Zombie Prisons

2

Transcribed from the 2 August 2014 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:

 

“We’re going to see the rise of a mass detention and deportation system [for immigrants] that will very much rival mass incarceration, and could actually grow as mass incarceration shrinks.”

Chuck Mertz: Live from Berkeley, Jonathan Simon is author of Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America. Good morning, Jonathan.

Jonathan Simon: Morning, Chuck.

CM: You write, “Like a biblical flood, the age of mass incarceration is finally ebbing. After forty years, not forty days, a once-unstoppable tide of harsh sentencing laws, aggressive prosecution policies, and diminished opportunities for parole seems to be subsiding.”

Forty years is two whole generations of human beings. What do you think the cultural legacy of that mass incarceration is, or will be?

Continue Reading

RSB Statement on Torture of Refugees in North Rhein-Westphalia

Deutsche originalversion kann hier gelesen werden / Original German (and further articles in many languages) at the excellent Refugee Strike Berlin blog

Refugee Strike Berlin’s Statement on Torture of Refugees in North Rhein-Westphalia

On Sunday, 28 September 2014, several cases of abuse of refugees by private security personnel in German refugee centers were made public.

We are outraged. We are furious. We are not, however, surprised. It was not without reason that we left the camps ourselves.

Continue Reading

Counterinsurgency in America

3

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 6 September 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:

 

“We face a state that treats black people as if we are about to rise up in an insurgency at any moment. They preemptively police us as if we are an insurgency.”

Chuck Mertz: Live with us right now, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford. Good morning, Glen.

Glen Ford: Good morning. Good to be here.

CM: Isn’t it great, this post-racial America? It looks great in Ferguson, Missouri!

GF: Oh, I’m just aglow. I’m bathed in it. Aren’t we all?

Continue Reading

The Normality of War

by Gavin Rae for LeftEast

“What’s abnormal is not the worst. What’s normal, for example, is world war.”
Franz Kafka

The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War takes place in a growing atmosphere of global conflict. The world seems to be once again teetering on the verge of catastrophe. A wave of violence is spreading around the globe, leaving destruction and death in its wake. This surge towards war has developed a momentum that at times seems uncontrollable. Palestine, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq – the list of conflicts is growing and war is once again becoming normal.

The anniversary of World War One should be a time of deep reflection for the left. How was it possible that the vast majority of the socialist parties in Europe could drop their avowed internationalism and fall in behind the imperialist war adventures of their countries’ elites? How could they become so subsumed with nationalism and chauvinism that they allowed millions of young men to fall on the battlefields?

Continue Reading

Learning from “Informal” Urban Innovation

1

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 4 July 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview:

“It’s not like we need to encourage bottom-up building and community building, because that’s happening without anyone asking or assisting.”

Continue Reading

Sadness and Hope: On the American Refugee Crisis

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 2 August 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:

“They’re searching for a way out of the violence that this whole system generates, and no matter where they go they’re treated as criminals. They’re treated as extraneous human beings.”

Chuck Mertz: On the line with us right now, live from Mexico City, I believe, is our irregular correspondent Laura Carlsen. Good morning, Laura, and where are you?

Laura Carlsen: Good morning! Yes, I am in Mexico City.

Continue Reading

The Battle Intensifies: Stories from Summer 1999

1

AntiNote: As the first installment in our reflection series on the Minnehaha Free State (MFS), we present a handful of edited excerpts from Elli King’s 2006 people’s history of the encampment, Listen: The Story of the People at Taku Wakan Tipi and the Reroute of Highway 55.

In case you missed it, please read our introduction to this series here.

We are picking up the story at a particularly tense juncture, almost exactly fifteen years ago. The following three testimonies deal with events over two days in late July, 1999: the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s first successful attempt to break ground on their still legally precarious project (with extensive police protection), the Free Staters’ attempts at resistance, and a street blockade the following day to protest the state’s violent and destructive actions—which itself was met with more violence.

Continue Reading