Double Standard Evident in FBOP's Approach to Civil Unrest
In the wake of the aborted insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building by supporters of the president in which 5 people were killed, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP.) is bracing for further unrest in the lead-up to the official transfer of power from one faction of the bourgeois dictatorship to another by preemptively locking down the entire federal prison population from the 16th until at least the 21st of January. This follows reports of the mobilization of 26,000 of their National Guardsmen to secure their nation’s capitol to prevent any further disturbances – such is the fear within the American government of the potency of their own Commander-In-Chief’s populist proto-fascism on his largely white, working class base.
This fear is also evident by the level of appeasement and overall reconciliatiatory nature of the brief memo from M.O. Carvajal, the director of the FBOP, who attempts to express his sympathies for the impact of the sudden lockdown measures by stating:
“I know this is frustrating for all of you. I understand this decision directly impacts each of you, as well as your loved ones, and is made with considerable thought in regards to current national events. We must ensure the safety and security of everyone in the BOP. We will continue to monitor events carefully and will adjust operations accordingly as the situation continues to evolve.”
Carvajal then proceeds to effusively thank us for our patience, promising to facilitate opportunities for contact with the outside world:
“Communication with your families is important; thus, you will be provided limited access to phones and email to ensure you can remain in touch. I thank each of you for your understanding and cooperation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has made a difference during this difficult time and your patience and understanding is appreciated. Please continue to communicate with staff and share your concerns. I remain committed to doing everything I can to help keep all of you healthy and safe. Thank you.”
All of the above is in contrast to the comparatively blunt warning and punitive lockdown measures initiated during the protests for social justice and against national oppression after the murder of George Floyd by the repressive forces of the state. As reported in ULK 71, an F.B.O.P. memo from that time period cautioned:
As you are aware, our nation is facing difficult times as emotions run high and peaceful protests have turned into violently charged demonstrations. In an effort to maintain the safety and security of the institution, a lockdown has been initiated. This lockdown is not punitive … However, we are committed to preventing any type of disruption from occurring, and I strongly emphasize any type of violent behavior will never be accepted or tolerated at this facility.
The FBOP. response in both of these instances, while equally punitive in nature, do reveal a notable contrast in narrative approach: when it is the just rebellion of the oppressed New Afrikan masses and their allies in the streets, the prison administration is sure to mention that they will brook no dissent; yet when it is the oppressor nation’s own privileged population’s turn to become unruly on openly conspiratorial or seditious grounds, the prison population’s “understanding is appreciated” for such an inconvenience.
MIM(Prisons) adds: Much has been said about the contrast in police response at the Capitol compared to the uprisings of youth and oppressed nations over the previous summer. The idea that New Afrikans, First Nations, Chican@s and often the Third World diaspora have a second-class citizenship in the United $tates has become more obvious in the popular dialogue. More obvious than any other time for the post civil rights era generations.
As we said in our original article on the Capitol siege, it’s been hundreds of years now of oppressed people trying to be equal with euro-Amerikans and they are still fighting each other over it. To continue down the path of integration is a fools errand. It’s been tried, the oppressed have bent over backwards to appease the white folk, but they will not concede equal rights and treatment. It is only in the struggle for independence that the oppressed can achieve true democracy and self-determination.