My name is Maya Jenkins, and I am an organizer with No New Jails in NYC. For the last year, No New Jails has been organizing to stop Mayor de Blasio’s jail expansion plan, close all jails on Rikers Island, and ensure that the $11 billion budgeted for new jails are funding what our communities really need to be safe.
I’m writing today because WRL is an important partner in our work; they connect our abolitionist organizing against prisons and police with their near-century long struggle against militarism and offer analysis that strengthens all of our work. Can you donate today to support?
I got connected with WRL earlier this spring, after Decolonize This Place launched a 9-week escalation campaign to pressure Warren Kanders, the CEO of teargas manufacturer Safariland and now-former board member of the Whitney Museum, to resign from the Whitney’s board of trustees. But, WRL’s work to end the use of tear gas began years ago. During their Facing Teargas campaign WRL collected testimonies from incarcerated people who were tear-gassed while in prison. In May, my comrades and I with No New Jails read the testimonies WRL collected outside the Whitney Museum, standing next to life-sized tear gas canisters filled with dry ice and our friends at WRL, About Face, and Nodutdol. The next week, we parked these canisters and raised our voices outside Kanders’ lavish home in NYC’s Greenwich Village. Before July was up, Kanders officially resigned.