The Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People’s Movement (FICPM) will host its inaugural national conference on November 2nd, 2011 in Los Angeles, with the primary task of ratifying a national agenda that illustrates the Full Restoration of Civil and Human Rights for all people, but particularly those who have been convicted under the United States criminal system. Civil and Human Rights extend to arrestees, juveniles, and the communities being devastated by an aggressive and militarized form of policing.
The choice of date and location is not an accident, as it coincides with the Drug Policy Alliance bi-annual Reform Conference. Some attendees will want to attend both, and DPA also is offering scholarship opportunities to defer the costs. But more importantly, the War on People that is known as “The War on Drugs” has been internationally condemned as a total failure in terms of stopping drug production, reducing drug consumption, and treating addiction. It has cost trillions of dollars as all wars do and created massive devastation and economic instability for those caught in the combat zone- regardless of their role or intention.
What the War on People has been effective at is transferring the American tax dollars towards prisons, prison guards, police, courts, attorneys, and arms manufacturers. It has been very successful at stripping people of their voting rights, creating single-parent or “no-parent” families, and developing an under-caste of society that is expected not to work. The formerly incarcerated and convicted people are expected to fail, and to fill prisons as a product for this industry.
In February of this year, a Steering Committee of eight formerly incarcerated activists called 50 others from across the nation to build a foundation for Los Angeles, out of which came a statement known as The Clarion Call. This gathering came from a line of organizing that includes The Resolution made by a People’s Movement Assembly at the U.S. Social Forum of 2010, along with prior DPA Conferences and Social Forums.