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‘Abolition not reform’ is what best describes the political scope of this collection of essays and interviews about the incarceration policies of nation states and beyond. Telling tales of the criminalisation of both national ‘criminals’ and foreign ‘illegals’, the editors draw a precise and unsettling picture of the interconnections between national and international policies, ideologies and political economies of incarceration and migration.
Beyond Walls and Cages examines the disruptive and controlling nature of prisons and detention centres as well as border walls and the racist politics of nation states. The sharp increase in prison construction in the United States testifies to an increasing criminalisation and securitisation of civil society, justified by the ‘wars’ on drugs and terror.
The stories are local and global at once, bridging geographical distances to expose how space and its political use can no longer be neglected in the fight against the voluntary exclusion of people of colour. Topics range from apartheid – South African or other – to colonialism, from anti-racist struggles to the spread of Aids.
The editors’ carefully assembled texts show how the clampdown on illegal migration and the ‘war on drugs’ (both predominantly targeting people of colour) complement one another in perpetuating white hegemony. Contributors demonstrate the deep impact of such policies on memory, communal and sexual identities, and health. They highlight the repercussions of such a brutal system not only on those in prisons, but also on the communities they eventually return to as well as the communities that become the increasing target of prison sites.
While academic in nature, Beyond Walls and Cages is at the same time a political manifesto calling for international solidarity. Its politics are directed against the regimes that long ago started to exploit post-colonial political, social and racial realities for the purpose of maintaining inherently exclusionary and discriminatory regimes and societies. Far from being solely directed at academia, this book is a political tool to be picked up, read and put to use.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
How can the heavily-armed Israeli state claim to be victimised by one teenage activist? By Richard Seymour.
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism