Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prisons and the Criminal Injustice System

Every since the technical end of slavery there has been a desire and need for Imperialist Capitalism to find a way to continue to control and dominate the masses of Afrikan peoples inside the United Gates of Amerikkka. Prisons have helped to make that possible, along with the entire U.S. Criminal (In)Justice System, and are a vital tool used to accomplish the mission of neutralizing and destabilizing the majority of Afrikans in Amerikkka

In the not so distant past, just as recent as the start of 2011 there has been remarkable and courageous actions taking place across the nation behind the gates, walls and bars of federal and state prisons, detention, and correction facilities. Prisoners all over the United States have gotten together to organize a movement to demand that their voices be heard and their human rights returned and respected.

In both the states of Georgia and California this struggle for human rights has been pushed to the forefront of the overall prison movement. There is no question, no doubt, that no matter their location the conditions inside and throughout U.S. jails are poor, less then inhabitable. The protest and resistance to the policy and practices of the federal and state prison administration and officials is what has lead up to these events. Because of this resistance, circumstances and conditions inside the “belly of the beast” have certainly gone from bad to worse. Prisoners have been brave enough to come together and organize around the issues and concerns faced by all inmates. They are demanding access to quality healthcare, chances for real educational opportunities, an end to torture and humiliation techniques being used against them, abolition of the use of solitary confinement,  and an end to inmate population overcrowding, as well.   

Georgia Prisoners all across the state have made a major contribution to the Prison protest of 2011. Towards the beginning of the year the inmates initiated a work strike protest which took place across the entire state. Prisons for a very long time have relied on and profited from the exploitation of the prison labor force. I response to this exploitation, inmates across Georgia organized peaceful protest around this issue and a number of others. Yet, no matter how peaceful the demonstrations where, the resisters were still meet with the utmost force by government bureaucrats and law officials.

There has now been an ongoing round of damage control and public image responses in the state of Georgia to the protest and demonstrations in the state prisons. The governor and state congress have called for and have, ironically but not unusually, also been put in charge of creating the Prison Reform Commission, a body comprised of s big conglomerate research firm and other individuals with ties and allegiance to the ruling class and the systems and institutions which hold the current prison system together. This is an obvious hustle to give the appearance of solving the problems, while actually covering their own tracks.

Most recently the Prisoners inside the state of California have also taken the role of a vanguard in the fight for human rights. Prisoners in Pelican Bay, Corcoran, Tehachapi, Folsom and Calipatria have organized inmates around a hunger strike to protest overcrowding, little to no healthcare, and no accesses to any form of educational services of programs. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, along with all other elements of the California prison-industrial complex, have become perpetrators of torture. The CDCR has done all in their power to downplay, disrupt and break the California state prisoners’ hunger strike. Nearly 6,600 prisoners across the state have participated in the mass protest. Prisoners are demanding changes in the practice and policy of humiliation, gang classification/validation, as well as long-term and severe solitary confinement and segregation.

Theses prisoners have shown extraordinary bravery in the face of extremely hostile treatment and brutal repression. Suffering alongside many of the brave individuals are the families and friend of these courageous prisoners. The sacrifices and efforts being made behind bars cross the country from Georgia to California must serve as a call to action for all those who still have their rights and freedoms, or at least the perception of such. We must take up the struggle, for it is ours too, to check mate white power, its methods, and tools of exploitation and repression.

In whatever way we take action, we must do just that and build upon the protest and demands made by those currently engaged in this struggle for their human rights. In solidarity with the hunger-strikers, we urge each and every one of you to get involved and show your support to those brothers and sisters locked up and being held down by the prison-industrial complex. Clearly this is glaring evidence of the systematic and structural injustice perpetrated through policing and imprisonment, particularly in poor/working-class and communities of color.

The fight for the rights of prisoners and all poor and oppressed working class Afrikans are intertwined, for we are made up of and from one another and not only our enemy but also our interest are also a commonality we must realize. We stand in solidarity with the efforts, and demands made by the bruthas and sistas that are waging the struggle from the inside…. As long as there’s still one of us is locked up and held down ain't none of us FREE!

2 Response(s):

Man! Really appreciate this article. A real analysis and strategy needs to be implemented that deals with the prison industry and the assault on African people. This is just the opening shot, hopefully it will inspire folks to take this question on in a better way.

This article is well written comrade! As it is becoming evident that the prison question is the one of this generation! We will need shitty sharp analysis to cut through all the bullshit propaganda being imposed on the masses.

Backwards Never!
Cde. Ajamu Bandele (Black Star Action Network)