Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎

WHEN THE PRISON GATES OPEN by Rae Samuel

posted 28 Jul 2015, 20:27 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 27 Jul 2017, 19:11 ]
"It's as if the dark, distant days we predicted are now cascading upon us...and maybe there will be no scribe left to capture the holocaust on paper''. So wrote Eldridge Cleaver in his Post Prisons Writings. At the time awakened Africans called for Black Power, opposition to the genocidal war in Vietnam was escalating and the F.B.I was countering with programs like Cointelpro against progressive forces.

Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Vietnam liberation struggle, epic in that it saw a largely peasant country defeat the world's mightiest ever army had in his turn written:”When the prison gates open the real dragons will fly out." A reference to the fact that prison either breaks souls 'puts them on ice' as Cleaver said or makes revolutionaries.

George 'Soledad Brother' Jackson, like Cleaver, an alumnus of the California prison system, pointing out to the corruption of the prison system stated."I was in San Quentin for 10 straight years. I know everything that was brought in and by whom." George was sent to prison at age of 18 to do a 'life top' i.e. an indeterminate sentence of 1-life.He was assassinated 12 years later in prison during an alleged break out that featured weapons brought into the prison.

The tragic events of last Friday’s prison breakout are still fresh in our memories. Some of us hope that the agencies of national security, in the wake of routine daily murders, will be spurred to corrective action and finally come good; which if history is a guide means some more will be shot dead, circumstances not be investigated in the coming weeks.

Inquests into state killings are no longer on anyone's agenda. Or high profile cases will suddenly be “solved”. It is interesting to note the response of Dana Seetahal’s brother to the sudden breakthrough in his sister's murder investigation.

The ruling class in this post slavery society has always placed its faith in barbarism. The gun has replaced the whip as the arbiter of social problems.We tortured and hung the slaves and today we will either shoot, bribe or incarcerate our social problems.

When the masses in the Caribbean rise up the Royal Marines (then) or the Special branches/Tactical Units/Inter agencies Task Forces (now) respond with bayonets (then) and with tear gas, body armor and armored vehicles now.

In the coming days/weeks we are likely to hear more disquieting news from the prisons which, we were warned, will erupt. The prisons are now on ‘lock down' and with their near total power over inmates, 'restoring law and order' will be the agenda.

So on Sept 08 a new administration will inherit this social whirlwind which shows no sign of abating. The elections will simply see the lowering of some Party's flag and the raising of another to 'block light and sun'. It would surprise no one in our country to hear a Trini say: "All yuh hear it had a election yesterday? All yuh went?"


Comments