VAPOC: Moving forward for justice

On behalf of VAPOC (Virginia Prisoner of Conscience) I would like to thank everyone for their participation in the conference call on Sunday the 25th. To know that so many are on board with forming the Virginia Prison Justice Network is inspiring and energizing. The Virginia Prison Justice Network is where all of the organizations and concerned citizens in Virginia can go to be linked in a unified struggle to end mass incarceration in Virginia. There are so many organizations that have been fighting for many years on their own. NO MORE! We are stronger together! We have made the call, and so many have answered. This is why I know we will be victorious. Now is the time. Let us seize it. –

The recent Black History month celebration has been a catalyst for all that VAPOC has been striving to accomplish amongst the population. We want to send out a special thank you to Zoe Spencer, Lisa Harvey, Carneal Smith, John Butler, Larry Gibson, Phil Wilayto, and Wahid Shabazz for gracing us with their presence. The theme “Black History Now, What Are We Doing Now To Make History For The Future?,” has began to penetrate the hearts and minds of those who are willing to do the work. We are ready to make new underground railroads to escape economic slavery, to escape imperialism and white supremacy, to escape murder, misogyny, and mayhem. If not us then who? If not now then when? – Hassan Shabazz

There is much work to be done, on the inside and out in regards to prison and criminal justice reform. They go hand in hand. It would be naive of me to think that the changes we seek are going to come without intense struggle, but many people do, just sitting around waiting on a change to come. Undoubtedly it will, because change is inevitable, but kind of change will it be. I choose for the change I experience to be the result of causes which produce effects that I put I motion, and not someone else who may not have my best interest in mind. We know what we want, so let’s get to work. Liberation has always been paid for with the price of our lives. –

Hassan Shabazz

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