Graphic depicting solidarity with the Pelican Bay hunger strikers of July 2011. Despite a corporate and government whiteout the actions of the inmates drew international support., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Protesters denounce poor jail conditions in US
Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:11AM GMT
We are the most imprisoned country in the world. What we’re saying is that we need to reorganize our priorities, because arresting people isn’t making us safer. It’s costing us economically and creating a new class of people who are disenfranchised.”
Kurt A. Kuhwald, professor at Starr King School in Berkley
US protesters have held a peaceful rally outside the San Quentin State prison in California to denounce the country’s poor jail conditions.
“The prison system clearly reflects a part of the economic disaster we’re in,” said Kurt A. Kuhwald, a professor at Starr King School in Berkley on Monday during the rally attended by some 700 protesters.
“We are the most imprisoned country in the world. What we’re saying is that we need to reorganize our priorities, because arresting people isn’t making us safer. It’s costing us economically and creating a new class of people who are disenfranchised,” Kuhwald added.
The rally was also held with demonstrator from Occupy Oakland, who had 400 of its members arrested and a number of them injured as a result of clashes between them and the city’s riot police.
Several Americans, who had previously been arrested and spent time in jail, as well as leaders of various rights group delivered speeches concerning the harsh conditions in US prisons and human rights issues during the rally.
The protesters called for an end to long-term solitary confinement and demanded children not to be tried as adults.
Government figures show America holds over two million people in prisons and four million under probation. Over 60 percent of US inmates are ethnic minorities.