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prisons & prisoners

Three Statements from Political Prisoners to the Break the Chains Conference

The Break the Chains conference will be held Aug.8-10 at University of Oregon in Eugene. It is dedicated to fighting repression, supporting prisoners, and eliminating prisons altogether. By providing anti-prison education, building on existing prisoner support efforts, learning from veteran prison activists, and initiating new campaigns against the prison industrial complex, this conference is intended to initiate a new era of heightened prisoner support and anti-prison activism.

Below are three statements from prisoners to the conference.
Thomas Meyer-Falk: We are living in an era which began some years ago - people on the inside and outside are living in chains! It is important to focus on the worldwide inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment of convicted people, but we should not forget that the people outside of the prisons have their own chains....

James Rio Johnson: For the inmate serves his masters by jumping through his hoops like some beaten obedient caged dog, and the convict serves his state masters by enforcing backward criminal codes of racism, and creating petty gangland tyrannies that further oppress those on the inside, keeping everyone divided and thus more easily conquered by ODOC [Oregon Department of Corrections] totalitarian rule....

John Two-Names (Andy Riendeau): Regarding the current slave manufacturing system, I must keep in mind that the prison system is merely that which reflects the overall will of the system and Empire which it serves. It is the will of the Empire that it exists, and to try to abolish it without tearing down that which it serves is futile. Colonization, the process of building and maintaining empires, is directly related to the building of the Prison Industrial Complex. Historically, empires of every shade have been built upon the backs of the colonized, the slaves of the Empire - the US being no exception....

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