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november 02 dispatches

11-25-02   dean: call for submissions

I just got this really awesome call for submissions that we should spread around as much as possible:

*****************Call for SUBMISSIONS******************

HEY- Young people, prisoners, ex-prisoners, family of prisoners, probation officers, police officers, people who work in prisons, prison activists and advocates!

We are looking for submissions for a book that will de-mystify the ?prison industrial complex?, document people?s experience with the criminal justice system, and serve as an organizing tool for young people of color.

Examples of what we are looking for: Personal experience of being in jail, growing up with family members and/or close friends being in jail, watching someone close to you get arrested, advice to others about how not to get locked up, working inside prisons or in the criminal justice system, LGBTTSQ issues and prisons, growing up assuming you will end up in jail, organizing around prisons/criminal justice issues, calling the police, locking someone up, health issues inside prison, the death penalty, etc.

This can be in the form of personal experience writing, artwork, photography, drawings, paintings, graffiti, poetry, lyrics, short stories, graphics, screen play, letters, any form of creative _expression whatsoever! When we say prisons we mean: jails, county jails, state prisons, federal prisons, private prisons, juvenile detention centers, immigration detention centers, group homes, holding cells, mental institutions etc. When we say criminal justice system we mean: all types of prisons, criminal court and all of the people involved in it (lawyers, judges, district attorneys, etc.), parole, probation, police, drug trafficking, criminal laws, policies, politics and politicians, etc.

Send submissions no later than: March 15th, 2003 All entries will receive a response. Those selected for publication will receive compensation. If you want original artwork returned, please send a SASE. E-mail to: Or mail to: Prison World c/o Soft Skull Press 71 Bond Street Brooklyn, NY 11217 Thanks a lot!

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11-19-02   dean: reminding you not to buy dvds or cell phones

first, i just revisited my article about cell phones, don't call me and remembered that i still really hate cell phones. Of course, i also hate DVD players for some of the same reasons, but also for new reasons. I just got my new issue of Stayfree Magazine which is all about copyright this time. I didn't agree with everything I read, but I learned about how all DVD technology is owned by microsoft, apparently, and how DVD's are this giant conspiracy to crack down on even the few remaining rights we all have to copy information for our own personal use. Apparently, even when something is in the public domain (meaning copyright has expired and anyone can copy it), if its put on DVD it becomes a crime to copy it because someone owns the right to the DVD technology. According to the magazine, VHS is being phased out, and soon everything will be on DVD and not available any other way so that none of us will every be able to make copies (also because of how DVD not copyable or something). Clearly, I dont have the best grasp on all this technological stuff, but I got the point that the emergence of DVD technology isn't just horrible because its creating a new consumer need and new environmental concerns, but also becasue its part of a big effort to curtail all of our access to information. Grab the magazine. And go to the CBGB gallery and see the art show of illegal art. I read the descriptions of the pieces in the magazine and its sounds really amazing.

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11-18-02   craig: in some places, pash means kiss

Make recently learned from an underworld source located in Sydney about a united police-parliament crackdown on spin the bottle that has us saddened and alarmed. We share the organizers' commitment to the right to "stupid props, pashing, and metaphor." In solidarity with our Australian comrades, we call on everyone everywhere to make out, a lot, starting right now.

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11-18-02   dean: events

Sorry to have been a little remiss in my makezine updates. Things got really hectic at my work. Lots of good stuff happening, but really a lot to do. More on that later. For now, I want to echo craig that you should go to the Mix Festival, particularly to see "Unhung Heroes" on Saturday night at the Trans-Formers program, and to see Kerioakie's movie on Wednesday night. Mix is way too expensive, of course. I recommend attempting to volunteer if you have the time.

Friday the 22nd there is a event celebrating 50 years since Christine Jorgensen's emergence as a public transsexual figure. It's going to be at Craig's school, CUNY Grad Center, and I'm talking at some point during the day, and Imani is performing B4T at night. Come on by.

Also, on December 13 at 7 you should go see the documentary "Chinatown is not for Sale" about the agressive displacement going on in NYC's Chinatown. Friday December 13, 6:15 - 8:30 pm, University Settlement, 2nd Floor 184 Eldridge Street, Corner of Rivington.

I can't remember what else I was going to say to you. I'm working on a new zine called "town" about NYC. If you want to contribute something short about something you love about this place (esp. graphics--you know how wordy i am), email me. Also, FYI, today I'm obsessed with Aaliyah's "are you that somebody?"

