Defend incarcerated workers!

first_imgThese comments were given at a Dec. 10 webinar of the Prisoners Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party.  The theme of tonight’s webinar is “Build class solidarity with incarcerated workers: No walls in the workers’ struggle.”  The PSC wanted to sponsor this webinar on International Human Rights Day –  the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR is a document that supposedly proclaims “the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being –  regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”  Monica Moorehead But as revolutionary activists, we know that these words ring hollow for those living in the belly of the beast, the U.S. — a country built on the legacy of stolen Indigenous lands, slavery, colonialism and wage slavery. We live under a capitalist system that puts profits before people’s needs; where millions of people are disenfranchised because of their nationality, gender identity, gender expression, disabilities, age and/or their social status.  And this is especially true of incarcerated workers, who are super-exploited as slave labor and are super-repressed if they are people of color, women, gender non-conforming, disabled and/or elderly.  Prisoners suffer an even greater social stigma of demonization – that is, being labeled as dangerous, expendable. Therefore, millions are locked away, unseen and unheard, for years, for life – and even executed – whether they committed “crimes” or not.   Just look at all the federal executions that have occurred recently with rapid speed under Trump. Another one took place today and four more are scheduled for January.  But the incarcerated are part of our class, the working class, who are resisting terrible conditions intensified by the COVID-19 crisis, including unemployment, hunger, and evictions. Yes, incarcerated workers, be they in jails, prisons or detention centers, are also organizing and resisting decades of intolerable conditions, including COVID — especially incarcerated workers in Alabama, who are organizing a month-long work stoppage starting Jan. 1.  As someone who was born in Alabama, under the trauma known as segregation, I can only imagine the multiple trauma of modern-day slavery conditions behind these walls, especially as the U.S. Justice Department is suing the Alabama prison system for violating the human rights of prisoners.We will be hearing about this important struggle on the inside and also how our movement on the outside can show solidarity as a movement with them.  We will also be getting an update on the almost four-decades-long struggle to free political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was falsely arrested 39 years ago, on Dec. 9, 1981, and convicted of killing a police officer in July of 1982.  Mumia was sentenced to death row – until he was released into general population in 2011 due to a worldwide movement to save his life. But the struggle continues to free him from a Pennsylvania dungeon – and now Colin Kaepernick has joined this fight. So as we prepare to usher in a new year of struggle and fightback, as we prepare to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the heroic Attica prison rebellion, we say, “Tear down the prison walls and free them all!”  FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

UL urged to take the lead in agricultural education

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Advertisement WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Twitter Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Email Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture; Gearóid Mooney, head of Research and Innovation, EI and Professor Mary Shire, vice president research, UL. Pic: Sean Curtin Photo.Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture; Gearóid Mooney, head of Research and Innovation, EI and Professor Mary Shire, vice president research, UL. Pic: Sean Curtin Photo.WITH a new €25 million Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) about to be established at UL, the university has been challenged to take the next step and introduce graduate courses in agri-related disciplines.The DPTC is a collaboration of eight companies, including Arrabawn Co-op, Dairygold and Glanbia, and ten research performing organisations (RPOs), creating 52 new jobs for highly-skilled researchers over the five-year term of the centre.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up It is hoped that the €25 million investment will position Ireland as a world leader in dairy innovation, and help to maximise long-term growth opportunities created by the anticipated increase of 50 per cent in the Irish milk pool by 2020 due to the abolition of milk quotas.Farmer and Limerick city and county councillor for Adare Rathkeale Emmett O’Brien said the announcement was “a step in the right direction”, but warned that this “can only be the beginning of a long-term investment into third level agricultural education in Limerick”.“Agriculture technology businesses play an increasing role in farming in Ireland, and if Irish farmers are to continue to compete on a world stage, then we must continue to invest in this technology and agri-economics,” continued Cllr O’Brien.The Independent councillor said he agreed with suggestions made by the ICMSA that UL should expand its agri-economics and agri-technology programmes, and that he believes Limerick City and County Council would support the college in this area.Cllr O’Brien concluded: “My only hope now is that the university continues to increase its agricultural courses and maybe someday soon boast a leading agricultural school within its campus.“This most recent investment should position Ireland among the world leaders in dairy innovation and prepare the dairy sector for the end of the milk quotas. It should also highlight to the University of Limerick, its capabilities in becoming a front runner in agri-education in Ireland.”Chairperson of Limerick ICMSA Thomas Blackburn welcomed the announcement, but also urged UL to ”go further and introduce specialist undergraduate and postgraduate courses in agri-economics and other agri-related disciplines so that Limerick can position itself as a food hub and centre of excellence”.The farmer from Effin added: “UCC and CIT have really taken this onto the next level, and it’s a pity that our local third levels were so slow to see the massive pay-off that developing an expertise in this huge area of economic activity could  bring. ICMSA has the policies, expertise and commitment, we just need our universities and policy makers to work with us and move it forward.” Facebook WhatsAppcenter_img Previous articleRussell calls for fans patience ahead of new seasonNext articleSetting up a Christmas surprise for boy racers in County Limerick John Keogh TAGSagricultureCllr Emmett O’BrienDairy Processing Technology CentreICMSAlimerickThe University of Limerick Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live NewsUL urged to take the lead in agricultural educationBy John Keogh – February 12, 2015 918 Printlast_img read more