1. THE DEMANDS
Raise The Age
Two states in the country automatically prosecute ALL kids 16 years old or older as adults for ALL crimes. One is North Carolina - the other is New York. This is a complete and total embarrassment. Over 100 organizations throughout the State of New York are demanding the minimum age of adult prosecution for crimes be raised to 18 - with exceptions made only in the most serious violent felonies.
In his recent 2017 State of the State Address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made "Raise The Age" an official part of his criminal justice reform plan for the state. Now, the state legislature must make it law.
Pass the 2017 Criminal Justice Reform Act
The 2017 Criminal Justice Reform Act is not perfect, but it is a good start. Governor Cuomo has fully endorsed it and has now called on the state legislature to make it law. In addition to raising the age of prosecutions in the state, it:
- Radically reforms the bail system in the State of New York. As it stands right now, poor and working class people in New York are guilty until proven innocent because of an unjust bail system. When arrested for any crime, big or small, tens of thousands of New York residents often remain in jail not just for days or weeks, but sometimes for years, simply because they could not afford bail. Kalief Browder, who was wrongly arrested for stealing a backpack, spent nearly 3 years in Rikers Island because he could not afford bail. He was never tried. Eventually the charges were simply dropped. While in Rikers he was continually brutalized. After his release, he took his own life. We cannot have one justice system for the wealthy and a completely different system for everyone else.
- Ensures actual access to a truly speedy trial. Throughout the State of New York, thousands of men, women, and children have been languishing in jails and prisons for years while they wait for trial. New York actually has people who have been waiting for longer than five years to go to trial. This is not simply outrageous - it is a violation of their constitutional rights.
- Mandates that police interrogations must be filmed. To protect the integrity and reliability of "evidence" obtained during interrogations, the entire interrogation must be filmed, with clear audio and video.
- Complete overhauls witness identification programs. It has been repeatedly proven that witnesses have been coached to identify particular people in photo lineups. This can only be stopped by having a double blind process in which the person leading the identification process does not know the identification of the person. Evidence collected outside of the double blind process should not be allowed in court. This essential reform has been agreed upon by the Innocence Project, the New York State District Attorneys Association, and the New York State Bar Association.
A Credible, Binding Plan to Close Rikers Island
It is widely agreed upon that Rikers Island is, and has been, a corrupt, violent hell hole. Over 80% of the people who are there are only there because they could not afford bail at arraignment. 40% of the people there have diagnosed mental health conditions. And, in spite of representing just 56% of New York City's population, over 90% of the people being held at Rikers are Black and Latino.
This is not OK. We accept that this is an ambitious, complicated, and expensive action, but what we have right now is so grossly unethical, so dangerous and despicable, that a serious, viable alternative must be created. Rikers Island must be closed.
2. THE BOYCOTT
As of Tuesday, January 17th we are announcing a full tourism boycott of the entire State of New York until we feel that our reasonable demands are met. This could last for 381 days, like the Montgomery Bus Boycott. We will boycott the State of New York, including New York City, for as long as it takes change to happen. To be clear, we love New York. It is not our preference to boycott the city and state we love, but we refuse to continue to accept sustained injustice from our elected officials, with almost complete silence from the many corporations that call the New York home. We must hold our "progressive" cities and leaders accountable for the reputations that they often do not deserve.
On Tuesday, January 24th, we will launch a "Buycott" of businesses in New York which support our demands for reforms. If your business does not support these humane reforms, it will remain on the boycott list indefinitely. If you support the reforms, we will not only remove your name from the boycott, but we will publicly support and endorse your business to our growing base of supporters in all 50 states and over 50 countries.
If our demands are not met by Thursday, March 9th, we will begin boycotts of the following financial institutions:
BANK OF AMERICA
FIRST REPUBLIC BANK
J.P. MORGAN CHASE
These banks invest their customers’ money in private prison stocks and loans for the companies constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Both the Dakota Access Pipeline and mass incarceration are supported by a militarized police force with no regard for the human and civil rights of black people, people of color, indigenous people, queer and trans* people, undocumented people, and differently-abled people.
Before Trump’s election, the targeted banks held more than 9 million shares in these two corporations. This figure is likely higher given that shares in Core Civic and GEO Group soared 43 percent and 21 percent, respectively, the day after the election.
As of September 30th, Bank of America was the largest shareholder of CoreCivic Inc.
3. How To Boycott These Banks
(STARTING ON THURSDAY, MARCH 9th, 2017)
Open an account at a vetted credit union near you. We will be posting a national list soon.
Schedule a one-time transfer to your new credit union account. Please note transferring your funds may be subject to nominal fees.
Transfer FAQ for Wells Fargo customers (refer to your “Fee and Account Information Schedule”)
Inter-institution transfers for Citibank customers (Free)
Transfers for US Bank
We will be announcing separate transfer plans for business accounts.
We are actively working with other socially aware banks and credit unions to offer easy transfers for the Injustice Boycott.