Auckland Peace Action today marched alongside No Pride in Prison’s 10,000 TOO MANY March against Mass Incarceration, and as an anti–militarisation group it may not be immediately obvious why we are doing so. Make no mistake: this is a war. A slow, inexorable war waged by our ruling classes on the poor, people of colour, immigrants and all marginalised groups in our society. Prisons are one of the most potent weapons of the ruling classes in this conflict. They systematically persecute, humiliate and permanently damage the most vulnerable among us. They are used as a source of slave labour in order to enrich our rulers. They cause far more criminal activity than they prevent, and New Zealand’s policy of mass incarceration disproportionately targeting poor, predominantly Maori and Pacific Island communities is nothing less than an attempt to destroy those communities. Mass
imprisonment breaks families apart, destroys social cohesion and creates poverty by removing wage– earners from these communities. Prisons have no right to exist.
Auckland Peace Action is thus proud to stand in solidarity with No Pride in Prisons to call for an end to mass incarceration. We wholeheartedly support their demands for an end to new prison construction and a reform of bail laws to put an end to the mass incarceration of people on remand, wherein people are imprisoned for extended periods without having been found guilty of an offence. The struggle for peace will not be one until our governments stop waging war on their own citizens as well as those of other nations.
Down with the prison state! Victory to the abolitionists!