Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to shutter the jail complex at Rikers Island and replace it with smaller, borough-based jails is worthy of tortured scrutiny, offering as it does the moral and political quandary of replacing a notoriously brutal penal colony and avatar of mass incarceration…with still more sites of mass incarceration.
In the unfolding of social antagonism which drives human history there are spectacular moments when a hitherto-invisible threshold is crossed and great masses who have long appeared to suffer in silence thrust themselves onto center stage to claim their place as breakers of chains and makers of history. The 2010 self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi was one such event. The 2016 plan to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline across sacred indigenous land and water was another.
Borough-based jails are nothing new in New York City. The original incarnation of Lower Manhattans notorious Tombs facility, opened in 1838, replaced the British colonial jail built before the Revolution.
AngryWorkers want you to build an international revolutionary organization guided by the axiom the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves, and they have a plan.