01/08/2011 § Leave a comment
via dave jenkins by our folks at critical resistance. the video captures the attempt in new orleans to expand prison beds ($250 million tag), while core social services remain devastatingly underfunded. this model of investing in repression while letting core community infrastructure rot out feels acutely egregious, but is actually emblematic of this country’s direction for the last 40 years. we have the case for participatory budgeting and prison abolition rolled into one.
12/14/2010 § Leave a comment
5 days ago, georgia prisoners in up to 10 institutions started the biggest prison strike in US history. GA prisoners have halted operations of their institutions, demanding a LIVING WAGE FOR WORK. this situation is very current, elaine brown former black panther party chair is serving as outside spokesperson. (check out their demands at the bottom of this post)
although the current strike is a multi institutional effort (the beauty of contraband cell phones sold to prisoners by guards), there are obvious similarities to the walpole prisoners strike in Massachusetts 1973. jamie bissonette, a personal mentor, captures this 3 month prison rebellion in her book “when the prisoners ran walpole: a true story in this history of prison abolition,” reviewed by my true homie toussaint. during this time, the prisoners went on a 70 day strike, which ended with a walk out by the prison guards, leaving the prisoners to run the institution on their own. the organization of prisoners: the National Prisoners’ Reform Association opened up the prison to 24/7 outside civilian observers, where the prisoners maintained facilities operations and ended interracial violence for the first sustained period in institutional history. the prisoners sought formal recognition by the national labor rights board (or whatever they’re called) for official certification as a labor union. though denied, the inclination of prisoners to self identify as workers propelled the historic moment and reemerges in the organic rebellion in georgia today.
09/01/2010 § Leave a comment
“globalization” and the “war on drugs” both started in the early 70’s:
prison population in US: war on drugs, prison industrial complex, the beast etc.
wealth gap in US: rich got richer, globalization, neolibearlism etc.
jobless males + prison growth: the hood, the struggle, the untenable ‘solution’ etc.
lets also note that once you’re incarcerated, you are no longer counted amongst the unemployed
08/05/2010 § Leave a comment
07/08/2010 § 3 Comments
earlier today, johannes mehserle, former BART police, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting death of oscar grant. the 12 person jury – 8 women, 4 men; 7 white, 4 poc, 1 n/a, 0 black – decided between involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter or second degree murder.
involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of 2-4 years whereas second degree sentences would be from 15 years-life.
oscar was killed on new years eve at a transit stop where police were harassing grant and his friends on some routine racism. as onlookers protested the excessive force against the young black men, mehserle pulled out his gun while grant was held face down, and shot a bullet into his back.
04/14/2010 § 5 Comments
michelle alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness.
as a prison abolitionist, the crisis of racialized policing and mass incarceration is probably the issue that strikes most deeply at my emotional-political core. since starting this blog, i haven’t been able to muster the energy to write on the topic. probably because it feels too much like work and also because the task of succinct articulation is so overwhelming. but ive decided to broach it by sharing alexander’s provocative thesis: mass incarceration = modern day jim crow, and let her do the talking.
ive gathered some “prison stats 101” to supplement, and for future reference on the subject:
prison growth: between 1970 and the present, the US prison population has grown from about 250,000 state and federal prisoners to over 2.3 million prisoners.