In recent years we’ve seen the explosion of what is termed the Prison Movement.
We’ve seen unprecedented and massive rebellions in the form of workstrikes, hunger strikes, riots, sabotage, and other kinds of revolt. We saw unprecedented allies on the outside getting involved. We’ve seen the trajectory go from simply better conditions to abolition. Then came the calls for a national prison organization (centralization, hierarchy) to coordinate (control) these rebellions from the specialists in revolution. In spite of all of this, we are overlooking the contradictions in the prisons among the prisoners themselves and I think we will be fools to continue to look past these contradictions.
If the spontaneous self-organizing and actions have caused unprecedented chaos to the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC) we see today (they are hurting), why would you try to gain control of it? These are just my thoughts and opinions, but if we do organize a national prison organization with a constitution, by-laws, etc. we will be setting up for failure and not abolition, but reform.
First, are we for abolition or reform? Most prisoners are not for the abolition of the PISC. They believe in the system. They just want better treatment/conditions. They instruct the system on how it can be better. Most prisoners are authoritarian and can’t see or imagine a world without police, authority, or prisons. Most prisoners who are fighting to change this current system do not question authority, only who wields that authority.
I can easily sit back, do what these pigs say (conform), not complain about anything, but that will do violence to my soul.
I can easily sit back, mind my own business, but most likely another prisoner will not allow me to do that.
There’s a real possibility that I can lose my life in this prison by the hands of these pigs, but most likely it will be lost by the hands of another prisoner.
Look at how we living in these prisons.
We constantly complain about how these pigs are mistreating us inside of these prisons, but let’s look at how we are treating each other in these prisons.
Here in Alabama the US Dept. of Justice released a two-part report on its investigation into Alabama’s men’s prisons. Their findings was just horrific. Rampant gang violence, prisoner on prisoner deaths, stabbings, assaults, extortion, rape, etc. This shit is crazy, because it’s all true. And we prisoners think this something to brag about just like guys be bragging about what city has the highest murder rate.
THE GANGSTA ERA
Do Prison Lives Matter? We treat each other worse than the pigs do. We beat, kill, extort, rape, etc. each other and call it gangsta (meaning cool). We have 60+ year old men sleeping on floors because someone bigger, younger, stronger, or connected want a bottom bunk or a bunk by the window. It’s true, some have sold their bunks for drugs. Then you have guys intentionally staying in prison, refusing work release and parole just to make money. It’s sad and crazy at the same time.
And we talking about building a national prisoner organization. We need to be building new relationships among each other. Simply being in prison does not make one a revolutionary.
Until we force new, healthy relationships based on respect – not fear; love – not hate; based not on where one is geographically from, what gang we claim, what ethnic group we belong to, what religion or sect, nothing is going to change for the better, and abolition is definitely not going to happen.