Humanity was not designed for cages. Humans are not meant to be cut off from society and deprived of the right to strive for and achieve our natural aspirations and longings. The Creator would not have mocked us with the yearning for infinite achievement without wanting us to have the opportunity for realizing it. Prisons are a fundamentally immoral and failed solution to the problems of crime, poverty, addiction, mental illness, and other social ills.
Therefore, we envision a world without prisons. A world where investments in public health, education, housing, sustainability, and true democracy make police and prisons - and the very mindsets that produce them - obsolete. A world where we will keep each other safe and hold each other accountable when we make mistakes or cause harm. A world where our communities will be strong enough to rely on each other without depending on cages and police, which only create a false sense of safety for some while systemically enslaving others.
Therefore, we claim excellence, peaceful industry, inventiveness, higher achievement, and the best there is in the world as inalienable birthrights, because these goals are not too good or too magnificent for us as human beings. To the contrary, all humans were designed to reach their fullest potential!
Our mission is to engage in grassroots organizing and policy advocacy to:
Our aim is to bring an end to the new forced labor system, unjust sentencing laws, the theft of public monies from our communities, and white supremacist politics that hinder people from white, Black, and other communities from working together for equality, freedom, and justice for all. We are committed to finding individuals and groups throughout the country and world to support organizing efforts to abolish the entire Prison-Industrial Slave Complex in the United States and beyond.
Through grassroots organizing on the ground and via social media, we want to form a pipeline of teach-ins, study circles, town halls, and workshops running from the neighborhoods, classrooms, and prisons to raise awareness about the relationship between antebellum (pre-Civil War) slavery, systemic capitalist oppression, and prisons as the new forced labor system.
We want to build on these activities by recruiting and developing leaders to initiate and supervise teach-ins, study circles, committee workshops, discussion forums, fundraisers, press conferences, rallies, marches, demonstrations, boycotts, strikes, protests, and lobbying campaigns to pressure the federal government and state legislatures to pass laws targeted at decarceration, reparations, and the expansion of restorative justice.
"Confidence, unbounded, unshaken faith in yourself, which even amounts to boldness at times, is absolutely necessary in all great undertakings and is the very foundation of all great achievement," says eminent poet Orison Swett Marden.
Most people think slavery was abolished in this country. However, the 13th Amendment’s exception clause upholding slavery is a ploy which did not abolish involuntary servitude but merely allowed it to be reformed into the American Criminal Justice System. Today's prisons continue the old plantation system of domination over descendants of enslaved Africans. Following the 13th Amendment came institutional racism, segregation, peonage, tokenism, classism, the FBI’s counterintelligence program to destabilize black leadership, the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the Nicaraguan Contras drugs-for-weapons-program, and the systematic marginalization, criminalization, and mass incarceration of African-American and poor people.
These injustices and crimes against humanity continue to reflect an unprecedented American demand for capital, subjugation, and control of other human beings. Therefore, Decarcerate Louisiana sees it as our calling and deems it representative of the will of the People to continue the historic fight for our God-given freedoms and liberties to abolish slavery and the ideologies that continue to enable it in every form and fashion.
The word Decarcerate is a useful concept. Literally, it means releasing people from prisons and jails (carcer is the Latin word for “jail”). But beyond abolishing prisons, it also means to release control of our government from corporate domination; to divest from the Prison-Industrial Complex and excessive military expenditures born out of capitalistic enterprise and greed; to root out systemic oppression and bust the ghetto-to-prison pipeline; to redirect our tax dollars to investments in higher education, economic development, living wage jobs, home ownership programs, rehabilitative and reentry initiatives for people currently in prison and other areas of human welfare so as to end many of the social ills. This would automatically end our reliance on police, prisons, war, and mass surveillance to keep our communities strong and safe.