Freitag, 28. März 2014

From Carl Dix: Why Did Cornel West and I Propose a Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration in October 2014?

March 24, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us Because: In January 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a letter saying that “conditions at Tutwiler prison violate the constitutional rights” of the women imprisoned there. The justice department letter said: “Staff have raped, sodomized, fondled, and exposed themselves to prisoners. They have coerced prisoners to engage in oral sex.” Women at the prison charge that guards have forced prisoners to submit to sexual assault to get basic necessities like toilet paper and tampons; Eight prisoners held at the Georgia Diagnostics and Classifications Prison near Jackson, Georgia, have been on hunger strike for more than a month in protest of abuse and threats from prison guards. The male prisoners have written letters charging that guards have targeted prisoners with beatings and sexual assault. 1,200 Immigrants held in detention centers in Tacoma, Washington, went on hunger strike. Their demands include safer working conditions, better treatment by guards, more sanitary food options, and for Obama to sign an executive order halting deportations until the U.S. immigration system is overhauled. More than 100 immigrants held in a detention center at Conroe, Texas, went on hunger strikes over similar demands. Both these detention centers are run by the private prison corporation GEO Group. Jerome Murdough, a 56-year-old man who was arrested for trespassing while sleeping in a stairwell on a frigid night, was literally baked to death in a cell at the Rikers Island prison in New York City. Although he was mentally ill and supposed to be checked on every 15 minutes, the temperature in his cell soared over 100 degrees for hours, leading to his death. Earlier this month, police in Iberia, Louisiana, claimed that Victor White, a 22-year-old Black man who had been arrested, searched and handcuffed, and placed in a police car shot himself in the back with a gun that the cops who arrested and searched him failed to locate. Cops in Durham, North Carolina, claimed that 17-year-old Jesus Huerta did the same in November 2013. On March 6, a federal jury rejected a civil rights and wrongful death suit filed against the city of Anaheim and one of its cops by the family of Manuel Diaz. Diaz, who was unarmed, was shot in the back of the head in June 2012, but the jury found the killing justified because Diaz was in a high crime area and dressed “like a gang member.” If you agree that these and the many more horrors enforced on people by the criminal “injustice” system in this country are illegitimate and unacceptable and must be stopped, then join us in making this month of resistance as powerful as possible; powerful enough to change the way millions of people see mass incarceration. Contact the Stop Mass Incarceration Network at: stopmassincarceration@gmail.com, (347) 979-SMIN (7646) or PO Box 941, Knickerbocker Station, New York, NY 10002-0900.

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