Revolution #242, August 14, 2011
Correspondence from England:
Police Murder in London, and Mass Incarceration in America
We received this correspondence:
I came across you through The 4th Media. I read an article on the American prison system by Li Onesto and was led by a link to your website. I hope to visit your site on a regular basis. I live in the north-east of England and am much inspired by socialists here and abroad. On Thursday the police shot dead a young black man aged 29 and a father of four. This took place in Tottenham, North London. The police are not routinely armed here but these shootings are becoming quite a regular occurrence. We have no faith in their ‘independent enquiries.’ The police are always cleared. Cleared in advance you might say. Riots broke out yesterday as a result of this murder. The cost to business must be high and the disruption and unease and subsequent police arrests will all add to the mayhem caused by the police shooting on Thursday. Once the state is allowed without incident to shoot to death members of the public the rest of us are all put at risk. There must be a price to pay for these shootings. Hesitation must be the order of the day. The state must realise that shooting to death members of the public is entirely unacceptable. These shootings are happening too often. They cause a break down of law and order and those who direct these operations should face tough questioning. But this will not happen so mayhem will continue and so will unease.
The poor conditions in American prisons are becoming known all over the world. With 5 per cent of the world’s population America has 25 per cent of the world’s prisoners which tells us all we need to know. Solitary confinement is particularly cruel. The prisoners are being mentally crushed. Prison sentences are too long and slung at the poorest in society for the most trivial of offences. It is assault and battery by the state against the poor. It is depressing American society as the 2.3 million prisoners all have family and friends on the outside. With broken men coming out and held on a tight leash, there is always a fresh supply of new prisoners arriving. America is becoming a penitentiary state. Wages throughout American society have been kept artificially low over the past thirty years. Whilst prices rise and rise. Leading to an impoverished people. First credit cards were used and used without restraint. Leading to vast amounts of personal debt. America has rightly been called a parasite since it consumes so much of the world’s output without paying for that consumption. It uses slave labour abroad and imprisoned labour at home. It also takes in what can only be called indentured labour from Central America. How long can America continue to function when it is creating so much chaos around the world and misery at home. America is a psychopathic state. We expect much worse to come. The shooting of Mark Duggan on Thursday was hardly noticed outside the UK. And even here the state media tried to routinely report it as a way of keeping the public mind off the incident. The riots have hit the news in China and in Russia and no doubt in America and many other countries. The riots show the public response to the shooting and the attempt by the state to shut the whole incident down. Now it has caught the attention of everyone in the UK and more importantly it has been reported all over the world. Affecting tourism and the image of Britain as peaceful place to visit. You can’t shoot a man to death and expect peace on the streets.
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