Mass incarceration, and disproportionate treatment by all aspects of the Prison Industrial Complex, is a cultural knee on the neck of the Black community as a whole.
Prisoner rights activist Tasha Williams relays reports from prisoners at Soledad State Prison of a brutal attack by guards on Black prisoners. Guards beat them, used chokeholds on them and several other attacks as well as being maskless and yelling at the Black men: “By the time this is over, you N—ers will have COVID-19!”
Prisoner columnist Robert Taliaferro explores how George Floyd’s death sparked a delayed discussion of race. Will such discussions be sustained once the cameras are turned off and the reporters leave, or will they once again fall short of needed reforms and honest solutions?
Prisoner Robert Taliaferro looks forward to what a new governor in Wisconsin may mean for prisoners, especially prisoners of color, who have suffered under Governors Tommy Thompson and Scott Walker.
Readers’ Views on: Capitalism vs. the Planet; Anti-Semitism’s Inhumanity; Kavanaugh Travesty; Youth Rock!; Freedom Movements vs. Fascism across the Globe; Catholic Church Crisis; Voices from behind Bars
We look at the true opposition to Trumpism: mass revolt worldwide of women, youth, Black people, labor…–the context to work for new beginnings.
Readers’ Views on Indignant Heart; Justice and ‘Justice’; Youth in Action; Free Press?; Fight Prison Censors!; Voices from Behind Bars.
Readers’ Views on Women’s Marches; Iran in Revolt; Around the Globe; Race and Freedom; Queer Oppression; Why Read N&L?
Prisoner Faruq writes of “those of us confined behind prison walls [who] recognize the pressing need to unify the prison population in the different prisons.”
Readers’ Views on Women’s Liberation struggle continue and voices from behind bars.
Prisoner Fredd writes about his prison censoring many publications, including News & Letters, for trumped up reasons, and asks for help in fighting for his right to read.
Readers’ Views: Marx’s concept of theory; we are not a game; voices from behind bars.
Among the reasons U.S. prisoners die in prison or are unable to reintegrate into society upon release are: lengthy incarceration, especially for minor crimes; lack of mental and physical healthcare; lack of effective rehabilitation.
A Marxist-Humanist analysis of the history and meaning of the rising of the right-wing neo-Nazi white supremacist movement, its relationship to President Donald Trump and his administration, and its challenge to the freedom forces arrayed against it who are fighting for a humanist world. .
Readers’ Views on Cooperative Form of Labor vs. Abstract Labor; Marx vs. Trump-Putin; Voices From Behind Bars
Jonathan J. Rodriguez submits a drawing of the view from his solitary cell.
The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.
Readers’ Views on The Dialectic of History Vs. Retrogression; Prisoners, Supporters Speak.
Readers’ Views on Election Stirs Battles in Thought and in Life; Deep Racism in the USA; Women Fight Back; Indigenous Struggles; Global (In)Humanity; Why Read N&L?
Prisoner Robert Taliaferro discusses the profit made from prisoners by the prison industrial complex and the shame of supposed rehabilitative programs that in reality are required, not for rehabilitation but for continued punishment of prisoners and profit for the prisons.
The Berkeley Human Rights Center hosted a talk, “The (In)Justice System: Incarceration, Education, and Reentry: Reversing the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” part of a series about imprisonment, arbitrary and racist “mass incarceration.” The primary purpose—to create different realities for the incarcerated, the formerly incarcerated, and those yet to be incarcerated—was not made central.
Readers’ Views on Women as Reason; Harriet Tubman; Racism and Internationalism; Bisexual Health; Trans Liberation and Feminism; Chinese State vs. Workers; Nuclear Arms Threaten All; Ireland’s Red Banner; Remembering Olga Domanski; Haggard but Not Tired; Voices from Behind the Bars.
Article by prisoner comparing the U.S. prison system–which commits extortion, assault, theft, substandard medical care, racism and a host of other crimes–to an erupting volcano whose magma destroys all it touches.
Readers’ Views on: The Movements from Practice and from Theory; Berta Caceres; Why Read N&L?; Women’s Liberation; Voices from behind the Bars.
