Seattle CISPES statement: Stop the Youth Jail

(Please join us at the one-day encampment against the new youth jail in Seattle — Sunday March 6, @ 12thand Alder, in front of the current King County Juvenile Detention center, the site of the proposed new youth jail and courts.)

Seattle CISPES statement: Stop the Youth Jail – March, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 2.46.21 PMThe Seattle Chapter of CISPES (the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), strongly supports the grassroots effort to stop a new youth jail in Seattle. Since 1980, CISPES has fought back against harmful United States interventions in El Salvador. Our opposition to the youth jail is rooted in CISPES’  history of opposition to U.S. militarization and state-sanctioned violence.

The Reagan Administration fueled militarization abroad in places like El Salvador, as well as at home through the rapid expansion of the prison industrial complex.  Both of these efforts were done in the name of security and economic prosperity, creating a cultural narrative of fear, repression, and criminalization.

In the latest iteration, last December Congress appropriated funds to double military aid to Central America, promising to address the root causes of youth migration, such as gang violence. In the midst of chaos, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani recently paid a visit to San Salvador to pedal his zero tolerance policing strategies, which made him notorious for repressive policing against communities of color in New York City. In this current moment, we are bearing witness to the architects of the U.S. criminal punishment system exporting their practices to other parts of the world, in El Salvador they refer to this as “mano dura” initiative (iron fist) — where youth in particular are viciously targeted.

Seattle CISPES extends our solidarity to all fighting for decriminalization, decarceration, and demilitarization. Toward a world without prisons or borders!

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