EARTH FIRST!, June/July 2015: $6.50, 8 ½” x 11”, offset, 72 pgs.

Sep 22, 2015

This issue of Earth First has a theme about incarceration and the prison system. Apparently,Earth First has some kind of an outreach program towards people incarcerated because they always include at least one letter from a prisoner. The article by Panagioti Tsolkas titled “The Ecology of a Prison Nation” outlines the ecological impact of the prison system. In this well-researched article, the author points out the disproportionate amount of prisoners who are almost entirely poor, and the “extreme disproportion of black and recent-immigrant communities locked up.” For most of us, this injustice is not new and has hit many of our communities. The author looks at the use of large amounts of water and energy, “generating massive amounts of sewage and toxic pollution.” Some prisons sit on top of an abandoned toxic mine or next to an EPA Superfund site, exposing the prisoners to horrific amounts of pollution. Lastly, the article looks at the FBI’s Green Scare, where the FBI targets the ecological resistance movement fighting back against a police state and rampant corporate pollution. In a separate article Tsolkas interviews Paul Wright, the founder of the HumanRightsDefenseCenter and the editor of the Prison Legal News. Wright has an interesting story and details how he became and advocate for prisoner’s rights. His political journey begins with a box of Cap’n Crunch dumped out on the floor of his cell, realizing that “not all wrongs necessarily have a legal recourse in this country.” Wright continues advocating for the environment and for prisoners. There are many more articles on the Tar Sands blockades, the loss of Border Wild Lands due to the U.S. policy of “Prevention by Deterrence,” book reviews, puzzles, and letters to the editor. I would like to see some articles on Mauna Kea in Hawaii someday soon. –Steve Hart (Earth First, PO Box 964, Lake Worth, FL33460)