2010 Prison Population Totals

List of countries with more than 100,000 prisoners as a percentage of their population (from Prison Studies)

Rank Country Prisoners & of Population
1 United States of America 2,239,751 0.72%
2 Russian Federation 681,600 0.48%
3 Thailand 279,854 0.44%
4 South Africa 156,370 0.31%
5 Ukraine 137,965 0.30%
6 Iran 217,000 0.29%
7 Brazil 548,003 0.28%
8 Colombia 118,201 0.26%
9 Mexico 246,226 0.22%
10 Turkey 137,133 0.19%
11 Vietnam 130,180 0.15%
12 Ethiopia 112,361 0.13%
13 China 1,640,000 0.12%
14 Philippines 108,305 0.12%
15 Indonesia 144,332 0.06%
16 India 385,135 0.03%
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UK; Student activists condemn police spying on protest groups

Socialist Students, one of the organisations at the heart of the 2010 student movement against tuition fees, has strongly condemned recent revelations about police surveillance of political campaigns and student activists. Students from the group, who are involved in organising against cuts, fees and privatisation on campuses, have said it ‘makes a mockery’ of the democratic right to protest in Britain.  This comes a day following a student demonstration against the closure of the University of London Union, which saw a large and heavy handed police presence prevent students from entering their own campus and, following which, the president of the students’ union has been arrested.

Edmund Schluessel, Socialist Students member and NUS National Executive Councillor said:

“The videos released give categorical evidence that the police targeted groups on a political basis, including those involved in peaceful protest. This follows several revelations of police surveillance of activists, which included systematic infiltration of groups like Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE) during the 1990s.The huge student movement of 2010 broke the consensus and in many ways humiliated the police. These are outrageous attacks on basic democratic freedoms and the right to protest. These surveillance techniques, coupled with heavy handed and often violent policing, are designed to limit the effectiveness of protests and intimidate demonstrators. Protest is increasingly becoming a criminalised act. Alongside this, anti-trade union laws are making strike action increasingly difficult to organise legally. Clearly, there is a deep seated fear at the heart of the establishment about the potential momentum that campaigns like these could gain. As brutal austerity intensifies and Cameron declares its permanency, it is vital that we defend the right to protest.”

Socialist Students is campaigning defend the right to protest. They plan to link up with other groups, such as YRE, to build the fight for democratic rights.

Significant drop in road accidents under Green transport policies

From the Green Party of England & Wales

Green Party of England and WalesAccidents on Brighton & Hove’s roads have fallen by a substantial 12.5% since the Greens took office, according to a major survey by the Department for Transport. At the same time, accidents across the South East fell by just 1% and in England as a whole by only 5%. And this is despite the fact that Brighton & Hove’s population is rising rapidly, with more people than ever before using the city’s streets.

At a time when the Greens’ flagship road policies are coming under fire from motorists’ and taxi drivers’ campaigns such as Unchain the Motorist, the survey provides substantial government evidence that Green transport policies are working: there are now one in eight fewer accidents than before the Green administration launched its transport initiative and a much higher drop in accidents than seen nationally or across the region.

Lead member for transport, Councillor Ian Davey, who has championed the Greens’ initiatives since day one, said: “This survey proves in black and white what we have been saying since we took office: we are introducing policies that make the roads of Brighton & Hove healthier and safer.

“Opposition councillors and pro-motorist campaigners want us to roll back time and return to the transport policies of the last administration. But do they also want more accidents on our roads each year? Because that’s what a roll-back would mean.

“Our streets are now safer. Sometimes people claim that Greens are anti-car. We are not anti-car but we are for safer streets for everyone. And that’s what this survey demonstrates we are achieving”

The survey result comes four months after it was revealed that the city’s roadside air quality had also improved markedly over two years.

Song That Never Ends

By Gary Egelston

Two headed monster - GovernmentLast time government shutdown occurred was in 1995, during the Clinton administration; healthcare, environmental reforms, and education were a few issues dividing elected opinion. And, while the two-headed monster chewed its own neck, mainstream media ensured that took center stage, drawing attention away from its tail. Democrats claimed their ideas helped the public, and republicans appeared as cantankerous assholes that cared little for the well-being of citizens… sound familiar?

