Dear amerika (by Tommie Carter)

Kenosha police protecting businesses during the uprising.

Imposed PDF of this article available for printing here.

It is easy for a person to cry out for revenge until they, themselves, have to promenade in the shoes of the one being murdered. I give everyone fair warning, further reading of this article will result in perceptual disturbance….

The “war on crime” really translates to a war on black and brown people as well as poor people in general. Such a profound contradiction you find in this type of society: the act of waging a “war on crime” when you create, through your chosen means of production, the conditions that create and harbor crime. And when you force these conditions on sections of people through government policy and through consequential machinations of the capitalist system, you’re essentially criminalizing whole sections of people, in this case Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.

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Resistance, solidarity, and repression in Wisconsin
Solidarity with the the 2018 prison strike.

Leading up to Milwaukee’s Shut Em Down 2021 mobilization, it’s important to remember that there are rebels and fighters in Wisconsin prisons. We don’t often hear about the kinds of massive strikes, uprisings, and escapes that are tracked at Perilous Chronicle, but that doesn’t mean people are safe or passive within Wisconsin prisons. Part of the Shut’Em Down mobilization in Milwaukee will include holding up the sacrifices and struggles of Wisconsin prison rebels in greater depth, but here is a start.

A brief resistance history 

During the 2020 pandemic, documented resistance to prison increased dramatically, but Wisconsin’s prisons were very effectively locked down. The the DOC put security and control over health and safety. We heard of little direct action other than a brief, staff-assisted escape. Meanwhile, outside solidarity during the pandemic included home demos targeting DOC secretary Kevin Carr and Governor Evers, a COVID Compassion Campaign demanding Evers issue emergency pardons, and body bags dropped on secretary Carr’s lawn. None of these efforts proved effective. The George Floyd marches and the Kenosha uprising also overshadowed the prison crisis for many, while Evers and Carr allowed DOC staff to neglect prevention and punish prisoners for getting sick. More than half of the DOC population were infected, no pardons were granted, and an unknown number of deaths piled up.

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