Commentary: The deafening drumbeat of the unfree

Stephen Cooper

By Stephen A Cooper

Above the din of disturbing news – that discordant banging you’re hearing, steadily getting louder and louder, that you can no longer ignore – that’s the drumbeat of the unfree.

Dehumanized by the labels “prisoner,” “inmate,” and “convict,” even reduced to serial numbers like Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables,” these men and women are, just like you and me, or any mortal – irrespective of flaws, frailties, even felonious acts and misdemeanors – endowed with the right to be treated with dignity, decency, and respect.

Advancing ten specific demands as a rallying cry in prisons nationwide, these brave incarcerated souls are striking by: not eating, refusing to do prison work, engaging in sit-ins, and…

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