Clinton was and is the poster-child for austerity, along with an extreme big brother state. After all, he heavily supported the original Patriot Act and NDAA (introduced on the floor by then Sen. Biden as The Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995). ‘Reforms’ were pure donkey shit wrapped in a nicely framed message, with opposition from the right dividing public opinion, as one side appeared as a party acting for good and the other not. As it turned out, what the democrats and Clinton promoted was the advancement of corporatism, yet constructed debate blinded most to that truth. What he lobbied helped only the elite, and that is not coincidental. Clinton heavily championed corporate interests, as his reforms were nothing more than the progression of neoliberalism. Howard Zinn wrote many great pieces explaining it further if you want to research.

Today isn’t any different, as republicans appear obstructionist, and democrats the opposite. The main disagreement is Obamacare, another state capitalist idea that mandates corporate profit through government force, at the expense of people’s health. One side fights fiercely against it, creating a perspective that it must not be that awful if those assholes hate it so much. The other touts they care and frames a message of good vs. bad. Incidentally, it forces sides and the original wrong becomes justified, accepted, and not questioned by the general population.

Obamacare will stay, as this administration, along with Jonathan Gruber, ensured corporate interests were protected and pushed forward. While this issue takes center stage and distracts, a compromise will occur, resulting in further austerity guts to the economy. It’s a distraction designed to advance a neoliberal agenda. Watch, social services will take the biggest hit, with the rich getting richer. One hand washes the other; that’s how it works.

Sixth night of rioting in Antakya, Turkey

A look through Turkish newspaper Hurriyet today will find nothing of the ongoing rioting in Antakya and to a lesser extent Istanbul despite now going into the sixth day.

Courtesy of jn1:

Solidarity with those trying to oust Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the fascist AKP regime.

Good luck, you’re going to need it but don’t give up!

Republican Socialism

By Barry Mellows

In Ireland the Free State and British Government have a special interest that is to protect Partition; to do so and to protect their interests they have placed us all in human gutter’s that they build, manipulate and maintain to sustain their imperialist and capitalist interests. They infect our environs with poverty, deprivation and the consequential social illnesses to keep us there.

They create the context whereby poor choices and hopelessness prevail and yet condemn and castigate us in their media for falling victim to their intent, their justice systems pursue us relentlessly, their courts harangue and pillory us, their prisons teach us vengeance, the addictions and abuse they foster among us chain us to despair – they set us apart among ourselves and separate us in to sections – the have a special administrative section governed by their special police, the drug dealers, gangsters, informers and agents those who live among us on their wages, in their esteem employed to massacre our dreams while murdering our children and all of this while simultaneously they criminalize all of us equally, frowning upon us, dehumanizing us as equally disgusting, forcing us to believe we are less, we are less than them. As humans we are less, and have less entitlement to Human rights than other Humans.

Republican Socialists are the guardians of our rights where we dwell, the aspiration is to eradicate the gutters imposed upon us, empowerment, to smash them, but while held here in these cruelly imposed gutters, Republican Socialists protect our rights and inspire our responsibilities.
We do not wish to vacate the gutters they have placed us in all that will achieve is a placement for their next victim, we wish to destroy them, not one can leave without the other, if one rises and leaves, all it can ever be is a betrayal of the rest left behind, one must be enlightened to rise, and on rising must take the others hand and on enlightening them take the other onward to victory.

We will not engage their media portrayal of who we are expected to be, or allow their police and courts condemn our children to adulthood dehumanized, we will reject their cosmetic culture and ethics to kill our principles, we will seize their media and present to them ourselves and the aspirations they hoped to kill with apathy and we will not condemn their victims to more disdain but instead we will stand alongside them and protect them, we will show them fraternity and love and we will elect that administrative section the one that contains their Drug dealers and abusers and we will chase it from our midsts as we rise as one people and smash their imperialist hell and we will build a Socialist Republic, We will.