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Julia Sudbury

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Transatlantic Visions: Resisting the Globalization of Mass Incarceration

This article focuses on the emergence of, and resistance to, the prison-industrial complex in Britain. By mapping the genealogies of resistance that have emerged out of the antiracist, feminist Left in Britain, Sudbury seeks to identify possibilities for transatlantic coalition-building and prison abolitionism. The article draws on interviews carried out with activists during the years 1999 to 2000. Activists in the United States have therefore focused their energies on challenging developments within US borders. Meanwhile, corporations in an era of globalization respect no borders, and the prison-industrial complex has long since spread beyond its birthplace. The challenge for activists is to extend the scope of its coalitions and vision to battle a phenomenon with tentacles throughout the Americas, Europe, Southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Attacking the prison-industrial complex in the United States alone is like attempting to kill a weed by chopping off the head. The roots, nurtured in the blood and sweat of prisoners from London to Johannesburg, will continue to thrive and search out new, more sympathetic locations for growth.

prison, Great Britain; Great Britain — crime and criminals; political parties — Great Britain — Labour Party; Great Britain — blacks — social conditions; racism; feminism; capitalism

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 27, No. 3 (2000): 133-149