“What Better Time Than Now?” New Text on Gang Unity Available for Prison Organizing
The Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective is proud to have just published a new piece of prisoner’s writing on unity, truce efforts, and political consciousness in US gangs. The zine presents a number of interesting topics like the forming of identity through historical consciousness and revolt, the co-optation of such identity through musical and artistic forms, and the role of street gangs in the rebellions of the future.
Of particular note is the connections the piece draws between the lived experience the author, a self-identified gang member and “social” prisoner, on the one hand, and the analysis of well-known anti-authoritarian and/or anti-colonialist heads like Lorenzo Ervin, Russell Maroon Shoatz, and Frantz Fanon, on the other. Many writings of these kinds come from the pens of known “political” prisoners; we’ve been excited to correspond with and present a discussion on gang truce and prison organizing efforts from a prisoner with a slightly different background. Of particular note for this editor is the simultaneous critique of a self-destructive gang culture and the urge to use these organizations as liberating forces – this wax and wane between a tendency towards self-destruction and “constructive” rage finds reflection in a wide variety of social movements all over the globe in the last year.
Needless to say, the issues discussed here are fairly universal to the facilities all over the US, and we encourage folks around the country who do correspondence with, maintain literature distros or libraries for, or who generally support prisoners’ organizing and rebellions to print and copy these en masse. This piece joins a number of other related texts in our collection, including “No, We Can’t All Get Along” by Jeff Chang and “Liberation or Gangsterism” by Russell Shoatz, that folks are also encouraged to make use of.