14 votes

We thought our prison strike was a success. Then came the officers in riot gear

18 comments

  1. [18]
    vakieh
    Link
    On the one hand, sure, conditions in prisons are far worse than they should be, and incarceration as punishment instead of rehabilitation is wrong. On the other hand, you kill someone, you lose...

    On the one hand, sure, conditions in prisons are far worse than they should be, and incarceration as punishment instead of rehabilitation is wrong.

    On the other hand, you kill someone, you lose your right to civil disobedience, and the motif of the black power salute and the comparison with slave auctions when the guy is locked up because he is an actual murderer is disgusting. You don't get to co-opt the struggle of innocent people just because you don't like the consequences of your illegal actions, and the fact you are oppressed in prison is a given, not some call to arms.

    8 votes
    1. [17]
      alyaza
      Link Parent
      ...you literally do not lose your first amendment rights de jure and this is a really stupid take if you extend it out, because you don't suddenly stop having personhood just because you're...

      On the other hand, you kill someone, you lose your right to civil disobedience, and the motif of the black power salute and the comparison with slave auctions when the guy is locked up because he is an actual murderer is disgusting.

      ...you literally do not lose your first amendment rights de jure and this is a really stupid take if you extend it out, because you don't suddenly stop having personhood just because you're incarcerated and the status quo makes it nearly impossible for outside reform by politicians of the prison system to take place in many places (and in fact many reforms have only been won by prison strikes).

      30 votes
      1. [16]
        vakieh
        Link Parent
        I'm not overly interested in a US-centric view of things - I'm talking moral right more than legal right. The entire basis of incarceration is being forced into situations and actions you don't...

        I'm not overly interested in a US-centric view of things - I'm talking moral right more than legal right.

        The entire basis of incarceration is being forced into situations and actions you don't choose. You do not have the right to choose not to participate in your incarceration, and it is not removing your personhood to take away that right - only your agency, which you have shown to not be worthy of for at least some period of time.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [3]
            vakieh
            Link Parent
            That does not have any meaning where you accept and deal with violent resistance, as prisons do. Violent resistance of the wider population would overwhelm authorities. Violent resistance of...

            If you want to declare non-violent resistance to a situation out of bounds what you will inevitably end up with is violent resistance

            That does not have any meaning where you accept and deal with violent resistance, as prisons do. Violent resistance of the wider population would overwhelm authorities. Violent resistance of prison populations gets slapped down by overwhelming force. We might pretend that right of might no longer applies in a civilised society, but it does. Prisons could not function if they did not have the ability to show the prisoners that neither non-violent nor violent resistance had any purpose whatsoever. You do what you're told, or you do what you're forced to do and it ends up done anyway - there is no other choice because you are not afforded one.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              FZeroRacer
              Link Parent
              In your original post you mentioned the following And in this post you say So which is it? Violent resistance in prison is more of an American thing than anywhere else. This isn't to say that...

              In your original post you mentioned the following

              I'm not overly interested in a US-centric view of things - I'm talking moral right more than legal right.

              And in this post you say

              That does not have any meaning where you accept and deal with violent resistance, as prisons do.

              So which is it? Violent resistance in prison is more of an American thing than anywhere else. This isn't to say that prisons are not going to be generally more violent, but that America itself is unique because the prison environment breeds contempt and violent resistance. If we're not focusing on America exclusively, then I'm going to point to other countries that don't have this problem because they treat prisoners with respect, while still keeping them under control.

              Which brings me back to the story in the OP: This violent resistance could've been stopped by, surprise, not having the prisoners live in squalor. Yet you seem to look at it as being inevitable while ignoring the reasons why they tend to pop off.

              6 votes
              1. vakieh
                Link Parent
                I find it difficult to believe anyone could rationally believe that to be the case. You think when you take criminals and lock them up that they all just go willingly? That guards in pretty much...

                Violent resistance in prison is more of an American thing than anywhere else

                I find it difficult to believe anyone could rationally believe that to be the case. You think when you take criminals and lock them up that they all just go willingly? That guards in pretty much every prison on the planet occasionally have to manhandle inmates between locations? That guards don't carry batons or guns for enforcing their will against violent acts?

                There are places that do it better than the US, sure, but that is generally reflective of those nations doing everything better, not some 'the prisoners rose up and everything turned to roses' story. And guards in those countries will STILL carry weapons of some sort and have the capability to bring down the hammer even if they rarely need to use it, because violent prisoners are not exclusively made by social pressure.

                2 votes
        2. [5]
          alyaza
          Link Parent
          if we're talking moral rights, then your argument has even less standing. how is it "moral" exactly for prisoners to be entirely restricted from their right to demonstrate and organize against...

          I'm not overly interested in a US-centric view of things - I'm talking moral right more than legal right.

          if we're talking moral rights, then your argument has even less standing. how is it "moral" exactly for prisoners to be entirely restricted from their right to demonstrate and organize against abuses of power and injustices done against them? do they not deserve the ability to fight back when bad things are done against them? you yourself say that conditions in many prisons are fucking terrible. why is it acceptable then, morally, to remove someone's ability to fight back against the awful conditions of their imprisonment just because they're imprisoned?

          in fact, if we extend this argument out to its logical conclusion, you're basically making apologetics for things like how those detained in guantanamo bay are treated, and saying the people who are and were incarcerated there deserved the extensive torture they received and should have no recourse to address that torture.

          10 votes
          1. [4]
            vakieh
            Link Parent
            Pressure to change systems like this, which are designed to impose an external will on an internal population, MUST come from outside those systems, not inside. If they are afforded the ability to...

