About

This blog is a collaborative effort by supporters of the NJ4 on the West Coast, Midwest and East Coast. We hope to provide up-to-date information about the 4’s appeals and ways you can get involved.

For more information about the NJ4’s story check out the Intersectional Injustice page: Intersectional Injustice link

If you want to stay informed through email, join baynj4solidarity(at)yahoogroups.com. Also if you want us to post info about fundraisers, etc. contact natalie(at)all7.org or freenj4(at)yahoo.com.

14 responses

4 06 2008
Dominic

Hello,
I’m having trouble trying to download the flyer. Could you all email it to me or direct me to a direct link? Thanks….

Peace,
Dominic

12 06 2008
Treva

i would love to email it you if you could email me w/ your email address at treva@all7.org

11 08 2008
bay solidarity

Too “Legit” To Quit on the NJ4

All of us organizing with the Bay Area NJ4 Solidarity Committee are from pretty different backgrounds but have experienced street violence because we are queer people of color, black women, faggots, Asian butches, fat dykes, dykes perceived as trans, lesbians and many other identities. And while we were not surprised that the u.s. criminal injustice system did not side with the young black lesbians from New Jersey, we were outraged at the criminalization of their basic right to survive and at the racist/homophobic/ transphobic dehumanizing labels such as “wolf-pack” in the media. Because the times call for radical action, we wanted to be collectively ready and active within a culture of self-defense that would break our loved ones out of prison. That vision has been our motivation since we began in March of 2007.
Since we were in the Bay, we began by reaching out to queer people of color organizations in New York City and writing to the four women in prison and their families. Hearing nothing from the many non-profits we contacted, we moved ahead.

Despite these non-profits central involvement with it when it first broke, there is apparently a current lack of capacity by New York based organizations to remain active on this case. In order to move beyond the emotional challenges raised by these limitations, we chose to ground our organizing in understanding our accountability first to the four women incarcerated. As organizers on the outside, we know the importance of consistency when working with folks on the inside.
From those who already knew much about the NJ4’s story to those who barely even knew their names, people came through to bake cupcakes, throw fundraiser dance parties, make t-shirts, set up and break down events, donate their car for a day, make banners and posters and buttons on living room floors, or just show up and support. We flyered at the Folsom Street Fair in September of 2007 and again at a big lesbian event, Sister Comrade, honoring Audre Lorde and Pat Parker. The amazing thing about this case is how quickly young queers of color, old lesbians, and others impacted identify with the NJ4.

We also started meeting regularly to help organize a larger movement. Our collective printed thousands of newspapers, which are useful for spreading the word about the case. We had a banner in front of AT&T which read “More Bars in More Places” at the anti-war demonstrations on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Amazingly and much to our surprise Terrain got out of prison just a few days before the Dyke March. With 200 people we welcomed her to the SF Women’s Building at an event called “Who’s Got Yo Back”, which featured Angela Davis, Ojala, Kimma Walker (Terrain’s mother) and us.

From Prison Breaks to Conference Calls

From Marsha P. Johnson to the Combahee River Collective, critiques of power remind us that the State, as well as similar agencies of oppression, are deeply invested in controlling our understanding of, and reactions to, “violence.” Accordingly, the notion set forth by those in power is that the police, military and legal agencies are the legitimate authorities who will “protect and serve” us from “criminals” who do harm. To accept this claim is to assume that we benefit from policing, war, prisons, and the court system; to accept this claim is to believe that we have to look outside of our chosen families and communities for support and alternatives to fear; To accept this claim is to internalize the idea of who is a “criminal,” regardless of how criminalization is invented inside of a racist, homophobic, sexist, and anti-poor world. Because of the dissonance created inside of these dangerous contradictions, the internalization process, in conjunction with a pervasive bystander culture that depends on politicians, policy, law, and non-profit leadership to effect change, results in little public re/action or outcry.

This internalization is made visible by the structures and actions of many organizations claiming to be working for our collective freedom. Most organizing models of today have inevitably been influenced by the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) and its penchant towards professional activism. Those of us working to realize justice for the New Jersey 4, given our individual and varying experiences with organizing, recognized this as a problem and decided to work around and against it.
Even after many important words have been written about the NPIC, our organizing minds, desires and realities are consistently ensnared and mesmerized by its limitations. The NPIC’s legacy is much broader than just the structuring of organizations; it cuts deep into our impoverished dreams of another world and another way to do things. The deadening of our collectively radical, queer imaginations is perhaps the most violent effect of the NPIC.
This is an attempt to open up these conversations and remember that a few people sitting around a kitchen table can achieve more than a well-funded and staffed organization. Our hope in doing this is to simultaneously work to free the NJ4, support cultures of self-defense and challenge the models of organizing that reproduce oppression.

