SPARC-D.C. The first urban chapter of SPARC is made up of a collective of community-based radicals committed to bringing about meaningful social change both inside and outside of prison. Our grouping is not rooted in racial or dogmatic ideological frameworks. Instead we are a multi-ethnic group, consisting of folks from varying social backgrounds and political persuasions. In essence, we are a Internationalist minded Mass-Based organization.

We are true proponents of community empowerment, and are stout in our belief that each human being within these communities has something meaningful to contribute. For the human population is made up of such beautiful, caring, capable beings, who in many cases only act otherwise because they have been conditioned since birth to think otherwise.

As most of you are aware, SPARC was founded in southwest Virginia by a group of committed radicals and politicized prisoners as a direct response to the abusive practices taking place in the state’s two supermax prisons – Red Onion State Prison and Wallens Ridge State Prison. Being a prisoner at both facilities throughout this period, and so knowing firsthand the brutal reality of life within these sorts of institutions, I can say through my own experience that the work of SPARC members was commendable – as it remains to be. The organization has, in every sense that’s real, established a genuine INSIDE-OUTSIDE support structure for prisoners being legally warehoused in Virginia.

When we decided to launch a Washington D.C. chapter of SPARC, the idea was to bring these efforts into urban communities and be a causeway between the cities and the rural communities. As stated I am a member of the ex-prisoner class, and know firsthand the many challenges faced by those returning to a setting that they have been completely removed from for years. And unfortunately, most of these men and women are returning to communities that are still suffering from the effects of decades old governmental neglect, brutal police occupation, drug epidemics, mass-poverty, high unemployment rates, high illiteracy rates, high crime rates, etc. So the question remains, what happens to these men and women after they pay their so-called ‘debt to society’?

Well, most find that despite how much time they may have spent in prison, they still have not paid a big enough debt to acquire the right to earn a living. They will find, as I myself have, that ex-prisoners are almost completely excluded from any sort of solid socio-economic participation. So it was these folks that we had in mind when we decided to launch SPARC-D.C.

Our primary goals and visions at this early stage of organizing are as follows: Prisoner re-entry programs, Creating Inside-Outside Communication to stage meaningful solidarity actions, Continuing to expose abuses taking place on the inside, Free books to prisoners programs, Educational Curriculum, Visitation transportation assistance, Resource collection and distribution, and last but not least, The 50 Boot Project, which is a collective of community members that are committed to providing immediate material assistance, neighborhood protection, and addressing any other challenges that the community faces. Hopefully as we move forward, we will continuously find committed people to help carry out the visions stated above. For we must, as swiftly as possible, create a strong network of resistance driven by material results and grounded in revolutionary values – our very lives depend upon it! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Presently, the scope of our work is limited. This is primarily due to our lack of readily accessible material resources. But we are tirelessly addressing this issue. For we completely understand that people are the most valuable natural resource in existence, and as long as we remain aligned with the true needs and desires of the masses, material resources will be forthcoming. For a well- organized community is itself the basis and means for securing it’s own survival. No one can deny this. Not even the notoriously anti-social Monopoly Capitalist class itself. For nothing more than a sick and ceaseless worship of capital has allowed this blood-sucking system to remain in existence. Nothing else would have been sufficient to the maintenance of power / bourgeoisie dictatorship. This same tenacity – using love as our driving force as opposed to greed – must be applied in our efforts to secure first the survival of the human race, and then the unconditional liberation of means of production and distribution. ALL POWER TO THE MASSES!

-John Gaskins SPARC

SPARC is a revolutionary mass organization in Virgina and DC you can check them out at the web addresses below:

SPARC on Facebook




This entry was posted in Editor's desk, news, opinion, prisons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.