            Pressure to change systems like this, which are designed to impose an external will on an internal population, MUST come from outside those systems, not inside. If they are afforded the ability to fight things that they see as injustices, then there is no imperative to change - and you can't selectively give them the ability to fight back.

            2 votes
            1. alyaza
              Link Parent
              i really do not buy that, personally, not least because that's really not how it's worked in most circumstances! again, a lot of prison reform has only been won by internal actions on the part of...

              Pressure to change systems like this ... MUST come from outside those systems, not inside.

              i really do not buy that, personally, not least because that's really not how it's worked in most circumstances! again, a lot of prison reform has only been won by internal actions on the part of prisoners, not politicians coming in and saying "oh shit, maybe we should stop treating prisoners as subhuman". there has been plenty of that--hell, the marshall project is literally dedicated to exposing shit like that so politicians can take action--and yet, the needle hasn't moved at all, probably because all but the most basic prison reform is essentially a radioactive issue for politicians.

              If they are afforded the ability to fight things that they see as injustices, then there is no imperative to change - and you can't selectively give them the ability to fight back.

              your argument here is basically the slippery slope, except it makes really no sense in this circumstance. prisoners aren't about to suddenly go hog wild if we let them take strike actions to improve their material conditions like you're saying they would--we know this because that's literally the status quo right now, and they have not done anything even resembling the logical conclusion you're coming to with this line of argumentation. (also, i notice that you've yet to address my point about the apologetics for how many prisons treat their prisoners you're basically making in taking this line of argumentation.)

              7 votes
            2. psi
              Link Parent
              This is patently absurd. All systematic injustices are exactly that: an external will imposed by one population on another. I doubt you'd argue that feminism should be lead by men or that Black...

              Pressure to change systems like this, which are designed to impose an external will on an internal population, MUST come from outside those systems, not inside.

              This is patently absurd. All systematic injustices are exactly that: an external will imposed by one population on another. I doubt you'd argue that feminism should be lead by men or that Black Lives Matter should be lead by their white allies.

              In my opinion, the largest problem with the prison-industrial complex is the lack of advocates for those inside. Obviously prisoners need advocates on the outside (since those are the only ones with the power to do anything, particularly since most prisoners aren't permitted to vote), but prisoners should be able to advocate for themselves in some way. They're the ones directly impacted here.

              6 votes
            3. FZeroRacer
              Link Parent
              Does this logic apply when said population throws people in jail or camps for being a racial minority or immigrant? Are you saying that the internment of Japanese Americans meant that they were...

              Does this logic apply when said population throws people in jail or camps for being a racial minority or immigrant? Are you saying that the internment of Japanese Americans meant that they were not allowed to protest their conditions? Or is it only for one very specific form of jail with a very specific group of people which you view as 100% guilty?

              This is why your logic is absolutely absurd to me. We throw people in jail for all kinds of reasons, many of which are non-violent and on pure racial grounds.

              5 votes
        3. [2]
          SpineEyE
          Link Parent
          But if the purpose of imprisonment is rehabilitation, I feel like the right to demonstrate within certain boundaries should be available to these people as well. Why should it not be?

          But if the purpose of imprisonment is rehabilitation, I feel like the right to demonstrate within certain boundaries should be available to these people as well. Why should it not be?

          7 votes
          1. vakieh
            Link Parent
            Because rehabilitation is the prisoner being moulded in the image of what society deems fit - demonstrating is effectively rejecting that image. You can argue all day about whether that image is a...

            Because rehabilitation is the prisoner being moulded in the image of what society deems fit - demonstrating is effectively rejecting that image. You can argue all day about whether that image is a good one or whether the methods for moulding are effective or moral (in the OP neither is true) - but the answer isn't to allow inmates to choose for themselves.

            2 votes
        4. [5]
          Diet_Coke
          Link Parent
          Your view might make sense in a world where people are not mistakenly found guilty. In fact we know that happens quite often, and primarily to poor and minority people. Just because someone is in...

          Your view might make sense in a world where people are not mistakenly found guilty. In fact we know that happens quite often, and primarily to poor and minority people. Just because someone is in jail doesn't mean they did anything wrong. One day you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and it could be you in there.

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            vakieh
            Link Parent
            You can't eliminate the prison system because some people in there are innocent, and that is the only logical conclusion from where you're starting from.

            You can't eliminate the prison system because some people in there are innocent, and that is the only logical conclusion from where you're starting from.

            2 votes
            1. Diet_Coke
              Link Parent
              I'm just saying it should be humane and you don't lose basic human rights while in prison. Any position to the contrary is wantonly cruel.

              I'm just saying it should be humane and you don't lose basic human rights while in prison. Any position to the contrary is wantonly cruel.

              5 votes
            2. archevel
              Link Parent
              Aside from the fact that some portion of the prison population is innocent (which in and of itself makes it reprehensible to remove the right to protest from prisoners), if the goal of prisons is...

              Aside from the fact that some portion of the prison population is innocent (which in and of itself makes it reprehensible to remove the right to protest from prisoners), if the goal of prisons is rehabilitation then they should likely be abolished in their current form since they are ineffective. So just from an economic point of view it doesn't make sense to incarcerate people and essentially make them worse than before (in many cases). In addition morally it is really questionable if punishment for bad deeds is ok at all. If someone hurts somone else what is improved by hurting the first person?

              Edit: There is s case for incarcerating people likely to cause immediate further harm to others (and maybe for those harming them selves), but is that true for the majority of any prison population?

              3 votes