Trouble #20: Inside-Out

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The brand new episode of Trouble focuses on prisons, prison slavery, and resistance to it on both sides of the walls.

Prison is the foundation of state authority and the anchor of capitalist social relations. It’s the baseline threat that coerces us into accepting a daily regimen of exploitation and abuse. It’s a shrine to power and a monument to futility. It’s cameras, motion sensors, and walls of thick concrete wrapped in concertina wire. It’s an ongoing experiment in regimentation and psychology. It’s a sweatshop run on reclaimed slave labour. It’s a forced separation that rips up families and tears loved ones apart. It’s the last shitty stop before you’re deported back to the life you fled. It’s a sprawling job site, where unionized guards earn a living by keeping human beings in cages. It’s a sterile time capsule, where individuals are kidnapped from the present and thrown into limbo for years on end.

For those inside, the struggle against prisons is often a struggle for survival; it’s a constant fight to preserve whatever dignity you can in a place that’s designed to grind you down. For those on the outside, it is a struggle to break through the barriers of institutionalized isolation – whether physical, technical, or bureaucratic. It’s a battle to build and maintain relationships with those the state would have you forget. Prisons are constructed to be impenetrable fortresses. The fight for their abolition is a daunting one. But no matter if you’re on the inside or the outside, their continued existence is an affront to the very notion of freedom… and one that demands resistance.


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