First of all, I didn’t suggest that we should simply get rid of all prisons.
I grew up in the southern United States in a city which at that time during the late ’40’s and early ’50’s was the most segregated city in the country, and in a sense learning how to oppose the status quo was a question of survival.
As soon as my trial was over, we tried to use the energy that had developed around my case to create another organization, which we called the National Alliance against Racist and Political Repression.
It’s true that it’s within the realm of cultural politics that young people tend to work through political issues, which I think is good, although it’s not going to solve the problems.
That’s true but I think the contemporary problem that we are facing increasing numbers of black people and other people of color being thrown into a status that involves work in alternative economies and increasing numbers of people who are incarcerated.
The campaign against the death penalty has been – while a powerful campaign, its participants have been those who attend all of the vigils, a relatively small number of people.
In a sense the quest for the emancipation of black people in the U.S. has always been a quest for economic liberation which means to a certain extent that the rise of black middle class would be inevitable.
Well of course there’s been a great deal of progress over the last 40 years. We don’t have laws that segregate black people within the society any longer.
Now, if we look at the way in which the labor movement itself has evolved over the last couple of decades, we see increasing numbers of black people who are in the leadership of the labor movement and this is true today.
When Bush says democracy, I often wonder what he’s referring to.
I’m involved in the work around prison rights in general.
I never saw myself as an individual who had any particular leadership powers.
Well of course I get depressed sometimes, yes I do.
My name became known because I was, one might say accidentally the target of state repression and because so many people throughout the country and other parts of the world organized around the demand for my freedom.
I’m suggesting that we abolish the social function of prisons.