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NAARPR statement on COVID-19 crisis

Frank Chapman  |  Issue: May | June 2020

We must stand up and fight back. We must put forward and fight for a program of action that will get us out of this pandemic crisis by helping the 140 million people living in poverty, and the hundreds of thousands of adults and children who are homeless, by helping the millions without health insurance, by ending mass incarceration starting with the wrongfully convicted and those too poor to make bail, by ending the ICE raids and the immigrant detention centers, by bringing the working class to the round table to curb the feast of the beast that is monopoly capital, to address fissures in our society created by racism, sexism and national oppression. We must vigorously reject the Department of Justice’s move to suspend habeas corpus under the guise of emergency powers.

In a few words, our class enemies – who are also the enemies of the people – use this pandemic crisis to maintain the status quo by pumping economic hormones into a dying system. We must use it to organize the people and hasten the demise of the enemies of the people. Now is the time for the power of the people to demonstrate that it is greater than the people in power.

We suggest that in your respective localities you push for the following demands, particularly the release of prisoners from local jails and state prisons (especially those known to be wrongfully convicted) as well as the release of immigrants from ICE detention centers:

  • Designate specific portions of federal emergency funding for addressing the coronavirus within prisons and jails.
  • Test prison and jail inmates daily for infection and provide hospitalization and treatment for those in need.
  • Provide hand sanitizers throughout all common areas of prisons and jails and hand washing facilities.
  • Require that all prison staff, vendors and contractors are queried, screened and tested when indicated for possible exposure and/or infection at every entry into a facility.
  • Report cases of coronaviruses within prison and jails to the public and families.
  • Allow family and friends visits on the same basis. Provide hand sanitizers throughout visiting rooms and regularly disinfect them. Provide for prisoner and visitor handwashing before and after all visits.
  • Provide for free phone calls to family and friends during this public health crisis and increase the availability of remote video visits.
  • Immediately release to their homes or the homes of family and friends all prison inmates who are elderly (over 60) or have medical conditions that compromise their immune system, including Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cancer, chronic HIV or HCV infection, leukemia, or multiple myeloma.
  • Provide a minimum of a 30-day supply of all prescription medications (with written prescriptions) and foodstuffs to those released, and referral to local public health clinics in their areas.
  • Release on own-recognizance (O.R.) bonds all local jail prisoners being held pending trial, except for those requiring hospitalization for severe mental or physical disorders, or those charged with first-degree murder or sexual assault.
  • Adopt at the state and county level the National Commission of Correctional Health Care Standard on Infectious Disease Prevention and Control
  • Immediate moratorium on ICE raids and family separations
  • Immediate moratorium on deportations
  • Depopulate migrant detention centers and release those detained in ICE custody
  • Provide testing to released detainees and treatment to those who need it
  • Establish “Know Your Health Care Rights During the Pandemic” drives for immigrants
  • Establish legislation that would provide DACA protections to all undocumented immigrants immediately (the “Right to Family” legislation)
  • Provide economic relief to include all US residents regardless of immigration status

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

In united struggle,

Frank Chapman 
Interim Executive Director
National Alliance Against Racist and Political

These are excerpts from a longer NAARPR statement on the COVID-19 crisis.
For the full statement go to
https://conta.cc/2WALwLR.

National Alliance Against Racist and Political

National Alliance Against Racist and Political

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