Decarcerate PA, an anti-prison activist group, has organized a 10-day march from Philadelphia to Harrisburg beginning Saturday, and will spend the weekend walking through Norristown and Collegeville to Pottstown, stopping for a protesting to end prison expansions along the way.
The 113-mile trek has been labeled the “March for a People’s Budget: Stop the Prison Expansion Now!,” and will begin Saturday at noon with a rally in Love Park.
“The march will build pressure on legislators to reject Governor Corbett’s prison expansion projects and invest in communities, not prisons,” said a release from the organization. "Decarcerate PA and allies are marching to oppose the unchecked grown of Pennsylvania’s prison budget even as 23 schools in Philadelphia are designated to close due to funding cuts.”
Legislators are specifically asked not to grant the Department of Corrections its requested $68 million increase in funding, and to cancel the $400 million prison which is planned to be built on the grounds of Graterford Prison.
The group will march dressed as construction workers - armed with construction vests, signs and shovels to ‘build’ a better future through Havertorn into Norristown on Saturday.
At 1 p.m. on Sunday, they will be met in Norrsistown by DreamActivist Pennsylvania and Norristown residents for a rally at the Montgomery County Courthouse for “Invest in the Future, NOT FEAR!”
On Monday, they will demonstrate at the intersection of Route 29 and Ridge Pike in Collegeville en route to Pottstown, where they will hold a brief press conference on the steps of the public library, followed by a public forum to discuss “mass incarceration and its impact on the community” at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown at 7 p.m.
On May 28, the group will leave for Reading, with plans to stop in Womelsdorf, Lebanon and Hershey before a rally on the Pennsylvania Captiol steps on June 3, when the Pennsylvania General Assembly returns for session.
Decarcerate PA has held several protests regarding the Graterford expansion, including a November event in which seven protesters were arrested after blocking the construction entrance to the prison for over an hour
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