We participated in a panel at the close of October with Organized Communities Against Deportations to draw public attention to the case of one of their members, Francisco Silva. It’s an honor to support OCAD’s efforts, and to remind non-immigrant communities it is our duty to #AbolishICE, divesting from incarceration and investing in support systems for undocumented and immigrant communities.

We also have a new feature in Them coming out this month, highlighting the story of another OCAD member, Francisco Morales Torres, who has been in ICE detention for over a year, despite being granted asylum by a federal judge in March of 2019. His story highlights the indistinguishability of ICE and local police forces, how mental illness and lack of healthcare lead to the targeting of immigrant communities, and how trans and queer asylum seekers are in particular danger of violence while in detention. We hope you will share his story, and donate to his cause.

We are honored to be interviewed on the Crossroads Fund’s podcast Queering Left, celebrating radical queer organizing in Chicago in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. We will be recording an episode alongside the legendary Eisha Love later this month, discussing trans- and queer-led prison abolition organizing. Stay tuned!

On November 14th we will be participating for our second year in Forward Together’s Trans Day of Resilience, dropping a poem titled “Layleen’s Bill (With Revisions)” in honor of Layleen Cubilette-Polanco Xtravaganza, who was found dead in her jail cell at Riker’s Island prison this past June. This poem will accompany a remarkable painting by visual artist Glori Tuitt.

This collaboration is of particular importance to us in light of New York City Council’s recent awarding of a contract for the construction of four new jails to AECOM, the same conglomerate that won the contract to build a multi-million-dollar police academy here in Chicago. We mourn and celebrate Layleen this month, insisting that the only way toward gender liberation is through prison abolition—which means #NoNewJails!

Look out for our collaboration, as well as those of the other TGNC writers and artists participating in #TDOR2019!

BH