Living in a Radical Tomorrow

A number of non-profits offer vital services necessary for our survival under capitalism (some are even nice enough to let us gather in their meeting rooms). However, we must constantly question what is paid for what we gain and how might we continue to organize in ways that do not reproduce the same kinds of domination we wish to undo. We must also continue to question who is doing the labor of organizing compared to who is credited when gains are made. Are we creating multicultural figureheads that give the face of diversity so the homophobic and white supremacist veins of the “Left” can feel better about diversity? Or are we digging in deep, working with those most affected and creating worlds that may never make it into a magazine or blogs but change the very realities we live?
Our radical communities must also constantly transform notions of resistance and interrogate why there is so much silence surrounding the NJ4 and cases similar to theirs. The immediate question that comes to bear in the midst of revising strategies for confronting violence is: Beyond vigils and annual reports, what does it take to be resourceful enough to connect struggles and do anti-violence work before we are dead and imprisoned?

6 10 2008
friend

Just a constructive criticism about your website: I came to the site not knowing who the NJ4 were or what the story was. You should add a short description of their case to the “About” section so it’s easier for folks like me to figure out what this is all about. Thanks, good luck, and keep up the fight.

21 10 2008
abovegroundpool

Hi, selling some neckties with your message to fundraise, design half stolen from lacey’s print. Would love to send the support fund a bundle of money, so if you can hype the ties, that would be great. Perfect for butch radicals and nelly boys….

See Solidarity neckties or user “abovegroundpool” on etsy.

13 11 2008
Dominic

Hello,
We’re selling calendars to support the NJ4, and I was wondering if you could link our site or allow us to post the info on this blog. Please let me know. Thanks.

Peace,
Dominic

18 11 2008
natikh

since we don’t check this page often, if you’d like us to post links to the main blog or if you have suggestions email natalie(at)all7.org or freenj4(at)yahoo.com to get in touch.

thanks for your support!

26 12 2008
xuxppxxuxyyy

hello it is test. WinRAR provides the full RAR and ZIP file support, can decompress CAB, GZIP, ACE and other archive formats.

19 02 2009
Erin McAuliffe

Hi,

I recently found out about this case when I was researching queer militancy for my Social Movements class at Central CT State University last semester. I am vice president of PRIDE, the university’s queer student group, and we are interested in doing an awareness event about the New Jersey 4.

Are any of the women who have been released so far doing speaking engagements? I read that Terrain went to California to do an event with Angela Davis recently. We would love to have one or more of them come speak at our university, but I have had trouble finding a way to contact them individually. If you could provide us with information on that, it would be very helpful.

Thanks!

29 07 2011
Anubis24

Sorry, this is bizarre but I knew nothing absolutely nothing about this. I feel like my mind has been blown because I’ve experienced being in the prison industrial matrix and I’m white and queer to boot.
Why no response of Democracy Now? I really have to throw off the shackles of propaganda.
I myself and others have wondered why the big legalization for gays and lesbians to kill others in foreign lands but not even a whisper of rights in employment and housing.
Myself I’ve been lucky, but I feel more in sympathy with the people here than the so-called Human Rights Champagne Fund and others who distort and seem to be used either knowingly or unknowingly by the Powers That Be.
Lately the whole media roll-out seems to be designed to antagonize the working class against “gays”. I was told this by an old guy and I am begining to think this is right.

7 09 2012
New. Clear. Vision. | Undiminished

[...] a web site to provide up-to-date information about the women’s appeals, helped fundraise and stayed in contact with the women throughout their ordeal. Both groups continue to support Patreese Johnson during her [...]

14 09 2012
No Justice When Women Fight Back « Internationalist Prison Books Collective

[...] a web site to provide up-to-date information about the women’s appeals, helped fundraise and stayed in contact with the women throughout their ordeal. Both groups continue to support Patreese Johnson during her [...]

15 09 2012
No Justice When Women Fight Back | Internationalist Books and Community Center

[...] a web site to provide up-to-date information about the women’s appeals, helped fundraise and stayed in contact with the women throughout their ordeal. Both groups continue to support Patreese Johnson during her [...]

2 05 2013
No Justice When Women Fight Back | 4strugglemag

[...] a web site to provide up-to-date information about the women’s appeals, helped fundraise and stayed in contact with the women throughout their ordeal. Both groups continue to support Patreese Johnson during her [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: