Gotham Gazette"Now my son is considering taking a plea. It’s really tempting – he wants to be home, and he especially wants to get out of Rikers. But it’s not fair. My son, like so many others, was harassed by the police for being homeless, held for ransom by a judge, and denied due process by guards who don’t care about doing their jobs. Where’s the justice in that?" - Freedom Agenda Member, P. Mass
New York Times"The city has for years capped the number of mobile food vending permits at 2,900...“Everybody operating without one of these permits is sadly considered a criminal and being treated as one by the N.Y.P.D. and by the other agencies,” said Mohamed Attia, managing director of the Street Vendor Project."
City Limits“Every one of these deaths is a tragedy that was likely preventable,” said Peter Malvan, a homeless rights advocate with the Safety Net Project. “Housing is a basic human need, and housing is what homeless New Yorkers need—not constant harassment by city agencies.”
Dartmouth Student Prison Initiative hosts virtual webinar, “The Crisis at Rikers Island: A Call to End Mass Incarceration”
The Dartmouth“Co-head of DSPI Esme Lee ’24, who organized the webinar, said that she reached out to The Freedom Agenda –– an advocacy group pursuing decarceration and investments in communities disrupted by punishment –– to see what DSPI could do on campus to advocate for the end to mass incarceration.”
CBS News 12“For them to sit here in the conditions that they are - any human being - it becomes an issue of human rights. It’s no longer a thing of right and wrong. The basic needs need to be met,” said Hope Sanders from Freedom Agenda.
NYN Media“I was a teenager when I spent 19 months on Rikers Island, when the population was over 21,000. It was a crisis back then. Decades of lack of transparency, decades of lack of accountability contributed to the crisis. And the pandemic exacerbated the crisis. Jail guards not going to work exacerbated the crisis” said Darren Mack, formerly incarcerated activist and organizer at the Freedom Agenda."
Organizers are demanding release for people at Rikers Island after photos reveal gruesome conditions
Prism“Darren Mack, who is the co-director of Freedom Agenda, the leader of the coalition that forms the Campaign to Close Rikers, spent 19 months at Rikers when he was just 17 years old in 1992... 'Rikers is managed through terror, through brutality,' Mack said. 'The same thing that was plaguing Rikers Island then is plaguing Rikers Island now.'”
Manhattan Times“The MTA rules the mayor plans to rely on are unlawful and discriminate against homeless New Yorkers,” [Peter] Malvan [of the Safety Net Project] said in a statement. “This approach is wrongheaded, and unlawful, and is a frightening path to criminalization.
Next City"Advocates for people experiencing homelessness quickly denounced the plan, pointing out that the subway is used as respite from the cold and an alternative to dangerous shelters. “Forcing people off the trains into the freezing cold does not help the homeless,” an advocate from the Safety Net Project tweeted."