An article by a formerly incarcerated person who gives a critical review of a conference on the criminal (in)justice system that leaves out the heart of the issue because it leaves out those most impacted by incarceration.
Women prisoners in Central California Prison are battered by so-called wellness checks.
Jury unanimously finds that prison guards violated California prisoner Jesse Perez’s constitutional rights.
Philosophy, theory and News & Letters; Flint Part Ii; Mumia Abu-Jamal; Voices from behind the bars.
California prisoners battle barbaric ‘justice’ system; Against ISIS attacks; Women under attack; Support Maati Monjib; The Burmese Way; Race, class & politics.
On the deadly racism of the Chicago and U.S. police and the creative response from those struggling against it.
Prisoner supporters speak out on draconian proposals for Rikers Island jail.
The Raza needs theory that includes struggles within U.S. borders, not simply how to support other people’s struggles. There are issues unique to our existence. Nationalism of the oppressed is applied Internationalism.
Prisoners mourn and remember assassinated prisoner Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell.
Pelican Bay Prison guards use court-ordered “wellness checks” to harass prisoners. They make it impossible for anyone to get any sleep as they rampage through each SHU pod for 10-20 minutes.
Readers’ thoughts on “Dialectics of Philosophy and of Forces of Revolution”; “Free Mumia!”; “Federico Arcos, 1920-2015”; and a section of “Voices from Behind the Bars.”
A Black prisoner looks at the meaning of U.S. racism and the struggle to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds of South Carolina.
A discussion with Philip Zimbardo followed the San Francisco premiere of “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” a movie based on his notorious 1971 experiment. It raises questions about the meaning of being human, which for Marx turned on needing human beings as free beings whose self-determining, free, conscious activity is not a mere means but the first necessity of life.
Prisoner-advocates in Central California Women’s Facility initiated a health information exchange, not just sharing information about health, but acknowledging people taking care of each other under the worst conditions. Such care does exist in the prison and it needs support to strengthen and reinforce it.
Black lives as Subject; Russia in crisis; Nothing about us without us; Homelessness in L.A.; Central Canada Alliance; Perspectives and philosophy; Elderly to the streets?; Women and Yemen half-peace; Labor and climate justice; Dialectic and women’s liberation; Voices from behind the bars
Prisoner Rand W. Gould writes to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder about what is wrong with continued incarceration of elderly prisoners.
Pelican Bay Prison, Calif.—Twelve years have passed since I entered the Security Housing Unit (SHU) on gang validation. This year I turned 53 years old. My cognitive skills over this past decade have taken an odd turn. The deterioration is discernible. When I first arrived I was attentive and, if you’ll excuse the expression, bright-eyed. I thought I could beat this thing, whatever this thing was. I confess—I was ignorant.
Nothing can prepare you for entering the Security Housing Unit (SHU). It’s a world unto itself where cold, quiet and emptiness come together, seeping into your bones, then eventually the mind.
Dunayevskaya’s letters on Hegel’s Absolutes; Bhopal toxic disaster; Voices from behind the bars
From Ferguson to Staten Island; Revolutionary Rojava; Youth Protest; Violence Against Women; Detroit Solidarity; Paris March; Recalling Mary Jo
Stepping across the threshold of this particular Death’s door, I was greeted by the spectacle of ancient and sick prisoners in wheelchairs being rolled silently through the hallways, looking like so many ghosts in some haunted asylum.
As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?
Protests erupted following the decision by a St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the cold-blooded murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Thousands marched under the slogan “Black Lives Matter!” These demonstrations grew in the wake of the equally outrageous decision of a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the murder of Eric Garner.
Protests erupted after the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner were let off. They mark a new moment of rebellion against a social order in which Black youth are made to live continuously suspended over an abyss of non-existence.
The passion to tear up this deeply racist society by the roots calls for the fullest development in activity and thought.
A participant reports on demonstrations in St. Louis and Memphis over the killing of Michael Brown and others by police.
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Readers’ Views, Part 2
PHILOSOPHY, ACTIVITY, ORGANIZATION AND SOCIALISM
I appreciate how Dunayevskaya relates Hegel’s Absolutes with the concrete tasks of building a revolutionary organization. History is the process of becoming. Hegel said that Being and Nothing are abstractions, whereas [=>]