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11-15-02   craig: philadelphia love, and more

These days I love New York, but what I love more is getting out of New York. Despite its amazing architecture and endlessly mutating streets, New York exudes a monotony of landscape I often don't register until getting out. Roysdon and I disappeared to Philly for a visit in the middle of the week, where we tramped around in the rain and learned how to letterpress: my arms fell immediately in love with the imprecise manual work of it. That night I read and wrote while the others worked on silk screen projects at the amazing artist collective Space 1026. The beaten up couches, mopey dog and vast stretch of space a perfect setting for thinking about globalization and bodies.

Coming back, I found a nice email about my bikes and bridges piece, and also a plug from a reader for Justifiable Homicide a film documenting the epidemic of police brutality in NYC. It recently played here at Anthology Film Archives, watch for it in your area. And speaking of Anthology, next week the Mix Festival kicks off there. Come hang with the homos for lots of dirty and interesting experimental queer media.

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11-07-02   craig

Two months into school... I've got Marx itching across my skin, up to my scalp. My head is tingly with questions of capital flow and financialization. Last night on the couch D. and I debated "open borders," him suggesting that a free movement of people might reverse a "race to the bottom" so that labor flowed not with capital but with human rights protections. Me wondering if you can talk anymore of a bottom in the flat (which is not to say even) plane of the current economic order that some call empire. Open access to the United States would by no means guarantee access to a set of (rapidly eroding across forms of labor) worker protections when the "third world" exists here too in sweatshop and slave economies that function as part of networks defined not so much spatially or nationally, but informatically: a calculation of work and workers that evades site-specificity as the centers and peripheries of transnational capital bleed out along arteries of telecommunication. Despite the real materiality of its oppression, the "factory" that old school marxists still refer to matters to capital less as a place, more as a nodal point that bodies and money pass through. But of course the real conditions of labor (of sweatshops and maquiladoras) do matter to us -- they must, and I want to hold that sense of people-ness that fades away. But can the place of work still be a place of resistance, despite its displacement, or unplace-ing?

I'm reading amazing writers these days: Pheng Cheah, Michael Hardt, Ranu Samantrai, Manuel de Landa, Chela Sandoval, Richard Dienst. I've got that rushy-crush feeling on the ideas I'm encountering. The weather's gone cold and windy but I'm not even sad. In between reading there's dancing and cooking, getting and writing letters, making tapes, making new friends, getting drunk and dancing some more. Good days, these.

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11-05-02   dean: social insecurity, more reasons to move to canada

First, Alex just forwarded me some info about how the Social Security Administration sneakily put in place a new policy in October that requires trans people to provide evidence of sex reassignment surgery in order to have our gender changed on our SSA records. Before this, at least in some places, you could change your gender with just a generally worded medical letter to the effect that you were trans. This policy change, of course, will have the largest impact on people who don’t want or can’t afford surgery. If you have experienced trying to change your or someone else’s gender for SSA purposes, before or after this policy, please email me and tell me about what happened. I’m trying to get a sense of what different SSA offices in different places have required.

Second, look below for two announcements, one about a Canadian trans rights victory, and one about a big AIDS action this month in D.C.



The Northwest Territories organisation OutNorth and national organisation Egale Canada celebrated today the landmark passage of Bill 1, the NWTHuman Rights Act. Both OutNorth and Egale Canada are organisations which advance equality and justice for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.

OutNorth and EGALE appeared as witnesses before the Legislative Committee, and successfully argued for the inclusion of gender identity as a Prohibited ground of discrimination.

With the adoption of Bill 1 yesterday, the Northwest Territories has:

* created a Human Rights Commission;

* prohibited discrimination on a number of grounds, including sexual orientation; and

* become the first jurisdiction in Canada to prohibit discrimination on the ground of gender identity, which provides transgendered people with explicit protection from discrimination.

For further information: Zoe Raemer, OutNorth: 867-873-1247 John Fisher, Executive Director, Egale: 888-204-7777; 613-291-5187


Stop the Bush AIDS Disaster

Last week, Condoleezza Rice, in a meeting with AIDS activists, made it plain that President Bush is going to insist on underfunding the fight against global AIDS until disproven or underesourced programs have delivered the results they are unable to produce. The childish banality of the Administration is would be laughable, if there were not 100 million lives hanging in the balance.

At the same time, the Bush administration assualts AIDS organizations serving communities of color, youth and gay men with vicious audits and intimidation tactics. Federal AIDS drug programs continue to be starved by the Bush Administration, and the Early Treatment Act for HIV gathers dust on the shelf, requiring people with AIDS in the United States to spend themselves into poverty or wait until they are very sick to qualify for health care and medicine.

