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Wednesday is November 30, which is the 12th anniversary of the WTO protests in Seattle. It's also the first main day of the ALEC States and Nation's Summit in Snottsdale. This is the Summit at which two years ago they agreed upon SB1070 becoming one of their many pieces of model legislation, which corporations and legislators collude on propagating across the country. In the case of SB1070 and legislature before it (three strikes laws, mandatory minimums, etc.), the three largest private prison companies in the country were involved in the discussions. It also turns out that various companies involved in resource extraction are also involved.
I haven't spent much time on the details about ALEC because ALEC is just an example of what happens on a large scale, everyday and with a long history. There are many horrible things about ALEC, but they didn't create the border wall, they didn't build the prisons. Sheriff Joe's jail is as bad or worse than any private prison or detention center, with the temps reaching 117 in tent city this summer. When I first learned about ALEC last fall, i wrote What came first: the Racism or the Profit Motive? which i would write a bit differently today, but has some important questions within. Now i would answer that question by describing it as an intricate combination of the two. I do believe that people will try to profit off something that is already happening, as in the case of private prisons, and that they do try to shape how we see different populations so as to justify criminalization (not to mention the ways that other interests seek to justify exploitation- and this is justified partly through criminalization). But i also think that there is a history of racism that this concept of privatized prisons is built upon. Yet at the same time, as i discussed, this racism is built on a desire for stability for the rich and has ultimately resulted in a divided working class that could not rebel in unity, and therefore could not successfully rebel.
Based on this, i was motivated to create this video, which is explained further at this link: Private Prisons in a Wider Context (maybe you watched part one, but did you watch part two?). It brings the focus more towards a historical arc that incorporates colonization, the criminalization of slaves then ex-slaves, and the continuation of criminalization of people of color. This doesn't have to be directly for profit as in the case of private prisons.
Anyway, hope to see you out at the ALEC protest events (there's more going on than just wednesday by the way).
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