of the Valentine’s Day fundraiser put on by Justice NOW!, CURB, TGIJP, and others by hosting a Valentines for Prisoners table and a photo booth.
If you’re interested in getting involved with us in this work, please email flyingoverwalls [at] gmail [dot] com.