The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression was founded in 1973 in Chicago, Illinois to mount organized action against unjust treatment of individuals because of race or political beliefs. Its founding grew out of the struggle to free Angela Davis from a racist frame-up on murder charges surrounding the aborted attempt by Jonathan Jackson to free his brother, George Jackson and the Soledad Brothers in 1970.
The Chicago Branch, now the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), continues to struggle for justice with a focus on the following goals.
Over the years the NAARPR has successfully campaigned for the release of many persons falsely charged and sentenced to death or to long prison terms. Currently the CAARPR is working to get an Executive clemency petition for Mark A. Clements, who served more then 28 years behind prison walls for a crime that he did not commit. On August 18, 2009, he won his freedom and now works with the CAARPR as Prison Liaison and coordinator for the struggle against wrongful convictions. Chicago police working under the command of Jon Burge tortured hundreds of Black and Latino men. We are working to win hearings and new trials for 20 of them who remain incarcerated. We have investigated two of those cases: Stanley Wrice and Antonio Nicholas. We are convinced they are innocent and were convicted only by confessions made under torture. We are struggling for the release of Nicole Harris, a young Chicago mother accused of killing her son who was coerced to confess. We are also struggling for freedom for Derrick Searcy, James Harris, Michael Harris, Clayborn Smith, Charles Solo Harris and a host of others. See our web site for information on these cases, http://www.naarpr.org.
In this country African Americans and Latinos continue to be affected by racism. We struggle against all forms of white supremacy, and we understand that that struggle is at the center of the fight against racist and political repression.
The U.S.A. has more people on death row than any other country in the world. The CAARPR works with other organizations in a campaign to end the death penalty. The moratorium in Illinois has helped thrust this issue on the national agenda, resulting in the introduction of several National Death Penalty Moratorium bills in Congress. Two States have abolished capital punishment. Texas leads the country in executions, in spite of evidence of innocence. We work to abolish all capital punishment.
Although the CAARPR has a specific focus on the fight against racist and political repression, we see all of these other struggles as important. We defend the human rights struggles of all those who are unjustly oppressed.
The Alliance defends political prisoners and the civil liberties of workers, peace activists, immigrants, and opponents of white supremacy, male supremacy, and homophobia. We defend the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
The CAARPR has been in the forefront of the struggle against the prison-industrial complex, one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Its profits depend on the incarceration of more than two million people – mostly African Americans – and most for non-violent crimes. The CAARPR works to draw the connections between this intolerable situation and the white supremacy and class exploitation that lies at its roots.
The CAARPR is working to hold the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the County Jails across the state to the standard of the Eighth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which bans cruel and unusual punishment, including the denial of medical care to prisoners. Our highest priority is to work for a rapid and responsive procedure independent of the IDOC through which prisoners being denied care can protest and be heard.
We often Intervene directly with IDOC medical staff to address urgent crises in medical care when we are aware of them. We work in coalitions aimed at winning legislation to improve the situation. We are actively reviewing medical records and complaints from prisoners to document this problem and explore action to compel a system-wide solution to this problem.
We have exposed and brought legal action in the case of Montell Johnson, which is an example of what’s wrong with the system. We have won the medical treatment he needs, and his sentence was commuted on humanitarian grounds by Governor Blagojevich. However Johnson remains a prisoner because of a hold on him by the State of California.
From its inception the NAARPR campaigned against police crimes, primarily against the poor and people of color. Model Legislation to establish a Civilian Police Control Board that holds police officers accountable for their actions has been drafted and circulated. At the same time we are cooperating with other groups that have drafted ordinances to achieve the same goal of police accountability to the citizens of the city of Chicago.
We defend and call for extension of affirmative action programs to end the legacy of white supremacy and genocide practiced against peoples of color in the United States. We also struggle for full representation of Black people and others in the elected bodies of city, state, and federal government.
The CAARPR has established a Human Rights Award which is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of justice and human rights.
The CAARPR maintains relations with other former branches of the NAARPR in Kentucky and Nevada.
Membership in the Alliance is open to all without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Our organization and all of our members are committed to the fight against white supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and religious bigotry.
Please sign me up as a member of the CAARPR.
My annual dues (January 1 - December 31) of $15.00 (free for prisoners) are enclosed.
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Phone ( )__________________Email___________________
Send to: CAARPR
1325 S. Wabash Ave., Suite #105
Chicago, IL 60605