Cuomo’s Pipelines: Prisons to Poisons rally
New York, NY – Over 100 New Yorkers came together outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel on June 18, 2018, calling on the New York governor to act on climate and prison injustice under the umbrella of “Cuomo’s Pipelines: Prisons to Poisons Are Bad For New York.” This is the first time these two movements have come together to demand systemic change from the governor. Activists stressed that their campaign to pressure Cuomo will continue throughout the summer and fall.

Activists demand Cuomo live up to his own rhetoric on climate change by stopping fossil fuel infrastructure projects and launching a bold plan to get the state to 100% renewable energy and bring an end to mass criminalization and mass incarceration across issues, and overhaul bail, speedy trial and discovery laws, end long-term solitary confinement, and release aging and older people in prison and survivors of domestic and gender based violence.

Climate activists connected the fight to get off fossil fuels to the unique threats climate change poses to New Yorkers, and how recent climate disasters demand swift action.

“We will continue to escalate our demands of Governor Cuomo to halt fracking infrastructure and push for community-led renewable energy in New York,” said Kim Fraczek, the Director of Sane Energy Project. “Earth’s life sustaining climate is reaching a breaking point rapidly, and New York is in a position to set a national standard for climate leadership. However, Cuomo continues to give business to the same destructive corporate powers. It’s time for real change."

A broad coalition of advocates, formerly incarcerated people, family members, and members of the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign, Survived & Punished NYC, JustLeadershipUSA, and NY CAIC’s #HALTsolitary Campaign also rallied for an end to mass criminalization and mass incarceration across issues, calling on Governor Cuomo to be a real progressive and overhaul bail, speedy trial and discovery laws, end long-term solitary confinement, and release aging and older people in prison and survivors of domestic and gender based violence.

“The Campaign For Alternatives to Isolated Confinement stands in solidarity with the gathered groups to address and say to Governor Cuomo and other policy makers that ‘We the People’ demand fairer and more just systemic change to reflect the real needs of the people,” said the Campaign’s Organizer, Victor Pate. “NY must pass the HALT Solitary Confinement Act to end the torture of solitary for all people, bring pre-trial and parole justice, protect DV survivors, and transform the entire injustice system that is destroying people, families, and communities.

As Governor Cuomo runs for a third term, New Yorkers gathered to take a stand against the unjust and racist policies and practices that have become the legacy of prisons and jails throughout New York State. They also called on the Governor to use his executive power to grant more clemencies, commutations and pardons.

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