This Friday: 5pm April 1st at UC Berkeley Haas Pavilion
"From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted--and Hillary Clinton supported--decimated black America." - Michelle Alexander, The Nation, February 10th.
On April 1st former US President Bill Clinton is speaking at UC Berkeley during the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference. His presidency engineered the structural racism of mass incarceration. The Welfare Reform Act (1996) pulled the rug out from under African American communities. The "Tough On Crime" Bill (1994) destroyed families as it incarcerated masses of jobless black men and barred them from employment, housing and welfare. In short, his presidency slashed public welfare programs and transferred the funding to a massive expansion of policing and prisons. A black child born today has a 1 in 3 chance of spending time in prison, a latino child 1 in 6, and a white child 1 in 17. This is on Bill Clinton.
We want to remind Clinton of the real destructive consequences of his policies. Mass incarceration and structural racism exist today. Apologies are not going to give the incarcerated their freedom back and restore destroyed families. The positive image that the Clintons' sponsorship of education and research creates should not go unchallenged. They should not be allowed to forget and neither should we. In 1992 Clinton used the execution of the mentally impaired black man Ricky Ray Rector as a publicity stunt to prove that he was tough on crime: "I can be nicked a lot, but no one can say I'm soft on crime," he said afterwards. All the philanthropy in the world should not be allowed to overshadow this legacy.
This protest is organized by activists from Socialist Alternative and other organizations, on and off campus.
We refuse to let the Clintons use our campus as tool for whitewashing their legacy. Join us at 5pm outside the Haas Pavilion April 1st to protest mass incarceration. We demand:
- End mass incarceration!
- End racist police violence!
- Defund the prison-industrial complex!
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