Letters to the editor, August 2020

Seattle City Councilor Kshama Sawant. PHOTO: Seattle City Hall
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Seattle mayor launches redbaiting attack on City Councilor Kshama Sawant

On June 30, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan called for an investigation of Kshama Sawant (above), the lone socialist on the City Council, with an eye to her removal.
Sawant is a vocal opponent of corporate control of Seattle via the Democratic Party. Like huge numbers of Seattleites, she has been active in the Black Lives uprising and harshly critical of city repression, calling for Durkan’s recall.
Durkan retaliated by decrying the influence of Sawant’s group, Socialist Alternative, and urging that Sawant be investigated for “disorderly or otherwise contemptuous behavior.” The City Council repudiated the mayor’s demand, but defenders of civil liberties should prepare to challenge similar McCarthyite attacks as protests continue to bedevil the powers-that-be.


STATUES TOPPLE

No prosecutions

The statues that litter our country glorifying the Confederacy and white supremacy need to go! For decades, we, the people, have been seeking through official channels to remove these symbols of brutal exploitation, murder, rape and arson. And we got nowhere.

The Black Lives Matter protesters who are bringing them down are doing the right thing. They are doing what our elected representatives should have done.

They should not be prosecuted for knocking down stone monuments to the fight to preserve slavery.

Who should be prosecuted? Cops who murder people, the district attorneys who refuse to bring charges against them, and vicious racists like Trump who incite and defend them.

At the very least Black people and all other perpetual targets of police violence should be afforded the same protections as pieces of granite.

Bernadette Logue, Seattle, Wash.


INMATES WRITE

Texas injustice

I love reading your bi-monthly paper. Please update my subscription address so that I don’t miss a singe issue.

And let your readers and staff know that they can purchase my new ebook on Amazon: Reports from within the Belly of the Beast: Torture and Injustice Inside Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

People can keep up with my writings on my website: jasonsprisonjournal.com.

Jason Walker, Amarillo, Texas

Prisoner rights

I write to acknowledge the receipt of your request for support. I am deeply sorry that I am unable to contribute. The state of Texas still does not pay its prisoners any wages or stipends. Others and myself are actively embracing this issue and hope to see proposal of legislation in the 2021 state of Texas legislative session.

Also, as a part of the agenda, we are seeking a proposal for a return to “indeterminate sentencing” in order that “good time and work time” are incentives within the sentencing scheme.

We also seek outside purchase privileges returned, dental health expansion to issue dentures, address of juvenile convictions, and a mandatory out for completion of Individual Treatment Program.

All this is being done by individuals, various de facto organizations, and women together by the Executive Body Membership of Texas Prison Labor Unions.

Hopefully, there will be some positive results this year. For other terms have left proposals in committee never getting to the floor for addressment. There has been additional enlistment of outside help on these issues.

Willie Milton, Huntsville, Texas


UPCOMING ELECTION

Campaign reform

Thank you for your work. Andrea Bauer’s article about the horrible nomination process for president I thoroughly agree with [Vol. 41, No. 2, “US elections: two parties, one playbook.”]

The so-called “Democratic Party” is most undemocratic in the primary process. Someone in Idaho gets to pick from six candidates, while someone in New York City cannot make any choice except for delegates.

Primary day should be one only for the whole country so everyone gets the same voting opportunity.

I think there should be no campaigning until four months before Election Day, anyway.

Judith Ackerman, New York City, N.Y.


CORONAVIRUS

Survival of people and the world

This pandemic has managed to do what big businesses and their puppet politicians refused to do, get people to drop out of the rat race and make us inflict less harm against the planet that sustains us.

If this pandemic does nothing else, it proves that this artificial, capitalist economy is not designed for the benefit of the people or the environment.

With so many people out of work who do not have the money to buy life’s necessities, let us suspend the use of money. It is a hurdle that makes it hard for people to get that which they need. Suspend the collection of rent, mortgage payments, and property taxes. Make food, housing and clothing inalienable rights.

Herm Ross, Seattle, Wash.


The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@mindspring.com.

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