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Standing Up! Speaking Out!

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by Karima Amin

PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. has always upheld the idea that fighting against unjust laws is a moral responsibility as we work to erase unjust laws through actions that will promote justice and equality for all. Next month, on May 5, when we travel to Albany to face-off with our State legislators, we will continue standing up and speaking out for those who have been incarcerated unjustly and for those who have positively transformed their lives behind bars and are now worthy of release. We will continue to give voice to the voiceless who have been abused in dungeons where man’s inhumanity to man has been rampant as prisoners have endured the kind of mental and physical torture that seeks to destroy the soul.

Believing in the humanity of all people, PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. (PRP2) has always spoken out for men, women, and children confined to our State and local correctional facilities. PRP2 was at the forefront of bringing the Department of Justice to Western NY when our Erie County Holding Center was becoming well known, across the State and the Nation for an ugly spate of alleged suicides, which led to millions of your tax dollars being spent to settle related lawsuits. Strengthening its profile, PRP2’s activism led to the creation of the Erie County Prisoners Rights Coalition and to PRP2’s joining the New York State Prisoner Justice Network. Standing up and speaking out is what we have done to keep the community informed about criminal justice and prisoner justice issues. The work has not been easy and frustrations abound but we continue to work, believing that everyone is deserving of professional, fair, and humane treatment.

At the next monthly meeting of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC., we are honored to have, as our guest speaker, Mr. George K. Arthur, a political legend, active on the political scene in Buffalo for fifty years. This is a man who knows a little something about hard work, frustration, and determination. He served on the Erie County Board of Supervisors from 1964-1967, as Ellicott District Councilman from 1970-1978, and then as Councilman-at-Large in 1978, eventually serving as Common Council President from 1984 until his retirement in 1996. Along the way, he ran for mayor in 1985 as the un-endorsed Democratic candidate, narrowly losing to incumbent Jimmy Griffin. He is a man who understands the meaning of dogged tenacity. Giving up is not an option even when naysayers laugh in the face of justice.

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For a good dose of inspiration, come out to the next monthly meeting of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. on Monday, April 28, 2014, at 7:00 – 9:00pm, at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street in Buffalo. The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of BaBa Eng sponsor all monthly programs. For more information: 716-834-8438; Karima Amin (karima@prisonersarepeopletoo.org); BaBa Eng (g.babaeng@yahoo.com).

“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)

Karima Amin is a longtime Buffalo Activist, Educator, and Storyteller as well as founder and director of Prisoners Are People Too (PRP2).

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