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Askew Review 15

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PRISONS ON FIRE; George Jackson, Attica, & Black Liberation
(Alternative Tentacles) This sixty minute CD is a collection of interviews and narration concerning various prison/prisoner rights activists. Look, I know the justice system in America is fucked up and I know that minorities and poor whites are less off in this system than rich Americans. This bothers me as much as anyone else and it has to change. However, to me, this CD doesn’t hold any water due to the fact that it doesn’t tell the whole story concerning its subjects. For instance, the narrator informs us that activist/jailhouse lawyer Ruchell Magee is imprisoned for his “political resistance,” when he’s actually in prison for kidnapping and for taking part in a violent courthouse rebellion that led to the deaths of three prisoners and a judge. There are a number of instances on this cd where the narrator introduces different speakers as being imprisoned for “political resistance” and/or “political activities.” If you’re going to make a point and want to educate others about your cause, tell the whole story and don’t use clever wording to hide facts. Kidnapping is kidnapping and murder is murder, whether or not it’s politically motivated. – Denis Sheehan




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