Tune in this Friday at 5:30 on CJSR 88.5 FM or www.cjsr.com for our second FunDrive show. This week the theme is Resistance and we’ll be airing excerpts from my interview with Vikki Law, the keynote speaker at this year’s Anarchist Bookfair, about the resistance of women in prisons. The Anarchist Bookfair begins Friday, October 2 at the Ukrainian Centre. Doors open at 6:30 for the 7pm keynote. The fair runs until Sunday afternoon. There will be workshops on Saturday and Sunday, Vikki is facilitating one on Saturday which will look at how people can get involved in prisoner support and resistance.
After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications, such as Clamor magazine, the website “Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance” and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives.
I really recommend that you come and hear her speak; the work she does is incredible. In facilitating Tenacious, she has given women a voice and forum. Her writing criticizes past research which has ignored uprising in women’s prisons and brings attention to issues facing women prisoners in the US, everything from the cost of tampons to the lack of jobs to the fact that the women lose all parental rights if their children have been in foster care for more than 15 of the past 22 months. This Bitch interview (pdf) provides background information on Vikki Law’s work in prisons, while this interview with Grassroots Feminism provides more information about her work on Tenacious. And be sure to read Law’s own words on how Incarcerated Women Create Their Own Media.
Check out her interview with Vue Weekly.