Socialist Party of Connecticut

Emergency Picket Line 9/13 in Norwalk: Education is NOT a Crime!

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Free Tanya McDowell! Free Education!

Drop all Charges, Education is not a Crime!

What: Emergency Picket line outside the courthouse

When: Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time: 10am

Location: Norwalk Superior Court

17 Belden Avenue, Norwalk, CT

Overview of the case:

In Connecticut, Tanya McDowell, a homeless mother, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine as a result of enrolling her son in her baby sitter’s school district. Prosecutors claim McDowell “stole education” from the Norwalk school district. McDowell’s son was living in Norwalk at a babysitters house. Authorities still demand that she should have enrolled her five year old son in Bridgeport where McDowell had last resided. According to the Norwarlk Patch, “In nearly all other cases in Norwalk, school officials find out that the child is from out of the district, and they decline to bring the matter to prosecutors or even ask the parents for money.”

 

Why Tanya McDowell, why now? As McDowell was completing a drug rehabilitation program police approached her to act as an informant or snitch on drug dealers and users in the Norwalk community. McDowell refused to work with the police and on April 14, 2011 she was arrested on first degree larceny charges for sending her son to school out of district. Since being released on bail McDowell has been targeted by police, incarcerated, and separated from her son.

McDowell’s story speaks volumes about the real motivation for the so-called drug war. The criminalization of an entire community via surveillance, entrapment of vulnerable users, and mass incarceration has been used as a system of racial control and discrimination. In Tanya McDowell’s case, she is being further penalized for trying to better her son’s chances of escaping a community where the police operate in this fashion."

 

contact: Victoria Seville

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