UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW- Excerpts from a KAGE Universal phone interview

Fish

Issue 60

Excerpts from a KAGE Universal phone interview, May 2020

They have systematically turned all indeterminate sentences into a life sentence. And they do it in a way that is subtle, all under the color of law... They commit murder. They systematically deny us parole, the right to visit or reunite with our family, - all under the color of law, hiding behind the constitution... They’re not holding them n facts of criminal conduct…

They manipulate the law, providing $100,000 jobs for parole board members, a bunch of retired cops and correctional officers. We need a Community Release Board. Carpenters... We used to have one. And that’s when sentences were proportionate to the crime. But me, I left [my community] in my 20s and got out in my late 60s… All my elders were gone. But whatever I went through, none of it compares to what my ancestors had to go through just so I could be here today.

Time after time we’ve seen the devils overstep their boundaries. I mean, Covid has been with us a long time. They just calling it something by a different name.. all my life... covid, asbestos, mass incarceration ... I mean my ancestors, since we’ve been in America, been under one system or another. This year it’s Covid, last year it was something else. Slavery. Now they call it law, our legal system - I don’t know - but to me, It’s still slavery. It’s just slavery under another name. So when we talk about recycling we need to start with the constitution, at least as far as it concerns us.

Reality ain’t no joke. And it changes every day. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but we just have to keep our head up and keep on pushing. If we get up tomorrow and things have changed… things are going good today, it could be all bad tomorrow, we can’t just fold up… go on and give up. I can’t quit. I can’t take my ball and go on home. I just need to keep on going with it. Roll on.

We have to pool our resources and put ourselves in a position to do for ourselves. This is nothing new, nothing that hasn’t been done before. We did it in the 60’s. Other communities do it all the time... Let’s stop talking about what someone else isn’t doing for ourselves. Let’s just do it.

As we see now, with the Covid, none of us know where it’s going. I just hope and pray that the people are safe. I’m talking about the people of this here world -- the people that has never had a voice, and the people that need a voice. And I pray that you be safe and sound and never be scared of what you don't know, just get to know it. Because the world is always going to be the world. But you can change things by collective protest, collective demonstration, collective action. All of these things make a difference. You did it with the Prisoner Human Rights Movement, the Hunger Strike in California brought out 30,000 strong and told CDCR we aren’t tolerating torture under no circumstance. Now you can continue to do it and you can always do it, even from the greatest injustices you can change things. The power is all in the people. So all power to the people, all love, and continue to push for change

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