Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lead Now and "10 reasons to oppose c10"

Well the people at Lead Now and their collaborator's have managed to put together a truly national campaign which seeks to oppose C10 by putting community members on the steps of MP offices!  Its a pretty terrific approach on a number of levels.  Check out their web page at  People that might not have ordinarily met have the opportunity to do so and to talk with neighbors about the issues around the law and order approach and all the nastiness that comes with it.  It gives people a chance to be involved  and to feel they have a voice.
From the looks of things the campaign was fairly successful in terms of turn out and contribution!  Whether it makes a smidgen of difference to the upper class white men in parliament ramming C10 down our throats remains to be seen, but Im not holding my breath
Now for the critical feedback - the Lead Now folks could have and should have shared all the how to materials (which they obviously worked hard on) and the materials to read and take with alot earlier.  Many of us were unable to participate or at least not to the level we might have preferred because of this.  Well learn as you go...
More concerning for me was Lead Now's decision to include "10 reasons to oppose C10" in this campaign and indeed as part of the materials to read, study and take with!@#%
Wholly shit you guys!  Did anyone even read this thing?  Yeah I agree the idea of a simple, direct article listing the top 10 reasons to avoid C10 is not a bad idea, a clever tool, but the content of this one was pretty bad and down right disturbing on a number of issues they decided to list - such as #7 "Training Predators".  Here I believe what the author is suggesting is that because C10 converts prisoner rights such as the right to be free from abuse and the right to speak out about it when it does happen into privileges by tweeking the language in the Parole and Conditional Release Act - because of this and because our jails are soon to be far more crowded than they already are, worsening conditions for those who are forced to live there and for the those working there - the prisoners are apt to return to society as predators!  WTF?
If a person did not enter the system a predator, no amount of shit and abuse is going to convert them into one!  But I guess that depends how we define predator.  Most times when this word is used it is to describe a child sex offender or a rapist.  On occasion it might be used to describe those who prey on the weaker in any form.  But I will say it again, if you were not one going in - horrific environment or not - you wont be one coming out!  What you likely will be is less able to cope in the day to day, more bitter and angry, less mentally stable or healthy, more likely to go right back to the thing which can deliver you from all those hate filled days and nights - your substance of choice and your way of getting it!  Lets not forget the vast majority of people imprisoned today are so either directly or indirectly because of substance use issues!  Not because of predatorial instincts

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