Corrupt attacks on Mumia
Once again the U.S. judicial system has managed to turn legal rights into a weapon against Black political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. After four decades of organizing against the racism that framed and sentenced Mumia in the first place, a recently-elected and progressive Philadelphia district attorney granted a new hearing, based on long-buried evidence.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has just reversed that decision, and appointed a “special master” to investigate the DA for — you guessed it — corruption! For information and how to help the struggle for this life-long civil rights warrior, check out prisonradio.org/mumia-info.
FS is popular here
Your publication is so popular here at the North Central Correctional Institution that several fellow inmates sign up to read it. Yet they are afraid to subscribe to it, because they’re worried that the IPS (Intensive Probation System) will class them as members of a gang. LOL.
I will say one thing after reading about the struggles of those in states that are hard on inmates. I live in a state where most of the Correctional Officers (CO) do not harass, or threaten inmates harshly. Yes, of course, there are a few COs that are awful.
We have a few nice prisons in the Commonwealth. The one I am at, Gardner, has over 200 garden plots where we can grow our own veggies and they even give us shovels to plant with.
It takes work to turn a prison around. Families on the outside must go to state representatives and demand justice and reform.
Educate the public that not all inmates are bad people, just someone who might’ve made a mistake. Yes, a bad mistake that needs punishment but also needs mercy.
A real chance to change the way some inmates are treated is to demand that prisons reform inmates instead of continuing to punish them.
Demand classes that empower inmates, not beat them down. Give them a chance to earn good time by learning a real skill.
Demand that the 13th Amendment be revised so that the states and Department of Corrections cannot abuse inmates by working them up to 12 hours a day for free or very little money.
In Massachusetts, inmates can now earn up to 15 days a month in good time off their sentence for work and schooling.
I want to thank you for sending me the Freedom Socialist as a donation and I hope to continue to receive it for many years to come.
William McDonagh, Gardner, Mass
Flaws in the system
Lois Danks’ article [“U.S. elections: Why do so few vote?” Vol. 40, No.6] does an excellent job in exposing the flaws of and offering the remedies for the U.S. election system.
The only things that I would add to the list of remedies would be ranked choice voting (RCV) and proportional representation (PR). Ranked Choice Voting lets voters rank candidates, who are running for single member offices, e.g. the governorship, in order of preference. It lets voters vote for their favorite candidate without the fear of causing their least favorite candidate to win. It also ensures that a winner wins with a majority of the votes and not mere plurality.
And a proportional representation election creates a legislative body that is a mirror image of the electorate in microcosm. Parties win seats in proportion to the support that they receive in the election.
Once in the office, minority viewpoints would, finally, be aired at the legislative bargaining table, more thoughtful laws would be crafted, and traditionally outcast people would be represented and empowered. Visit fair-vote.org for more details.
- Ross, Seattle
Do not despair
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister here, only works to kiss Mr. Trump’s arse!
NATO billions are wasted on war preparations, money which would give every home in the United Kingdom free power!
But we must not be overcome by the size of the task. In our area, we have good meetings. Sometimes only a handful, sometimes there is a room full, organized horizontally, not vertically. There is careful record keeping, a different chair/facilitator every time and efforts to engage and listen to new people.
- Gilbert, Ulverston, Cumbria, United Kingdom
End production of weapons
I am writing in response to Megan Cornish’s excellent article [“Young climate champions fight too for global justice,” Vol. 40, No. 6]. In particular the mention of “The U.S. military as being among the worst climate actors.” It’s great that folks are connecting climate change to the use of military force and destruction.
I believe that the connection, however, must go further and condemn the production of military weapons and even the development of them. This is by far the greatest use of energy on the planet. Only by stopping this can our and many other species hope to survive what is happening and has already happened.
The thermohaline mass driver for the planetary ocean currents stopped in the early 1990’s. The ocean currents are slowing down resulting in increased hot spots — to restart this mass driver could take thousands of years.
The slow stagnation of the oceans could, however, result in catastrophic loss of atmospheric oxygen. Some areas of tropical ocean have seen drops of 40 percent to date and will impact species diversity. The ocean, not the forest, are responsible for atmospheric oxygen. This is the main risk we face.
Unfortunately, any Green New Deal that the Democrats propose will add to CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), and NOx (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) emissions due to mining and processing. Not to mention massive environmental degradation where these operations are performed.
John Gwaltney-Beaumont, Bremerton, Wash.
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