Jail where is thy sting?A visit with Mandy Hiscocks!!!

26 Sep

I hate visiting people in jail. The whole process that you have to go through is demeaning and is set up in such a way that you know who is in power and who has control. For those who have ever been in jail, the screws, checking in, metal detectors etc. reminds one where someone is and seeing someone through the glass, in uniform, talking through a phone that keeps on breaking up has less to do with security and more to do with demeaning the prisoner and creating a dissociation between the prisoner and the person outside. In fact the whole process is set up in such a way as to further criminalize the incarcerated.

The reason motives of the state to criminalize political people and put them in a cage is not just to isolate and criminalize the activist from the rest of society but also to break their spirit making it easier for the state to remold the political person in what the state feels that they should be. This not only destroys the person who is political but also works to discredit their politics to those who are not political by showing the average person that the state is all-powerful and can crush anyone no matter what there resolve is as well as to discredit peoples politics by having people recant their ideas and there by neutralizing them and their politics.

Today I went to visit Mandy Hiscocks in Vanier centre for women. After showing my id, answering their questions and going through their whole process, i was finally led to a room the size of a washroom and made to wait for her. She walked in, wearing her prison uniform led in by guards, yet despite the whole process and what they put her through, neither the lifeless walls, nor uniform could erase the smile from her face. She grabs the phone and we are having connection problems, but I start talking about my legal issues and shes talking about whats going on, and even though usually its you the visitor that cheers up the inmate, her enthusiasm is contagious and i find myself breaking out a big smile, laughing, joking and having a good time, making me forget where I was. The more and more we talked the more obvious it was to me that she is the same selfless person I have always known and even though she was the one in cuffs locked up all she wanted to know was how to assist those on the outside.

Huey Newton of the Panthers wrote a poem once called jail where is thy sting, where he talks about freedom being something that cant be regulated by guards, cops or screws. Seeing Mandy today I get to see the truth of those words which is despite whatever the system throws at a principled organizer, despite the fact that she is in chains, her spirit will never be either bound nor broken

3 Responses to “Jail where is thy sting?A visit with Mandy Hiscocks!!!”

  1. doug September 27, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Glad you enjoyed your prison visit Julian. Just think…you will soon be just like her,behind bars! lol

  2. Al September 27, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    You know Doug I have to say that your comment is just plain ignorant.

  3. Alexandra Telluselle (@TELLUSELLE) September 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi, as a former immigration inmate, I can only affirm of your experience and observation. I hope your friend gets out soon to a better life.
    /Alexandra from Sweden

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