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Join the call to #FreeThemAll

We must work for a future without incarceration—and demand systems that promote healing, not punitive, justice.

#FreeThemAll week of action December 10-18

Everyone deserves dignity and justice. But in the United States, 2.3 million people are locked away in prisons, jails, and detention centers because of racist law enforcement, and a legal system whose only solution is violence and confinement.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the U.S. and disproportionately impacting incarcerated people, we mobilized under the banner of #FreeThemAll, working to get as many people out of prisons, jails, and immigration and juvenile detention centers as possible. Since then, we have made significant progress towards that goal.

In New Jersey, we helped pass legislation that made 2,000 people immediately eligible for release from state prison, and several months later helped pass another bill to phase out immigration detention in the state. In New York, we helped pass parole reform that led to the immediate release of 200 people and will keep many more out of prison. In Washington, we helped pass legislation banning private prisons and detention centers. 

But our work is not over as long as millions more remain behind bars. From Dec. 10, which marks International Human Rights Day, through Dec. 18, which marks the International Day of the Migrant, AFSC and partners will be hosting a national week of action to #FreeThemAll.

Get involved

1. Take action online. 

Tell your governor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP): Protect incarcerated people from COVID-19 in prisons, jails, and detention centers! 

2. Attend an event!

The border and surveillance industries: Divest for immigrant justice!

Dec. 14, 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT

How can you support the call to divest for immigrant justice? AFSC’s Investigate Project has identified more than 60 companies with significant involvement in the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border and in the surveillance and criminalization of immigrant communities. In this webinar, we’ll discuss the first-ever divestment list designed to promote immigrant justice and how you can take action today. 

Facebook Live: #FreeThemAll success stories

Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT

Across the country, communities are calling for the immediate release of people from behind bars. Join AFSC’s Chia-Chia Wang and other staff members as they share local successes in these efforts—and inspire us all in working for a world where all people are free.

#FreeThemAll phone zap

Dec. 16, 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT

Join us for a virtual phone bank to tell government officials: It’s time to work for a future without prisons, jails, or detention centers!  We'll provide background and training—all you need is a phone and internet access. Together we can make hundreds of calls to make our voices heard!

#FreeThemAll New Year 2022 Letter Writing Drive

Dec. 18, 2 - 4:30 p.m. ET / 5 - 7:30 p.m. PT
Centro Cultural de la Raza
2004 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101

On International Migrants Day, join AFSC and Detention Resistance for our first End of Year Letter Writing Drive to compas detained in Otay Mesa Detention Center. Check out these letter writing tips and download our graphic to use for your card or letter. People who can't join us in person are invited to send theirs to Detention Resistance, who will address it and include it in the drive. Please mail to: 2801 B St., #172, San Diego CA 92102.

3. Learn more about the call to #FreeThemAll. 

Explore our resources below, including highlights from our "From Attica to Abolition" webinar, recommended readings, and more. 

Learn more

How to talk about ending incarceration and detention

Use these tips from our recent messaging study to shape your conversations with others as well as your advocacy and outreach.


A history of the Attica uprising

In popular culture, the legacy of Attica is invoked by a chant (“Attica! Attica!”) to signal that excessive force and brutalization by police is imminent. The uprising ignited a new awareness around prison conditions.


#FreeThemAll campaign gains momentum

On the anniversary of Attica uprising, thousands participate in national days of action.


Why #FreeThemAll

Instead of trying to “fix” the systems of incarceration we have, it is time for us to build something new.


Highlights: "From Attica to Abolition" webinar

Hear from Attica organizer Tyrone Larkins, environmental and racial justice organizer Siwatu Salama-Ra, immigrant rights and reproductive justice organizers, and AFSC staff Laura Magnani and Debbie Southorn. Plus, get our learning resource toolkit.

Love to Black Immigrants Video Cover

Love to Black Immigrants Teach-In & Letter Writing (Video)

 On International Migrants Day the AFSC, ABISA, the Black LGBTQIA Migrant Project, Haitian...

Compounding Suffering During a Pandemic: A Case Study in ICE's Detention Failures

AFSC, Detention Resistance, and Pueblo Sin Fronteras provide an overview of the immigration detention system, and analyze the impact of COVID-19 on individuals in ICE detention at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, and the government’s failure at providing the necessary protections.


Why we support the call to #FreeThemAll

No one is served by keeping millions in cages—not in pandemic, not ever.


Attica Prison Uprising 101

Learn more about the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 using this primer for educators and organizers, created by By Mariame Kaba of Project NIA.



Protecting people in prison during COVID-19

AFSC's Jacqueline Williams discusses why we must free people from incarceration now while continuing our work to abolish prisons.


I'm an immigration attorney ill with COVID-19. But it's my detained clients' lives I fear for the most

As we jump through bureaucratic hoops and submit motion after appeal after petition, people are getting sicker and more scared, writes AFSC's Joelle Lingat.


COVID-19 cases are rising in U.S. prisons. I’m worried my father might be affected

Government officials must work to protect incarcerated people during this pandemic, writes Kharon Benson.


Call to reflection and worship to #FreeThemAll

See excerpts from the closing event of National Days of Action to #FreeThemAll

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