Members of DecarceratePA block the entrance to two new prison construction sites near SCI Graterford. The grassroots organization is calling for a reduction in the prison population and reinvesting the millions slated to be spent on the new facilities into community programs. — PHOTOGRAPH FROM DECARCERATEPA
At a town hall meeting in Philadelphia held at the city’s Museum of Art, Gov. Tom Corbett made a statement that his numerous critics say is in total opposition to a newly funded building project.
Civil Disobedience Marks Escalation of Decarcerate PA Campaign
For Immediate Release
Skippack, PA – Early this morning, demonstrators seeking a halt to Governor Corbett’s $685 million prison expansion plan carried out the first-ever civil disobedience protest at a prison construction site in Pennsylvania. Several members of Decarcerate PA, a coalition working to reduce the state’s massive prison population, gathered just before dawn by the construction site of two new prisons at SCI Graterford. Quickly assembling a large “little red schoolhouse” and mock-classroom in front of the site, a number of protesters used their bodies to block the driveway.
Members of Decarcerate PA—an anti-prison coalition with roots in Philadelphia—began protesting early this morning at SCI Graterford, in Skippack, Montgomery County, where two new prisons are being built. According tothe group’s Live Feed and a statement, at least seven members were arrested after they sat at the prison’s entrance, in desks, holding hands in front of a large “Fund Schools not Prison” mock-school house. They’ve already released a statement on the action, noting in part:“[Protesters] engaged in this action at the construction site to increase pressure on Governor Corbett and to shine a spotlight on his irresponsible and destructive expansion of Pennsylvania’s prison system.” They will hold another action and press conference at 4 p.m. today, 15th and JFK, outside the Municipal Services Building
SKIPPACK — Police arrested and charged seven protestors in relation to a demonstration that occurred at the entrance of State Correctional Institution at Graterford in Skippack early Monday morning.
According to police, the protesters, who are part of a group called “Decarcerate PA,” set up ten school-style desks to block the construction entrance at Graterford, with seven protesters sitting in the desks and eight more standing near the desks.
Seven members of Decarcerate PA, a grassroots organization dedicated to curbing prison expansion and what it says is rampant incarceration in Pennsylvania, were arrested Monday morning, Nov. 19, after blocking the construction entrance of Graterford Prison with school desks, apples and a plastic school house.
"Seven protesters were putting their bodies on the line about how serious they are about getting this project canceled," Decarcerate PA's Thomas Dichter said.
Coalition charges Governor Corbett and DOC Secretary Wetzel with ‘crimes against Pennsylvanians’
Philadelphia. PA: A coalition of organizers are taking court proceedings to the streets with an elaborate display of street theater designed to shed light on the controversial $685 million expansion of Pennsylvania’s Prison system. Community members will descend on the Municipal Services Building Plaza at 15th St and JFK Boulevard at 4pm on Monday, November 19th, where they will put Governor Corbett and Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel on trial. Over a dozen witnesses are slated to present testimony of the administration’s ‘crimes against Pennsylvanians’, especially the decision to push forward with costly prison expansion while gutting essential services and education funding.