Prisons are the New Plantations: Reportback from Disruption of the Sustainable Prisons Project

On May 22 and 23, The Evergreen State College in Olympia hosted a conference
for the “Sustainable Prisons Project,” a disgusting attempt to make
modern-day slavery palatable to those who are superficially concerned about
green eco sustainable whatever bullshit. A prison that recycles and has a
garden, or where prisoners rehabilitate turtles and have a tree in their
cell, is still a prison. It is still a form of slavery and torture and a tool
of the state and white supremacy.

On April 22 approximately 20 people showed up to disrupt the conference.
There was a banner that said “Fire to the Prisons” and one that said “Prisons
are the new plantations – Fuck the SPP.” Many people carried pots, pans,
drumsticks, and other noisemakers. The group attempted to go in the main
doors to the conference on the fourth floor of the library but was thwarted
by some prison-lovers guarding the doors. So the noisy prison-haters instead
went back outside, jumped some railings, and went across the roof to a
courtyard outside the conference room. Hilariously, the cops were physically
unable to jump the fence. Perhaps gravity was acting a little stronger on

We banged on the doors and windows of the conference room, held the banners
up to the windows, and screamed and chanted. A couple of prison lovers came
outside and and tried to have dialog and convince us that we’re all on the
same team. When pressed, however, they admitted that they wouldn’t want to be
locked up in solitary even if there was a tree in the cell.

The conference attendees shut the blinds on the windows so they wouldn’t have
to see us, but everyone immediately swarmed inside the room, still banging
and screaming. Someone grabbed a mic from up front and ran around the room
yelling “fuck prisons!!” over the PA until the mic got shut off. We screamed
and made noise for a few more minutes, then the pathetic campus cops showed
up. The pigs were pretty meek and unable to control the situation, and
resorted to trying to grab spoons and drumsticks out of people’s hands. At
this point we decided to leave on our own terms. A big stack of fliers was
thrown in the air on the way out. Here’s what the fliers said:

“PRISONS SUSTAIN NOTHING BUT THEMSELVES. So today, we have slavery, although
slavery has been abolished. The structures of society that required slaves
have remained intact. And in one hundred years, prisons may have been
abolished, but we will still have prisons as long as capitalism remains
intact. For a world without cages. (A)”

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the level of antagonism and new
faces at the disruption. If you want to read more straight from the pigs’
mouths about how they justify greenwashed slavery, here’s their website: www
dot sustainabilityinprisons dot org