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Oct 28, 19

Kite Line: California Families Speak Out Against Gladiator Fights

Long running anti-prison podcast Kite Line returns with an interview on the use of so-called gladiator fights by prison officials and guards in California, and the ongoing campaign against them.

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Prisoners in California have been subjected to a new and disturbing round of gladiator fights – conflicts between prisoners instigated by guards for their own amusement or to break down solidarity between different groups on the inside.

This week, we will begin sharing a powerful conversation with three women whose husbands have suffered from this shocking practice. In addition to supporting their loved ones, these women are also bravely organizing to stop the practice and reverse the punishments hypocritically meted out in the aftermath of these state-imposed battles.

They are also joined in the conversation by a solidarity organizer from Oakland’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. Together, they describe a complex and dangerous situation, in which prisoners from different racial and territorial groups try to avoid accepting the provocations of the prison system, with the possible exception of the Bulldogs, a particularly violent prisoner set that acts with the protection of the system.

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Kite Line is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond. Behind the prison walls, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to the guards for medical care. Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will bear it farther along till it reaches its destination. On the show, we hope to pass along words across the prison walls.

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