Confronting Human Rights Abuses in US Prisons
--an interview with Bret Grote of HRC/Fed Up!
By Angola 3 News
Bret Grote is an investigator and organizer with Human Rights Coalition/Fed Up!, a prisoner rights/prison abolitionist organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Grote first became involved with the group after returning from the mobilization in Jena, Louisiana in Fall 2007. HRC sister chapters are in Philadelphia and Chester, PA. While covering a range of topics in this interview, Grote details how HRC/Fed Up! is documenting human rights abuses in Pennsylvania prisons, and using this documentation to fight back.
The website for the founding chapter of Human Rights Coalition (HRC) in Philadelphia says that HRC "was founded in 2001 based on the radical notion that there was a vital segment of the population missing from the organizing work against prisons: the families and loved ones of the over two million prisoners in this country. Not just as spokespeople or tokens, but in decision-making positions, deciding what campaigns to do and what issues to address. Incarcerated brothers took this idea, and asked their family members as well as some supporters to take the lead in building such an organization, and the HRC was born"There are many fronts to fight the prison system on, so many issues to address, but the voices of those most affected: prisoners' families, ex-prisoners and the prisoners themselves, have to be at the forefront of any movement to change and, sometime in the future, to abolish the prison system entirely, because we are the ones who know the intimate pain this system causes."