[A big up to a new writer. This is, I think his first piece and we look forward to many more. WB]
Just a quick fact that I think speaks volumes when it comes to showing who are the REAL oppressive regimes in the world:
“The number of people in jail in the United States rose to more than two million for the first time ever last year, the government has said.”…
…”The US currently incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.
In China, which has a population of about 1.3 billion, there are more than 1.4 million inmates, according to Britain’s Home Office. The US has a population of 286 million. “ BBC 2003
So that wonderful ‘Land of the Free’, with a population only around a sixth of that of China, incarcerates nearly double the amount of it’s populace. Shocking and deeply saddening. One should also remember that Abu ghraib is not a first for the US, a quick look at the history of inmate treatment within the US shows that Abu ghraib is just a continuation of long-established profoundly cruel policy towards working people. The overwhelming majority of these incarcerated souls in the good ol’ U S of A have done virtually nothing e.g. getting long prison sentences for being caught with a joint; others have suffered from the evil draconian “3 Strikes and You Are in for Life” policy. Also notice how a disproportionate amount of the victims of these wicked policies are Latino and African American. This gives weight to the well-known American thrase: there are 2 types of prison time: white time & black time. Believe me you never want to do black time! A lot of these so-called drug offenders have in reality been set-up. An extract from an article by Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, displays this disgusting criminal behaviour by the so-called ‘justice’ system:
“Almost one-half million Americans are in prison for drugs-only offenses. Many of them are innocent or were encouraged by federal agents or informers posing as friends to transport small amounts of drugs as a favor.
Consider Elaine Bartlett, pardoned by New York Gov. George Pataki in 2000 after serving 16 years of a 20-year-sentence. Bartlett was tricked by an acquaintance, who turned out to be a government informant, into taking four ounces of cocaine to Albany. Bartlett was given 20 years even though she had no history of arrests or convictions and left 4 children behind, the oldest being 10 years old. “
Roberts goes on to show the devasting effect this had on Bartlett’s family as well as her-self:
“Society gained nothing but more criminals by locking up Bartlett. Her six-year-old son was traumatized by his mother’s absence. At the end of every prison visit he had to be forcefully removed by prison guards from clinging to his mother. By the time he was 10 years old, he was a drug runner. He bought his first gun at age 12 and was in prison by age 16. You can read the whole story in the book, Life on the Outside, by Jennifer Gonnerman.”
As Ralph Schoenman, and others, has commented this is the criminalisation of poverty. As per usual with our ‘wonderfully tolerant’ western society the victims are punished for being victims whilst the REAL criminals, the real cause of the desperate acts of the poor, are rewarded and treated like angels. Makes you fuckin’ sick thinking about it. But it needs to be thought about, and told to others. In reality the majority of imprisoned working peoples are political prisoners by virtue of the fact that their real crime against the system is that of refusing to suffer in silence. It may not be expressed consciously in a direct challenge to the the brutal ruling elite, but on a subconcious level I would postulate that these are acts of pissing in the machine so to speak. We should also note that for a country as minute in size as our own ‘loving’ UK, the prison population is also very high for a supposed progressive society. And if they are not physically in prison, then are tagged liked animals or razor-blades in supermarkets. What’s gonna happen next? Will homeless people be classed as enemies of the State?
I’ll finish off with a little excerpt from one of the other linked articles. For those of you naive enough to think that Bill Clinton and the ‘Democrats’ were any different from the current gang:
“Under the previous Bush administration, the chances of being jailed for a drug offence rose from about 15% to more than 50%, while the Clinton administration offered financial incentives to states which ensured criminals did not serve less than 85% of their sentence.” BBC 2003
One of the biggest donations given to the criminal Clinton’s election campaign was the PRIVATE run-for-profit prison corporation Wackenhut. Their share prices are related to the amount of souls incarcerated within their hell dungeons. This is as black and white as it gets people, Clinton was paying his benefactor back by incarcerating more people!!!! I think neo-slavery would be a correct term to describe this disgusting and wicked policy.
Oh, by the way, thanks to the human weasel Jack Straw (& others); Wackenhut have major contracts running prisons and youth-offending institutions in the UK. So it’s not just ‘over there’ that this terrible injustice is being played-out, it’s also ‘over here’.
Terrible, just terrible