*** If it was not already abundantly clear, simply asking the White House is not going to work. We must join to our voices and power to change this deadly equation ***

On Tuesday November 26, an extremely diverse angry crowd of at least 4-500 people with AIDS and their supporters are paying a visit to the Bush Administration in Washington DC. This is a two days before Thanksgiving, and timed so as not to conflict with other December 1-World AIDS Day remembrances.

The message will be similar to that delivered in Barcelona: a limited and specific number of crucial global and domestic AIDS issues.

1. Funding and personnel as needed to implement a plan to treat three million PWHIV worldwide by 2005, including comprehensive care services and significant increases in contributions to the Global Fund.

2. Debt cancellation for the poorest countries, freeing up new funds for locally directed health and education spending.

3. Passage of the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA) which extends Medicaid coverage to perhaps hundreds of thousands of people with HIV in the US who are not yet poor and sick enough to qualify for medication.

4. Increases in ADAP funding to get AIDS medicines to people with AIDS in the US currently on waiting lists because the Bush budget has not kept pace with the growing epidemic at home.

5. Science-based HIV prevention at home and internationally, supporting the lives of vulnerable people, instead of budget cuts and audits targeting agencies serving that women, people of color, gays and lesbians, youth and drug users.

Why are you getting this message?

Because the movement has stated for years a wish to reinvigorate a strong grassroots presence. Because asking nice is not working. Because the history of social movements in the United States demonstrate that the voices of advocates at the table are taken far more seriously if they are speaking in concert with a mobilized and aggressive constituency.

Because we need help.

A few of us have talked about raising the profile of the World AIDS Day action being currently coming together.

The dire urgency of our current situation and the Administration's intractable refusal to take leadership on AIDS requires us all to raise the ante on the President. For this action to make more of a splash than our previous numerous actions, we are asking that the executive directors and staff of AIDS and global advocacy groups join us in an act of peaceful civildisobedience.

We need help with media support. We need help with funding to help pay for busloads of demonstrators. We need help your help marshalling our notablesupporters and senior staff to make a peaceful civil disobedience action as high profile as possible. This event will be safe for non-CD participants, with ample marshaling and legal support. Any CD participants will of coursebe offered CD training. The precise nature of the CD scenario will bedeveloped by the participants.

1. If your schedule and legal history permits, we want you to take part in anon-violent civil disobedience demanding presidential action on global anddomestic AIDS treatment and prevention. As a rule, you will be releasedwithin a few hours, with no legal ramification and no ensuing court cases.There are never any promises, of course.

2. We need you to help contact any notable people they you think might articipate with us in this act of civil disobedience. Please help complete the list below with your contacts.

3. We need your media staff to support this action. With help from your organization, we can make a powerful event that becomes _the_ national World AIDS Day story.

4. The cost of transporting 8-16 busloads of demonstrators to support the CD group from Philadelphia, New York and beyond will cost approximately $1200 / bus, plus other expenses that arise from a major mobilization. The largest grassroots group in the sponsoring coalition currently has a significant debt to its members. In other words, ACT UP Philadelphia has _no_ money topay for this.

5. TURN OUT: if your organization has staff or members or clients anywhere in the mid-Atlantic region BRING THEM OUT. As you know, politics is aboutpower, and the power we have on our side is significant numbers of motivatedpeople. As many have noted, the US AIDS movement has become atrophied from a lack of exercise. Its not difficult to mobilize large numbers of staff andclients, if the organization provides transportation, and all staff aregiven extensive and explicit executive support. Clear messages from agency leadership are necessary to inspire the community to act. We must provide the vehicle through which people with AIDS can recognize personal capacity to powerfully influence political struggles. We must make clear to our staff and members our obligation to check the negligence of the government we bearresponsibility for.

If you or your organization are able to help in any way with media, funding,turnout, or CD participants, please contact Paul Davis at: / 215.833.4102

Towards justice, Julie Davids, Health GAP ACT UP Philadelphia, e: , t: , w:

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11-04-02   dean: two things to do instead of working this morning

This andthis.

I just have to add one more thing. I went into our webpage hosting place and looked at this thing craig showed me where you can see what people were searching when they pulled up our site and clicked on it, and these were the best searches: 1) "dykey haircut" 2)"IS RACISM GOOD?" 3)"how to make a golem" 4) "silk saris". I hope they all got something they need from us.

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11-01-02   dean: PISSR info

So, if you want to be on the PISSR email list (see below), email Dylan Vade.

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