Monday, 1 August 2016

Support Prisoners Strike, September 9th.

        What are prisons for? Well in the developed world they are for profit for tycoons at the expense of the tax payer. Prisoners are put to work on products for large corporations, at a beggarly rate, with no protection from exploitation, no union, no holidays, no sick pay, never late, can’t slack-off or they are punished in one way or another. However in the land of the free, the good ol’ US of A, they have taken the slave labour tactics in prisons to a new level. The prison system in America is so profitable to the corporate world that they invest billions of dollars in building ever more and larger caged hell-holes.

 When did slavery end?
       Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.
           Some facts about the American prison system and the extent of the racial exploitation that is rife across America.

The U.S. imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid.

1. The United States has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's prisoners.
2. The total incarcerated population in the U.S. is a staggering 2.4 million — a 500% increase over the past 30 years. 
3. One in every 108 adults was in prison or jail in 2012.
4. One in 28 American children has a parent behind bars.  
5. At the end of 2007, 1 in 31 adults was behind bars, on probation or on parole.
6. Currently, 65 million Americans have a criminal record.
7. There are more people behind bars today for a drug offense than there were in 1980 for all offenses combined.
8. The U.S. spent $80 billion on incarceration in 2010 alone. 
9. About as many people were returned to prison just for parole violations in 2000 as were admitted in 1980 for all reasons combined.
10. Parole violators accounted for more than 35% of all prison admissions in 2000. Of those, only one-third were returned for a new conviction; the rest were returned for a technical violation, such as missing a meeting with the parole officer.
11. A first-time drug offense carries a sentence of 5-10 years. In other developed countries, that sentence would be six months of jail time, if any at all. 
12. The vast majority of those arrested with a drug offense are not charged with serious offenses. For example, in 2005, 4 out of 5 drug arrests were for possession, not sales.  
13. In the 1990s, marijuana possession accounted for nearly 80% of the spike in arrests.
14. Three out of four young black men in Washington, D.C., can expect to serve time behind bars. This is despite the fact that people of all races use and sell drugs at the same rate.
15. African-Americans comprised 12% of regular drug users, but almost 40% of those arrested for drug offenses.
16. More than 96% of convictions in the federal system result from guilty pleas rather than decisions by juries.
17. Conservative estimates put innocent people who plead guilty between 2% and 5%, which translates to tens of thousands of innocent people behind bars today.
18. Eighty percent of defendants cannot afford a lawyer. Tens of thousands of people go to jail every year without ever talking to a lawyer or going to trial. 
19. A public defender will routinely have a caseload of more than 100 clients at a time.

        Marking the prison occupation of Attica Prison in New York, on September 9th. 1971, September 9th. this year is the date marked out for a nation wide prison strike across America, prison populations in other countries are also supporting this brave move by those in cages. They are asking for support from the general public, in the form of protests outside prisons and posters.
       Here is a poster (11×17) for the upcoming nationwide prisoner strike on September 9th. Download, print and put it up around your city if you feel it. There is a grayscale version here too.
For more information about the strike and the ongoing wave of prison rebellions across the country, check out these articles: Strike Against White Supremacy | Incarcerated Workers Take the Lead | Call To End Prison Slavery
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