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Activists demand an end to mass incarceration

W.A.T.E.R. 17 Special to the AmNews | 9/21/2012, 2:37 p.m.

Cop Watch activist Jazz Hayden addressed racism playing a role during sentencing, before commenting:

"Five, 10 years ago, this couldn't have happened. But suddenly people are beginning to wake up, and we're moving towards that critical point in this struggle where we're going to have to begin talking about community and connecting the dots, and that's what's happening across this country."

Columbia professor Marc Lamont Hill explained how the public school system conditions many for a future behind bars.

"People are beginning to see the direct connection between these first-class jails and second-class schools. You're being searched, the surveillance cameras, finger scans, dogs sniffing our kids, body scans. You begin to see the entire infrastructure of prison is about controlling and preparing people to be violent and spending a life in prison, more so than it is for anything possibly educational."

Princeton professor Cornell West concluded: "This is not just about mass incarceration, or Jim Crow, but to cast a light on the new form that the legacy of white supremacy takes in our time. Any time you talk about the mass incarceration, and the resistance against it, it takes us back to the initial crime of white supremacy in America, which is the enslavement of Africans."

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